Bakemonogatari Volume 3 Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel Bakemonogatari Volume 3 by Nisio Isin

LIGHT NOVEL INFORMATION
TITLE: Bakemonogatari
AKA: Monogagatari, 物語シリーズ
AUTHOR: Nisio Isin
ILLUSTRATOR: VOFAN
PUBLISHER (English): Vertical Inc.
RELEASE DATE (English): April 25, 2017
PURCHASE (Amazon Affiliate Link): http://amzn.to/2mGURxN
PURCHASE (Amazon.co.uk): http://amzn.to/2yZzNIN

PUBLISHER (Japan): Kodansha
RELEASE DATE (Japan): December 4, 2006
VOLUMES RELEASED (Japan to Date): 23 (most recent released July 20, 2017)
ANIME SERIES: 94 episodes + 3 movies (14 volumes adapted to date)

From the back cover:

A class president among class presidents, a bespectacled model student who soars to the top of honors lists without fail, Tsubasa Hanekawa also happens to be a decent human being. True, she does have a habit of making single-minded assumptions, but they come from a good place and turn out to be fortuitous as often as not.

Loser extraordinaire Koyomi Araragi owes her his post of class vice president and a more significant debt of gratitude for her unstinting support during the darkest spring break of his life. All of it has blinded him to the possibility that his saintly classmate’s family situation might be no less adverse than that of his other lady friends.

Thus, at last, we face Hanekawa’s unlikely aberration in “Tsubasa Cat”—the concluding part of the legendary novel that captured the sensibilities of a new generation in the aught years and spawned an animated series that has won international popularity and acclaim—before the story continues with a Fake Tale…

Bakemonogatari Volume 2 Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel Bakemonogatari Volume 2 by Nisio Isin

LIGHT NOVEL INFORMATION
TITLE: Bakamonogatari
AKA: Monogagatari, 物語シリーズ
AUTHOR: Nisio Isin
ILLUSTRATOR: VOFAN
PUBLISHER (English): Vertical Inc.
RELEASE DATE (English): February 28, 2017
PURCHASE (Amazon Affiliate Link): http://amzn.to/2jDwm2u

PUBLISHER (Japan): Kodansha
RELEASE DATE (Japan): December 4, 2006
VOLUMES RELEASED (Japan to Date): 23 (most recent released July 20, 2017)
ANIME SERIES: 94 episodes + 3 movies (14 volumes adapted to date)

From the back cover:

Bakemono, literally “altered thing,” which translates as “monster.” Monogatari, literally “thing narrated,” which translates as “tale.” Combined into a neologism by he of the reversible nom de plume, they yield BAKEMONOGATARI, the monster tale that kicked off a series whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

A self-described loser, Koyomi Araragi is struggling at a prep school that he should never have gotten into. He has all but quit caring, but as a senior, he faces the chilling scenario of not being able to graduate. It’s time to cram, but the supernatural aberrations that keep on popping up in his provincial town won’t let him be.

Previously, our hero turned into a vampire and back, gained an acid-tongued girlfriend, and couldn’t find his way home thanks to a lost child. In this second of three parts, which introduces Suruga Kanbaru and Nadeko Sengoku, he becomes embroiled in a case that riffs on a classic English story from 1902.

 

Taking a Deeper Look at Bakemonogatari

Hello All!

When I was just getting started on this road of light novel fandom, there was a website I found which made my life so much easier/better. That website was English Light Novels .com.

Now, I’ve mentioned this website before. A few months ago, I participated in a joint article where myself and several others did a brief overview of titles we would recommend to people who were new to light novels.

After that article, the owner of the site, Cho, asked if anyone would be further interested in contributing articles in the future. I had a great experience with the newbies article, and honestly, felt indebted to Cho’s website, so I volunteered. What came out of it were two articles I’m proud to have created/contributed to.

My articles dealt with two books; the recent Vertical Inc. release of Bakemonogatari and its prequel,  Kizumonogatari.

Themes of Love and Loss in Bakemonogatari

For my first article, I tore into the deeper themes in Bakemonogatari.

After doing spoiler-free reviews for a year-and-a-half, it was gratifying to dig into the meat and bones of a book instead of leaving so much unsaid (I could do this in my reviews, but I mean them to help readers find new books, not spoil them). There was a freedom in truly expressing what the book meant to me and what I took away from it.

If you’re interested, you can read the article at this link – Love and Loss in Bakemonogatari.

Which Came First, the Bake or the Kizu?

The second article was a joint effort by Cho and I.

