This August marks the first year anniversary of this blog. Hooray!
And to celebrate, here’s a 2015-2016 Retrospective / Light Novel Catalog of my thoughts of the light novel series I’ve covered so far.
Me @ August 1st: Alright, I’m going to work on this anniversary post…
Me @ August 7th: This is going along well…
Me @ August 15th: I’ll leave this to the side for right now. School starts in a couple of days…
Me @ August 28th: I should really finish this now.
Yeah yeah, I’m late, and will probably be for a number of reviews. For example, while Manuscript, SukaSuka, and Qualidea are released, they won’t be on this review catalog.
At this current moment, I’m living by myself for the first time and I’m spending the entirety of my day at campus from 8 to as late as 12 midnight doing club activities.
It’s a bit tough balancing being a public relations officer for the university, vice-president and instructor for the Game Development Club, and the secretary for the Anime Club.
So I’m probably only able to output a review on the weekends and periodically live-tweet books during my break.
Sorry for those expecting more content but I’ve made it my rule to place academics first before all else. After all, I need to do something with my life…as well as make money in the future to go towards my hobbies.
The deceased Hikaru Mikado was a natural charmer and can be considered a “harem king.” After his death, he turned into a ghost, with lots of regrets and unfulfilled promises. It is up to Koremitsu Akagi to fulfill the promise to deliver seven presents to Hikaru’s fiancée, Aoi Saotome. However, it doesn’t stop there as there are multiple girls he had made promises to. With red hair and a glare that makes him look like a delinquent, how will Koremitsu be able to fulfill his promises?
Hikaru was the first of Mizuki Nomura’s work that I read. I had downloaded the first two volumes for my trip just in case I got bored. Two years ago, I started reading ‘Aoi’ on the car ride to Florida and my eyes didn’t look away from my phone one bit. If ‘Aoi’ got me interested, ‘Yugao’ got me hooked. Sadly with only three volumes out on Baka-Tsuki at the time, I forgot about it after the trip.
I never forgot about that feeling when I read it, so two years later when I found out volumes 4-8 got translated over at Hellping, I felt absolutely estatic. I then proceeded to marathon the entire series and wait till the last two volumes got released.
At its base, Hikaru is a pretty sad harem story. However, it makes the happier moments within each volume much more enjoyable. It’s a bit different from your typical harem story, along with the fact that this work is based off the Tale of Genji.
And reading that last volume just to get to see that illustration was well worth it.
I don’t think I’ve ever blushed so hard reading about Koremitsu’s adventures with the girls. Mizuki Nomura’s writing just hits me hard with her romance situations. I do admit they are a bit cheesy but after reading about these characters, I’ve grown fond of them so much that I feel that its purely fanservice to me. Additionally, my favorite girl won and my second favorite girl got some great moments.
Personally, I love Nomura’s romance works and I’ve fallen in love with them, no matter how many times I read them.
After all, I’m a person who enjoys romantic comedy and harem stories.
In fact, some of my favorite romance stories are harem stories.
They say 1 is the lonely number.
Yeah that’s true.
Volume 2 is the only review I’ve done for The Isolator series.
Yeah…That’s also true.
The Isolator is Reki Kawahara’s newest work and honestly…he has way too much on his plate.
The Isolator is an action light novel series featuring high schoolers with superpowers and SCIENCE. The main character doesn’t want to cause anyone any trouble so he joins an organization, under the codename, Isolator, in order to erase everyone’s memory of him.
I can already see how this is going to end up. But hey, the journey to the destination matters.
So far, it’s pretty alright. Kawahara is doing a good job developing our characters, especially his villains, and the way he focuses on the scientific portion of the light novel is commendable (it’s more relevant in Volume 2).
Unfortunately, I forgotten about the series numerous times, especially since the releases are so far apart from each other. The only reason why I still remember it is because it just looks awkward on my page having only the review for Volume 2. I would check it out if you like the whole teenage superhero premise.
