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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:44 am Reply with quote
Twelve Kingdoms: Wings of Tonan by Fuyumi Ono.

In the second book of this excellent fantasy series, we got to see what it's like to be a kirin waiting on Mt. Houzan for the arrival of the one you must one day choose as king.

Now in book 5 -- the first one beyond the point where the anime and English translation left off -- we get to see the other side of the selection ritual, as the gates open and 350 people from Kyou--a nation that's been kingless for more than 20 years--embark on a month-and-a-half long journey to the center of the world, traveling through monster-infested wilderness. Some of them are hopefuls for the throne; most of them are hired guides and bodyguards.

Who the next king of Kyou will be is never in any doubt (as we saw this person as king of Kyou briefly in book 4), but that hardly matters, as this book is much more about "how" and "why" than about "who." It's a marvelous character piece. The trials in the wilderness start to bring out people's true selves as they go, and you start to see what kind of kings the various travelers would make. When a stirring monologue by one of the candidates finally convinces everyone in earshot who the right choice is, I'll admit I teared up a little.

The author calls this one a side story, but it doesn't feel that way to me. "12 Kingdoms" has never seemed to me like the sort of series where you have only one protagonist and build to some grand finale. It feels very open-ended; the sort of place you could keep telling stories about forever. I think this is the best book in the series since the second one.


Last edited by vanfanel on Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 3738
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:34 pm Reply with quote
Kami-sama No Inai Nichiyoubi

Follows the mysterious journey of a young, orphaned grave-keeper named Ai. Ai is an optimistic and strong-spirited little girl whose only goal is to save the world after God supposedly abandoned it so none may die or give birth ever again. Can she grant humans a better future?

Lol, I put it off for so long. Why did I do that? Reading this is tedious because I have to translate it as I go but it's actually rather enjoyable. I mean, I wouldn't do it if it wasn't. I'm looking forward to all the parts the anime omitted; from what I can tell, it's several pages from the first chapter alone. Anyway, every night about two hours before I decide to go to sleep, I grab my paperback, copy all the Japanese text from a page into Word, and then type the English underneath as I figure it out. It's a great bedtime activity and it also helps me increase my vocabulary.

...you might say......I dig it.

ha......ha.......ha.
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Saffire
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1188
Location: Iowa, USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:16 pm Reply with quote
Chiibi wrote:
...you might say......I dig it.
Nice.

I've been working through my pile of light novels that I picked up from Christmas sales. Log Horizon 1-2 I felt were a little overwritten but 3 managed to keep a good pace going. I'm still not quite as high on the books as I was on the anime (I really liked the show) but they're worth it so far. Some of the added details, like the notes about each character's gear, are fun to read.

No Game No Life is...interesting. I came into this mostly blind, I just knew there was a brother/sister duo who's really good at games. The games are fairly interesting (I'm through v3 so far), and the whole "we win before the game even starts" thing allows for some amusing scenarios, but I'm a little baffled by the ability to wager human rights in a world that's supposed to be non-violent. Maybe I just need some more insight into Tet. I'm also finding myself getting hung up on details, like in v3's second half spoiler[I'm not sold on the siblings being able to fire actual guns so accurately, particularly if the character models are supposed to match their physical characteristics. Even setting aside recoil and stuff, which could be written out of the game, simply getting bullets to go where you want them to is hard, and they've almost certainly never shot a real gun in their lives.]They aren't huge problems but they do stand out.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:31 am Reply with quote
Saffire wrote:
I've been working through my pile of light novels that I picked up from Christmas sales. Log Horizon 1-2 I felt were a little overwritten but 3 managed to keep a good pace going. I'm still not quite as high on the books as I was on the anime (I really liked the show) but they're worth it so far. Some of the added details, like the notes about each character's gear, are fun to read.


