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The Fall 2020 Light Novel Guide


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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:30 pm Reply with quote
Reign of the Seven Spellblades definitely gets better as it go on. To set expectations accordingly, it is written by the same author as Alderamin on the Sky. (Which depending on your reaction to the ending of that series may be a deterrent, I guess. >.>)

As for I'm in Love with the Villainess, the author seems to be at least aware of some LGBTQ issues because they increasingly play into the story as it goes on. To the degree it can be educational to a reader that has zero familiarity with these topics. If nothing else, it lampshades that these issues exist in Japan as much as they do in the west.

Anyway, that is a crazy amount of reviews from a reviewer who also participated in the manga guide. Shocked And here I thought I was a voracious reader.

On a related note, will there be an Unnamed Memory review in the future? That is a series that deserves exposure.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 16395
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:35 pm Reply with quote
The commentary on the first DxD novel bring up what I have always felt is one of the main factors that separate the anime version from the harem pack: it actually operates around a plot, and the fan service just fits into that.

Also have to agree (negatively) on Hidden Dungeon and (positively) on Roll Over and Die. The latter is the one I recommend.


Last edited by Key on Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1997
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:00 pm Reply with quote
Seagloom wrote:

Anyway, that is a crazy amount of reviews from a reviewer who also participated in the manga guide. Shocked And here I thought I was a voracious reader.


I've been told that I have no life, but I prefer to think of it as having a literary life. Wink

Quote:
On a related note, will there be an Unnamed Memory review in the future? That is a series that deserves exposure.


It will! I didn't get a copy before the deadline for this article, but I have one now. I'm looking forward to reading it!
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 438
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:11 pm Reply with quote
I may have missed something but, uh, which of these titles is the "one BL" referred to in the intro? The three yuri titles were obvious, at least.
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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:02 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
I've been told that I have no life, but I prefer to think of it as having a literary life. Wink


Very Happy

Quote:
It will! I didn't get a copy before the deadline for this article, but I have one now. I'm looking forward to reading it!


Glad to hear it! Searching for it among the other reviews was the first thing I did. I was mildly disappointed to see it missing.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1997
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:04 pm Reply with quote
wolf10 wrote:
I may have missed something but, uh, which of these titles is the "one BL" referred to in the intro? The three yuri titles were obvious, at least.


That one fell under the "only covering titles not previously reviewed by Preview Guide staff" heading, sadly - it's Yes, No, or Maybe, which I'd already reviewed.

EDIT: Is that the first BL light novel to come out since June's "yaoi novel" line? I want to say it is, but I could be making that up.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:44 pm Reply with quote
I have an alternate take on In the Land of Leadale. I found the world building fascinating and the slice of life progression fun. This is not for someone who wants a lot of action. Personally, I have gotten a bit tired of the hero has to defeat the demon king or the world ends bit.
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VampireNaomi



Joined: 30 Aug 2010
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:18 am Reply with quote
I'm really struggling with I'm in Love with the Villainess. The plot description sounded amazing and everyone said it was so good, and now that I'm reading it, it's just endless repetition of this bit of dialogue:

"Miss Claire, I love you!"
"Ugh, peasant. I hate you!"
"Thank you! Keep punishing me every day!"

The protagonist is a creepy stalker who won't take no for an answer and inserts herself into the love interest's life with her knowledge of the game and the characters. I have no idea why I'm supposed to care about her when she has no personality beyond being obsessed with Claire. I'm glad to hear it gets better after the half-way point, but unless it's a significant improvement, I'm going to cancel my pre-order of the second volume.
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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:11 am Reply with quote
^ That is toned down significantly later. To the point Rae waxes nostalgic about it. (The implication being she is a masochist.) As the story progresses it becomes a lot more serious, contrasting Rae's new life with her struggles as a queer girl growing up in Japan. It gives her layers; although it may possibly make her earlier behavior seem even worse when considering she should probably know better.

