Forum - View topic
Twelve Kingdoms


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

Anime News Network Forum Index -> General -> Novels
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dhaos



Joined: 19 Nov 2011
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:10 pm Reply with quote
Just bought The Twelve Kingdoms 3: The Vast Spread of the Seas paperback edition. It is the newer version compared to the hardcover, isn't it? Also, in case it is the new version, did they correct any eventual translation mistake?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:57 am Reply with quote
hyojodoji wrote:
Sasamoto Yūichi said that when he had shown a draft of Operation Fairy to an editor of Asahi Sonorama in 1983, there had not yet been the term 'light novel'.


This is a bit OT, but is "Operation Fairy"/"Yousei Sakusen" basically considered the start of the light novel as it exists today? I haven't read anything by Sasamoto, but I've been curious because Tokyo Sougensha -- whose SF imprint seems focused on older works that were particularly influential -- has brought those books back into print. They've released no other light novels to my knowledge.

Back to Twelve Kingdoms: nice as the new editions are, I'm a bit disappointed that the White Heart series won't continue because that's what I've got already. It seems almost a rule in Japan that you're not allowed to read any long series from the beginning and have a full set of consistent covers at the end. (I'm know there are plenty of exceptions, but so often it seems like they change publishers midway through...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:27 pm Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
This is a bit OT, but is "Operation Fairy"/"Yousei Sakusen" basically considered the start of the light novel as it exists today? I haven't read anything by Sasamoto, but I've been curious because Tokyo Sougensha -- whose SF imprint seems focused on older works that were particularly influential -- has brought those books back into print. They've released no other light novels to my knowledge.

Probably there is not the unquestionable and established answer to the question 'What is the first light novel?', but there is a theory that the Asahi Sonorama Bunko is the beginning of light novels. (Operation Fairy was one of the Asahi Sonorama Bunko books.) If we adopt this viewpoint, we may be able to regard Operation Fairy as one of the earliest direct ancestors of light novels.
As you know, the Sōgen Suiri Bunko (the Sōgen SF Bunko was part of the Sōgen Suiri Bunko) was famous for its SF classics and 'heavy' SF (Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, and so on). So it is interesting if Tokyo Sōgensha has started to 'make eyes at' light novel-ish works. However, executives and editors of Tokyo Sōgensha may be still 'snobbish' and may think, 'Since works by Sasamoto are less "light" than modern light novels proper, publishing works by Sasamoto won't bring dishonour on us very much.'
Will also Hayakawa Shobō, which had released the Dirty Pair series, make eyes at light novels? w
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:50 am Reply with quote
Thanks for the answers on Yousei Sakusen.

hyojodoji wrote:
Will also Hayakawa Shobō, which had released the Dirty Pair series, make eyes at light novels? w


I was under the impression they were already doing so to an extent. At least some of Hayakawa's recent output looks a bit suspicious to me, anyway Smile I just hope that a steady supply of regular "snobby" SF continues to get published by them Smile

Most of the "light novels" I can tolerate are older ones, from back when they were more like regular SF and fantasy books, and didn't need to be larded up with maids and harems and indecisive teens who get nosebleeds.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mits



Joined: 13 Oct 2011
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:47 am Reply with quote
Yes. Recently Hayakawa Shobo seems really expecting something new from light novel authors. Several years ago, Ichiro Sakaki, the author of Scrapped Princess and Polyphonica, wrote a series of SF novel ‘The Juggle’ at Hayakawa Shobo. This was kind of surprise for me, the novels itself were not very good though. Also, many minor light novel authors, game designers, and scenario writers are constantly releasing their new pieces from Hayakawa, such as Yu Godai (she is one of my favorite writers), Kazuyuki Takami, Tsukasa Seo, Chitose Fujima, and so on.
Hayakawa will be looking for something next to Crest of the Stars and Mardock Scramble from those light novel authors. However, these trials have not been successful in my impression.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:46 am Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
Thanks for the answers on Yousei Sakusen.

It's a pleasure.


vanfanel wrote:
I was under the impression they were already doing so to an extent.

Yeah, Hayakawa Shobō has rereleased Nojiri Hōsuke's Fuwa Fuwa no Izumi, which had been once published by Enterbrain under the FamiTsū Bunko imprint .


vanfanel wrote:
Most of the "light novels" I can tolerate are older ones, from back when they were more like regular SF and fantasy books, and didn't need to be larded up with maids and harems and indecisive teens who get nosebleeds.