Wasn't a fan of the first Log Horizon book. In addition to the gripes in my post on the previous page, I felt the descriptions of game mechanics got rather tedious--if you're familiar with the basics of RPG gaming, you know most of that stuff already, and if you're not, you're probably not reading Log Horizon. OTOH the anime wasn't all that great right of out the starting gate either. Sounds like both take their time to find their footing.
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PeterEven



Joined: 04 Oct 2016
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:07 am Reply with quote
Zaregoto, Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle by Nisioisin.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:26 am Reply with quote
R.D.G. vol 1 by Noriko Ogawa (Japanese only)

The first of six YA books adapted as an anime series of the same name. Shy girl growing up in a Shinto shrine has a special power that various factions want to control...jerky hot dude is forced into protecting her against both of their wills... What to say about this...it isn't exactly bad, and some aspects were rather intriguing...but it did seem to move awfully slowly, and the stakes felt kind of low.


The Fiend With Twenty Faces by Edogawa Rampo (English translation)

If you've seen much mystery anime/manga at all, names like Akechi, Twenty Faces, and Edogawa Rampo have probably popped up on occasion. Written in the 1930s for a boys' magazine, this is the first of Edogawa Rampo's long-running "Boy Detectives" series. Yoshio Kobayashi--young assistant to master detective Kogoro Akechi--must do battle with a brilliant thief and master of disguise while his boss is off in France fighting Arsene Lupin. This is breathlessly-written, over-the-top, juvenile adventure fiction, and it does have an old-fashioned charm to it. I'm not sure I'd want to read another book in this series, but it was neat getting to see the first appearance of things that continue to provide inspiration for mystery works.
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hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 576
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:39 pm Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
Yoshio Kobayashi--young assistant to master detective Kogoro Akechi--must do battle with a brilliant thief and master of disguise while his boss is off in France fighting Arsene Lupin.

Oh, the English traslation says that Kobayashi-shōnen must do battle with the Fiend With Twenty Faces while Akechi is off in France fighting Arsène Lupin? In the Japanese edition of The Fiend With Twenty Faces, the reason why Akechi is absent is described just as his being in a foreign country due to an important case.
Certainly, Arsène Lupin is mentioned in the Japanese edition, too, but it is in the context where Kobayashi talks about a trick which Akechi used some years ago in order to trap Lupin.
In spoiler[Ōgon Kamen] by Ranpo, Akechi Kogorō fights agaist Arsène Lupin, if I remember correctly.

In The Fiend With Twenty Faces, Edogawa Ranpo wrote:
Quote:
「先生はいま、ある重大な事件のために、外国へ出張中ですから、いつお帰りともわかりません。……」

「…… 先年、フランスの怪盗アルセーヌ=ルパンのやつを、先生がこの手で、ひどいめにあわせてやったことがあるんです。」


vanfanel wrote:
I'm not sure I'd want to read another book in this series,

I hope you also enjoy other works by Edogawa Ranpo.
How about reading works by Yokomizo Seishi as a next step? ^_^
 
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:28 am Reply with quote
hyojodoji wrote:
Certainly, Arsène Lupin is mentioned in the Japanese edition, too, but it is in the context where Kobayashi talks about a trick which Akechi used some years ago in order to trap Lupin.


Just checked and you are correct. The translation is correct; it was my memory of it that was a bit jumbled.

hyojodoji wrote:
How about reading works by Yokomizo Seishi as a next step? Anime smile


Oh, he's in the stack, along with Matsumoto Seicho Smile

Currently reading Miura Shion's "Fune wo Amu / The Great Passage," and finished the first book of Kajio Shinji's 3-volume 怨讐星域 (Vendetta Planet), which I enjoyed. His Emanon story in this year's Sogensha anthology was really good too.
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hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 576
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:32 am Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
Oh, he's in the stack, along with Matsumoto Seicho :)

Oh, you already have some Yokomizo works in the books to be read? That's good. ^_^
Recently, I happened to re-read 'A note on Oguri Mushitarō' by Yokomizo Seishi.
As to Yokomizo, I would like to recommend Honjin Satsujinjiken, Gokumontō, Yatsuhakamura, and Inugamike no Ichizoku.
An incident in Yatsuhakamura is modelled upon a real-life incident which happened in the 1930s. Matsumoto Seichō wrote an article about the real-life incident in question, and the article is included in Mystery no Keifu.
Stone Bridge Press once published the English translation of Inugamike no Ichizoku.
The 1976 Inugamike no Ichizoku live-action film (dir. by Ichikawa Kon), too, is pretty good.
 
