Well, I hope that you enjoyed Volume 2 of Strangled. (Normally, I would ask if you enjoyed the first 3 volumes of Clockwork Planet, but you guys would have done so without me, so…)
Regarding the issues about being unable to post comments, apparently, on the ‘pages’ section of Hellping, the function to post comments is switched off for some reason. (and worse, it affects all posts since last July…). You should be able to comment all you want now. (Announcements is different though, since it’s under the ‘posts’ section)
I decided to quit my job, so I’m being a NEET while translating. Translating takes my mind off things, but I don’t necessarily enjoy it as much as I used to be, probably because I probably yearn for the spotlight somewhere within…and when I do get the spotlight, I’ll end up shrinking back. I’m practically Mikorin.
Health wise, I’m breaking down more than before. Still feeling the effects of a heavy concussion years back, to a point where I can’t sleep as much as I want to for fear of getting severe migraines. Well, this is what happens when you play sports with no regard for anyone’s safety. (Carry on, 小さな冒険者)
At this point, with I start with a mysterious next volume, I suppose it is time to look into the archives and start picking up stuff that were in the graveyard. If translators are trailblazers for picking up new series, I must be an undead Necromancer. (Well, I did translate the afterword of Zero no Tsukaima. It’s out there somewhere…)
^Wrath of the Lich Queen^
Given my itchy fingers, I do have a propensity of overdoing myself with the new series. Hikaru was a miracle in that I somehow managed to finish that one. There was once, a few years back, when I thought of starting at least 24 series in a single year.
So as I sit in a cafe and type this relaxing afterword, for the random talk for the month.
Novels with authors as protagonists
In the light novel industry, this refers to the act of putting the protagonist as a self-insert.
Currently, as far as I know of, there are 5 particular series that have this as a them (though not necessarily central)
1.Ero-manga sensei (Dengeki Bunko, Fushimi Tsukasa)
I’m going to be blunt.
Setting up the premise that the heroine is the little stepsister clearly shows that you’re only slightly learning from your previous work that had such a controversial theme to begin with. I had a feeling from Oreimo’s very first chapter that the ending would be as such, and disappointingly for me, I was right. Then again, a leopard can’t change its spots. And if it sells, it sells.
It might be critical of me to be so dismissive of this author’s works, I know, but perhaps I have been jaded into thinking that most authors would only stick to genres or themes they’re familiar with. Then again, not all authors can easily switch from one genre to another easily, notable authors being Iruma Hitoma (harem to action to yuri to bloody seinen) or Akira (action to fantasy to horror). Many authors have notable signature quirks in their works that you can figure out belong to them, and for Tsukasa, I have a stigma of him being the siscon author. (Not like he’ll care about my opinion.) But well, ‘if the formula works, why change it?’ Is what my idealistic side would say.
Unfortunately, I was hoping for a little more on the ‘being the author’ part when I first looked through the story for something different (it’s hypocritical for me to be reading his works despite hating it, but for the sake of this discussion, I have to do so.) I don’t think this will hit the highs Oreimo did because the gimmick does get stale soon. In fact, the only ‘sequel’ work I can think of that’s an improvement over an old work that’s animated…’Seishun Buta’ series, and that’s because the Sakurasou series, well, the anime’s much better than the LN.
If you want a siscon series, this one is for you. If you want something more informative, not this one.
2. Danshi Koukousei de Urekko Light Novel Sakka wo Shiteiru keredo, Toshishita no Classmate de Seiyuu no Onnanoko ni Kubi wo Shimerareteiru (Dengeki Bunko, Keiichi Sigsawa)
Did you bite your tongue reading this title?
Back when I visited Osaka, I entered their bookstore at Osaka Station. I was looking for the last volume to this series, volume 3, so I read the title.
In my hastiness to get the title right (and I’m a terrible speaker IRL), I bit my tongue lol. I guess I managed to get a few chuckles from the sales girl.
Well, I got my 3rd volume. (Which turned out to be the last when I read the afterword)
So, ‘Strangled’, the deliberate long title aside, is basically an excuse for Sigsawa to show readers the inner workings of the LN industry from an author’s perspective.
One particular reason that I may gather, and which is hardly mentioned anywhere else, is that this series serves not as a story for entertainment, but as a story to educate. You may not know it, but Sigsawa, along with lolicon writer Sagu Aoyama, are veteran judges at the Dengeki Prize Award, often writing reviews to encourage the prospective authors. In fact, the latter’s recommendation is the reason why Bokushinu gets to be translated on this particular site. Of course, this doesn’t count into the fact that Sigsawa originally had this idea as a joke chapter from Gakuen Kino (or somewhere, I forgot), so either he did this for fun, or did this to prep prospective writers. I’ll like to think of him as a nice guy and say it’s the latter.
Another thing that is neglected from the others, I feel, is the mentality of an author required to write a story. Sure, you can think of interesting ideas, but you need to develop them, you need the discipline to expand them into paragraphs, you need to spice them up to make them appetizing to the readers, and you need to be bold with what you choose to write on. Too many times have we seen authors come up short because they lack any one of these factors. Granted, no writer is perfect, but having a high benchmark to aim for is something, I feel, everyone should strive for.
Of course, while Tsukasa has his signature siscon tendencies, Sigsawa has his signature gun porn tendencies.
With that being the case, this is mostly an excuse plot for Sigsawa the author to pen his thoughts on the current LN scene. Don’t think too much about the characters. You’ll get a headache.
