English Light Novel Releases for March 2017

March 3rd

My Little Sister Can Read Kanji: Volume 2

23rd century Japan… a land overflowing with moe, where little sister vs big sister vs childhood friend are the major questions of society… Or at least it was, until Gin and his sisters somehow changed the future! Now the prime minister is some old guy with glasses and all the signs are written in indecipherable kanji! This is bad! There’s got to be some way to change the future back to the way it should be!

Purchase My Little Sister can Read Kanji Volume 2 http://amzn.to/2lwqzPw

March 7th

Naruto: Sasuke’s Story: Sunrise

Sasuke, ally and friend to Naruto and brother to Itachi, hits the road to find the root of the evil Itachi faced in this sequel to Itachi’s story.

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.

The Great Ninja War has ended, but to untangle the mystery that remains, Sasuke sets out on a journey—a journey that he hopes will allow him to atone for his sins. During his travels, those ninja faithful to the avenger Sasuke bring about tragedy. Meanwhile danger closes in on the villages of Konoha, Kiri, and Kumo, where red eyes burn with hatred. What is the future Sasuke stares down?

Purchase Naruto: Sasuke’s Story http://amzn.to/2leP0OD

March 15th

Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension: Volume 2: The Fervent Sand Baths

Volume 2 of the series continues with the adventures in the desert!

Purchase Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension Volume 2 http://amzn.to/2ljXYKy

March 17

I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse: Volume 2

Rekka has somehow managed to survive that crazy day, and tries to settle down into a new daily life with Satsuki, Iris, and Harissa, but he doesn’t even get a moment’s chance to catch his breath! Yet again, he’s thrown into stories where he has no choice but to rescue the damsel in distress, this time in a village closed off beneath the surface of the Earth!

Purchase I Saved Too Many Girls and Cause the Apocalypse Volume 2 http://amzn.to/2lentgw

March 21st

Accel World Volume 9

“I will never forgive you. I will kill you. I will continue to kill you until all your Burst Points are gone and you vanish from the accelerated world.”

Having turned into Chrome Disaster once more, Haruyuki slaughters with the force of a vengeful god the avatars who made Ash Roller suffer. And then he fuses completely with the Armor of Catastrophe, down to his deepest depths. Silver Crow soars above the accelerated world, seeking out enemies to destroy. For his next target, he turns the spearhead of his hatred toward the creators of the ISS kit, the Acceleration Research Society.

A berserker no one can control. Before this raging figure, a long avatar stands to block his way. His name: Green Grandé. The absolute defense of the Green King, bearer of the most powerful shield, the Strife, collides fiercely with the madness of the cursed avatar! The conclusion to the Armor of Catastrophe arc!

Purchase Accel World Volume 9 http://amzn.to/2l5fCAZ

Durarara!! Volume 6

After being framed by Izaya and forced to become fugitive on the run, Shizuo. Forced to rethink his position and circumstances, Mikado. Only now realizing the predicaments of his friends, Masaomi. Unaware of everything going on as she flees her house, Anri. Events going far beyond anything she could have imagined, Akane. Unable to conceal her excitement at coming into contact with the Black Rider, a girl. Continuing to wait anxiously at home, Shinra. Scheming so everything goes his way, Aoba. Working towards enacting his revenge on the Dollars, Chikage. And lastly, the person who will save the Headless Rider is–Ikebukuro is warping again today in the next installment of Durarara!!

Purchase Durarara!! Volume 6 http://amzn.to/2lwDdOq

Kingdom Hearts the Novel

On the Destiny Islands, three children–Sora, Riku, and Kairi–are living out their peaceful, carefree lives while yearning for whatever lies beyond the great ocean. But one night, an unexpected disaster takes place, and the three are torn from each other and their island home. Meanwhile, at Disney Castle, Donald Duck and the other castle residents are in an uproar upon discovering King Mickey has suddenly gone missing. When fate brings them together, Sora, Donald, and Goofy set out on a grand Disney adventure to find their friends!

