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  • polymetrica 1:59 am on December 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Novels,   

    【Novel】涼宮ハルヒの溜息 / The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya 

    More like The Sigh of polymetrica, which was my reaction while and after reading. This will also be the last novel review for a long while, I believe.

    Title: 涼宮ハルヒの溜息 (Suzumiya Haruhi no Tameiki) / The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya
    Author: 谷川流 (TANIGAWA Nagaru)
    English Translator: Chris Pai
    Illustrator: いとうのいぢ (ITO Noizi)
    Volume: 2nd
    Genre: Light Novel (Comedy, Supernatural, High School)
    Status: Ongoing, currently at 9 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 published in English by Little, Brown and Company and Yen Press.
    My Rating: 5/10

    Summary: The SOS Brigade, under the directorship of Haruhi, makes a movie to screen at the school Cultural Festival. Tsuruya makes her debut in this volume.

    Review: I disliked this volume even more than the first one, as it was not only infuriatingly mediocre, it was immature and just not fun to read. The entire thing was about Haruhi being her usual bossy self and getting people to do things with little to no direction, and the others trying to accomodate her demands to the best of their ability. I found it pretty overboard that she’s torturing Asahina like that, and congrats to Tanigawa for making the reader have sympathy for Asahina, but for me, it was temporary in that it wore out in the middle, and I also thought that the events that happened to evoke pity for Asahina were overdone and really repetitive. After my sympathy was depleted, I turned to disliking Haruhi even more since she continued to be unreasonable, unproductive, and just annoying. Another reason as to why I didn’t sympathize with Asahina anymore was because Kyon was kind of reeling in her suffering, making typical male teenager remarks like how cute her squeal is, or how even her scared face was adorable. There were some saving graces in this book, though, and those would be Kyon’s frustration with Haruhi (whose feelings echoed my own), and Nagato’s uh, action scenes.

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    • Baka-Raptor 6:19 am on December 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Why couldn’t you write this review four days ago when I added this book to my online order to get free shipping?

      • polymetrica 1:20 pm on December 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Because four days ago, I didn’t feel like torturing myself by reading this book.

    • kaye 11:23 pm on December 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m really digging the cover of this one. If I ever do pick it up it will most likely be for the pretty only haha.

      • polymetrica 11:24 pm on December 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        The paperback version of the first volume also features a similar graphical cover.

  • polymetrica 3:35 pm on December 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Novels,   

    【Novel】涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 / The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 

    Another novel review…You might be sick of this by now, but please bear with me. This is also one of the few instances where something Haruhi-related will appear on this blog.

    Title: 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu) / The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
    Author: 谷川流 (TANIGAWA Nagaru)
    English Translator: Chris Pai
    Illustrator: いとうのいぢ (ITO Noizi)
    Genre: Light Novel (Comedy, Supernatural, High School)
    Status: Ongoing, currently at 9 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 published in English by Little, Brown and Company and Yen Press.
    My Rating: 7.5/10

    Description: This is the English version of the first volume of the Suzumiya Haruhi series, penned by Tanigawa Nagaru and illustrated by Ito Noizi. Melancholy won Tanigawa the grand prize at the eighth annual Sneaker awards (a light novel award from Kadokawa Shoten), and the novel has gone on to be adapted into an anime of two seasons produced by Kyoto Animation, two iterations of manga by MIZUNO Makoto and TSUGANO Gaku, five video games, a radio show, and an upcoming movie adaptation for the fourth novel. The original light novel series currently has 9 volumes out, and is still ongoing.

    Summary: Kyon is a student starting his first year at high school. In his class is an odd girl named Suzumiya Haruhi, who introduces herself with a declaration that shocks Kyon. Kyon talks to Haruhi one day – an action which he will regret since Haruhi then proceeds to turn his life upside down with her detemination to fulfill a certain wish of her’s.

