On HakoMari v2

The cover.

The time has come to see if the sequel to the first volume of HakoMari, everybody’s favorite twisting-and-turning loop-mono, is any good. You might have been speculating about what it could be like. I sure did and now that I’ve gotten through its 180 pages, I know.

It’s been a few weeks since dull highschooler Hoshino Kazuki and his cool not-girlfriend, Otonashi Maria broke out of the time loop they christened The Rejecting Classroom (Kyozetsu Suru Kyoushitsu). At school, around some familiar characters and some new ones, Kazuki realizes that he has holes in memory – he suddenly “wakes up” without any recollection of the previous hour. If that wasn’t bad enough, when he does, it seems as if everybody around hates him. It must be the work of a Box user! What if he falls out of Maria’s favor as well? Some despicable person seems to be taking control of Kazuki’s body and using his power over the poor dude to make his life miserable. And so begins another story of Kazuki and Maria trying to solve the mystery of what’s happening and struggling to do something about it.

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Apfelland Monogatari or Mitteleuropa: The Anime

Just a screenshot.

Once, years ago, when I was browsing AniDB, probably in search of something to watch (or maybe out of plain boredom), I stumbled upon this anime. Apfelland Monogatari, a 1992 OVA based on a lesser work by Tanaka Yoshiki. I put off watching it until now, but after reading the synopsis, I knew that I’ll have to, at some point.

I’m a fan of Tanaka-sensei, after all. He’s a mighty influential pop-lit writer, who made a career out of the idea that “fantasy and sci-fi are merely scenography” decades before Game of Thrones scrubs made that discovery. Watch LoGH to have a taste of his magic. I’m also pretty sure that his space opera, as well as the animated adaptation of Arslan, had been a hot topic among some creators of Japanese RPGs in the 90s. He might be the one to blame for German proper nouns being everywhere in Japanese fantasy.

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Rokka no Yuusha v3 or Playing with Evil Furby

An illustration from the third volume.

Finally, the time has come to challenge the third volume of the Flower Heroes. It was originally published in November 2012, while the official English translation by Jennifer Ward came out several weeks ago.

You know how last time I expressed anxiety over whether the book would be any good? I had the same worries this time… and I feel like I’ll approach every subsequent volume of Rokka with the same attitude. There is something about the premise of Rokka that makes you think “How on earth are they gonna extend the story even further?” again and again. “Big Bad needs to be killed. Six heroes were supposed to appear to do it, but seven appeared instead. One is an impostor. Figure out which one.” One might think this premise won’t get you very far. And yet, Yamagata Ishio manages to prove he can do it in a believable, impressive way. Every time.

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On Accel World v2

Just a smile worth protecting.

Hi there. It’s about time I wrote down a post about the novel I finished a month ago – which is Accel World v2. I must admit that even though I’ve seen the anime, I remembered very little from the part of the story covering this volume, so I rewatched the first half of the anime as well…

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I watched Kaiji: Jinsei Gyakuten Battle

Itou Koudai’s impression of Kaiji.

In late November, I first heard that TBS is going to air a game show based on Kaiji around the New Year’s Eve. After the thing was over and gathered plenty of attention from Japanese netizens, I was determined to seek it out and watch the show. How could I miss that? And so I did – you can find some rips on Youtube.

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