As I have said before, it is possible that light novels seem to fans of 'heavy' books to be too 'light' pulp fiction with anime/manga-style illustrations aimed at lowbrow teenage otaku. As 石川淳 said, there are books which 「婦女童幼の智能に適」す. w
If you want to read something, some light reading, as a kind of 〈箸休め〉 between 'heavy' books, how about space operas such as Ginga Kojiki Gundan by Noda Masahiro and Crusher Joe and The Dirty Pair by Takachiho Haruka or heroic fantasies such as Guin Saga by Kurimoto Kaoru?
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:12 am Reply with quote
hyojodoji wrote:
vanfanel wrote:
If you want to read something, some light reading, as a kind of 〈箸休め〉 between 'heavy' books, how about space operas such as Ginga Kojiki Gundan by Noda Masahiro and Crusher Joe and The Dirty Pair by Takachiho Haruka or heroic fantasies such as Guin Saga by Kurimoto Kaoru?
 


Oh, absolutely! I go back and forth between heavy and light. A steady diet of the heavy stuff would make me give up, but a steady diet of easy stuff would make me think I read better than I actually do. Ginga Kojiki Gundan ("Galactic Beggars' Brigade"?) looks interesting; the old Hayakawa covers were really nice looking.

I really need to tackle the rest of Twelve Kingdoms someday (he said, steering his little digression back on-topic). I read the first five books of the White Heart edition, then stalled out several years ago. I was planning to read "Shiki" as my next Ono book, but my summer plans just got crowded with some stuff, so maybe not.

This is turning out to be quite a year for reviving old series. We've got new books for 12 Kingdoms, Crest of the Stars, and Crusher Joe, and just now that announcement that a draft of Tytania #4 is finally finished.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:23 am Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
Ginga Kojiki Gundan ("Galactic Beggars' Brigade"?) looks interesting; the old Hayakawa covers were really nice looking.

The illustrator for the old Hayakawa Bunko edition of Ginga Kojiki Gundan (Yeah, it's Galactic Beggars' Corps) was Katō Naoyuki.
The dust jacket design of the new edition (one book contains several novels) was done by Tsuruta Kenji.
Noda Masahiro was also famous as a collector of SF books, writer on SF and translator of SF. His Lemon Tsukiyo no Uchūsen is quite enjoyable. Hayakawa had published it in the 70s, but Tōkyō Sōgensha rereleased Lemon Tsukiyo no Uchūsen as a 'short stories + essays' book in 2008.
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:28 pm Reply with quote
Mits wrote:
...Chitose Fujima...

No offence is meant, but possibly you mean Tōma Chitose 籘真千歳?
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mits



Joined: 13 Oct 2011
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:03 pm Reply with quote
Oh, yes. You are right. I have misunderstood how to read his/her name.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:06 pm Reply with quote
Mits wrote:
Oh, yes. You are right. I have misunderstood how to read his/her name.

I see. Thank you for the clarification, Mits-san.
'籘' resembles '藤' shape-wise, and I have skimmed a few entries in the Kanjigen dictionary and have seen its '籘' entry say, '③ |名| 木の名。 マメ科フジ属のつる性落葉低木。 フジ。 |同| 藤。' So methinks it is possible that the name is misread.
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:43 am Reply with quote
Well, the new book is out. Two stories that appeared in Yom-Yom and two brand new ones. It'll be ages before I'll have time to read it, but it is worth passing this along: there's a flyer inside that says Ono is presently working on another long Twelve Kingdoms novel. No word about when it's coming out, of course.

Akihiro Yamada's illustrations are nice as ever. I do wish White Heart could've put out an edition too. Always a little irritating when a long series changes publishers and cover designs in the middle. I like my sets to match (but not enough to rebuy books).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:18 pm Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
This is a bit OT, but is "Operation Fairy"/"Yousei Sakusen" basically considered the start of the light novel as it exists today? I haven't read anything by Sasamoto, but I've been curious because Tokyo Sougensha -- whose SF imprint seems focused on older works that were particularly influential -- has brought those books back into print. They've released no other light novels to my knowledge.