In Japan, where the Monogatari series was first released, Bakemonogatari came first, with Kizu, a prequel, releasing second. In English, the release order was reversed. The books are starkly different from each other, something Cho demonstrated in her component of the article. For my part, I theorized why the change was made for English audiences.

To read that article, follow this link – Which Came First, the Bake or the Kizu?

I’m proud of what Cho and I produced. I’d really appreciate it if you visited the site and showed those articles some support (admittedly, I’m late in posting this article myself). I’m looking forward to contributing to Cho’s site in the future.

Let me know what you thought of the articles!

All the best,

JR

English Light Novel Releases for February 2017

Another month, more light novels being released in English. Here are the light novels to look forward to reading in February 2017

February 2, 2017

The Faraway Paladin Volume 1

The Faraway Paladin Volume 1: The Boy in the City of the Dead

In a city of the dead, long since ruined and far from human civilization, lives a single human child. His name is Will, and he’s being raised by three undead: the hearty skeletal warrior, Blood; the graceful mummified priestess, Mary; and the crotchety spectral sorcerer, Gus. The three pour love into the boy, and teach him all they know. But one day, Will starts to wonder: “Who am I?”
Will must unravel the mysteries of this faraway dead man’s land, and unearth the secret pasts of the undead. He must learn the love and mercy of the good gods, and the bigotry and madness of the bad. And when he knows it all, the boy will take his first step on the path to becoming a Paladin.

“I promised you. It’s gonna take a while, but I’ll tell you everything. This is the story of the deaths of many heroes. It’s the story of how we died, and it’s the reason you grew up here.”

Purchase The Faraway Paladin Volume 1 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2jizkdb

Mixed Bathing in an Alternate Dimension

Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension Volume 1: The Hero of the Unlimited Bath

“How am I supposed to fight with this?!” After being summoned into another dimension as one of the five heroes destined to defeat a demon lord, Toya Hojo awakens his hero power only to discover that… it’s an unlimited bath?

He was blessed with the power to create a bath that can be accessed anywhere, which seems to spell doom for his quest to defeat the demon lord. As he recovers from his shock, Toya slowly discovers the unique features of his power, which allow him to use it in ways he’d never dreamed of…

But will he ever get any bath time with Haruno Shinonome, the beautiful girl who was also summoned along with him?!

Purchase Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension Volume 1 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2ivHaDc

February 21, 2017

Sword Oratoria Volume 2

Is it Wrong to Try to Pick-Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria Volume 2

A room bathed in crimson red blood, the air choked with the smell of iron, and a shattered skull atop a dead adventurers corpse…

Thanks to Aiz and crew, the tumultuous events of Monsterphilia ended without incident, and they were finally able to relax-but only for a moment. Soon, they find themselves embroiled in a suspicious case of murder. As they begin to investigate, the ladies soon realize that they’re getting involved with a killer that’s more horrifying than they thought.

“What, is this…?”

In the midst of all this, they find a mysterious jewel that may connect to everything else. These events taking place above and below the surface will rock Orario to its core as the darkness lurking in the city bursts forth!

Purchase Sword Oratoria Volume 2 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2iFPWg2

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Psycome Volume 3

As the final exams for parole draw near, suddenly a transfer student appears! And the newcomer is none other than Kyousuke’s little sister, Ayaka Kamiya! Ayaka could not be happier with this reunion but Kyousuke is terrified. What’s more, he soon finds out that for the sake of meeting her beloved brother, Ayaka committed attempted murder. Considering Ayaka’s mental state, Kyousuke resolves himself to protect her from the pack of killers he calls classmates. But, if someone, let’s say Renko, were to find out that Kyousuke’s most important ‘Ayaka’ is his sister, there’ll be hell to pay… Facing dangers left and right, Kyousuke will have to be more resourceful than ever to get himself-and his sister-out in one piece.

Purchase Psycome Volume 3 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2iFRWVX

A Certain Magical Index Volume 10

A Certain Magical Index Volume 10

Seven days have passed since the start of the Daihasei Festival, one of the biggest events of Academy City. Everyone is participating–Seiri Fukiyose is helping coordinate the games, Komoe Tsukuyomi dresses for the part as she cheers for her students, and of course, famous Mikoto Misaka is blowing away the competition. Even Kamijou has appearances!

