torachan: ewan mcgregor pulling his glasses down to look over the top (ewan glasses)
Whoops. Been so busy with Irene here that I haven't had much time on the internet and didn't manage to get my reading post done on Wednesday or even on Thursday! Still, I had a lot to talk about this week and by next week will surely have forgotten, so I'd better do it now while I have a chance. :D

What are you currently reading?
Currently back to reading manga only, I guess? I'm about halfway through two different volumes, 7 Seeds 24 and Aozora Yell 11. Aozora Yell is one that I bought several months ago and it's just been sitting on my desk because I always go for my iphone instead of physical books. But since I'm not doing a book club book this round, I thought I would try and read some physical books (both prose and manga) that I have sitting around, as I really like the idea of using the book club to read non-ebooks.

I forgot how much I love Aozora Yell. How could I have forgotten? It's just so, so, so cute. (If you're not familiar with the series, you may be familiar with the author from her other series, High School Debut, which actually did get an official English release. All her stuff is the same sweet/heartwarming kind of thing.) This volume starts Tsubasa's second year, so there are a bunch of new characters introduced as new first-years join the brass band.

Meanwhile in 7 Seeds, things continue to get more and more exciting. Really, I am just absolutely blown away by the most recent turn of events. How does Tamura-sensei manage to keep coming up with these awesome ideas?

What did you recently finish reading?
Well, on Sunday I finished Go by Kaneshiro Kazuki, exactly on the last day of that book club round, so perfect timing. :) Here's my book club questions for the end of the round:

1. Are you glad you've finally read this book? Would you read more books in this genre or by this author as a result? Would you recommend this book to others?

Very glad I finally read it! Like I said in my initial post, I watched the movie over ten years ago and bought the book soon after and it's just been sitting here ever since. XD Plus it's very good timing since I'm heading to Book Off next week and taking some stuff to sell and I can include this with my manga and CDs.

I don't think the author has really written a whole lot else, and the genre is just...modern fiction/literary fiction, I guess. Which is what I mostly read in Japanese anyway. I would recommend it to anyone who can read Japanese! It's both an interesting story and a good look at what it's like to be an ethnic minority in Japan.

2. What's your favourite quote or scene from the book? Alternatively, which is your least favourite, or the one that made you think the most, or the one that made you lose all patience with the book?
I don't really tend to think of books in terms of favorite scenes and least favorite scenes.

3. How did you enjoy reading to a deadline? Were you strict with yourself? Did you have a schedule? Was the book too long or too short for the time frame of the challenge?

This book was really the perfect length (a bit under 250 pages). If I were reading an ebook, I could do with something longer, but since this was a physical book, it meant that my two main reading times (in bed before going to sleep and on my lunch breaks at work) were times I was reading something other than the book club book. (I don't want to lug a physical book to work and I don't have a bedside lamp, so the only reading I can do is with something that has its own light like my phone.) By reading about twenty pages a day, I was able to keep on track while still being able to miss a day or two if I didn't have time to get to my reading. I didn't really have a set schedule, just tried to keep to about that number of pages each time.

In addition to my book club book, I also finally finished the fic I was reading for what felt like forever!

How the mouth changes its shape (132531 words) by breathedout
Chapters: 20/20
Fandom: Sherlock (TV), Sherlock Holmes & Related Fandoms
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Underage
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John(nie) Watson, Sherlock Holmes/Victor(ia) Trevor, John(nie) Watson/OFC
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John(nie) Watson, Victor(ia) Trevor, Sally Donovan, Original Characters, lots of them
Additional Tags: Genderswap, Alternate Universe - 1950s, Butch/Femme, Gender Issues, Gender Roles, Case Fic, bildungsroman, World War II
Summary: 1955. Under the placid veneer of suburban playparks and middle-class conformity churns a hidden London: femmes and butches dancing close in basement bars; clandestine love between women. To Sherlock Holmes, struggling private detective and mistress of disguise, it’s a realm she renounced years before. To Johnnie Watson, daredevil ambulance driver turned auto mechanic, it’s become a little too familiar. But when someone is murdered in the washroom of the city’s most notorious lesbian club, the investigation will lead both women to reconsider their assumptions about themselves, each other, and the world in which they live.

