Light Novel Review: Psycome [Volume 1]

Accused of murdering twelve people, Kyousuke Kamiya is forced to attend Purgatorium Remedial Academy. The Academy looks like a normal high school…-except for the fact that all of his classmates are murderers. His mistaken identity of the “Warehouse Butcher – Mass Murderer of Twelve” quickly becomes known around the establishment and he gains the attention of Renko Hikawa, a seemly friendly girl…who wears a gas mask.

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Psycho Love Comedy or Psycome cuts straight to the point; this is a Psycho Love Comedy. Filled with strange events, insane characters, and typical romantic comedy tropes, the novel acknowledges its premise and runs with it. Part of what makes this story work is how crazy the light novel gets with these rom-com situations. On the other hand, saying simply, if this sort of thing doesn’t interest you, then I would look else where.

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The story starts off with Kyousuke Kamiya, our main protagonist, getting involved in a fight with a couple of delinquents, leaving the scene after beating up all of them unconscious. Unfortunately, someone came to finish the job–permanently. After being framed for the murder case, Kyousuke transfers to Purgatorium Remedial Academy, an educational facility to reform murderers. Appalled by the fact that he now is sitting next to actual killers, he declares to survive this school to return to his previous everyday life.

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From here, Kyousuke’s life goes from normal to crazy as he meets his other fellow classmates and goes through the troubles they bring. These events range from flat-chest/large boob jokes, sexual innuendos, sadistic beatings and plenty comedic duo bits. Personally, I didn’t care for the jokes (a couple boob jokes too many for me), but I applaud the creative combinations of the setting and the humor.

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Fortunately, the story starts to pick up in the second half as secrets are revealed about the cast and characters. I wouldn’t say that it redeems the content if someone wasn’t too sold on the comedy here, but it does set up the course for the series to take.

The jokes and the story wouldn’t be at the quality they are if it wasn’t for the female cast’s unique personalities and traits. Our first character in the classroom of murderers is Eiri Akabane. She fits the tsundere mold well, as she’s cold-hearted to many people (and also the victim of one-too-many flat chest jokes.) But as the story goes on, she warms up to our main character and the future group they form, especially once we discover her unusual quirk. Our next character is Maina Igarashi. She’s a very nervous character but what sets her apart is her particular situation. Unfortunately, other supporting characters are very one-noted and forgettable, and even our main character is pretty average in comparison to the female cast.

And then we have our main heroine for this volume, Renko Hikawa. Renko is the main cause of the comedy, in terms of sexual innuendos and boob jokes, playing the unrelenting joker. But as the story went on, we get to know more about her and her strange affliction similar to the other characters. While I can’t give out much without spoiling crucial details, I’ll say that it definitely fits the title of the story.

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Special notice goes to the onomatopoeia usage in the writing, as the novel is heavily filled with them. Also, I want to take the time to commend the visual quality of the Official English publication (cleaning the cover page and color illustrations as well as the graphics for the table of contents and chapter pages).

The illustrations were created by Namanie and while Psycome is her well-known work, I can definitely see a trend with her character designs in other projects (specializing in the big breasted characters). The main cast are distinct in their design, having a black and white prison style school outfit contrast with the physical characteristics of each individual. Additionally, the black and white illustrations are surprisingly detailed, having visual touch-ups for effects (i.e. blood stains.)

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The first volume of Psycome is an introduction to this very strange romantic comedy. With  the female cast being in their own unique traits, they sell this light novel series, taking the typical tropes and bringing it down to their level of oddity. Like I said earlier, if this sort of thing doesn’t interest you, then I would pass on this series.

Rating: Recommended

Afterword: Shoutout to best girl.

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Author: Mizuki Mizushiro

Illustrator: Namanie

English Publisher: Yen Press

Note: Illustrations are in their JP counterpart for lack of English Images.

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2 Responses to Light Novel Review: Psycome [Volume 1]

  1. Pingback: Light Novel Notes (July 2016) | English Light Novels

  2. Pingback: 2015-2016 Retrospective | The August Hail

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