It has been forever since I’ve reviewed this light novel and while I do remember certain scenes and plot points in the book, I find it hard to explain what makes the series good.
And yet, I would always recommend this to any new light novel reader.
It’s a short light novel about a cynical but logical high school boy, Nonomiya, finding a paper called the “Murder Recipe” with the owner being the most perfect girl in school, Youko Tsukimori. Shortly after he finds the paper, Youko’s father dies from a car accident and his suspicions are cast upon her.
It’s a strange murder mystery as it focuses on the interactions between the two main leads. Sure, the people die, but the real mystery figuring out who exactly is Youko Tsukimori.
Nonomiya has his own agenda to determine who Youko Tsukimori is, but when a opposing character enters the discussion, it becomes a battle of wits, logic, and deception as both of them race to achieve their goals.
More stuff beyond this point is spoiler territory, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Yup, that’s Riku and ShuVi. In other words, it’s Volume 6.
And I didn’t choose this picture because of the movie.
A pair of unbeatable gamer twins get sent to an alternative world where everything is dictate by games. Once they get there, they become the new rulers of the race of Amanity, a once flourishing nation. In order to have another chance at playing God in a game, they have to collect all the race pieces from the other races in Disboard.
There’s a reason why I don’t talk about the actual translation in my reviews. I haven’t read the actual Japanese version, so I have nothing to compare it by. However, there are some translations that just make me cringe to no end. Volume 1 of NGNL is one of them. The translation does get better with each release…but I personally don’t like the writing style.
I do get a kick out of seeing Sora and Shiro strategize their plans, even if they end up winning in the end. There’s a part of me where I want them to lose terribly and suffer consequences, but I honestly can’t see that happening.
And that’s why I enjoyed Riku and ShuVi.
Volume 6 is an origin story of Disboard and seeing Riku and ShuVi struggle against the world is fantastic, even as just a standalone from No Game No Life .
But alas, it’s all about Sora and Shiro.
And chances are, you are probably reading No Game No Life just for them.
Progressive is good.
Aincrad is bad.
Sword Art Online’s first two arcs are pretty bleh…but don’t turn away quite yet. Progressive is a completely different story in terms of pacing and plot.
The main story of Sword Art Online is that a VRMMORPG named “Sword Art Online” trapped 40,000 people within the game and if you died in the game, you died in real life. For about two years, we follow the experience gamer and beta tester, Kirito, as he survives in this death game where the only method of escape is to beat all 100 floors of the world known as Aincrad.
From the start, we are shown the initial start of the game…and then story jumps two years ahead in the future.
Instead of skipping two years to when Kirito beats SAO, Progressive tells a story about each level of Aincrad starting from floor one.
With this plot structure, Kawahara took the time to actually write about the game mechanics of SAO and go deeper into the details. I said to others before that Sword Art Online would work better as an episodic long running show, and this just proves it. Each floor revolves a certain theme or concept and the light novel elaborates that. For example, Volume 1 discusses the tactics and strategies for fighting a high level boss while Volume 2 focused on the effect NPCS have on the players.
Out of Kawahara’s works, this is my favorite so far and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the premise of Sword Art Online.
Only one volume translated.
When I initially read it, I wanted more volumes to read.
After I watched it, I’m glad I didn’t waste any more time on it.
Our protagonist gets send to a sea carrier called the “Little Garden” due to his affinity to defeat the “Savage.” However upon arrival, he meets a guy named Emile Crossford who claims to know about him. And soon after that, he gets challenged by the student council president, the strongest person on the carrier.
Insert joke about the title, calling the anime being like all the others.
Truthful, I did like the first volume. I like the whole premise of the childhood friends fated to be together again, followed by their opposing interactions.
That was it though. It turns into a bad copy of Infinite Stratos in later volumes, as proven by the anime adaptation.
Really good background art, lolis, and Tina Sprout.
OK, initial thoughts finished.
