The Right Stuff, Part II: Novels and Light Novels

In which I spend money on books and more books, and thus become spent for the year.

I didn’t spend as much as the other purchase, but considering how much cheaper print items are compared to disc, there was a plenty of opportunity to look into the first volumes of particular books that are unavailable at my local Indigo. Due to the sheer number of different titles on that list, I’ll only mention a particular number of them.

Soul Eater Blu-Ray Holiday Bundle

Summary: Students from a Shinigami school are trained in weapons mastery and paired into human/human weapon groups. They each attempt to capture evil souls in order to elevate their weapons to highest status known as Deathscythe.

I know that this was supposed to be listed in part I of this little series, but this is what happens when you pull the trigger too early on a sale that lasts for several days. You miss out on something awesome like a 51-episode series being sold at the price of a 26. Soul Eater is definitely one of my more favourable shonen fighting series, because of both the really cool style that the show gives off, but also a very likeable cast of characters. My favourite of the bunch, Maka, is voiced by Chiaki “OMG” Omigawa, the unforgettable (for better or for worse) voice of P-ko from Arakawa Under the Bridge, Hotori from Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteru, and most recently, Minko from Hanasaku Iroha. She has a polarizing fanbase who either thinks that her voice is the spawn of satan, or aurally orgasmic. I fall under the latter.

.Hack series

Summary: The dot-hack series revolves around players immersed in a virtual massively multiplayer online game called The World.

The first time I came into contact with this franchise was when .hack//Sign aired on YTV when I was much younger. I hadn’t been seduced to the darkside of World of Warcraft and MMORPG gaming in general, so I didn’t get a chance to truly appreciate the concepts that the show was communicating to its audience. I’ve always been interested in the virtual world trope, and have wanted to see it conveyed in a written medium. In Digital Girl, the Azure is the analog to .hack’s The World. This purchase is clearly for research purposes, but I’m also genuinely interested in the series as a result.

Blood+

Summary: Anemic schoolgirl Saya Otonashi battles monsters known as chiropterans with her sword in an attempt to uncover her mysterious origins.

This is a novel that is an adaptation of an existing anime. Having dropped the series quite early on, I reasoned that the fight scenes were at least pretty neat, and that perhaps I would have appreciated it more if the story was adapted to a different medium. There’s a lot of sword-based battle, considering that Saya’s main weapon is a katana. My other Japanese Steampunk novel-in-the-works involves a character who is proficient in that combat style, so this novel will serve as a means for comparison. It’s not that I would blatantly rip off someone’s writing or anything, let alone Blood+ of all things. Seriously, it’s Blood+. At 6 bucks, it’s practically bargain-bin.

Faust Anthologies 1 & 2

Summary: Faust is a literary magazine based solely in Japan, whose featured authors are not only up-and-coming, but also implement a Light Novel writing style.

While the entries in this publication do not count as novels with regards to word length, they still keep in the spirit of the light novel with regards to writing style as well as target demographic. The authors themselves are also quite young, so the mindset of these authors are a lot more in tune with readers of similar age groups such as myself. One author of note is Nisio Isin, whose works I adore quite wholeheartedly. He alone isn’t the sole reason for buying both editions, but his contribution is of particular interest due to being a magical girl serial novel, Maho Shojo Risuka. I will be keeping a very close eye on this one for highly obvious reasons.

FLCL

Summary: Sixth Grader Naota Nandaba is thrust into the convoluted schemings of alien Haruhara Haruko when she hits him on the head with a bass guitar. Robots then emerge from his forehead and engage in battle.

The really neat thing about FLCL is that the narrative experience can vary greatly depending on what medium you are using. So far, I’ve watched the anime and read the manga, and both of them are completely different types of interesting. In prose, I’ve only been able to experience FLCL in fanfiction form, and have read an occasional gem here and there. I’m quite intrigued by the prospect of what the novelized interpretation would be like.

ICO: Shadow of the Mist

Summary: A young boy is locked up in a castle by his village due to the bad omen he brought upon them, having been born with horns. He tries to escape the castle with the help of Yorda, the castle’s princess.

