Light Novels: Shakugan no Shana v01

Full title: Shakugan no Shana
Author: Takahashi Yashichirou
Illustrator: Itou Noiji
Label: Dengeki Bunko
Year of publication: 2002
Pages: 293

It’s been a long month. Normally I’ll finish a book of this size in around ten hours, give or take a few depending on language level and page count. In the case of Zero no Tsukaima, the span of an entire novel can be cleared in one or two days’ time. With this first volume of Shakugan no Shana, it took me a full month. I know you’ve been worried in my absence, but there’s no need; I’m back now. I have served my time. And I can finally taste freedom again.

Seiyuu: The 3rd Quiz


I managed to whip together a third quiz quicker than anticipated, and I’m terrible at keeping finished content waiting, so here we go again! As always, it’s 10+1 sound clips from various anime, and the goal is to post a comment with all voice actors named correctly. Bonus fun points for getting the characters and anime right, but no worries if you can’t. Only one try, though.

Seiyuu: The 2nd Quiz


It took no more than 30 minutes for the readers of this blog to solve my precious quiz yesterday, so I’ve made a new one, which will hopefully take slightly longer to puzzle out. Either way, it’s clear to see that anime has a lot of very unique voices working in the business.

Again, I’ve chosen 10+1 clips, but this time I made an effort to pick different series, since there seems to be an interest in identifying the characters in addition to the actors. The next quiz will probably be posted some time next week, and if you happen to have sound clips of your own you think would fit in a quiz like this, feel free to mail them to me, 5-10 seconds in 128 kbps mp3 format. Include actor name, anime series, and character name, please.

Seiyuu: The 1st Quiz


Ever since I started studying Japanese and watching unsubtitled anime, I began to notice that I could recognize more and more actors by the sound of their voice. Eventually it became a hobby of mine to watch all the new shows in a season and try to identify as many voice actors as possible, and while I admit it’s a tiny bit geeky, I’m now able to discern some people from a single breath.

To see if there are other people like me out there, I asked Omni if I could try to make a new section, and this is it: a voice acting quiz with 10 (+1 bonus) sound bites taken from various anime. The challenge is for you to listen to each clip and identify which seiyuu it is, and then write the ones you got in a comment. I’ll post the correct answers in the next quiz, and give a special mention (!) to whichever poster got it right first. You only get one chance, though, so make sure before you hit submit!

Omni’s response to watching the clip was that it was too easy, so I’ll be happy to receive feedback, and comments on whether you think this is a fun addition to the blog.

Light Novels: Doublebrid v01

Full title: Doublebrid
Author: Nakamura Erika
Illustrator: Fujikura Kazune
Label: Dengeki Bunko
Year of publication: 2000
Pages: 288

I have been deceived! The internet told me this was a great series, so I took the plunge and purchased four whole volumes in one go, so I could enjoy a long stretch of splendid literature, allowing the marvellous story to grip my heart, and the fabulous characters to captivate me. But no, not this time. They all lied. I have slogged through the first book, and now I am here to warn you. Don’t repeat my mistake; let me be the last victim.

Light Novels: Baka to Tesuto to Shoukanjuu v01

Full title: Baka to Tesuto to Shoukanjuu
Author: Inoue Kenji
Illustrator: Haga Yui
Label: Famitsu Bunko
Year of publication: 2007
Pages: 283

This thing won an award, you know. I’m sure that’s supposed to count for something, but the award system for light novels never made much sense to me, since it seems they’re usually given to the publisher’s own works, which makes it feel like a “Look How Awesome Our Shit Is!” award more than anything else. Maybe I should convince Omni to give me a Random Curiosity Best Light Novel Blogger Award, narrowly beating out… myself?

Authoring the novel series is Inoue Kenji, and this particular volume is his debut work. It’s a pure comedy, and a popular one at that – Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! has the title skyrocketing from #8 to #3 in the past couple of years, and a manga adaptation started in the June issue of Shounen Ace. On top of that, there’ll be an anime version some time this winter. Illustration of the light novels is handled by Haga Yui, a lady who’s otherwise drawing a manga called Lotte no Omocha!, a fact that’s supported by the very nicely done colour manga introduction to the light novel. The grayscale illustrations inside are equally well made, with good use of shading to create a high quality effect.

Light Novels: Ben-to v01

Full title: Ben-to – Saba no Misoni 290 yen
Author: Asaura
Illustrator: Shibano Kaito
Label: Super Dash Bunko
Year of publication: 2008
Pages: 291

Let’s be frank, my friends. I read the first chapter of Ben-to, and I didn’t like it. The setting is completely bizarre; the “hero” is an asshole; supporting characters are weird; and the story gets repetitive. But did I give up? No, for I am one of mankind’s great readers. I struggled on, never letting go of Hope. If you persevere, God will reward your efforts.

Here’s the deal: this series is all about people who fight (punching-kicking-biting) to be one of the last standing, in order to claim a half-priced box lunch at the local supermarket. I mean it, that’s really the setting for Ben-to (which is a bit of a pun on bento, the true depth of which still eludes me).