Black Bullet is dystopian light novel series where partner duos take down giant bugs called Gastria before they destroy the last haven of humanity. While all of this is happening, the novel throws in some concepts about the cruelty of humanity and how dark people’s hearts are. Follow that up with some oddly placed lighthearted scenes, and you have a light novel that really doesn’t know what genre it wants to be.
You have lines like this.
“Rentaro, do you know why Varanium is black?”
“My loathing has stained it black.”
And you have a catfight between Kisara and Miori, Rentaro’s two classmates.
I saw the anime adaptation and I didn’t like the adaptation all that much. The light novel wasn’t too bad though. I thought it express the themes a whole better than in the anime.
Volume 1 focused on Black Bullet’s world and history while volume 2 focused more on characterization. I prefer characters over story so Black Bullet didn’t really have too much of an impact on me.
Except for Tina.
Tina is good.
Aincrad + Fairy Dance = Pretty bad.
Gun Gale + Mother’s Rosario = Definite improvement.
Alicization Arc = Gets better with each release.
One of my goals was to review the Alicization Arc, but I had to get through the first painful volumes first. The only volume of the Alicization Arc was an exception, since it was recently translated and I haven’t read it yet, so I might as well.
Otherwise, this section is a duplicate of my thoughts in the Progressive section.
Another light novel series with only one volume translated.
But unlike Hundred, this one is actually pretty good.
God, please someone pick up the translation.
Sekai no Owari no Encore is about is a guy who is looked down upon because he looks like the legendary Brave Hero. He goes on an adventure with the girls who were previously the Brave Hero companions in search of the Encore, a mystery treasure to all adventurers but a special memoir to his companions.
The plot of Sekai no Owari no Encore sounds like an bland adventure novel but the intentions and motivations behind the characters made me care about them and want to root for them. It also doesn’t fall into the harem route (at least to my knowledge of the first volume) as the relationship between the two character pictured above seems to be the love interests.
I’m taking his portion from the review but it think it sums it up well.
The light novel doesn’t have anything particularly special like unique battle dialogue, detailed world building, or over-the-top characters. However in its absence, we have down-to-earth individuals and a very simple and well paced tale about how one boy dreams to go on an adventure.
This novel is surprisingly popular and I wish someone picked up this translation.
Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon or DanMachi is about a boy who is searching for love in dungeon. But when he gets embarrassed by being saved by most beautiful girl in the city, he dedicates himself to become stronger to be on the same level as her.
The mythological fantasy adventure with an emphasis on character interaction, with traces of Sword Art Online vibes mixed in.
That’s what I would sum up the series as.
Bell’s dedication to become strong after his traumatic experience is the core motivation pushing him and the characters supporting him-mostly females, sees his determination are charmed by it.
There are nice moments between the cast of characters. Whether its a heart to heart conversation between Bell and Hestia about their relationship or a reflective moment between Bell and Syr’s thoughts about adventuring, these interactions are strongest points in this adventure harem light novel.
First of all, this cover is fantastic.
I’ve been keeping up with both Seraph of the End and this series. At first I didn’t mind it that much, I was mostly watching it for Hiroyuki Sawano’s music but after watching the anime adaptation, I got attached to those characters and keep reading.
If you are able to get through the first season and didn’t hate it, the second season is unexpectedly really good.
Catastrophe at 16 is a prequel to the events in Seraph of the End featuring Guren in his high school years. The story covers his experiences with his companions as well as his struggle for power due to his clan heritage.
Catastrophe at 16 is a prequel to the events in Seraph of the End. I’ve actually been spoiled on what happens later on due to reading the recent chapters of Seraph of the End but it’s an interesting plot twist.
Volume 1 was very weak with typical high school bullying drama and other comedy shenanigans with Guren’s friends, but I think the actual overall plot kicks in the second omnibus. (Omnibus 1 is Volumes 1+2 in English)
When I making this post, I couldn’t find any pictures in my library to use a preview picture. I ended up finding it…under the titles named oniisama1_01 instead of irregular1_01.