3. Imouto sae ireba ii (GAGAGA, Yomi Hirasaka)
^The person on the right side. Lemme spoil it for you. It’s a guy (wait, it’s a girl! Yukimura strikes again!)^
Before I start on this topic, let me talk about illustrators.
I did mention that my 3 favorite illustrators are H2SO4, Miho Takeoka, and Saki Utai.
Now let me talk about the 3 great LN loli illustrators. (Yes, it’s subjective)
They are Shino (Clockwork Planet), Tinkle (RKB) and this guy, Kantoku (and also Henneko)
Why do I mention them?
Because lolis are my mortal enemies, so by extension, these guys are targets of my hatred. As I said, I was devastated when Black Bullet was licensed because it meant that I couldn’t go around butchering lolis.
(Never mind the fact that the 3 illustrators I mentioned earlier do draw lolis)
And now to be a little professional (attempting)…
Yomi Hirasaka’s known in circles as an eccentric author. It says a lot that Kodaka of Haganai fame is one of the more subdued characters he ever created. (well, when you compare it to everyone else on the set, probably not a good indicator of sanity)
Imouto Saeireba ii is where our protagonist hopes to have a little sister. It’s because of this lack of this little sister (so he assumed) that he’s working hard as a siscon writer, but if he does have a little sister, he won’t be writing anything, right?
The story does try to balance between plot and work a lot more than the previous two works, but lets face it, of the four series mentioned over here, this is the one with the most ‘wut’ moments in the story. I consider it the most comedic, but lesser on the romance part, and when the protagonist, a siscon author, is one of the tamer characters in this story, you really have no actual bastion of sanity in this story.
Maybe it’s just me trying too hard to be grounded.
4. Manuscript Screening Boy and Manuscript Submitting Girl, The Story of the Bashful Seas Watched by the Gentle Skies, (Famitsu Bunko, Mizuki Nomura)
Well, you can thank Sky for having some translations of this particular work on his site. Go to the popular site, not mine please.
Given that Mizuki Nomura is the author, I think many would have expected me to continue working on her series after I was done with Hikaru, but natch. There were a few series I could have picked from her works on Hellping, but the one series I really wanted to go back to working on was Riku and Chise, if you remember from the Hikaru translator afterword.
Now, for her in particular, her specialty genre would be the romance department. It can be a rehash of the Genji Monogatari department, drama club, pastries, traditional harem, the basic genre of her stories has always be romance, romance and romance. This story is no exception.
Well, there’s only so much you can do for one volume, but having a prospective write try to submit entries, and work her way into being an author does give the feeling of achievement when you finally make it.
The story ends on a much happier note than Hikaru and Bungaku Shoujo, probably her happiest ending along with Riku and Chise.
Of course, I shall let Sky continue to present this delightful, short little story that is 317 pages long. (Not like I got a choice in the matter, I don’t go around telling everyone which series to translate.)
5. Ra. Nobetsumanashi, (GAGAGA, Ryuichi Itsuki)
Let’s face it, how many of you ever heard of this one?
Show of hands? None, of course.
The publisher, GAGAGA Bunko, wasn’t as famous as the others back then, and even now, it’s still not as prominent, at least until Oregairu came around. There are several little tidbit series like GJ-Bu! and Sasami, but even those series aren’t exactly mainstream.
Furthermore, this series was published in 2009. In internet timeline, that’s as far back as the rise of the Ottoman Empire. (I mean, look at the art. It’s beautiful, but in a different way compared to 2010s art.)
As for what this story is about.
This one is about a man who wanted to write modern literature, but despite his misgivings on anime art, ended up becoming a light novel author. Well, that’s considered modern literature, if you can trust me on this. (Cue Izaya).
And of course, romance becomes a main theme, so you can expect a writer falling in love with a fan (no, not an electric fan). Any more of these kinds of stories, and it’ll remind me of the deaths of Touko Amano’s parents again. Sighs.
And, back to reality.
As I mentioned before, I have twitchy fingers. So here I go: (Warning, the following will be the beginning of what is an NSFW story)
It sounded as though someone fell onto the road.
When I heard that, I stopped my hand from rising upwards, and lifted my head to see the clear blue sky dazzling away. The thick black shadows covered everything between the buildings, and only the sky was blue.
I felt as though I heard something drop.
But I suppose that was a hallucination
Besides, there was nobody around beside me.
I continued to insert the silver coin into the vending machine, and at the next moment, the coin went to the change slot. Sweat soaked my body, and my throat let out a dried voice…that’s strange, why am I so thirsty? I feel like a fish washed ashore. I bent down, picking up the 100 yen coin, only to hear a splat. I turned fback, and found something crimson red laying on the steaming asphalt road, a thoroughly black object giving off a bloody scarlet, like a cat carcass that was knocked down by a car.
Ahh–that’s a uterus.
I confidently thought as I watched that bloody slab of flesh. There was raw meat cooking on the burning road, giving off a foul stench. Seeing this, I felt like drinking some water again.
Someone seems to be watching me. Again, I look up at the sky, and seem to find someone standing at the roof of an abandoned building. However, that person’s hiding under the strong sunlight, and I couldn’t see that person. I want that person to see me, so I continue to wave my arms frantically. That person remained unmoved no matter how I tried to get that attention. I tried calling out, but my parched throat could not let out a voice. Thus, I wanted to use the vending machine, and turned around.
But the 100 Yen…