This was really good! I've not read anything this long in years and the length was definitely daunting, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. I definitely found Sherlock more likable as a woman (I'm sure that male!Sherlock is often written in a more likable way in fic than he is on the show, but here it was more that I didn't find the arrogance as off-putting in a female character vs a male character).

What do you think you'll read next?
I just realised I hadn't downloaded this week's Jump, so that for sure! But also in addition to Aozora Yell, I'd like to read at least one other volume of physical manga that I have here on my desk, maybe either Tegami Bachi 15 or Tera Girl 2. Also I would like to read one of the non-manga books on my shelf, something short that I can finish in the two weeks of the book club round, so that I'm ready to start fresh with a new book when the round I'm sitting out ends. A likely candidate is All I Asking for Is My Body by Milton Murayama, since it's only about a hundred pages long.
torachan: (Default)
What are you currently reading?
Still reading the same stuff as last week, a Sherlock fic and Go by Kaneshiro Kazuki. I should be done with both soonish, though (Go needs to be done by the 5th as that's the book club deadline, and I've only got 400 ebook pages of fic left, which translates into I have no fucking idea how many real pages, but probably not a whole lot).

Here are some book club questions I answered Monday on tumblr:

I am exactly halfway through with my book! (I would be more than halfway if I had done my reading for today, but I don't think that's happening. Still, I have more than enough time to finish it by the deadline.)

1. What aspects of the book are you enjoying? What aspects are you struggling with?
I'm generally enjoying my book (Go by Kaneshiro Kazuki), though the part about being zainichi Korean is much more interesting than the manic pixie dream girl romance part (which I wouldn't say I’m necessarily struggling with, just, meh, don't care).

2. Tell us about your favourite character, and/or your least favourite character
I like the main character okay, but mostly I don't really have feelings one way or the other for any of the characters. (It's first-person narration and there are only a few other characters, none of whom get a whole lot of page time, except for the love interest, and even she doesn't get a ton.)

3. Have you been talking to people about the book you're reading? What have their reactions been?
Aside from my initial post on tumblr and crossposted to DW/LJ, I haven't talked about the book with anyone. I knew going in that this was not a book I was going to be discussing with other people so much as just writing down my own thoughts, since it's not available in English.

What did you recently finish reading?
I read the three issues of Jump I was behind on and then read this week's as well.

What do you think you'll read next?
I downloaded vol. 24 of 7 Seeds the other day, so I'll probably read that once I finish one or both of the things I'm currently reading.

The next theme for the tumblr book club thingy is to read a book you've pretended you read, which is just such a bizarre theme. Is that really a thing people do? idk, it's not something I do, so I have nothing to choose and thus will be skipping this round. I think I will still try to read a book over those two weeks, though.
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Title: Mokuyou Kumikyoku (Thursday Suite)
Author: Onda Riku
Number of Pages: 247 pages
Book Number/Goal: 41/40 for 2010
My Rating: 5/5

Jacket Summary: It's been four years since author Shigematsu Tokiko committed suicide. As they do every year, five women who were close to Tokiko gather at Nightingale House to remember her. Eriko writes non-fiction, Naomi writes popular fiction, Tsukasa writes literary fiction, Eiko is an editor, and Shizuko works for a publishing house. But a mysterious message turns their peaceful conversation into a storm of accusations and confessions. Did Tokiko really commit suicide, or was it murder...?

Review: Aaaages ago I was browsing tapes at the video store and this movie sounded interesting. I saw it was based on a book and thought I'd rather read the book than watch the movie, so I bought the book and then years and years passed and I never read it. Well, the other day I wanted a small book I could stick in my pocket while I was out running errands, and Japanese books are great for that, so I grabbed it off the shelf. I can't believe I took so long to get around to reading it, because it was really good! It was a bit of a slow starter, but I got really sucked in after a while and found it very hard to put down.

It's really not a traditional mystery at all, but there's a lot of intrigue and reveals, which I always like. Also, wow, this book passes the Bechdel Test like nobody's business. A lot of books about women still focus on them talking about guys all the time, but out of almost 250 pages I think there were maybe five pages tops that were about men. There was one convo about a male relative and one about a guy one of the women had been set up with (which was a hilarious convo, because she was talking about how she hates guys who think they're so feminist and awesome and say they split the housework with their wives when all they do is empty the trash occasionally and cook once in a while).