I need to make a mental note of that.
Not to change the name, but to remember that the pictures are named that.
The Irregular at Magic High School is about two siblings who go to the same prestigious magic high school. However, through the school’s system of qualifications, they are separated and discriminated against despite the both of them being completely over-qualified. The series covers their experiences in this prejudice society.
One of the first things you will notice about this light novel is how it describes magic. Magic is not defined as something supernatural or represented in a fantasy style. Instead, magic is described through scientific means. For example, the creation of ice is described as deacceleration of particles in the air.
It’s an interesting writing style, and I can understand why some people are fans of the Irregular series,
I’m not one of them though.
I just couldn’t get behind Tatsuya as a character, even more so in the anime adaptation.
ALL HAIL OUR LORD AND SAVIOR ONII-SAMA.
The writing felt too much like technological filler in a bland introduction to magic high school plotline. For a first volume, it does set up a lot of elements for the reader to get familiar with the setting, but it felt abnormally long and strenuous as a result.
I was so on the fence when grading this light novel on my review of it. If you want to check out this light novel series, I suggest buying the first two volumes since the first arc is a two volume arc.
Origami after Volume 11 > Kurumi > Nia > Female Shidou > Everyone else.
In a world where spacequakes threaten the earth, one high school boy must date girls and make them fall in love in order to seal their destructive powers.
Date A Live is a fun and cheesy harem series. Sure, the plot gets serious when a heroine gets in trouble and Shidou has to save her but the interactions between the characters is where I think it is at its strongest.
I’m also not forgetting those those climatic moments features Shidou the Hero.
Each heroine has their own specific problem or internal issue and it’s up to Shidou to help them. He’s got some great moments by himself alone (like pictured above) or it could be a collective effort between the cast of characters like the last two volumes, Nia Creation and Mukuro Planet. The heroines don’t fight over Shidou that much either. They act more like friends rather than rivals in love. Of course, I won’t dismiss the argument that the girls fight over Shidou but it feels like playful banter instead.
Like with Sword Art Online, each volume gets better and better in quality (with some exceptions here and there…I really don’t want to see another round of speed dating again.)
I had fun reading this series and even more fun watching the anime adaptation again.
Thank god the anime character designs don’t look anything like the illustrations.
As I’m writing this, the anime adaptation is airing and while I only read the first novel, it does a very job with the first volume.
And OHH man, that bloodbath scene was perfect.
Adaptation aside, Alderamin is about a lazy but intelligent soldier who gets drafted into the military. Once he gets there along with his friends, he encounters the various political corruption within the military. As the novel puts it, this is a story about how a very unlikely soldier became a top commanding officer.
Ikta is definitely a character to look out for. Ignoring his sexual advances, he’s an entertaining protagonist with his sharp wits and intelligence. He’s able to calculate the flow of the battle and be able to adjust accordingly and efficiently. Just within a chapter, you can grasp what kind of person he is.
Yatori was a sleeper for a majority of events in the first volume, but her actions in the last chapters were a bit eye-opening to her character and her relationship with Ikta.
Again, this is another series that only has one volume translated and I wish someone would pick it up.
I would also recommend watching the anime adaptation as well.
One day, the Earth suddenly died.
There was no anomaly, change or forewarning when it was announced.
Scientists concluded that the ‘lifespan’ was used up.
The Earth’s lifespan was estimated to have another 5 billion years left, but they actually miscalculated it by 5 billion.
This passage still makes me laugh from time to time.
The Earth was recreated using gears. The mysterious man who created the blueprint, is a man named ‘Y’. Skip forward to present day, Naoto Miura is a ordinary high school boy with a extreme interest in gears gets his house obliterated by a meteorite. Inside the meteorite is a mechanical girl named RyuZU. Through their chance meeting, they would drastically affect the world and its inhabitants.