    Review: This novel is the very definition of what a light novel is – A fun, engaging, and entertaining read that doesn’t let you think at all, but makes just enough sense to not make you question any of it. To put it slightly negatively, it’s mindless entertainment in the form of writing. It has no substance, and it needs no substance. While you’re reading it, you feel that it’s very engaging, but after you read it and proceed to try thinking of what you’ve just read, you won’t really be able to recall it since it’s so unsubstantial it just went over your head. Melancholy is exactly like instant gratification, and is ONLY there for satisfying your immediate need for entertainment. It has great rereading value in that it’s just mediocre enough to make it unimpressionable, while be just good enough that you enjoy it in the process.

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  • polymetrica 5:23 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Novels   

    【Novel】闇の守り人 (Yami no Moribito) / Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness 

    How do you review a practically perfect book anyways? Here’s my (very lengthy) attempt at trying. The review for the first book in the series is here. Sorry for all the book-related posts lately, I’ve been kind of on a reading spree since I reserved a million books from the library.

    Title: 闇の守り人 (Yami no Moribito) / Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness
    Author: 上橋菜穂子 (UEHASHI Nahoko)
    English Translator: Cathy Hirano
    Illustrator: 二木真希子 (NIKI Mayuko;JPN ver), 清水裕子 (SHIMIZU Yuko;ENG ver)
    Volume: 2nd out of 10
    My Rating: 9.8/10

    Summary: The second book of Uehashi’s Moribito series features again Balsa as its protagonist, but is set in a different fantasy country than the first book, and have no other recurring characters from the previous volume. This time, Balsa revisits her home country in order to face her past, and eventually entagles herself in a series of events that may result in the collapse of a country. Since this installment barely refers to the events of the first book (and when it does, a brief recap of the previous one is given), the two books are mutually exclusive in content.

    Review: Wow, where should I start? I read this book with a critical mindset, enjoying everything that the novel had to offer while asking questions and looking for holes along the way, but even with such vigilance, I was wholly unable to find any plot holes, incoherent explanations, unanswered questions, or needless plot devices. Uehashi really, truly weaved an airtight illustration of her intricate fantasy world, and as a result this second book is even better than the first one. It’s really hard to believe that an author can provide such a lush picture of their own imagination while still taking the care to address every matter and leave nothing unexplained, and also provide plausible, fitting, logical and complete explanations for everything as well. Nasu should learn from this book, seriously. Compared to the other fantasy children/youth novels I’ve read before, such as Deltora Quest or Harry Potter, Moribito II surpasses both so much in intricacy, depth, and maturity that it’s going to make it really hard for me to go back to reading less substantial books than this.

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  • polymetrica 11:15 pm on December 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Faust, Nasu Kinoko, , Novels,   

    【Fiction Anthology】Faust Vol.1 

    This post is very long. I am really sorry.

    Faust is an literary “magazine” originally published by Kodansha to feature popular young writers and their works. Although it’s referred to as a magazine and has a sporadic publishing schedule and is numbered by volumes, it’s packaged like a novel but has both continuing installments and short stories for literary prose and also includes manga, illustrations, essays, columns, and interviews as well. The stories are frequently accompanied by illustrations from well-known artists, which makes the stories akin to light novels, despite the content not always necessarily being “light”. It can be described somewhat as a literary version of Robot Super Color Comic.

    This is the first English volume released by Del Rey and translated by Andrew Cunningham, Paul Johnson, and Nancy Tsai. The English version doesn’t feature the same contents as the original Japanese Faust Vol.1, and instead is a compilation of stories chosen across various editions of the original Faust. It’s packaged as a regular trade paperback, and features a specially commissioned cover illustration by take of Zaregoto fame. The stories are put at the front of the book where it’s read left-to-right, and the manga is at the “back” , where you have to flip and read right-to-left.

