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Old 2010-07-02, 20:38   Link #401
Angrypokstick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asrielchase View Post
Huge fan here!!! just saw a promo image of vol.5 today and it got me so excited that i started searching around looking for info and ended up here

I kind of paused in the middle of Vol.1 back then thinking it would just drag on and on like other RPG-esque lightnovels, but after I finished reading it I just couldn't stop. To be honest I went online and managed to find the web version of SAO series that the author has posted before they got published... and they were amazing. The author is certainly taking it very seriously when he chose to write about VR world/Real world relationship.

Dunno if you've finished it or not but I would recommend reading vol.2 first. I skipped it at first because the description of vol3 is much too tempting, but I went back and read it while waiting for the translation of vol4. It doesn't matter in terms of plot, but you'd enjoy the ending of the Fairy Dance arc a bit more if you read vol2 before hand.

Spoiler for
promo pic for vol.5: (not really spoilerish i think)
:
yo Vol 2 was actually pretty good. And it did introduce the little girl helper AI that agito found on himself in vol 3.
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Old 2010-07-09, 19:26   Link #402
apr
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Reading the Moon Phase blog I encountered a little blurb that said a Super Dash Bunko title would be animated in the future, and that the blogger would be more excited to see Campione in anime form than the more likely title Ben-to. As a huge fan of the latter, I instantly ordered volume 1 of Campione hoping to discover something that was even better.

Turns out it was derivative, unimaginative crap. Thanks for nothing, Internet Opinion! It's yet another story of a high school boy with super powers, a sulky little sister, a disapproving beauty, a brazen beauty, and hostile goddess turned loli. We've seen it all before, except for the battle scenes, which are more like reading Wikipedia articles about mythical gods. Boring, stay away, don't be fooled by enticing rumours.

In order to get the bad taste out of my mouth, I finally picked up the highly recommended Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai v01, but it was even worse. I don't even know where to begin complaining. Mostly I was just left with the feeling that this is what Nisemonogatari would have ended up as if Nishio Ishin was a hack, trying desperately to defend otaku culture as good and just. Embarrassing.
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Old 2010-07-17, 15:06   Link #403
Kunagisa
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Originally Posted by apr View Post
Oh god, my wallet.

講談社ノベルス
3/25発売
●零崎人識の人間関係 匂宮出夢との関係 【著:西尾維新/絵:竹】
●零崎人識の人間関係 無桐伊織との関係 【著:西尾維新/絵:竹】
●零崎人識の人間関係 零崎双識との関係 【著:西尾維新/絵:竹】
●零崎人識の人間関係 戯言遣いとの関係 【著:西尾維新/絵:竹】
So according to the last post regarding Zaregoto you said you were still on volume 1, but in the off chance that you ended up reading extra 12 volumes and being up to date on the whole series ...

I heard the recommended reading order is as follow for if you treat the book you are reading as the "conclusion" volume:

出夢 is 戯言 --> 伊織 --> 双識 --> 出夢
双識 is 伊織 --> 戯言 --> 出夢 --> 双識
伊織 is 出夢 --> 双識 --> 戯言 --> 伊織
戯言 is 双識 --> 出夢 --> 伊織 --> 戯言

so obviously one possible read through to understand all the stories in chronological order is:

戯言 --> 伊織 --> 双識 --> 出夢 --> 双識 --> 戯言 --> 伊織 --> 戯言 --> 出夢 --> 双識 --> 出夢 --> 伊織 --> 戯言

Besides the super hardcore fan I doubt anyone would do that, but I'm wondering how well did 4 volumes complement each other if you can actually flip them around and read them in different orders and still make sense (or better sense for some cases), and the fact he could make them like that is pretty awesome.

On another note, I've also read a bit of Ben-to vol1 per your review (I haven't seen any new ones from you sadly on the new website, they were interesting read), and I must say the title doesn't disappoint.

The whole series reminds me a ton of Yakitate!! Japan in the over the top sense. I literally lol'd and facepalm'd when the house wife showed up for the first time ; I can imagine that being an incredible hilarious moment if animated.
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Old 2010-07-17, 17:00   Link #404
apr
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Originally Posted by stuopidget View Post
So according to the last post regarding Zaregoto you said you were still on volume 1, but in the off chance that you ended up reading extra 12 volumes and being up to date on the whole series ...

On another note, I've also read a bit of Ben-to vol1 per your review (I haven't seen any new ones from you sadly on the new website, they were interesting read), and I must say the title doesn't disappoint.