ICO has proven itself in the gaming world, garnering critical acclaim as well as stirring up the idea that video games could be art. This novelized adaptation of the game is written by Miyuki Miyabe, known for her novel Brave Story, which I already own, but have yet to read. I sampled the first few pages Brave Story, and was mesmerized by the narrative style. Miyabe seems intent on making a wonderful adaptation of the acclaimed ICO due to being a huge fan of the game herself. Previous literary succes, in combination with a passion for a fictional universe, results in a very intriguing read.

Mardock Scramble

Summary: Rune Ballot is a young girl sold into the sex trade and is almost murdered by her owner, Shell Septinous. Left for dead, she is transformed into a cyborg and is trained in combat to seek vengeance against her agressors, and to protect herself from those sent by Shell to finish her off once and for all.

An empowered female combined with a cyberpunk setting makes for a particularly interesting writing comparison when developing my Digital Girl series. The two have very little in common aside from the two aspects that I’ve already mentioned, but there is so much room to build off of ideas and to write something that is truly my own. This English publication is in omnibous format, containing all three of the original volumes. At only 11 dollars and over 600 pages, it has a remarkably high value for its low price.

My Girlfriend’s a Geek, Volume 2

Summary: Pentabu blogs about his experiences with his girlfriend, who happens to be a hardcore yaoi fangirl.

When I initially purchased Volume 1 of the series, I had no idea that I would possibly be interested in the story enough to warrant a purchase of the follow-up installment. Yet here I am, eagerly awaiting more “posts” from Pentabu. Perhaps it’s my own real-life experiences with fujoshi that draws me to his writing, an element of “I know that feel, bro” that makes me want to relive my days with a geeky girlfriend, for better or for worse. Regardless of how I feel about being in such a similar situation, those feelings are always relived when reading this series, so I shall commit to reliving them once again.

Shakugan no Shana Novel 1

Summary: Shana is a bitch and deserves to die. Really, how did she beat Tenshi in International SaiMoe? There is no Godoka.

Seriously, I hated this show when it aired. Oh god, I hate Shana with a fiery passion that burns like the horrid sensation of peeing after unknowingly contracting an STD from a girl you met at an anime convention, who not only conned you into believing that it was her first time. I swear that didn’t happen to me, since I was aware that the girl in question was probably sixteen and not twenty as she suggested, but if it did, the first thing I’d say to myself the next morning would be “damn, I wish I had bought that last copy of the Shana light novel instead of watching the anime.” Because STDs are much worse than having to subject yourself to the voicings of Rie Kugimiya (outside of Aisaka Taiga and Alphonse, that is). In short, this is an 8-dollar investment of experiencing the anime with the mute button on, which is completely fine by me.

Spice and Wolf Novel 4

Summary: A merchant named Kraft Lawrence travels from one stylized medieval town to another with his companion, a beautiful girl and wolf-deity named Holo.

In stark contrast to a loathed series such as Shana, I have Spice and Wolf, of which I have already read the first two novels, and have liked both greatly. I already own the third, and it’s somewhere on my reading list. Getting the fourth novel is a no-brainer here, but it’s worth mentioning that I’m getting it at a pretty snazzy 7 dollars.

TWELVE DAYS!

With the 12 days sale long behind me, the next thing that I can look forward to is another type of 12 days, the 12 days of anime post series that I’m participating in, alongside many other anime bloggers. From December 14 to the 25th, I’ll be posting about 12 memorable experiences from this year in anime. It’ll be quite the task, but having done 50,000 words in 30 days, I think I’ll be able to manage. See you on Wednesday, when the event begins!

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2 thoughts on “The Right Stuff, Part II: Novels and Light Novels”

  1. Ahahaha nice Krizzly! All great choices and I feel the same about .hack series! I loved watching it because at the time I was just getting into MMORPG games with my brother and dad. That FLCL one sounds really good too and even Shana would be interesting to read, I don’t mind her to much but yeah people can and will get sooo sick of Rie every time she speaks…

    The only light novel I have bought outside of anime might be Devil may cry! That one was really cool I guess that could count as anime? LOL maybe…

    I wish those Index novels were for sale…however thanks to crazydave I found a great phone app so I can read the novels! Hoorayyyy

    1. Yeah, the devil may cry novel was also on sale at rightstuf, but I went with ICO for the reason stated above.
      I should be one to complain about kugimiya’s voice, when I’m clearly in love with omigawa’s, haha!
      I don’t know how I should feel about myself reading light novels online, considering that I feel so obligated to support the industry in North America, being an aspiring author as well.

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