Anyway, I really enjoyed this and will definitely be looking for more books by her. She's written a ton and I'm sad to see that not a single one has been translated into English.
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Title: 4teen
Author: Ishida Ira
Number of Pages: 329 pages
Book Number/Goal: 32/40 for 2010
My Rating: 4/5

Jacket Summary: Tsukishima, an island in the middle of Tokyo Bay. Here we race through the streets on our bikes, faster than the wind. Naoto, Dai, Jun, and me, Tetsuro, four 9th graders. We each have our problems, but together we can go anywhere, maybe we can even fly...

Review: Like Ikebukuro West Gate Park, 4teen is a collection of short stories about young people set in Tokyo (though younger kids this time and a different area of Tokyo). No mysteries here, though, but basically if you like Ikebukuro West Gate Park, if you like Ishida Ira's writing style, this is more of the same.
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Title: Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo 4: Onibijima Satsujin Jiken
Author: Amagi Seimaru
Number of Pages: 318 pages
Book Number/Goal: 27/40 for 2010
My Rating: 5/5

Jacket Summary: A murderer witnessed through a keyhole who disappears without a trace when the door is opened. An approaching tornado. And snow in the middle of summer... The stage for this tragedy is a cursed island that people call Onibijima...Will-o'-Wisp Island.

Review: I think my love for Kindaichi mysteries is pretty well established, and I don't really have much of anything new or different to say here. I love Kindaichi so I loved this book. :p It's not just that they're good mysteries (though they are), but I really love how the killer always has this heart-wrenching tale of why they had to kill all these people. No one kills for greed or just because they're a psychotic killer. They're always motivated by revenge against the people who wronged them or their friends/family and there's always this big heart-felt apology at the end. idk, I like the ~drama~.
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Title: Shaman King
Author: Mitsui Hideki
Number of Pages: 220 pages
Book Number/Goal: 72/75 for 2009
My Rating: 1.5/5

Wow, what a waste of time this book was. It is basically a retelling of the early volumes of Shaman King with a tiny bit of new content tacked on at the end. Seriously, while the jacket flap promised a new character exclusive to the novelisation (which is why I bought it, because I only wanted to read it if it was an original story, not a retelling of the manga), it was only about the last twenty pages that contained any new content.

I'm not sure who would be a good audience for this book, because it ends with a "to be continued" sort of vibe that means you're going to have to go read the manga to find out what happens to Yoh and Amidamaru and Manta and Anna and Ren and the whole Shaman Fight thing, but when you do, you'll be retreading old ground if you start from the beginning of the manga. And yet as a fan of the manga, it's really redundant.

This is the third of these red-spine Jump books that I've read and all of them have been really not that great (though at least the Naruto and One Piece ones were novelisations of movies which I hadn't seen), so even if I see them on the dollar shelf, I think I'll be avoiding them from now on and sticking to the smaller manga-sized novels which seem to be actual original stories and not novelisations of anything (if the D.Gray-man Reverse books are anything to go by).
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Title: Naruto: Takigakure no Shitou Ore ga Eiyuu Datteba yo!
Author: Kusakabe Masatoshi
Number of Pages: 222 pages
Book Number/Goal: 60/75 for 2009
My Rating: 1.5/5

Naruto and the gang are on a mission to escort the head of Takigakure Village back home, but not long after they arrive, the village falls under attack. Kakashi has been called back to Konoha, so it's up to Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura to save the day.

I'm a big fan of Naruto, but this was really boring. Part of my problem was that this was set really early on and so it felt weird going back to when they were younger. I forgot how clueless Naruto was about everything and how annoying Sakura was with her Sasuke obsession (though unsurprisingly, she hardly had any role in the story, especially once the fighting got going). But mostly it was just a boring story that didn't need to be 200 pages long. :p

I read it in Japanese, but it's also been released in English under the title Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village! (The link above goes to the English version on Amazon.)


