Light Novel Review: ‘Strangled’ [Volume 1]

I’m a high school boy and a bestselling light novel author, strangled by my female classmate who is my junior and a voice actress.

After taking a break from school to write my work and help assist with the anime adaptation version of it, I met a girl called Eri Nitadori in my classroom.

I’m the author of the light novel series, Vice Versa, and she is a voice actor cast for a character in the anime adapatation. We keep our professions a secret, so we don’t talk at all during school. The only time we get to talk to each other is when we take the train home together. She asks me various questions regarding the profession to improve her skills and I answered her honestly.

 So then how did it come to this…?

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I’m a High School Boy and a Bestselling Light Novel author, strangled by my female classmate who is my junior and a voice Actress or ‘Strangled’ as I’m going to refer it by, is a very casual light novel story about the protagonist’s lifestyle of being a light novel author. This series gives very informatative details about the process of publishing a light novel and the various experiences and emotions that come with it. The title may mislead some readers who might have had certain expectations based on the title; so if you are reading this volume focusing on that plot element hook, you will be a bit disappointed by the end of the story.

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Our nameless protagonist is the author of ‘Vice Versa’, a very popular light novel series. During his conversations with Eri Nitadori, a rookie voice actor for the anime adaptation, he explains the various inner workings of light novel production. Some topics include  discussion of real-life companies like the Kadokawa Group and Dengeki Bunko, different lifestyles of authors, and their personal experiences. While the volume does address the industry portion of light novels like brainstorming with editors, proper formatting, and revision checks.), the volume’s content is centralized around our main character personal experiences with light novels. This includes his backstory about how he became an author, why he decided to become one, and the methods and the mentality he had when creating his ideas. It’s like a small bibilography of his life with light novel facts and conceptions mixed in.

“…I’m an author after all.”

The protagonist is humble when it comes to his explainations. He answers Eri’s questions honestly and to the best of his ability. Most of the events explained in his story resembles real-life experiences from both the protagonist and the actual author’s perspective, so it has a sense of realism and relatability. Additionally, the relationship between the two main characters resembles a senior employee and rookie employee underneath him, so it makes the whole situation feel a lot more natural and personal. However, given that the novel doesn’t neglect to remind you about the strangling event in the future, subtle foreshadowing is scattered here and there in their conversations.

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Our other main character is Eri Nitadori, the female classmate who sits behind our main protagonist in class and also voices a character in the anime adapation. She’s very enthusiastic about her voice acting work, so she asks our protagonist questions about his work experiences. I can’t help but think she gets a bit irritated with our protagonist time from time due to his slightly dense personality, so I’m not at all surprised by the end result. Her reactions and words in their conversations are key hints to figuring out this mystery…which will probably be resolved in the next volume.

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The illlustrations were drawn by Kōhaku Kuroboshi. He is best known for his collaborations with the author, Keiichi Sigsawa, on Kino’s Journey and Allison. Most of the illustrations here are pictures of the main heroine, Eri Nitadori, showing many of her different expressions. There is a very fine quality of elegance when it comes to Eri’s character design. From the details of her facial features to the illustrator’s usage of black coloring, Kuroboshi shows off the character well.

‘Strangled’ is a light novel meant to educate readers, showing off different aspects of the light novel industry. Through a back-and-forth discussion between our two main leads, the story describes the process in which light novels are created, from an idea to publication. For a series that has the title as a plot hook, the volume ends on a cliffhanger that infers that the original volume should have been a lot longer than expected with the story ending suddenly which may turn away readers expecting plot heavy drama.

Rating: Recommended* – Highly Recommended

* – If you were looking for something more plot heavy in this volume, you will be a bit disappointed as these plot elements are moved to the background. Although I do recommend reading the second volume in addition to this one.


Author: Keiichi Sigsawa

Illustrator: Kōhaku Kuroboshi

Translator: Teh_Ping

The first volume can be found here at Hellping

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