    The contents of Faust Vol.1 (ENG) are as follows
    (arranged by order of appearance with English translated titles):

    1. Introduction by OTA Katsushi, translation by Paul Johnson
    Fiction & Essays
    2. xxxHOLiC: ANOTHERHOLiC: Landolt-Ring Aerosol – story by NISIOISIN, illustration by CLAMP, translation by Andrew Cunningham
    3. Outlandos d’Amour – story by KADONO Kouhei, illustrations by UEDA Hajime, translation by A.Cunningham
    4. Drill Hole in My Brain – story and illustrations by MAIJO Otaro, translation by A.Cunningham
    5. F-sensei’s Pocket – story by Otsuichi, illustrations by OBATA Takeshi, translation by A.Cunningham
    6. The Garden of Sinners: A View from Above – story by NASU Kinoko, illustrations by TAKEUCHI Takashi, translation by P.Johnson
    7. H People: An Evolving World – column by WATANABE Kozy, illustrations by TAGRO, translation by P.Johnson
    8. Yabai de Show – column by SEIRYOUIN Ryusui, translation by P.Johnson
    9. Yuuya Satou’s Counseling Session – column by SATOU Yuuya, illustrations by SASAI Icco, translation by P.Johnson
    10. Tatsuhiko Takimoto’s Guru Guru Counseling Session – column by TAKIMOTO Tatsuhiko, illustrations by HASHII Chizu, translation by P.Johnson
    11. Approaching Twenty Years of Otaku – column and illustration by MORIKAWA Kaichirou, translation by P.Johnson
    Other Prose
    12. The Garden of Sinners: An Interview with Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi – interview by OTA Katsushi, translation by P.Johnson
    13. From Japan to the World, From the World to Japan – essay by SHIINA Yukari, translation by P.Johnson
    14. Tsukikusa – take, translation by P.Johnson
    15. Nikko Dance Party – VOFAN, translation by Nancy Tsai
    16. Maple Tree Viewing – YAMASAKI Moheji, translation by P.Johnson
    17. After School: 7th Class – manga by KOUGA Yun, story by NISIOISIN, translation by P.Johnson

    Really Long Opinion: Was quite excited when I first got the book and started reading it, and had very high expectations for it due to the huge names, but to be honest, I was pretty disappointed by the stories I was really interested in, despite trying my best to appreciate the authors’ works and trying to like it.

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    • kyouray 3:37 pm on December 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      meh. Your long but interesting review and the cover by take made me order the two volumes.
      I think Kara no Kyoukai may be hard for some people to read because of the pedantic style and the feeling of meaningless as you say. However this style belongs to the charm’s work and the next chapters aren’t as “heavy” as the first according to the movies. I’m still waiting for Del Rey releases…

      • polymetrica 4:33 pm on December 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Wow, I’m really surprised that this review actually made you decide to buy them! Reading the post again it seems a little negative, but nonetheless, thanks a lot for reading and even making a decision through this.
        Oh..I see…I really hope that the movies and the rest of the novel aren’t as full of whatever as what I read in Faust, because that is just not for me. Hopefully Del Rey actually publishes Kara no Kyoukai soon! Seems like they’ve been planning it for who knows how many years.

    • Mana 3:32 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, thanks! I’m really interested in this. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I’ll be on the lookout for it!

  • polymetrica 4:17 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Novels   

    【Novel】精霊の守り人 (Seirei no Moribito) / Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit 

    Changed the layout around a bit since WordPress gave this layout more customization options. Sucks that the banner isn’t linked to the homepage, though.

    Title: 精霊の守り人 (Seirei no Moribito) / Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
    Author: 上橋菜穂子 (UEHASHI Nahoko)
    English Translator: Cathy Hirano
    Illustrator: 二木真希子 (NIKI Mayuko;JPN ver), 清水裕子 (SHIMIZU Yuko;ENG ver)
    Volumes: 10
    Genre: Children (Fantasy, Adventure)
    Status: Completed. Volumes 1 and 2 published in North America by Scholastic Inc.
    My Rating: 8.8/10

    Description: 精霊の守り人 (Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit) is the first book in the Moribito fantasy novel series written by UEHASHI Nahoko. There are ten volumes in all and the series is aimed at children, but there are also a lot of teenage and adult fans. Scholastic Inc. in North America has licensed the series and has published two volumes of Moribito books at the time of writing. The English versions are translated by Cathy Hirano, and features artwork by SHIMIZU Yuko. (Instead of NIKI Mayuko’s artwork, who was the illustrator for the original Japanese version) The novels have been adapted into an anime (Seirei no Moribito) and manga.