The whole series reminds me a ton of Yakitate!! Japan in the over the top sense. I literally lol'd and facepalm'd when the house wife showed up for the first time ; I can imagine that being an incredible hilarious moment if animated.
My last Zaregoto post was about volume 2, which was a massive mindfuck in the end. I'm currently reading Nisemonogatari 2. Before that I read Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora vol 1, but it wasn't very exciting. Pretty bland, but fast to read, at least.

I stopped reviewing, since nobody cares. Too few people can read light novels in Japanese, and those who can don't need English reviews.
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Old 2010-07-18, 06:29   Link #405
Doraneko
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Originally Posted by apr View Post
I stopped reviewing, since nobody cares. Too few people can read light novels in Japanese, and those who can don't need English reviews.
Oh that's a pity ... I have been one of your readers, and I think at least the few of us who frequent this thread do care.

Anyway I bought the full set of Twelve Kingdoms (11 books, without the spinoff volume) yesterday from a second-hand book-store. $40 is certainly not cheap, but at least the quality is pretty good and I can save myself from all the hassles and extra expenses in relation to shipping.

Recently I have finished Iriya no Sora, and right now I am reading Vandal Garoukai no Kiseki and the series of Asobi ni Ikuyo! (currently up to volume 6).

The writing of Iriya, which spells out every single detail, sometimes feels a bit long winded. But for some events, like a certain scene where the protagonist uses a knife to cut open his neck, or the eating contest where every participant almost throw up, such kind of writing really shines. The intense and detailed writing really helps to draw the readers into the minds of the protagonists. I could almost feel my neck itching with pain when reading the neck-cutting scene.

The author also spends much time crafting every single character, even the minor ones. You can easily pick a random guy from the story and rewrite the whole story from his perspective.

The whole setup of the story, although with plentiful of SF elements, is in essence reminiscent of sickbed stories like Narcissu[*]. The sick heroine has to ultimately face death by the end of the story, but the focus is on how she spends her final days and whether the male protagonist can help her to see the value in her life. Fans of Hanbun no Tsuki may like this story too.


[*] Check out the free & official English translation of the original visual novel. Light novel buffs would also love to know that there is a novelization published by MF Bunko J.
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Old 2010-07-18, 10:28   Link #406
apr
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Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
Oh that's a pity ... I have been one of your readers, and I think at least the few of us who frequent this thread do care.
Well, I'm also lazy. And lately I've been getting tired of light novels as a genre, because it's getting harder and harder to find a title that feels unique or original in the slightest. It doesn't make for fun reviews to read.

Nishio Ishin and Ben-to are my only shining beacons of hope at the moment, but I'm running out of Ben-to.
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Old 2010-07-18, 11:31   Link #407
Doraneko
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Well finding something unique in the light novel world is more or less like finding a gem among all the crappy anime. Sturgeon's Law which asserts that ninety of everything is crud certainly applies to light novels. But doing research beforehand (and get some free previews prior to placing orders *ahem*) certainly helps.

I certainly prefer "borderline" light novels to the hardcore moe ones, even though I still read both. One way is to find some famous works that predate the whole moe phenomenon, from the earlier light novel publishing houses. If they still have their circle of fans after all these years, I suppose their quality wouldn't be too bad. Common examples include Tokikake, Yukikaze and Twelve Kingdoms, but there are so many great works that simply cannot be listed. (Google is your friend.)

Another way is to focus on the earlier works of light novel authors who successfully transferred to mainstream literature, such as Kazuki Sakuraba, Hiroshi Arigawa and Tsumugu Hashimoto. There must be some unique appeal in their works such that even the non-otaku public can get attached in their works.

The third option is the MW Bunko, catered for those who get tired of the recurring light novel stereotypes. I haven't read many works from this label though.

Hope it helps.
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Old 2010-07-18, 13:01   Link #408
apr
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Well, at least I've learned not to buy 5 books at a time. Better to get the first volume of five series and then order the rest of the series if you really like it. I'm stuck with tons of books I keep postponing.

I read the original Tokikake Shoujo short story (friend had it), and it wasn't all that good. The movie was surprisingly much better. Hashimoto is extremely colour-less from what I've read so far (Hantsuki 1), so I'm not excited about him. Sakuraba is nice, I guess, at times. Ordering her award-winning novel next time (Watashi no Otoko), hoping it'll be as good or better than Lollypop. Twelve Kingdoms seems to have too much tricky jargon, so I'm postponing, but I do have the first two volumes in my shelf.

Maybe it's time to branch out it into "real" literature soon.
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Old 2010-07-31, 18:09   Link #409
NeoSam
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Ok, some great news

Takarajimasha (the publisher of light novel guide "Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!") will start publishing light novels under its new upcoming light novel label Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! Bunko:
http://www.lightnovel.org/2010/07/31...ga-sugoi-bunko

The first light novels to be published under this new light novel label will be released on September 10th, 2010.