Mooch from BookMooch.
torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
I've been reading a lot (for me), but have been slacking on reviews, so here's what I've got so far. I'm pretty damn pleased with myself that I've read eight books and it's only the middle of February. :D

Tanuja Desai Hidier "Born Confused" - 5/5
This is the story of Dimple Lala growing up and finding herself over the summer between 11th and 12th grade. There is romance in there, and there is friendship stuff, but really it's about Dimple. I've been reading more young adult books lately (so many of the interesting books I see recced are YA...) and a lot of them really feel like it. This did in some ways (the feel of the POV felt more like a novel aimed at teens), but it wasn't dumbed down or anything. I really enjoyed this book a lot, and I'm sad to see Hidier hasn't written any other novels.

I did have some frustrations with it, namely that because it's first person and Dimple doesn't really speak up when people blame her for stuff, it comes off feeling like we're supposed to think she was the one in the wrong. (With Gwyn, it kind of came around at the end (though I still felt like she never admitted/realised what an ass she'd been to Dimple), but by the end of the book I was still left feeling like Dimple was blamed for the mixups with Karsh, even though it would be ridiculous to read his behaviour any other way than she does. In fact, I was shocked that he said he had never been dating Gwyn. I was sure that he was dating her, but still had feelings for Dimple, and I am just so confused as to what the fuck he thought he was doing if not dating Gwyn.) Also Gwyn seriously bugged me. Like, the whole time. I loved um, the lesbian cousin, whose name I can't remember right now. And Zara! ♥ And Dimple's parents were awesome, too.

Very highly recommended.

Shaun Tan "The Arrival" - 5/5
I almost feel like it's cheating to including this on my reading list, since it's a story told entirely in pictures, but I will anyway. :p And it's really, really awesome, so you should read it, too. It's the story of a man who leaves his wife and daughter behind in order to find work in a foreign country. The book follows him in his new life there as he meet people and tries to figure things out, and ends with him eventually sending for his wife and child to join him. The story is set in a fantastical world. The land he comes from has shadow dragons flying through the sky. The land he arrives in has...well, just about everything weird you could think of. One man he meets escaped to this land from a different country, where he and his wife had to run for their lives from giants with blowtorches. Another man tells of the war he fought, and when he returned, he found his entire village destroyed. A young woman tells of how she escaped slavery to come here. I love these tales as much as the main character's. And I love his little book, as he tries hard to figure out what these strange foods are and how to read maps. Tan's beautiful drawings really get across the confusion of being somewhere where you don't understand anything and are trying your best to get by.

M.T. Anderson "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party" - 5/5
Okay, everyone needs to go out and read this right now! And anyone who read all the racefail about "zomg poor white me, I could never write people of color, wah wah, damned if I do, damned if I don't" really needs to read this even more. Because M.T. Anderson? The man who wrote this awesome, amazing story about a slave boy in the American Revolution? Yeah. He's white. And believe me, you'll forget that as you're reading.

Anyway, this is the story of Octavian, a slave who has been raised like a prince for the purpose of an experiment. The book follows Octavian as he grows up, becoming bleaker and bleaker as the years go by. It's such an interesting premise, and a very interesting look at the American Revolution as well, and the hypocrisy of the people who wanted to be free from the "slavery" of a monarchy, but clung so tightly to their own slaves, even as slavery was declared illegal in Britain. (And oh, the moment when Cassiopeia hears of that and realises that if she'd only gone to England with that asshole, she'd be free now!)

More spoilers (highlight to read): I'm so glad Trefusius was a good guy! I really liked him and was hoping that he wasn't as bad as the rest, so I was mentally cheering when he drugged Sharpe and Gitney. That was brilliant. But argh, when Octavian got dragged back after running away. As I was reading um, what's his name's letters, I was so afraid that it was a trick at first, but then I let my guard down as it seemed to be a legitimate job offer for Octavian...and then it turned out to be a trick after all! D: This book was so frustrating and angering to read, not in a bad way, but just the attitudes of people like Sharpe who were determined to see everything as proof that blacks were lesser beings, and the knowledge that not only is that not fiction, but it's not something of the past, either! Ugh, it just left me wanting to go around and punch random people in the face.