Clockwork Planet is Yuu Kamiya’s third light novel work, next to No Game No Life and A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives. I like Clockwork Planet a whole lot more than No Game No Life for the same reason as other shows in this line-up: characterization.
I didn’t mention this in the preview excerpt above, but there are two other major characters besides Naoto and RyuZU. As of the first volume right now, Marie is my favorite due to her ideals and her sense of justice carrying the latter half of the story. It does start slow to get you familiarized with the world they living, but it does pick up like I said before.
I decided to read this as a breather light novel.
I realize that it was a terrible decision to choose this one.
Our main protagonist gets called by his sister to help defend the Ataraxia, a strategic military base. His special ability is to help assist the main fighters…through rubbing their breasts.
I watched the first episode and it was exactly how I expected it to be from reading the novel.
I would recommend it if you’re a fan of that type of content.
Books about books are good books.
Hikaru, Book Girl, and Dantalian no Shoka.
……ok two of them are Mizuki Nomura works but that’s besides the point….
Huey Disward inherits his grandfather’s mansion and his expansive collection of books. In the basement of the mansion, is a young girl named Dalian. With a lock embedded in her chest, she is the keeper of the “Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian” which holds the prohibited “Phantom Books.”
Together, the two of them solve cases involving the “Phantom Books”, forbidden books that should not be released in the human world.
I’ve read the first volume of Dantalian no Shoka and I’ve seen the anime adaptation as well. A bit of a forewarning, the two have different atmospheres. For the anime, the content is a lot more light-hearted as it has more playful banter between the cast of characters and the adapted portions aren’t as dark compared to the first volume.
Dantalian no Shoka is episodic; meaning that each chapter has its own plot unrelated to the rest and can be read in any order. For example, Chapter 1 tells the story about the Gourmet and his desire to find the best gourmet food through any means possible, while another is about the “Book of Wisdom”, a book that grants perfect knowledge to anyone.
I enjoy the simplistic plots that this series presents. It often creates a supernatural mystery atmosphere, it usually a message to tell at the end, and some stories can be told even without our main two protagonists.
Unfortunately, this is another series that I wish continued to get translated
Kyousuke Kamiya gets sent to Remedial Academy after being accused of murdering twelve people. It’s an ordinary high school–except for the fact that everyone is a murderer. He very quickly attracts the attention of a red-haired assassin, a small child, and a large breasted girl with a gas mask. How will Kyousuke survive this school for three years?
At its core, Psycome is a romantic love comedy featuring a band of misfit murderers. The story follows our main character and his group through their high school experiences like eating lunch together, making fun of each other’s breast sizes, and just plain having fun.
At first, it really just seems like a normal love comedy with insane people instead of ordinary individuals, but the light novel places a plot twist and a heavy foreshadowing around the end of the book to keep your interest.
Like I said in the review, if you like romantic comedies, check this book out because it’s oddly decent if you can stomach the usual tropes that come with the genre…and the many breast jokes.
Eiri’s my favorite. She’s your classic tsundere, but she’s damn good in later volumes.
Like she gets her own volume. Yeah.
And they all look cool with those black stripes.
Ahh HakoMari…re-reading this series felt great.
Writing it was painful.
Instead of the writing the review for the volume I finished at the time, I ended up reading the next volume.
Kazuki Hoshino is approached by a transfer student who claims she has transferred over 13,118 times in his classroom and declares to “break him.” It’s a psychological supernatural light novel series that is immensely popular in the West.
I love a lot of elements that HakoMari presents. The plot-lines are very interesting and captivating with their mysteries and twists. The characters have a large amount of development put into them, taking a ordinary high school problem and amplifying the results of said issue through the series’ supernatural elements. The writing was heavily dramatized-almost too much at times- but the content and context fully supported it.
The only thing I wish the series had more of is Kazuki and Maria working together, expanding their relationship. Sure, the series does do that from time to time and at the end, however they were often in opposing positions.
