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The Spring 2019 Light Novel Guide




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pharmboy23
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 05 Oct 2018
Posts: 105
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:47 pm Reply with quote
I won’t pretend to understand the Japanese appetite for endless variations on the isekai theme, nor that enough of them sell well enough to sustain the piles coming out.

Still, thanks for doing the hard work of reading them all, Rebecca. Ironically I ended up getting FMP, one of the rare non-isekai titles on the list, based on your review (a consistent theme with your recommends). To be fair, I loved the series back in the day, so it wasn’t a hard sell.
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Wrangler



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 1210
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:52 pm Reply with quote
I've not ventured into the light novel crazy. I've followed the Mushoku Tensei - Jobless Reincarnation for years as Manga. Despite it's sexual nature at times, its really interesting story so far, i don't know if i can separate it from the manga though.

I may try FMP just sake of seeing i would enjoy it as novel form. I like Sword as well, but i'm not sure i'd enjoy it as much i did the manga. I enjoy art. Very Happy
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1018
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:00 pm Reply with quote
As facepalmy as Myne can be on occasion, I have to admire Ascendance of a Bookworm for how much it's willing to stack the deck against her. It's basic "someone wants something badly and is having a hard time getting it", in a way that so much web isekai ignores altogether. Your protagonist wants more than anything to surround herself with books? Let's drop her into a society without printing or modern paper. And low literacy. In a poor family. In the body of a little girl who's tiny even for her age. With a chronic illness that leaves her bedridden for days at a time if she overexerts herself. Screw your cheats, we're playing on hard mode.

Pixar rules 1, 6, and 16. They go a long way.

And without any obstacles built around seething misogynistic resentment, either!
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zenbud



Joined: 02 Jan 2019
Posts: 82
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:35 pm Reply with quote
pharmboy23 wrote:
I won’t pretend to understand the Japanese appetite for endless variations on the isekai theme, nor that enough of them sell well enough to sustain the piles coming out.

Still, thanks for doing the hard work of reading them all, Rebecca. Ironically I ended up getting FMP, one of the rare non-isekai titles on the list, based on your review (a consistent theme with your recommends). To be fair, I loved the series back in the day, so it wasn’t a hard sell.


Many of those Isekai that she mentioned are good.
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gaptoothsailor



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 81
Location: New York
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:50 pm Reply with quote
I agree completely on Magicmaster's Retirement Plan, but something about it also made it really easy to read even if the way the girls were written were really annoying. The writing does a good job of making Alus sound like his own character and distinct enough from other aloof protagonists. If anything, this was the kind of story that I wanted Mahouka to be, without the incest and glorification of imperialism (which I think is probably going to get addressed the further the story progresses)...

I was kind of disappointed that Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight didn't get a review since it came out a couple months ago, but I can't fault Rebecca because she basically reviewed every single LN on this list AND the manga guide. Thanks for your contributions! I hope we get more Infinite Dendrogram reviews (or even readers) once the print version comes out
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1745
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:53 am Reply with quote
gaptoothsailor wrote:

I was kind of disappointed that Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight didn't get a review since it came out a couple months ago, but I can't fault Rebecca because she basically reviewed every single LN on this list AND the manga guide. Thanks for your contributions! I hope we get more Infinite Dendrogram reviews (or even readers) once the print version comes out


I, uh, like to keep busy? Anime smile; Actually, I just read stupid amounts, although this batch was a bit much even for me - I usually have someone to do at least one of the light novels with me (and just one can make a difference!), but it was just me this time. Fortunately the only one I really didn't like was Skeleton Knight; I found Torture Princess uncomfortable and Magicmaster annoying, but neither of them was a huge chore to get through. Fullmetal Panic was hands-down my favorite, though, followed by Campfire Cooking.

And Infinite Dendrogram is number one on my "crap, I need to get back that!!" list, so hopefully I will soon!

pharmboy23 wrote:
I won’t pretend to understand the Japanese appetite for endless variations on the isekai theme, nor that enough of them sell well enough to sustain the piles coming out.


It is daunting and would seem to defy logic, but in all fairness, what we're currently calling "isekai" has been a staple of Western middle grade fiction for years. I mean, technically we could see its roots in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Chronicles of Narnia, all of which have Japanese translations. Vivian Vande Velde's been writing the "trapped in a game" isekai story since the early 90s, and the graphic novel series Amulet is a terrific story in the isekai vein. And of course in earlier manga stuff like Fushigi Yugi, From Far Away, Dream Saga, and others predate the current glut.

