On Eighty-Six v2

86v2
The cover.

Hi. I’ve just finished reading Eighty-Six volume 2. I don’t really have much to say about it, but decided to at least try writing a thing on it. Well then, here goes nothing.

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On Dendera

dendenden
The cover.

My quest to burn through a list I’ve made of Haikasoru editions I want to read is now complete, at least if you don’t count the LoGH volumes I still haven’t gotten to. And the last item on that list was this very book – Dendera by Satou Yuuya, whom you might associate with that one story in the Faust anthologies. And so, I had bought a copy of the English translation of it a while ago and finished it recently. If you give the blurb a read, it sounds like the least appealing thing ever – some grandmas are fighting a bear. Why all the praise then? This novel even got made into a live action film around ten years ago. What’s it about?

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Yakusoku no Kuni v1 or Fantasy Yugoslavia

yakusoku
The cover.

Youjo Senki (also known as The Saga of Tanya the Evil) was one of the better titles airing in Winter 2017. It’s the story of a perfectionist nerd reborn as a little girl in a war-torn world as punishment for being a man of little faith. If you think that description reeks of Narou… indeed, it was based on a webnovel. The novels are thick, packed with references to real history, and absolutely ridiculous. Although Narou writers are known for not trying particularly hard, the author of Youjo Senki, hiding behind the pseudonym Carlo Zen, after an Italian war hero, is different. He seems to want to remain in the business for a longer time. He’s currently co-working on a comic titled Baikoku Kikan… and another novel series, published by Seikaisha Fictions. Yakusoku no Kuni (The Promised Country) – I learned of its existence in early 2017 from @bakalov_ptr. Thanks! I think he’s the reason why I bought Sekai-kei to wa Nani ka as well. After learning it’s set in a fictional equivalent of Yugoslavia, I decided I have to read it.

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On Kyakuhonka no Serifu

kyakuhonka
The cover.

One way you can tell whether an anime watcher is only a casual dabbler or a stupefyingly engaged turbonerd is: the number of names he associates with a given project. Your usual moviegoer, if he bothers to remember any names of the people involved in the works he watches, will be able to tell you who the director is, and who played the lead role. The faces of the movie. Maybe he can recognize some other actors, but… He probably won’t know the name of that one person who contributes a lot to the film’s success, but usually remains unseen and unrecognized. The screenwriter. It seems to me that as time passes and the anime business grows, interest in commonly neglected creators involved in anime production is on the rise. And that includes scenario writers. How many of them do you know?

Somewhere around March, I learned from Twitter that Gagaga Bunko, everybody’s favorite LN label specialized in books at the boundary between pop-lit and high literature is putting out a light novel centered around this noble profession – Kyakuhonka no Serifu by Masumoto Takuya, a screenwriter. The news piqued my curiosity enough for me to buy the book. A shame that I’m writing about it this late, though. If you consider that recently every season has its one (?) trademark production disaster, discussed and mocked to death on the internet, it seems there was no better moment for this novel to come out. The book has inevitably gathered the attention of Japanese news blogs – but, more on that later. Who is Mr Masumoto? He has quite some experience with writing scenarios for live action TV series, but has done some anime as well. He’s written Kemono Friends 2 – the sequel to a surprise hit, veiled in shitstormy clouds to this day, and several episodes of Zombie Land Saga. Also, turns out the book this blogpost will be about wasn’t his debut in print – he’s written a short series called “Midas Touch“. Anyway, let’s see what serifu this kyakuhonka has to say.

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On Eighty-Six v1

eightysix
The cover.

If you follow LN news, you might have heard about this one. Eighty-Six, by Asato Asato. In 2016, this very book was the winner of the Dengeki Novel Prize‘s grand prix. Many Dengeki Prize winners are books forgotten by history, ones that don’t ring any bells even among experienced LN readers. But not this one, I think. It wouldn’t surprise me if it got animated at some point. Very recently, its English translation was published by Yen On, so I absolutely had to get my hands on a copy. Google a bit and you might find a curious label used to describe Eighty-Six: “the antifascist light novel”. How seriously can this line be treated? Let us find out.

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