Hamasaki Tatsuya "One Piece: Chinjuutou no Chopper Oukoku" - 2.5/5
I grabbed quite a few manga novels at one point because I'd so enjoyed the D.Gray-man novel, Reverse. Alas, this did not live up to that at all. It's the novelisation of one of the One Piece movies and as OVAs and films of manga and anime often are, it's vaguely AU. It takes place just after Chopper joins Luffy and the others, but Vivi is not on the ship with them for this adventure. The plot here is that the crew sets sail for an island that's supposed to have a great treasure, only when they land there, Chopper gets separated from the others. The island turns out to be inhabited by weird animals and a little boy named Mobambi, and they mistakenly think Chopper is their new king. Of course a baddie appears and lots of fighting happens and stuff. It was a fun enough read (and very quick), but not anywhere near as good as the manga itself.

Azuma Kiyohiko "Azumanga Daioh" (4 vols.) - 5/5
Azumanga Daioh is a 4-panel manga that follows a group of girls from the start of 10th grade through graduation. I was pleasantly surprised at the continuity, as I'd expected each strip to be separate and random. The humor is what I'd expect from the author of Yotsuba&!, that is, absolutely hilarious. Everything is silly about this, from the ten-year-old genius who skips ahead to 10th grade, to the skeevy male teacher who says he wanted to become a teacher because he likes high school girls, yet it's also very emotionally realistic. Most of these girls are not friends when the new school year starts, but by the end of high school, they're inseparable. I especially loved Sakaki and Kagura, but it's really hard to pick favorites because they all have their charms.

At the beginning I didn't like it quite as much as Yotsuba&!, but by the end I think they're almost tied.
torachan: (Default)
I did it! My first goal was "at least the same number (11) as I read last year, or more". Then when I passed 11, I said, okay, maybe 15. Then when I passed 15 and there was still a month or so left in the year, I thought, well, why not try for 20? And I finished the last ten pages of my twentieth book this morning.

Julia Alvarez - How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
I enjoyed this quite a lot, but I really think it should have been marketed as a book of short stories. Instead it's a book of short stories that is called a novel, yet has none of the cohesion or overarching plot required of a novel, though the stories are all about the same four women. It's also very obvious that many of these stories were originally published separately, as there's a lot of repeated background info, introducing characters as if we've never met them before when it's the fifth time they've appeared, etc. There are also a handful of stories in first person, when the majority are third person, and that kind of makes it feel patched together, too. (There was also one very bizarre story where it was first person, except all the girls were named in third person. So even though the narrator was saying I and we and us in reference to the four sisters, it sounded like there was a mysterious fifth sister doing the narration because she attributed actions and dialogue to all four in third person. I...have never seen a story written like that before and hope never to do so again. It was disconcerting and a very strange choice.)

Anyway, I really did enjoy the individual stories quite a lot, and found the book hard to put down. I just am kind of annoyed with it for saying it's a novel when it's not, as that made me keep expecting things that it never delivered.

Amagi Seimaru - Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo "Yuurei Kyakusen Satsujin Jiken"
This is the last of the Kindaichi novels I have. D: I may have to order more from Amazon Japan, as they never seem to have them at Book Off (except, of course, they did get in a copy of one of them after I'd already ordered it from Amazon). This one was good (as usual; I've yet to meet a Kindaichi story, manga or novel, I didn't love) and really had me guessing. The trick of concealing the killer was actually better than the killer's tricks, I think! The chapters in the killer's POV started with excerpt from a captain's log, then switched to first person with the killer setting down the log. This made you think the killer was writing the log, and thus had to be an older man with a daughter, when in fact, the killer was reading the log, which had belonged to her father. Tricksy! I loved it.

I have also read 200 manga, which was really not a goal (well, as I got closer and closer to 200, I did make that my goal so it would be nice and even), but I find to be quite impressive. If you figure an average of 180 pages per volume, that's about 36,000 pages of manga. D: Wow.

The most recent manga I've read has been the first two (and so far only two, though it's listed as on-going) volumes of W Juliet II, the sequel (obviously) to W Juliet. It takes place a few years in the future, when Makoto and Ito are twenty and just married. Like W Juliet, it's cute and enjoyable, though not the best thing I've ever read. (I'm loving that there's more stories about Tomoe, though.)