Mostly, though? I think the world's a scary place for a lot of people right now, and isekai fiction offers a comfortable escape.
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gaptoothsailor



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 81
Location: New York
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:30 am Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
gaptoothsailor wrote:

I was kind of disappointed that Berserk: The Flame Dragon Knight didn't get a review since it came out a couple months ago, but I can't fault Rebecca because she basically reviewed every single LN on this list AND the manga guide. Thanks for your contributions! I hope we get more Infinite Dendrogram reviews (or even readers) once the print version comes out


I, uh, like to keep busy? Anime smile; Actually, I just read stupid amounts, although this batch was a bit much even for me - I usually have someone to do at least one of the light novels with me (and just one can make a difference!), but it was just me this time. Fortunately the only one I really didn't like was Skeleton Knight; I found Torture Princess uncomfortable and Magicmaster annoying, but neither of them was a huge chore to get through. Fullmetal Panic was hands-down my favorite, though, followed by Campfire Cooking.

And Infinite Dendrogram is number one on my "crap, I need to get back that!!" list, so hopefully I will soon!


Oh, it definitely wasn't meant as a jab or a negative comment to say you read and wrote a lot! I'm really excited about Fullmetal Panic now because I tried rewatching the anime recently but kept getting distracted by irl events, so being able to read it on my own time seems like my best option. I'm also looking forward to checking out Ascendance of a Bookworm too after the review. I said it before but you're my favorite reviewer because our tastes seem to match up, so I'm always grateful to read what you have to say Very Happy I know many, many people are getting fed up with the isekai boom but the more stuff that gets released, the more I find stories that I actually really enjoy, so I'm glad we're at least getting coverage with you and Theron splitting up most of those when the opportunity arises.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1835
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:07 am Reply with quote
Spoiler for reincarnated as a sword, the sword and the cat loli become a couple and get married.
Just kidding.

Actually I see that they translated shishou as teacher; I guess it's because a lot of people complained of it being transalted as master, lol.

Wrangler wrote:
I've not ventured into the light novel crazy. I've followed the Mushoku Tensei - Jobless Reincarnation for years as Manga. Despite it's sexual nature at times, its really interesting story so far, i don't know if i can separate it from the manga though.


The sexual nature is here to stay, but the good part about it is that i's not the cliche stugg one expect from isekai (or anime/manga in general), but is treated quite differently.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1745
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:49 am Reply with quote
gaptoothsailor wrote:

Oh, it definitely wasn't meant as a jab or a negative comment to say you read and wrote a lot! I'm really excited about Fullmetal Panic now because I tried rewatching the anime recently but kept getting distracted by irl events, so being able to read it on my own time seems like my best option. I'm also looking forward to checking out Ascendance of a Bookworm too after the review. I said it before but you're my favorite reviewer because our tastes seem to match up, so I'm always grateful to read what you have to say Very Happy I know many, many people are getting fed up with the isekai boom but the more stuff that gets released, the more I find stories that I actually really enjoy, so I'm glad we're at least getting coverage with you and Theron splitting up most of those when the opportunity arises.


Aw, thanks! Very Happy Embarassed I always manage to forget the good things people say. I should stop that.

I'll be interested to know what you think of Ascendance of a Bookworm! I'm looking forward to book two more because I didn't truly start enjoying book one until about three-quarters of the way through; I think it's going to be one of those "gets better as it goes along" series. And I can't say enough good things about FMP - it's one of those cases where I enjoy both the source novels and the anime about equally.

I don't know about Theron, but I'm an omnivorous reader. Isekai, sci fi, mystery, romance, cereal box...if it's got words, I'll read it and probably find something to enjoy about it. Laughing

maximillian, yeah, I think "Master" would have caused an unfortunate uproar that Reincarnated as a Sword didn't need. Besides, he really does fulfill a very teacherly role for Fran.
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redcar



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 158
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:29 pm Reply with quote
I quite liked Reincarnated as a Sword, it was cute and scratched that level-up itch that I sometimes crave in games. Also, from what I've seen of the second volume's material, it seems to be taking a novel approach to handling the overpowered-ness of the protagonist.

Also, I was kinda amused at how little the 'reincarnated' bit has to do with the actual story. In most isekai the previous life seems to come up from time to time, but here it was just like "oops I died hello new world" and that's it. Remove a few sentences and it wouldn't be isekai at all really Laughing
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