LN: Mushoku Tensi

Well, for some values of light… starting from it’s origins as a web novel, there are over 280 chapters, running 4,000 – 5,000 words each. At well north of a million words (even without the side-stories), it’s about 4 western-length novels or 1.5 Robert Jordan novels. It is also complete, although there’s room for sequels, and the author is still writing side-stories in the main canon.

I will take a bit getting into the setting, because I want to be clear: it’s the best of the Japanese LN’s that I’ve ever read. It’s close enough to the usual tropes and events to be accessible, but it does not lend itself to being the 5000th iteration of any of them. Probably the strongest trope is that the protagonist is genre savvy, and his internal monologue is full of anime references. Many other tropes appear, but they’re not substituted for story; there’s no feeling that the author was going down the list, mumbling “meet-cute, check; child-hood friend, check; face-heel turn, check….”

Moreover, it’s an unpredictable story, with arcs that last multiple volumes. People enter the story, leave for several volumes, and then come back naturally. Sometimes they’ve changed, sometimes they haven’t. Things which happen may not be explained right away, or have unexpected consequences years later. Through the twenty-plus years covered by the story, there are probably only two such contrived incidences; only one really doesn’t make sense. Which for LN’s of this pedigree and length, is damned amazing, IMHO.

So what is it about? Swords, sorcery, and a transplanted hikkimori:

A 34-year-old NEET otaku was chased out from his house by his family. This virgin, plump, unattractive, and penniless nice guy found that his life was heading towards a dead end. He recalled that his life could actually become much better if he can get over the dark history of his life.

Just when he was at the point of regret, he saw a truck moving at a high speed with 3 high school students in its path. Mustering all his strength, he saves them but ended up getting run over by the truck, which kills him.

The next time he opens his eyes, he had reincarnated to a world of swords and magic, as Rudeus Greyrat. Born to a new world and a new life, Rudeus declared, “This time, I’ll really live my life to the fullest with no regrets!” Thus begins the journey of a newly made man.

This glosses over a lot. I’ll be blunt: his siblings chased him out, not because they’re assholes, but because he was anything but a nice guy. In fact, while they’re attending their parents’ funeral, he’s sitting at home fapping to an AV. Small wonder his brother took a baseball bat to his laptop… and him.
Continue reading

Posted in Full-size Novels, Light J-Novels | Tagged | Leave a comment

Star Warts

Ok, I’m going to ruffle some feathers here.

I didn’t like the new Star Wars movie very much. Yes, it was better than the prequels, but that damns with faint praise. What is the problem with it? Well, in the first place, we replaced one “I know what’s best” director in George Lucas, with another in J.J. Abrams. Successful at the box office, yes, but not very satisfying. I’ll say this — he delivers an entertaining movie, but after it’s over and done with, you realize it’s like cotton candy: sugary and tastes good, but no value whatsoever.

Never mind that Abrams knows nothing about physics; he doesn’t even respect the physics of the fictional universes he’s working in. If violating canon makes for a more exciting action scene, Abrams takes the short cut to adrenaline, and the rules of your universe be damned. Launch from a landing bay directly into lightspeed? Sure. Come out of lightspeed at point-blank range in an atmosphere to avoid a planetary shield? No problem (aside from nearly going splat). And…. oh wait, that’s a big spoiler.

Head below the fold, but be warned, MASSIVELY spoiler-laden. Continue reading

Posted in Movies and TV | 5 Comments

Since you ask…

…yes, as a matter of fact, I did forget to pay my hosting bills. Credit card expired, and I didn’t notice the emails from them or anyone else. The notices went to an old email I rarely monitor, and the other emails from folks inquiring about my absence were just overlooked because… well, they were overlooked.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Holidays, woo hoo. Seasons greetings everyone. Spent a lot of time playing Everquest; gotten back into it on a progression server (which starts over with the original game and releases expansion content in chronological order.) Taken up a lot of my time, but I’ve gotten…. maybe not bored, but dissatisfied with it.

Was at Fry’s yesterday, so I picked up Girls Bravo and Utawarerumano. Not decided whether I’m going to watch them or give them as presents.

Weak anime season is weak. Gotten bored with it. Every now and then I’ll binge and catch up. Still debating whether Asterisk or Cavalry are doing the better job of “combat harem with redhead princess” stories. They’re so similar, I have trouble remembering which is what.

Gotten into the Madan no Ou to Vanadis light novels; read them all over the last few weeks. Thought it might make a decent anime…what, it was, in 2014? Hm. Robert will have it in Feb. if it makes release. I expect to be purely annoyed by the female knight Lim… as written, her personality is somewhat “Saber-ish” but as drawn, she’s a little blonde cutie. Two supporting characters die at different times (the first may occur in the anime; the second will not). The first had me immediately and cynically in mind of Rocky, but the second…

…oh damn, the second. That hurt. Like “sad girls in snow” / Kanon 2006 level. It still hurts, and I think it’s because of the situational parallels to my mother’s death watch. Which I confess, had nothing to do with a crowning moment of awesome in battle. (Said to keep this from being too much “feels”).

Well anyway, to bury the lede: “I’m alive.”

Posted in Life, etc., The Real World | 1 Comment

35th Test Platoon

I don’t have a whole lot to say, except that I stopped reading the LN’s at the point where the last week’s episode ended. So this was all new territory to me. And to say that I didn’t see any of that coming is an understatement. Well, technically, the run-up to the last bit had me going, “um, did they just…” And then she rolled over and I cracked up. That approach is about what I expected from Suginami!

Posted in All Reviews, Snap Reviews | Tagged | 2 Comments

So Far… Enh. (update)

This season isn’t shaping up to be as bad as the usual suspects claimed… but it’s not looking great either. It’s too early to tell for sure, but our one possibility for a breakout hit is currently Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, or A Tale of Worst One according to it’s Engrishy translation. Asterisk War takes the same formula of a blazing hot redhead (heh, I kill me) with a Japanese guy, and turns it into junk, while Comet Lucifer is about as confused as they come. I was intrigued by Owarimonogatari, and disappointed by Heavy Object. At least Ushio and Tora looks to being continuing into the new season. Also, I have no idea where Underwater Ray Romano, uh, I mean Utawarerumono, is going — i never saw the original, either, so I have no expectations.

I understand that there’s also a couple of other shows about sports, divine lolis, non-AMA (or even JMA) approved doctors, colorful apps that should be deleted, colorless apps that should be deleted, brainless bodies trained in chivalry, and diabolk reverse harems. I have no interest in those, and had to drink heavily this weekend to forget ever watching the first episode of one of them. Fortunately, I mostly succeeded.

So, in the descending order that they impressed me –positively, that is:
Continue reading

Posted in All Reviews, Snap Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Anthem

And my theme song, henceforth.

We Don’t Run

Posted in Life, etc., Random Nonsense | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Yet Another One Bites the Dust?

Just spotted over at Crunchy: Manglobe going under? Well they haven’t had any standout hits lately, but I hadn’t thought they were doing that bad. On the other hand, they have no series listed for this season…

Posted in Anime Industry | Tagged | 3 Comments