Unrelatedly, this is like, Facebook day or something. I had two people friend me today. Actually, it's been Facebook month, as I've had more people friend me this month than most of the rest of the year. XD
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1. My mom came over to put some stuff in the garage today and I got her to give us a ride to the store. There was a good sale on Coke, but you had to buy a ton to get the sale price, so it would have been difficult on the bus. This saved me from having to take the bus to get the giant box for Julie's stuff, too. Unfortunately Staples was entirely out of boxes of any size, so I had to go to the UPS Store. Do not ever buy boxes at the UPS Store. Their prices are ridiculous. D: But I had no other choice, damn them.

2. I finished reading Shounen Keisuuki tonight. I actually started reading this book three, maybe four years ago. It's four short stories, all with the same narrator, same universe, but still, each story is self-contained, so when I put it down after the third story and got distracted, I just never got back to it.

This was my year to finish any half-read books on my shelf, though, so I was determined to get through it before the end of the year. The final story took me twenty pages or so to really get into and I kept putting it down, but then I was hooked and I remembered why I love Ishida Ira's writing so much. I spent most of this evening finishing it up. I love his writing so much, and I really love these Ikebukuro West Gate Park stories.

I honestly can't remember much about the earlier stories in this book, as like I said, I read them several years ago. I did like that the first one featured a transguy (and was a very respectful portrayal, not problematic at all that I can remember), but I was less thrilled with Spoilers in case anyone else in the world actually reads these books or plans to, which you totally should if you can read Japanese; there's a reason why Ishida Ira is an award-winning writer! )

That's a whopping ten books read this year now. Hopefully I can get a couple more in before the end of the year. :D

3. I ended up buying an account on LibraryThing. [livejournal.com profile] helens78 said you can only add 200 books with a free account, though I can't find any documentation on the site itself about what free and paid accounts can do. But it was only $19 to buy a permanent account, so I figured what the hell.
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I seem to have done a lot of reading yesterday and today. Catching up on my massive backlog, yay.

Kaze no Uta wo Kike is Murakami Haruki's first novel. I'm glad I didn't read this first, because I may never have read anything else of his. It's okay, but I was just kind of bored. Apparently there are two other books (Pinball something and something with sheep in the title) that make up this trilogy (though they also stand alone? This one does, anyway), but I doubt I'll read the others. I have a couple of his later books (English translations), so I will read those, and hopefully they'll be as good as The Elephant Vanishes. Actually there were some stories in The Elephant Vanishes that were similar to this. Just really stories about nothing, and while that works okay for a short story, I don't think it works very well for a novel, even one that's only 150 pages).

Then I read vols. 10 and 11 of Evangelion. It was Evangelion. :p Apparently vol. 12 is to be the final volume. Hopefully that will be out soon. I'm curious to see if the ending is similar to the anime or movie or something else entirely.

Finally, I read vols. 18 and 19 of Chiya Toriko's Clover. There are a ton of manga called Clover, but this is not the one by Clamp. It's a ladies series about office romance. Pretty cute, but nothing spectacular. I am still enjoying it, but at the same time I'm getting to the point where I really want it to end because it feels like the author is just throwing in more obstacles to keep it going.
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Okay, wow. This book is seriously awesome. I'm almost afraid to watch the drama now, knowing how different it is.

I zoomed through this book, finishing it in only two days, which is really quick for me, but even though I would do my usual "read a bit and put it down to do something else", it was really hard to stay away for long. I so, so, so wish I could recommend this to everyone, but er...it's not in English. But I do highly recommend it if you can read Japanese!

If you're familiar with the drama, the plot is...really not at all the same. There's a high school boy named Kiritani Shuji, and he takes it upon himself to "produce" a kid who's being bullied and make them popular, but that is really the only connection. Characters in the drama are made up for the drama, including Akira, the other main character in the drama, and characters in the book don't show up at all, except for Shuji, of course. The kid being bullied in the drama is a girl, but in the book it's a boy. I haven't watched the drama yet, but from what I know of it, it's pretty much a totally different story.