But a shadow has fallen across the celebrations: The Croce di Pietro. This magical artifact threatens the livelihoods of everyone Kamijou holds dear so he dashes off to try and bring Academy City back from the brink. But Oriana Thompson, the magician known as Route Disturb, and the Roman Catholic Church are determined to bring the bastion of science to its knees. Kamijou is going to need all the help he can get-and some luck for once wouldn’t hurt!

Purchase A Certain Magical Index Volume 10 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2jqv1z7

Konusuba God's Blessing on this Wonderful World Volume 1

Konosuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Volume 1 Oh! My Useless Goddess

Game loving shut-in Kazuma Sato’s life as a young schoolboy in Japan abruptly comes to an early end…or at least it was supposed to. When he opens his eyes, though, he sees a beautiful goddess that offers him a once in an after-lifetime chance to be reborn in a parallel world. The catch is that the world is violent and threatened by a growing evil! Fortunately, he can choose any one thing to bring with him. So he chooses the goddess, Aqua! And so his adventure with his gorgeous companion begins–if he could just get enough money and food to survive, keep his goddess out of trouble, and avoid grabbing the attention of the Demon King’s army!

Purchase Konosuba Volume 1 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2jipVCn

February 25, 2017

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Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Volume 2

Purchase Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Volume 2 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2iLneqU

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Occultic;Nine Volume 2

Purchase Occultic;Nine Volume 2 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2iDBdnA

February 28, 2017

Bakemonogatari Volume 2

Synopsis not available yet.

Purchase Bakemonogatari Volume 2 (Amazon Affiliate Link) – http://amzn.to/2jDwm2u

bakemonogatari volume 1 light novel review

Bakemonogatari Volume 1 Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel Bakemonogatari Volume 1 by Nisio Isin.
The Monster Tale begins. Weaving folklore, myth, and legend with acrobatic dialogue and unique characters.

Bakemonogatari Open Forum on English Light Novels.com
Open Forum: Bakemonogatari (Vol 1)

LIGHT NOVEL INFORMATION
TITLE: Bakemonogatari
AKA: 化物語
AUTHOR: Nisio Isin (NisiOisin)
ILLUSTRATOR: VOFAN
PUBLISHER (English): Vertical Inc. (http://www.vertical-inc.com/)
RELEASE DATE (English): December 20, 2017
PURCHASE (Amazon Affiliate Link): http://amzn.to/2fqVuKj

From the back cover;

There’s a girl at their school who is always ill. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn’t show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She’s pretty, and the boys take to whispering that she’s a cloistered princess. As the self-described worst loser in her class soon finds out, they just don’t know what a monster she is.

So begins a tale of mysterious maladies that are supernatural in origin yet deeply revealing of the human psyche, a set of case files as given to unexpected feeling as it is to irreverent humor. So begins the legendary novel that kicked off the MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

This first of three parts introduces Senjogahara and Hachikuji, and fans of the blockbuster prequel KIZUMONOGATARI will be delighted to meet their favorite crazies again: the weirdly reliable narrator Araragi, class president among class presidents Hanekawa, shady problem-solver Oshino, and a certain pale, blonde former vampire.

English Light Novel Releases for December 2016

Hey Everyone! Here are the official English light novel releases you can look forward to in December (and there’s lots of them).

December 3, 2016

Occultic;Nine Volume 1

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Q: Do you believe in ghosts?
A: Of course not!

Yuta Gamon, a young boy who lives in Kichijoji, runs an occult blog called “Kirikiri Basara.” He spends his days dreaming of making a fortune off his affiliate links. What starts off as a tiny feeling that something’s wrong develops into a case that goes beyond imagining. Suddenly, Yuta brings together the fates of nine strangers.

Black magic, the afterlife, psychics, fortune-telling, other dimensions, prophecies, hypnosis, urban legends…

The world is filled with flim-flam!

This is first book in the Paranormal NVL Occultic;Nine series, from the mind behind Steins;Gate and Chaos;Child! Now a hit anime, too!

Purchase Occultic;Nine Volume 1 via Amazon.com

Brave Chronicle Volume 1

Brave Chronicle Volume 1

Meet Kurono Kokuya, a student in the lowest rank at Star Gate Academy — the world’s cutting-edge training facility for starcerers, the beings who use starcery to protect the Earth from otherworld invasions. His childhood friend Yukihime Yukigane just happens to be the world’s strongest starcerer, and she never lets him forget that fact. One day, their days of peace are interrupted by a powerful threat from another world. Kokuya and Yukihime stand on the front lines, risking their lives to protect those they love, but will they be able to defeat the Dark Lord Redge and his cruel minions?

“You promised, remember?”