I'm looking forward to what type of light novels these are going to be I'm pretty much hoping that this new label will be a male oriented one, though it might turn out to be a general label, but since Takarajimasha publishes the "Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!" they pretty much know that almost all the light novels that made it to the top 10 are male oriented light novels, so this upcoming label of theirs might be a male oriented one :P but we'll have to wait and see...

==============================

Also on another great news, Pixiv will start an online novel magazine that's temporarily titled "pixiv eBunko":
http://www.lightnovel.org/2010/07/31...novel-magazine
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Old 2010-08-02, 14:54   Link #410
NeoSam
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Yeah, it seems the light novel label Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! Bunko is an upcoming shounen light novel label

The first upcoming 5 titles, which I mentioned here:
http://www.lightnovel.org/2010/07/31...ga-sugoi-bunko

The covers of these 5 light novels can be seen here:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/

The moe~ charatcer designs and the many cute bishoujos is pretty much hinting that this is an upcoming male oriented light novel label...

I love the charatcer designs of the "Langene code" light novel:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/grandprix/

and the "Bousou Shoujo to Mousou Shounen" light novel:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/excellent/
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Old 2010-08-02, 15:11   Link #411
surerman
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Any one recommended Baka to Test to Shoukanjyuu yet?
It's VERY FUNNY

Spoiler for story:


if you want some laugh, it's a good one to read (assumed you can read Japanese)

Last edited by surerman; 2010-08-02 at 15:28.
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Old 2010-08-02, 15:14   Link #412
Kunagisa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoSam View Post
I love the charatcer designs of the "Langene code" light novel:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/grandprix/

and the "Bousou Shoujo to Mousou Shounen" light novel:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/excellent/
Yeah those two do look sweet. Just from reading the title list I'm more interested in Funda Menda Mouse because Yasuda Suzuhito is the illustrator, sadly the pics aren't available yet.

Though pretty exciting overall.

EDIT: Why Chiaki Kuriyama ...? That's kinda random.
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Old 2010-08-03, 03:11   Link #413
Doraneko
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Originally Posted by NeoSam View Post
Yeah, it seems the light novel label Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! Bunko is an upcoming shounen light novel label
Takarajima-sha been talking about starting a new label for almost one year. Initially I thought the plan was scrapped. But at least it is good to see that it is eventually appearning on the shelves.

However that's really a darn long title for a bunko label. It seems like the 2ch crowd isn't too satisfied. I am sure the retailers will find it quite troublesome too.

I have took a peek at the line-up. Nothing seems to be particularly unique, so most likely they are going for the mainstream moe route. They will be releasing samples of the new books soon and I will reserve my judgement until then. The illustrations are great, but I am more interested in the content of the novels.

By the way I wonder how the publisher is going to deal with the coming "Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!" award. There is clearly a conflict of interest if they include their works as candidates.
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Old 2010-08-03, 13:47   Link #414
Matt122005
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Has anyone read the Toradora light novels yet? Apr, have you?

I kept hearing different people rave to me all the time about how amazingly good those novels were, but considering the story was just a tsundere school comedy as far as I could tell, I pretty much was more interested in reading more plot driven stories (Zaregoto, etc).

Well, I finally got bored one day and wanted to read a comedy. I decided to give Toradora a try, since it was supposed to be a school comedy.

Wow...

I was blown away.

I'm now on book 3 and Toradora! has quickly risen to become a part of my top 12 favorite book series. This is just really good. Even with a rough fan translation, the author shines. Her way of creating vibrant characters that step out of the page is superb.

If you haven't read it yet, you should. It really IS good. (And mind you, I've never watched the anime adaptation or read the manga. Reading the novel was my first invite into the storyline.)

And best of all, it's finished. Only 10 books, along with several side story volumes. So at least you'll have a completed series with an ending.
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Old 2010-08-03, 14:51   Link #415
NeoSam
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Originally Posted by Doraneko View Post
Takarajima-sha been talking about starting a new label for almost one year. Initially I thought the plan was scrapped. But at least it is good to see that it is eventually appearning on the shelves.
On that matter, it has been almost half a year since Kodansha mentioned that it will start publishing male oriented light novels. Though I'm excited about Takarajimasha's new light novel label, but I'm more looking forward to what Kodansha is going to bring to the market
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Old 2010-08-03, 15:11   Link #416
Kunagisa
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Originally Posted by Matt122005 View Post
If you haven't read it yet, you should. It really IS good. (And mind you, I've never watched the anime adaptation or read the manga. Reading the novel was my first invite into the storyline.)
That's a shame, I watched the anime and read the manga (since my group ended up scanlating a couple chapters earlier chapters) and I found neither particularly interesting. Would be nice to hear what's so good in the novel that make it worthwhile when compared to the other two adaptations.