So this story. Shuji's life is all an act. He keeps himself at a distance from everyone and, frankly, is kind of sociopathic. During the middle of his second year of high school, they get a new student in their class, a fat, nerdy boy called Kotani Shinta. He writes his name on the chalkboard, 信太, and Shuji at first reads it as Nobuta. Nobuta (野ブタ) can also mean wild pig, so Shuji takes to calling him that (first in his head, then getting everyone to call him that). From the first moment, everyone hates Nobuta. After a while, Nobuta, seeing how popular Shuji is, asks him if he can be his apprentice. Shuji turns him down, but then gets an idea, what if he could be Nobuta's producer, and turn him into someone popular?

More + spoilers )

So yeah, I loved it. It was awesome. Maybe before sending it on to [livejournal.com profile] kakeochi_umai, I'll translate a sample passage and try to see if I can get anyone to pick it up for publication in the US.
torachan: (Default)
This evening I finished the first of the Kindaichi novels I got. Well, it's actually the third in the series, but they don't need to be read chronologically, and I chose this one because it's a smaller format than the others and I had thought I might be taking it somewhere and need to put it in my pocket (the concert, maybe, but I ended up not taking a book).

Anyway! This was really good. The author of the books is the same as the manga (the manga has a separate author and artist anyway) and the story was just as compelling as the manga. In fact, I zipped through it (all 350 pages) in just two or three days, which is really quickly for me, considering I usually don't have much time for reading these days. But I really didn't want to put it down.

One thing I found interesting was that I don't think this could be successfully translated into English. Spoiler )

I found it interesting that he made use of the inherent ambiguity of Japanese this way.

Also of note was the fact that this was written in 1996 but was all about the internet. Wow. Internet has come a long way in eleven years, especially in Japan! The dated-ness didn't detract from the story at all, though.

For my own reference, links to the other five novels:

#4 鬼火島殺人事件
#5 上海魚人伝説殺人事件
#6 雷祭殺人事件
#7 殺戮のディープブルー上巻/殺戮のディープブルー下巻
#8 邪宗館殺人事件

In other news, Bruce got his ticket and is coming back Sunday morning. His sister is driving up to Huntington on Saturday for her 20th high school reunion, so he can just go back to Indy with her that night and she can drive him to the airport Sunday morning. And he was able to use his parents' credit card to buy the ticket, so we don't even have to worry about getting paid back or anything, thankfully.
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Nana 17

Spoilers, natch )

I have the first Nana movie on my hard drive somewhere. I should watch it.

D.Gray-Man "Reverse 1: Tabidachi no Clergyman"

I actually liked this book quite a lot. As I said the other day, there are three stories, Allen's, Kanda's, and Bak Chan's. The writing isn't wonderful, but mediocre writing doesn't bother me as much in Japanese as it does English.

Long, long, with some spoilers )

D.Gray-man

Apr. 24th, 2007 02:21 am
torachan: (Default)
Still in a D.Gray-man mood from reading the manga the other day, I started reading the D.Gray novel I picked up at Book Off recently. It's a quick read (I read about eighty pages in under an hour); these things aren't called light novels for nothing. There are three stories, one about Allen, one about Kanda, and one about Bak Chan, and I read the Allen one tonight. I see there's a second book out, too. I wonder if it has anything about Lavi. I can't say I'm particularly interested in Kanda or Bak (though I will read the rest of the book regardless).

I just realised something, though. I had noticed before that Hoshino Katsura, author of D.Gray-man, is a LotR fangirl, as two of the characters are Reever Wenham and Miranda Lotto. (Miranda doesn't particularly look like Miranda Otto to me, but Wenham does look similar to the way I often see him drawn in manga style.) Now I'm thinking she might be a Phantom Menace fangirl, too. Bak Chan sounds an awful lot like Bruck Chun, especially when you take into account that the character has white hair like Bruck (despite being Chinese, and thus not normally someone you'd expect to have white hair).

While writing up this post, I got distracted by looking up light novels on Wikipedia, and found a manga/light novel publishing company that's hiring, so I filled out their questionaire and sent it in.

I am kind of still addicted to the kaleidescope thing. It's really terrible. Oh, and here's a new time-waster I found in [livejournal.com profile] cindyjade's del.icio.us links: BSC Headquarters. The "about me" section says, "I am blogging my way through the Baby-sitters Club series that I loved growing up." The reviews of the books are hilarious and really make me wish I still had mine around.

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