You may have already bought the book, but just for your information.
I dug up the Sōgen SF Bunko edition of Yōsei Sakusen and re-read the afterword by Arikawa Hiro in the book.
Ms Arikawa wrote,
' 私たちの年代に『妖精作戦』がもたらした衝撃は、おそらく現在の若い人には説明しきれない。
 当時ライトノベルという言葉は存在しておらず、従ってSF的でヒロイックな物語を嗜む若い年代に特化した読み物は今と比べてたいへん少なかった。 
 中でも「学園物」というジャンルは手薄だったように思う。それも読んでいる若者が自分の生活をリアルに投影できるタイプの作品は皆無だったと言っても過言ではない。血湧き肉躍る冒険の物語は常に私たちの住んでいる平々凡々な世界とは無縁の場所で展開された。――例えば宇宙であるとか未来であるとか異世界であるとか。
 そしてその世界を駆け巡る登場人物たちもまた、平々凡々な私たちとは無縁の人々が多かった。超人的な能力を持っている素敵な登場人物は人格や立ち居振る舞いももちろん素敵でカッコいい。間違っても「屁が出る」などとは放言なさらないし、エロ本の回し読みなどもなさらない。銀幕のスターに憧れるように登場人物に憧れを投影するのが当時の正しい登場人物の愛で方であったと思う (現在は「キャラ萌え」という便利な言葉ができている)。 
 さて、そんな中に突如として登場した『妖精作戦』である。
 一言で言えば型破りであった。 (以下略)'
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:42 am Reply with quote
I haven't bought the books; if I try anything by Sasamoto, it'll probably be his "Hoshi no Pilot" series, which looks to be a little "harder" (in the SF sense) than "Yousei Sakusen."

Anyway, thanks for typing all that. It was interesting, and jives to a degree with what I've read of the so-called "first-generation" of Japanese SF authors. Although there was some excellent Japanese SF produced prior to the 1980s, a lot of what I've seen is very serious stuff with literary ambition (New Wave influenced, perhaps?) and not the sort of thing that would appeal to a wide teenage audience (granted, "what I've seen" is rather limited, and it may be that only the serious stuff is getting reprinted and translated).

In the US and UK, the 60s and 70s were a period when SF authors were taking themselves very seriously, and consciously trying to shake off the stereotype of the space adventure story. Maybe this influenced their Japanese contemporaries to "aim high" as it were, as well.

Of course, there was "Juvenile SF" in Japan at this time too -- early Tsutsui and Mayumura works come to mind -- but those were more in the "young adult fiction" mode than what we think of as light novels today, and certainly not as plentiful as the mountains of light novel choices available now.

Actually, I read Mayumura's "Nerawareta Gakuen" before seeing the anime "sequel" movie that came out last winter. The tone of the movie was exactly like a light novel come to life -- and to me at least, that felt totally out-of-place with the original story; I could really see how times have changed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:02 am Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
Anyway, thanks for typing all that.

It's a pleasure.

vanfanel wrote:
...and not the sort of thing that would appeal to a wide teenage audience...

Basically Katsuji (活字, in this case, printed words) SF in Japan was (and probably is) a genre for buffs and maniacs, and many of the 'ordinary'/mainstream teenagers didn't read Katsuji SF in the first place. (I also think that modern-day light novel readers are not 'ordinary'/mainstream teenagers, though.) If an 'ordinary'/mainstream teenager sometimes enjoyed SF-ish books, probably they were manga or, as you said, Juvenile SF.
I have read a recollection by SF writer Yokota Jun'ya about his having attended a science fiction club in his boyhood, and the atmosphere of the club was almost that of a secret society, which was Where Ordinary People Fear to Tread.
A factor in the popularisation of SF in Japan was Star Wars. But, even in the late 80s, in a town where a science fiction convention was held, Takachiho Haruka saw 'ordinary' people in the town fear 'strange' people who liked SF and attended the convention. (And Takachiho wryly admitted that SF fans were 'strange' people.)
If you are seeking Katsuji SF written by authors belonging to the First Generation which appealed to younger and 'lighter' readers of SF, you may want to read the Wolf Guy series (the Adult Wolf Guy series and the Wolf Guy series) and Zombie Hunter by Hirai Kazumasa. They are action-adventure-thriller stories and had appeal for younger readers. Some people think that they are one of the predecessors of light novels.

vanfanel wrote:
New Wave influenced, perhaps?

Since critic Yamano Kōichi edited the NW-SF magazine, certainly New Wave influenced Japanese SF to some extent. It is doubtful that New Wave totally overwhelmed the Japanese SF world, however.
If you want to read SF works by authors of the First Generation, to borrow Graham Greene's words, as entertainments, how about, say, Komatsu Sakyō's Tsugu no wa Dare ka? ?

Though legendary editor Fukushima Masami tended to try to make SF serious literature, it is interesting that he and Tsuduki Michio, who was also famous as a mystery writer, strategically chose SF works which could be read also as thrillers in order to attract a wider audience when they started the Hayakawa Fantasy, which would later become the Hayakawa SF Series.
 
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> General -> Novels All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
Page 8 of 9

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group