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Brain Diving: The Men Who Stare at Zaregoto




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zetsuie



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 188

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:04 am Reply with quote
I loved the first zaregoto book and made sure to preorder the second. Unfortunately a series of tragic and comedic events have kept me from reading the second, but after reading this article I think its time to get started on it. Smile
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ss-hikaru



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 265
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:37 am Reply with quote
I originally bought the first two Zaregoto books based on a combination of the fact that they were light novels and that the cover illustrations were really nice. The alternate cover at the beginning of the article was even prettier though. Though I wonder why there is a horse in the background.

This series is great, it's something that I would readily recommend to others, even non-anime fans (just gotta hide the cover with a handmade slipcover or something =P). Actually, I'm going to restart my campaign to get my mum to read this. I really really really want to know what happened to Ii-chan and Kunigisa when they were kids.

So, according to Wikipedia its 2 down and 7 more to go. I'm totally crossing my fingers and toes for Kodansha USA to release the rest.
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BrianRuh



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 155
Location: Austin, TX, USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:44 am Reply with quote
The books can definitely be enjoyed even if you don't get the anime and Japanese pop culture references. I too wonder if this isn't a case where the cover art could be limiting the audience for the series.
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Hardgear



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 397
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:11 am Reply with quote
I'm just glad that there is someone else out there who is annoyed by all these honorifics, in anime, manga, and light novels combined. I completely agree that the translation should focus on being as easy to read as possible in the language it is being translated to, but it seems that those who don't see it that way are a lot more vocal.
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Bored_Ming



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 238
Location: The Edge of ......

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:56 pm Reply with quote
I really enjoyed reading both light novels and hope for the translation of his other series.

When reading the second book I got a strong feeling that Ii could be a close relative of Meursault from The Stranger. While not exactly alike, I kept coming back to comparing the two. In The Kubishime Romanticist Mikoko Aoii(?) makes a derogatory comment that people keep moving from from distraction to distraction to fill their lives. I got a laugh out of that since that is exactly what the reader is doing.

Praying for the release of the rest of the Zaregoto series in my lifetime.

spoiler[Especially after it was revealed that Ii actually tried to murder Kunagisa when they first met.]
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dm



Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:34 pm Reply with quote
I've enjoyed both Zaregoto novels that have been translated, and hope for more. After the second book, I came to view the unreliable narrator as a trope, but Brian is right that it fits in with Ii's personality.

I can't say that I agree with the complaint about the honorifics --- it doesn't seem that much different from the variations on Russian names in translations of Russian novels (Aleksi ->Alyosha, Alexander -> Sasha, or the formal use of name+patronymic, depending on speaker and circumstance).
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Robert Frazer



Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:39 pm Reply with quote
In contrast to most of the readers here, I found it difficult to enjoy Zaregoto. At its heart the book was an interesting-enough riff on And Then There Were None, but it was undermined by its lack of resolution and follow-through, and it was appallingly anime-bait in its structure and characterisation. There was an interesting dialogue where a character lays out all of the problems and implausibilities with the supine Generic Male Lead that features in most anime, but as the object in question just pretty much shrugs his shoulders and goes "meh" the effect is squandered. Also, the plot was in places near to nonsensical - for instance, one character suffers from a psychological condition which requires her to be carried upstairs.

Seriously.

Have you ever heard anything so contrived? It was a clumsy and lazy attempt by Nisioisn to patch over a hole in his muder-mystery rather than creating a more sound structure to the crime, and struck the book amidships below the waterline.
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maaya



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 976

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:11 pm Reply with quote
dm wrote:

I can't say that I agree with the complaint about the honorifics --- it doesn't seem that much different from the variations on Russian names in translations of Russian novels (Aleksi ->Alyosha, Alexander -> Sasha, or the formal use of name+patronymic, depending on speaker and circumstance).


It might not seem different, but it is. People will either not understand or misunderstand some things, often without realizing it. F.ex.: "the formal use of name+patronymic"? I'm not sure what you mean, but I was rather confused when I read Sergej Lukianenko's novel, because I didn't know that calling somebody by his full name in russian is supposed to be really polite (isn't it?). For me it's actually the opposite, so I thought the guy was giving the other one a lecture and I was like "wow, he dares talking like that to his boss, that's impressive".
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zetsuie



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 188

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:36 am Reply with quote
Volume 2 is finished and i have to say, Nissi Osin is definitely one of my favorite dialog writers, except for kunagisa. Her dialog was a bit grating.
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