“Fine, fine, I’ll protect the world with you…”

Purchase Brave Chronicle Volume 1 from Amazon.com

My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World Volume 1

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One day out of nowhere, high schooler Yuichi Sakaki begins seeing words above people’s heads. It turns out to be the ability to see people’s true natures, which he names… Soul Reader!

(Actually, his big sister names it that.)

The next thing he knows, he’s surrounded by people with bizarre labels like “Zombie” “Vampire” and “Witch.” And before he can figure out what to do about that, he finds himself threatened by a beautiful girl, Natsuki, whose label is “Serial Killer”!

Fortunately, Yuichi is not unprepared. His big sister has been training him for this kind of thing all his life. The battle is about to unfold between the bloodthirsty killing machine… and the world’s strongest little brother!

Purchase My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World Volume 1 from Amazon.com

December 6, 2016

Naruto: Itachi’s Story, Vol. 2: Midnight

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A new series of prose novels, straight from the worldwide Naruto franchise. Naruto’s allies and enemies take center stage in these fast-paced adventures, with each volume focusing on a particular clan mate, ally, team…or villain.

Together with his sworn friend Shisui, Itachi takes on a mission to assassinate a spy in the village in order to join the Anbu. The rivalry between the Uchiha clan and the village grows ever more fierce, until finally death comes for his friend. Despairing at both his clan and the village, Itachi heads into the tragic night with his new eye and a fatal resolve. The hope and the dreams he spoke of to his brother… The gentle yet cruel truth awaits.

Purchase Itachi’s Story Vol. 2 from Amazon.com

December 16, 2016

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Volume 1

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Why are we doing this…?

When Haruhiro came to, he was in the darkness. Not knowing why was he here, or where “here” even was. With him were others who also remembered little more than their own names. What they found when they came out of the underground was a world that was “just like a game.” In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with others in the same situation as him, learns skills, and takes his first steps forward into the world of Grimgar as a trainee volunteer soldier.

Not knowing what awaits him… This is a tale of adventure born from the ashes.

Purchase Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Volume 1 from Amazon.com

December 17, 2016

My Little Sister Can Read Kanji Volume 1

My Little Sister Can Read Kanji

The year is 2202, and Japan has become the land of moe. Aspiring author Gin Imose and his little sister Kuroha are traveling to TOKYO to meet with the world famous author, Gai Odaira. Kuroha is uninterested in his orthodox literary style, and amazingly is able to read ancient modern Japanese books written in kanji!

This fateful encounter sets off a chain of events that could change the course of literary history. Could it be that, long ago, books could be about more than little sisters showing their panties and getting in compromising situations with their non-blood-related older brothers? Impossible! It’s hard to even imagine a Japan where everyone could read kanji and the Prime Minister was a 3D human being…

Purchase My Little Sister Can Read Kanji Volume 1 from Amazon.com

December 20, 2016

Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1

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A young priestess has formed her first adventuring party, but almost immediately they find themselves in distress. It’s the Goblin Slayer who comes to their rescue–a man who’s dedicated his life to the extermination of all goblins, by any means necessary. And when rumors of his feats begin to circulate, there’s no telling who might come calling next…

Purchase Goblin Slayer Vol. 1 from Amazon.com

Accel World, Vol. 8

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Haruyuki’s desperate battle with his friend Takumu has taken him to the brink, and he finally activates the Destiny, a purified version of the notorious Armor of Catastrophe. It’s light versus dark as their fierce fight continues, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. If Haruyuki can’t rid his friend of the sinister ISS kit that’s infected him, Takumu could be lost to the darkness forever. And he just might take Haruyuki with him…

Purchase Accel World Vol. 8 from Amazon.com

The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water, Vol. 2

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Having formed their tag-team partnership, Ayato and Julis begin polishing their skills and their teamwork in preparation for the Festa. But soon Ayato meets another girl–Kirin Toudou. She has long, silver hair and a petite charm–and despite her thirteen years of age, she’s one of the strongest fighters of Seidoukan Academy. She seems to like Ayato, but that’s not going to stop her from challenging him to a duel…

Purchase The Asterisk War Vol. 2 from Amazon.com

Baccano!, Vol. 3

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The year is 1931. A boy boards a train to visit his friend in New York. A woman in a jumpsuit boards a train to meet her employer in New York. And the conductor? He boards because it’s his job. If it had been any other day, they all would have gotten where they were going just fine. But it’s not any other day. The Rail Tracer is on the hunt. The gonzo tale of gangsters, immortals, and outrageous luck (both bad and good) speeds into its third volume!