Purchase Kingdom Hearts the Novel http://amzn.to/2mqAFyG

Log Horizon Volume 7

Shiroe left Akiba in search of 8,000,000,000,000 gold coins, setting off for the vast north lands. But, what he found there was a warning of a large scale raid about to occur.

In Akiba’s unstable situation, Shiroe’s chosen raid members include the galactic idol Tetora, the leader of Silver Sword who refused to take part in the round table council, Massachusetts, and the man he defeated in Susukino who still hates him, Demiquas.

…Is everything really going to be alright?

Purchase Log Horizon Volume 7 http://amzn.to/2kS2gfW

Re:Zero Volume 3

–Let’s get this story moving. Alongside the people most important to him, a boy goes out to meet the same sunrise once more. Strengthening his resolve, Subaru returns to his first day in the mansion. Repeating his loop in the Roswaal household armed with his memories, Subaru attempts to only make the optimal decisions to avoid another tragedy, but his fear and obsession with evading death and failure are slowly warping him. While Subaru slowly falls apart trying to save everyone…who will save Subaru…?

Purchase Re:Zero Volume 3 http://amzn.to/2mcUIEL

March 23rd

In Another World With My Smartphone: Volume 1

After a freak accident involving some lightning winds up zapping him dead, 15-year-old Mochizuki Touya wakes up to find himself face-to-face with God. “I am afraid to say that I have made a bit of a blunder…” laments the old coot. But all is not lost! God says that he can reincarnate Touya into a world of fantasy, and as a bonus, he gets to bring his smartphone along with! So begins Touya’s adventure in a new, anachronistic pseudo-medieval world. Friends! Laughs! Tears! Inexplicable Deus ex Machina! He sets off on a journey full of wonder as he absentmindedly travels from place to place, following whatever goal catches his fancy. The curtains lift on an epic tale of swords, sorcery, and smartphone apps!

Purchase In Another World With My Smartphone Volume 1 http://amzn.to/2mcEloU

English Light Novel Releases for November 2016

So instead of just posting my weekly light novel reviews, I thought I’d also begin a regular series detailing the light novel releases for each month. These are of official English releases of light novels licensed from Japan.

November 1, 2016

Naruto: Itachi’s Story, Vol. 1: Daylight

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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.

Uchiha Itachi, four years of age. With the hell of war burned into his eyes, the boy makes a resolution: he will rid this world of all violence. The birth of Sasuke, meeting his friend Shisui, the academy, genin, chunin, and then the Anbu—Itachi races down the path of glory toward his dream of becoming the first Uchiha Hokage, unaware of the darkness that lies ahead…

Purchase Itachi’s Story Vol. 1 from Amazon.com

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria, Vol. 1

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Aiz Wallenstein, the Sword Princess, is known as one of the most powerful warriors from one of the most powerful groups in the city of Orario: Loki Familia. With them, she ventures into the deepest parts of the labyrinthine Dungeon beneath the city, stalking the monstrous denizens that lurk there and vanquishing them with the blazing light of her sword. But when she meets a certain white-haired boy, the encounter will change both of them forever…

Purchase Sword Oratoria Vol. 1 from Amazon.com

November 8, 2016

Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen Volume 3

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Not only Guren but his closest allies among the Imperial Demons have accepted forbidden power, and the merciless Hiragi Clan orders them to go after its once-favorite but treacherous daughter Mahiru. The vampires, however, are ready to show that no human faction stands a chance against them.

Christmas is finally here, an apocalyptic time of year for all good boys and girls.

Purchase Seraph of the End Vol. 3 from Amazon.com

November 15, 2016

A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 9

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The Daihasei Festival–a huge athletics festival attended by every school in Academy City, where the superpowered students attending these institutions gather to compete in a wide variety of competitions. And of course, Touma Kamijou is participating. His terrible luck is still in full effect–he’s gnawed on by a famished Index, castigated by a representative of the festival management committee, and zapped mid-competition by none other than Mikoto Misaka. But Academy city’s about to have a much bigger problem–and her name is Oriana Thomson.