In case you missed apr's post, author's having a new series out.
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Old 2010-08-03, 15:58   Link #417
apr
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Has anyone read the Toradora light novels yet? Apr, have you?
Yeah, started reading it a few months before the anime began and loved it. Favourite books were #4 and #7. Unfortunately it gets far too emo (Ryuuji is so gloomy internally) the last couple of books, so I can't quite call the series a masterpiece. Still, it's probably the light novel series I love the most out of all the things I've read. Haven't touched the bonus books, since I felt I was done with the story after #10.

I wouldn't really say it's romantic, but as a relationship drama it's the most interesting work of fiction I've seen come out of Japan (anime/manga/light novels). How characters start out as hugely predictable stereotypes, but then turn out to have a solid background that explains in a reasonable way why they act as they do, how they interact with each other, how things develop throughout the year, it's all superbly done and well thought out. An important point is also that it doesn't need super powers or magic or aliens or coma girls or wars or geniuses or anything particularly extraordinary to make itself interesting. Just regular people (kind of) and their entangled lives. Some people complained about the conclusion (final pairing), but I didn't mind at all, because it felt logical every step of the way -- it was a natural result of past events.

I had much more to say about Toradora back when I was reading it, but it's been over a year now, and I simply don't remember enough to give a detailed review. There might still be posts online where I'm a raving fanboy, though. In any case I'm very much looking forward to her new series in September.
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Old 2010-08-04, 15:49   Link #418
NeoSam
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Originally Posted by stuopidget View Post
Yeah those two do look sweet. Just from reading the title list I'm more interested in Funda Menda Mouse because Yasuda Suzuhito is the illustrator, sadly the pics aren't available yet.
Funda Menda Mouse cover is now available:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/
http://award2010.konorano.jp/kuriyama/

Characters' images not yet available...
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Old 2010-08-04, 17:18   Link #419
Kunagisa
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Originally Posted by NeoSam View Post
Funda Menda Mouse cover is now available:
http://award2010.konorano.jp/
http://award2010.konorano.jp/kuriyama/

Characters' images not yet available...
I'm sold just from the cover.
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Old 2010-08-11, 14:07   Link #420
Doraneko
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Today I have read "Minerva and the Tree of Wisdom (ミネルヴァと智慧の樹)" by Raku Asai. It is a really refreshing work that stands out from all the moe and stereotypical stuff that currently floods the market.


Unlike conventional light novels, it has a more mature setting with college students as protagonists. The story focuses on Kei, a college student practical to a fault, who considers his college life as merely a short stage for him to make enough connections and gain enough credits for a stable but dead-end career in the future. One day, he applied for a part-time job in the school library. His direct supervisor is a girl called Michi, who is specialized in dealing with middle age European scriptures and proclaims herself as Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom. The more he spends his time with Michi and her work, the farther he finds himself away from the conventional way of thinking. He starts to be able to see the world from a new and critical perspective instead of blindly accepting everything.

It is quite interesting to see the exchanges between the characters and how the story unfolds itself. If Nishio is said to be an expert in wordplays, Asai can be said to be a master in shuffling different bits of knowledge and play them around in a fun and compelling way. Throughout the book there are discussions on a variety of subjects, from Renaissance history, Japanese literature and psychoanalysis to philosophical topics on the nature of learning and knowledge. The fact that the author himself is a university lecturer specialized in European history certainly helps a lot.

Besides the knowledge-play there are ample SF and fantasy elements as well as realistic character development to make the ride an entertaining one. Nonetheless the way he blends SF and philosophy may be a bit demanding on the reader's analytical and comprehension capability. IMO the target reader who can fully enjoy the book is probably a college student or above with a good exposure in arts subjects and a solid grasp of Japanese.

Personally it is in my top three, along with Kougyoku's Mimizuku and Sakuraba's Lollipop. This is however a book that is quite selective regarding its readers. From the comments and reviews on the internet, it seems like hardcore readers of light novels hate it for its "incomprehensibility", while casual light novel readers who have a greater preference towards traditional literature and SF find it highly enjoyable.

Feel free to take a look at the sample pages on the official webpage. I highly recommend this book to those who have a soft spot on works that have both the maturity and intellectual value of traditional literature and the entertainment value of light novels.
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