Purchase Baccano! Vol. 3 from Amazon.com

Black Bullet, Vol. 5: Rentaro Satomi, Fugitive

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With the chaos of the Third Kanto Battle subsiding, peace is finally returning to the Tendo Civil Security Agency, and Rentaro, Kisara, Enju, and Tina are taking full advantage of the quiet. But when an old friend from Rentaro’s childhood reappears, their bright days turn suddenly dark–and Rentaro finds himself imprisoned for a senseless murder. He plans a desperate escape, but his enemies keep coming, and they are like nothing he’s ever fought before…

Purchase Black Bullet Vol. 5 from Amazon.com

The Devil Is a Part-Timer, Vol. 6

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The fast-food joint that the Devil King calls his workplace has reopened, now with a hip café space upstairs–the perfect chance for the overlord of all demons to earn a few new certifications and work his way up to management. Meanwhile, Chiho, whose love for the Devil King remains doggedly unrequited, discusses ways with Emi to learn how to master the Idea Link, a skill that could let her telepathically communicate across worlds and call for help whenever she makes contact with a nefarious demon…or angel, for that matter. Suzuno steps up to serve as her teacher…but her choice of training areas (a public bath) leaves the others to question her sanity. It’s the sixth volume of this low-wage high fantasy, where soap bubbles fly and everyone may come out less than squeaky clean!

Purchase The Devil is a Part-Timer Vol. 6 from Amazon.com

The Irregular at Magic High School, Vol. 3

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The Nine School Battle. Ever year in mid-July, students from magic high schools all over the country gather to participate in fierce competitions of magical skill. Miyuki Shiba is among the members of the team First High will send to the battle. The magical skill of the competitors will be a huge factor, but there’s another one-the tuning of their CADs. Luckily, they’ve got someone with them who specializes in the field-Miyuki’s older brother Tatsuya. But when the Nine School Battle is targeted by a sinister group, all the talent in the world may not be enough to secure victory…

Purchase The Irregular at Magic High School, Vol. 3 from Amazon.com

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 7

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Having triumphed in the War Game, Lilly, Welf, and Mikoto have forged new bonds with each other and with Bell, and the new-and-improved Hestia Familia is feeling distinctly more familial. But when Bell has to venture into the pleasure quarter of Orario to come to Mikoto’s aid, he’s soon tangled up in more intrigue than he bargained for. Ishtar Familia owns the night here, and none of Bell’s experience can prepare him for their courtesan wiles!

Purchase Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 7 From Amazon.com

No Game No Life, Vol. 5

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In the world of Disboard, everything is decided by games. Since arriving in this strange place, genius gamer siblings Sora and Shiro have risen to become king and queen of what’s left of Disboard’s humans. Their latest challenge is winning an unwinnable romance game against the races of Dhampir and Siren. To uncover the true strategy to beat this sadistic game of love, they head for the home of the angelic Flügel: the midair city of Avant Heim. But the Flügel are a hideously powerful race, created specifically to kill gods. Will things really go as planned?

Purchase No Game No Life Vol. 5 from Amazon.com

Sword Art Online Vol. 9

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Kirito awakens in a vast, fantastical forest filled with towering trees. In his search for clues to the truth of his surroundings, he encounters a young boy who seems to know him. He ought to be a simple NPC, but the depth of his emotions seem no different than a human. As they search for the boy’s parents, Kirito finds a peculiar memory returning to him. A memory from his own childhood, of this boy and a girl, too, with golden hair, and a name he should have never forgotten–Alice.

Purchase Sword Art Online Vol. 9 from Amazon.com

BAKEMONOGATARI, Part 1: Monster Tale

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There’s a girl at their school who is always ill. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn’t show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She’s pretty, and the boys take to whispering that she’s a cloistered princess. As the self-described worst loser in her class soon finds out, they just don’t know what a monster she is.

So begins a tale of mysterious maladies that are supernatural in origin yet deeply revealing of the human psyche, a set of case files as given to unexpected feeling as it is to irreverent humor. So begins the legendary novel that kicked off the MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

This first of three parts introduces Senjogahara and Hachikuji, and fans of the blockbuster prequel KIZUMONOGATARI will be delighted to meet their favorite crazies again: the weirdly reliable narrator Araragi, class president among class presidents Hanekawa, shady problem-solver Oshino, and a certain pale, blonde former vampire.

Purchase Bakemonogatari Part 1 from Amazon.com