It’s the only reason why I’m so conflicting about which volumes I like more than others. I like Volumes 1 + 2 because of Kazuki and Maria’s relationship and trust in each other…but the other volumes are just so good in developing the other characters as well.
Anyway, I fully recommend this to any light novel reader and probably to anyone interesting in what this series has to offer.
Volume 5 + Volume 6 > Volume 1 > Volume 3 + 4 > Volume 7 > Volume 2
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.
The Protagonist is a light novel author whose work is being adapted into an anime. One of the voice actors for the anime approaches him on the train to ask him questions about the light novel industry and his experiences writing his light novel. These are the events that led up with our Protagonist being strangled by his female classmate/voice actress Eri Nitadori.
First of all, this light novel series is meant to teach the readers a little bit about the light novel industry while adding a bit of romantic comedy. Lately, I’ve been enjoying works that are about production whether its about light novels, anime, or video games.
It’s one of hell of a long title, but the two reviews about it are fairly short mainly because of how the content is pretty much the same with volume 2 catching up to the strangling event.
Series that will never make
the light of day (probably):
Strike the Blood
Strike the Blood is just one of those series where I’m watching mindlessly. It’s got action, romantic comedy, vampires, and harem nonsense. Unfortunately, reading the first volume is painful. Out of what I could probably remember, the events play out exactly like the anime and while that’s good and all, it doesn’t present anything new. Thus, I ended up sleeping halfway through.
Will I get to it? Maybe… but more likely maybe not.
Spice and Wolf
Don’t worry. Unlike Strike the Blood, Spice and Wolf is actually pretty decent. I just haven’t got around to reading it. However, that’s one big task if I were to take all 17 volumes. Marathons are agonizing to read sometimes. It’s a straight run through all the volumes of a series which is good for consistency but sometimes there happen to be a couple of light novels that pop up every once in a while that I’m itching to read.
But I did pre-order that collector’s edition of Spice and Wolf. So maybe I’ll end up reading that.
Plans for this Year:
And now this is the section where I will talk about the future.
I’m probably not going to accomplish all this stuff by the end of the year, but I can at least be hopeful.
No Game No Life Volume 6
Believe me, as soon as volume 6 comes out, I’m grabbing copies 4,5, and 6 for a straight marathon. Volumes 4 and 5 are tied together in terms of plot and Volume 6 is its own special light novel. And with the movie coming out, there’s even more of a reason to re-read this again.
Marathon of Book Girl (Bungaku Shoujo)
It’s a Mizuki Nomura work so I’m going to end up doing this series regardless. Probably around Christmas time maybe…? It’s also been a year since I’ve read it so I might perceive events a bit differently this time. Out of all the marathons, I’m looking forward to this one.
Marathon of Alicization Arc of SAO + Newest volume of SAO
I think I’ve read Alicization at least three times already. It’s a pretty grand tale by itself, not including the volumes before it. Like with No Game No Life, once volume 9 comes out, I’m grabbing the rest of the books to set myself up. That’s volumes 5,6,7,8, and 9.
God damn. That’s a lot to do.
Clockwork Planet Volumes 2+3
This one got lost somewhere. I was originally going to read the other two volumes after the first one, but I got busy somewhere along the way.
Kizumonogatari + Bakamonogatari
I have Kizumonogatari sitting in my house somewhere. And I want to read it.
But I also want to wait till all of the movies come out.
But I also want to wait for Bakamonogatari this winter.
It’s a long waiting game.
I’m a very patient man.
My Youth Romantic Comedy is as Wrong as I Expected
…I’m very VERY patient.
Once volume 12 comes out. I’m dropping everything to read it.
And then the marathon of Oregairu is coming out.
I’m very serious.
At least Girlish Number will keep me entertained for a while.
Best views on a single day: 156
Top 3 reviews: Hundred Volume 1, Sekai no Owari No Encore Volume 1, Date A Live: Mukuro Planet Volume 14
Top Countries: USA, Russia, and France
To another fantastic year of light novels!