Purchase A Certain Magical Index Vol. 9 from Amazon.com

Durarara!!, Vol. 5

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Ikebukuro, Tokyo. All kinds of people are showing up to settle their scores with Izaya Orihara the information broker. A pair of foreigners who specialize in odd jobs. A runaway girl still looking for her Shizuo. A fellow dressed like a bartender who looks like he’s had better days. A womanizer set on getting his revenge against the Dollars. An underground doctor waiting for someone to come home. A class representative with a clueless classmate pal and a target on his back. And a headless rider who can’t help getting sucked into trouble. Question is, is this spring break something special, or is this just business as usual in Ikebukuro?

Purchase Durarara!! Vol. 5 from Amazon.com

Log Horizon, Vol. 6

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The unthinkable has happened–murder in the city of Akiba. The Libra Festival’s events have left Akatsuki dispirited. Despairing and confused, she wanders the city in search of the murderer and a chance to gain the power and recognition she craves–but feelings alone will not be enough. A new chapter in the Log Horizon epic begins!

Purchase Log Horizon Vol. 6 from Amazon.com

Re:ZERO, Vol. 2

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Breaking free of his death loop in the royal city, Subaru awakes in an opulent mansion, being tended to by the twin maids Ram and Rem. After sustaining terrible injuries, he has been taken to the home of the Margrave Roswaal, Emilia’s guardian. The two maids, along with the young librarian Beatrice, are the sole guardians of the mansion’s forbidden library, but their quiet, peaceful days come to a violent end when another cycle of death begins! Subaru is the only one who remembers the time he’s spent with the people he cares about, but will he be able to save them?

Purchase Re:Zero Vol. 2 from Amazon.com

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol. 3: Endurance

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It’s the master tactician of the ruthless Galactic Empire versus the Free Planets Alliance in Japan’s greatest space opera epic!

In the thirty-sixth century, humanity has conquered the galaxy and colonized countless star systems. The Galactic Empire, modeled along Prussian lines, and the democratic Free Planets Alliance are at war, and the fate of every human being in the universe hangs in the balance. This classic Japanese space opera, adapted into a legendary anime, is finally available in English for the first time.

A grand scheme for retaking Iserlohn is delivered to Reinhard, who with renewed determination seeks to become ruler of the galaxy and to fulfill the oath he made with a dear, departed friend. But what are the aims of Phezzan, the third force at work behind the scenes? Meanwhile, no sooner is Yang breathing a sigh of relief when Julian returns from his first combat mission than he is summoned to an inquest and departs for the capital of the alliance. As if waiting for this opportunity to strike, however, the imperial military’s fortress appears right at the gates of Iserlohn. The battle between two gigantic fortresses begins!

Purchase Legend of Galactic Heroes Vol. 3 from Amazon.com

November 22, 2016

The Isolator, Vol. 3: The Trancer

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Having successfully helped destroy two of the evil Ruby Eyes, Minoru, the Isolator, is recruited by the Syndicate, a secret organization dedicated to their eradication. He teams up with Suu Komura, the Refractor, a young girl said to be the Syndicate’s most powerful member, to attack a secret stronghold of the Ruby Eyes. Their target is the most fearsome opponent they’ve ever faced: the Liquidizer, but their enemy is not what they expected…

Purchase The Isolator Vol. 3 from Amazon.com

The Rising of the Shield Hero Volume 06

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After their battle with Glass, Naofumi and the other heroes have a meeting with the queen and Naofumi is shocked to learn about the seven star heroes. Still reeling from this revelation, more drama unfolds on the islands before Naofumi and his party can return to Melromarc. He meets Rishia, who is betrayed by Itsuki and his party members. Naofumi sympathizes with her and invites her to join his party. Eventually, Naofumi discovers that she has a talent for magic, but before they can develop her powers, they are needed elsewhere. A massive monster bearing the appearance of a giant tortoise must be defeated. The monster is so powerful that even the mightiest adventurers cannot defeat him―so what hope is there for Naofumi?