I think that is why this series has so many fans. It explores being gay (among other queer identities) in a more realistic way with real world comparisons where other yuri novels are idealized. That said, there is a happy ending for anyone worried that realism brings a tropey "bury your gays" conclusion with it.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1997
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:16 am Reply with quote
VampireNaomi wrote:
I'm really struggling with I'm in Love with the Villainess.


To be perfectly honest, I may not have finished it if it wasn't for the Guide. I do think it gets better, but I had a lot of the same issues you mentioned with the first half, and to a (much) lesser degree the second half of the volume. It's at this point a flawed execution of a good concept, and as of the end of volume one, I stand by my recommendation of reading A Lily Blooms in Another World over it for yuri villainess isekai.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 438
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:57 am Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
wolf10 wrote:
I may have missed something but, uh, which of these titles is the "one BL" referred to in the intro? The three yuri titles were obvious, at least.


That one fell under the "only covering titles not previously reviewed by Preview Guide staff" heading, sadly - it's Yes, No, or Maybe, which I'd already reviewed.
Right, that was it. Thanks for the clarification!
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brtt150



Joined: 18 Mar 2012
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:08 am Reply with quote
The disdain for Hidden Dungeon unironically sold me on it
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Samiamiam



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 222
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:50 am Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
wolf10 wrote:
I may have missed something but, uh, which of these titles is the "one BL" referred to in the intro? The three yuri titles were obvious, at least.


That one fell under the "only covering titles not previously reviewed by Preview Guide staff" heading, sadly - it's Yes, No, or Maybe, which I'd already reviewed.

EDIT: Is that the first BL light novel to come out since June's "yaoi novel" line? I want to say it is, but I could be making that up.


Yeah it is. BL gets pretty shafted in the LN translation department which is a shame because there are tons of BL LNs and Chinese BL LNs like MDZS/TGCF are absolutely exploding in the west and would probably sell better than anything on this list but the industry is so male focused, particularly with LNs, that it probably literally has no idea what its missing out on (like hey those characters trending in the US on twitter are from a unlicensed BL LN!)
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4678
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:34 am Reply with quote
The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter

- Reading the manga. Don't see much need in reading the light novel, considering what the reviewer mentioned and the main pull of the content in the manga. The light novel would need to be much more explicit than the manga to be a draw for me.

Roll Over and Die

- Really like this one. So it will be a continuing must read for me. One minor point for me though is Jean. He must pay for his crime. If the writer fails to give a 'bad end' to Jean, it would be a major detriment to this series.

I'll Never Set Foot in That House Again!

- Thanks for the reminder of this light novel. I had thought I pre-ordered it already. Got it now.

I'm in Love with the Villainess

- I liked this one too. Going to have to reread it again. I have no problem with Rei. Despite what we are constantly being told about 'healthy' relationships, I have never believed that there is some cookie cutter mold for proper relationships. If you have found love and respect, I don't really care how you got there. More power and happiness to you.

Reign of the Seven Spellblades

- Going to have to take a look at this one.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1997
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:05 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The light novel would need to be much more explicit than the manga to be a draw for me.


Yeah, it really isn't, at least not so far. I'm inclined to think that the manga will at least feel more explicit than the novels by virtue of being a more visual medium.

Quote:
If the writer fails to give a 'bad end' to Jean, it would be a major detriment to this series.


Totally agree with you on this - that could easily drag the series as a whole down, because he is all kinds of despicable.

Quote:
I have never believed that there is some cookie cutter mold for proper relationships. If you have found love and respect, I don't really care how you got there.


You know what, you're right. I personally don't love relationships that involve one partner being cruel or mean to the other, but that's a matter of taste in fiction, not a blanket judgement on how romance is written. Romance as a genre has a fascinating history and trajectory and it's really easy to forget that it truly is the genre with something for all tastes, even those I might not share. (And, you know, some of the stuff I learned/researched in grad school about YA fiction sometimes gets in the way. Smile )

I hope you like I'll Never Set Foot in That House Again! I don't know anyone else who's read it yet, so I'm interested in what you think of it. (I'd be interested anyway, you'll just be the first other opinion.)
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