    Summary: Balsa is an extremely skilled bodyguard who is a master of the spear, and is willing to risk her life to protect the people she was paid to protect. However, due to some interesting turn of events, her latest client is a queen who wants to protect her son Chagum, the Second Prince. Not only are the people pursuing Chagum powerful and deadly, an otherworldly monster is also chasing after something within Chagum…

    No summary will ever do this book justice, so if it doesn’t seem like the summary I provided was intriguing, please read the book anyways for full details. It’s that good.

    Review and pictures under the cut.

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    • Yi 6:09 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I love it when books pay special attention to the hardcovers and the binding. It makes collecting books such a better experience.
      Anyway, from the cover, this certainly looks pretty interesting.

    • Ningyo 9:20 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I never got why TN notes are so shunned by the English audience.
      Scholastic brought this to light? srsly?
      Well, I see it garners high praise from you. Is there an English classic you can compare this to, for the sake of me getting a better feel for its caliber? It might not be comparable to anything at all, but I’m just curious.

      • polymetrica 9:35 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t dislike TN notes at all, but I think it’s amazing when a translated book doesn’t have any at all, which also helps make me forget that it was originally in another language when I’m reading it.

        That was also my initial reaction. Scholastic? Really? Not some manga-publishing company or whatever? Such a good surprise, though, except that they went and replaced the original illustrations…

        No, I really wouldn’t compare this book to any English classic, since this book is after all a children’s book and is incomparable to something as profound and timeless as the classics. Unfortunately, I also can’t think of any other awesome fantasy/adventure series to compare to either, so Moribito is pretty unique for me. I think there’s an anime that I can’t remember that Moribito reminded me of, but I can’t remember it at all. Maybe watch the first episode of the Moribito anime to get a feel of what it’s like…?!

        • Blowfish 11:41 am on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I am having a little problem here…I wanted to comment on your blog but I couldnt find the comment field.Thats why I am using the Reply field now ^^;;;

          I didnt know that the series was based on a childrens book since the anime felt more like something for a more grown up target audience.Is it worth to take a look at the books even though youve seen the anime?I wouldnt mind reliving the story again :P

          Big Kudos for making this a hardcover book since I prefer those over softcover anytime.They simply look and feel better and tend to take more abuse

          • polymetrica 11:56 am on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            Thanks for commenting even though the comment button position sucks. It’s actually on the very top of the post, above the title. It’s an absolutely ridiculous spot to put a reply button, but please bear with me. Thanks!

            It was surprising to me too given that everything I read about the anime screamed mature audience, but there you go! Pretty amazing that this series can transcend age groups and have something for everyone. I haven’t watched the anime yet (Sorry), but it’s probably a good idea to read the book too and see what’s different. In my past experiences I’ve found that the source material are usually better than the adaptations, but I’m not sure if this is the case for Moribito since the anime was done by Production I.G. after all!

            I agree! It’s so rare to see anime-related (light novels, non-classic novels adapted to anime, etc) novels be done in hardcover, so it’s a really, really welcome change. The only problem is that Scholastic tried to change the image of the original completely by having a different illustrator, which I found disappointing.

            • Blowfish 10:52 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink

              Now that you mentioned it Ive found the Reply button aswell.Its indeed a weird position since this is the last spot I would search for one.

              I am mostly more satisfied with the source material so ill definately give this a try the next time im ordering from amazon.

              Its a real shame that American Publishers are trying to attract more audience by changing the illustrator of their books.Something very similar happened with the Yen Plus Release of Spice and Wolf but luckily only the cover was messed up and the Art inside the novel stays intact.I highly doubt that theyll attract new customers with the new hideous Cover though

    • Jubbz 9:43 am on November 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I remember seeing this show on Adult Swim…

      well it’s still airing… >_>

    • redprint 8:09 am on October 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Should watch the anime series as well then. Its just that good.

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