Monday, February 22, 2016


by Ryohgo Narita

Story summary: Last unfinished book I read, I used the Goodreads description because I hadn't finished the book and so couldn't actually summarize it. This time I don't have that excuse, because I know the story in fairly good detail, having devoured the anime and manga versions. But I like the Goodreads summary and I'm behind on reviews and I'm super lazy, so here goes:

"The Ikebukuro district in Tokyo is full of interesting people. A boy longing for the extraordinary. A hotheaded punk. An airheaded pseudo stalker. An information broker who works for kicks. An underground doctor who specializes in truly desperate patients. A high school student infatuated with a monster. And a headless rider on a pitch-black motorcycle. Their story may not be a heartwarming one, but as it turns out, even weirdos like these sometimes fall in love.
There's no shortage of bizarre characters in Ikebukuro--read the light novel series that started the anime and manga phenomenon!"

Thoughts: Although I'm a fairly big fan of both anime and manga, I haven't read many Japanese light novels before. I tried Sword Art Online, and didn't love it, but I thought it might be the particular series. But now I'm trying this series, whose anime and manga I both loved, and it's just not doing it for me. I'm pretty sure by this point that the light novel form isn't for me. It's too light in all the wrong ways, but doesn't have the pointed feel that some enjoyable lighter or shorter works have.
I also found the writing in this one a bit too stylized for my taste, although it might be due to translation.

I do want to reiterate how much I enjoyed the anime, though. (Manga too, but anime more.) I would encourage anyone interested to watch it. The structure is unusual but fascinating, and is served well by the large cast of characters.

Grade: Unfinished

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