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:45 pm Reply with quote
hyojodoji wrote:

Oh, you already have some Yokomizo works in the books to be read? That's good. Anime smile


Yeah, I've got copies of both Yatsuhakamura, and Inugamike no Ichizoku.Thanks, as always, for the recommendations and background info.

Quote:
The 1976 Inugamike no Ichizoku live-action film (dir. by Ichikawa Kon), too, is pretty good.


I saw it unsubbed many years ago when my Japanese was at a much lower level. I knew I was in trouble from the very first scene, where they're reading a complicated will (with many provisions and contingencies), and unable to follow it, I was thinking, "Oh, great! Every bit of this is gonna to be vital to the plot, isn't it?"

I do hope to give it another go someday, probably after reading the book. The same goes for Matsumoto Seichou's "Zero no Shouten," where I enjoyed the movie with Ryoko Hirosue, even though I really couldn't keep up with who was doing what to whom and why.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 3738
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:38 pm Reply with quote
I've been reading the Toradora novels and they are quite good. I'm already on volume 03. The chapters are long so I've been going to sleep around 3 a.m. after reading just one.

That's quite bad. Anime hyper
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MistahShoji



Joined: 09 Feb 2017
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:24 pm Reply with quote
I've been reading Monster Hunter - Kari no Okite.
It's an adaptation of the Monster Hunter action game series.

The fan translation just started recently though, so only a single chapter is out right now. The first chapter is good though. It captures the atmosphere of the games really well and introduces some interesting characters.

You might need to look up pictures of some monsters if you're not familiar with the games though, since most of them aren't explained in detail.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:49 am Reply with quote
Fune wo Amu / The Great Passage by Miura Shion

Source material for the recent noitaminA series, I must say I ended up preferring the anime overall. The book has a bit more character development, but also contained some things I was uncomfortable with, or that made the characters less likable. The anime usually omitted, downplayed, or sidestepped that stuff. For example, in the book, spoiler[Majime deals with the big emergency toward the end by having his staff and the "part-timers" essentially living in the editorial offices, and this goes on for an entire month. This from the country that has a word for "death from overwork," and yet not a word was spoken about the risks involved in working the staff so hard for so long. In the anime, we know people are working overnight, but they don't say anything about it running on for so ridiculously long.

We also learn that Majime's landlady's living on the second floor of her own house because Majime's book collecting has basically driven her up there, and he pays nothing extra for all the extra space he uses. Late in the book, we learn she was still living up there even when her health was bad and going up stairs was difficult. Yo, Majime! Why not move a roomfull of your books upstairs so a sick woman who has been very nice to you can move downstairs, eh?

With just a little more information, what played in the anime as goofy cluelessness started looking more and more like insensitivity to those around him.]
.

Shuumatsu Rokuon / The Garden of Oblivion by Nasu Kinoko
What the--?! A new Kara no Kyoukai!? Hrrm, kinda sorta. This is a 130-page book that was given out as a bonus to people who saw the "Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin" movie in the theater. No mass-market edition exists as yet; I finally found a not-too-horribly-expensive used copy, and gave it a shot. The story, in short, is this:

spoiler[Azaka, Fujino and other classmates at that Catholic girls' school they attend appear in a series of movie-like scenarios in which everybody everybody dies at the end over and over. There's the natural disaster, the zombie apocalypse, the And-Then-There-Were-None murder mystery... What's happened is, they'd borrowed a magical film projector from Touko for their school festival, and it's somehow sucked in their minds. Finally, Shiki shows up and cuts the film with a flick of her knife, freeing everyone.] That's pretty much it. It doesn't move the story forward in any appreciable way. It's exactly what it was made to be: a little something extra for the moviegoers. Eminently skippable.
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#867747



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 6
Location: Munich
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:20 am Reply with quote
Well right now, I am reading Terra Formars by Yu Sasuga. Razz
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Dunk_Kong



Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:46 am Reply with quote
I am reading SNK after finished watching season 2. The story is getting interested and crazy.
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