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).

Light Novels: Shopaholic Woes

One of the biggest hazards of getting into light novels is the addiction to buying more and more books. As evidence I present the above picture, which displays the contents of a box that just arrived from Amazon Japan today. You can click it for an enormous version, if you’re trying get a closer look on the titles. The reason I use Amazon is that they keep nearly everything in stock, have ridiculously quick delivery (3 days!), and the items arrive at your doorstep. Considering I live across the globe (Sweden, to be more specific), this is rather convenient. The downside is that I have to pay an added 50% in shipping charges, but there aren’t too many alternatives over here. A less problematic downside, but annoying nonetheless, is that their title browsing system is born of pure evil. I managed to buy mixed editions of Nishio Ishin’s Zaregoto series, because it maliciously kept shoving the right title in my face, but hiding that they were all different sizes! It’s similarly irritating when you try to buy 85 volumes of Hajime no Ippo manga, as a festival of clickage delight. Oh, woe is me.

I had planned to write up a review for Ben-to v01 today, but it turns out I’m quite high on painkillers after a wisdom tooth extraction (not as fun as they have you believe), so I can’t focus on writing coherent sentences and making myself look like the triple-digit IQ man I truly am.

In any case, the photo should provide you with an idea of what will be coming up over the next few, er, years of blog posts.

Light Novels: Kino no Tabi v01

Full title: Kino no Tabi – The Beautiful World
Author: Shigusawa Keiichi
Illustrator: Kuroboshi Kouhaku
Label: Dengeki Bunko
Year of publication: 2000
Pages: 238

Nearly ten years old, with six million units sold over 12 volumes and an anime adaptation in 2003, the Kino no Tabi series is one of the few light novels that have been published in English. It’s the debut title by author Shigusawa Keiichi, and was first published chapter by chapter in a magazine called Dengeki hp. When these were collected and put into paperback form, an extra chapter was added, along with the illustrations by Kuroboshi Kouhaku. These two fellows also went on to work together on the light novel series Allison and Lilia & Treize, which had an anime adaptation just last year.