Purchase The Rising of the Shield Hero Vol. 6 from Amazon.com

Log Horizon Volume 4 Light Novel Review

Light novel review of Log Horizon Volume 4 by Mamare Touno
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PURCHASE Log Horizon Volume 4 (Amazon Affiliate Link)
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From the back cover;

The stronghold of Akiba faces a new threat: a mighty goblin army! In their efforts to rebuild the city, the adventurers of Elder Tales had neglected important quests, and now they reap the consequences. With the revelation that in-game death leads to memory loss of the real world, the stakes have never been higher. And will cutthroat politics destroy tenuous new alliances before the real battle even begins?


Log Horizon Volume 2 | Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel, Log Horizon, Volume 2 by Mamare Touno.

PURCHASE Log Horizon, Vol.2 (Amazon Affiliate Link)

From the Back Cover:

Even though peace has seemingly been restored to Akiba, unrest churns beneath its surface. Learning that two of his students–the twins Tohya and Minori–have been bound to an unscrupulous guild, Shiroe makes his bid to bring order to the lawless streets. Are his band of handpicked veterans up to the task…?

Log Horizon Volume 1 | Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel Log Horizon Vol. 1, The Beginning of Another World, by Mamare Touno.

From the Back Cover:

Thirty thousand Japanese gamers awake one day to discover that the fantasy world of Elder Tales, an MMORPG that was formerly their collective hobby, has become their cold hard reality. Severed from their everyday lives, they confront a new horizon filled with ravenous monsters, flavorless food, and the inability to die! Amid the chaos, veteran gamer Shiroe gathers his friends, the guardian Naotsugu and the assassin Akatsuki, and together they embark on an adventure to change the world as they know it!

Anime I’m Currently Watching – Log Horizon

Since MMORPGs (Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games) became a thing, anime has had series asking the question, What happens when the game becomes far more than a game?

_hackSIGNAn older series to pose this question was the multimedia project .Hack//Sign, which incorporated an anime, manga, and video game series all at the same time. In the anime, a single character finds they are unable to log off. The story revolves around this mysterious player and the deeper mysteries surrounding the game’s origin and purpose.

5fe886f3daa6485efecf1ea6dc5207931343265548_fullMore recently, a series to have huge success, was Sword Art Online. In this series, players interacted with the game via a virtual reality helmet. The creator of the game goes a bit batsh!t crazy and traps all the players inside the game. If they die in the game, they die in real life. If someone disconnects them from the game in real life, they will also die. The only way to escape is to win the game by defeating the ninety-nine floors of the main dungeon.

I really enjoyed Sword Art. So when I heard a similar series had been released, called Log Horizon, I had to check it out.

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Initially my impression was that Log Horizon was just another Sword Art clone. In the anime, players of a MMORPG called Ender’s Tale find themselves waking up in the game world. This occurs just after a new update is added to the game.

Several episodes in, I realized though Log Horizon started from a similar place, it had something much different to say.

In Sword Art, the players have a goal, right from day one. They know why they are stuck, they know the basic rules of how they are stuck, and they know what they must do to escape. The series focuses on the characters as they level up, find allies, and face off against challenging odds to win the game.

In Log Horizon, the situation is very different.

The players have no idea how they ended up in the game world. In fact, unlike Sword Art where players played the game at all times as they though were truly “living” it, Elder’s Tale was a more traditional game where players sat at their computer and manipulated a character on screen.

So the players waking up “living” in the game world is far stranger and more disorienting.

Log Horizon also deals with the hopelessness and despondency people face when their life has no goal or purpose. Unlike Sword Art, even if you die in Log Horizon, you revive just as normal. So even death lacks a consequence or meaning.

Log Horizon is much more about politics, morals, and how to build a new society with order and rules when you’re starting point is pure chaos.

I’m a little halfway through the series and loving it! Though the character designs are a little drab and/or cliche, the actual characters themselves are cool and the story is engaging. I especially appreciate how they keep comparing how things worked in the game, compared to how they operate now it’s a living world. There’s a lot of thought given to the mechanics and back story of Elder’s Tale and it gives added depth to the series. I almost wish Elder’s Tale was a real game!

So if you dig the whole genre of characters trapped in an RPG, check out Log Horizon and share your thoughts.

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