Daybreak on Hyperion (LN)

I know, I know, every story I run across is the greatest Light Novel ever. I refuse to say that about this story, because not enough of it has been written yet! More! MORE!

Why? Well, to start with, it’s not really a “Light Novel.” It’s an English Language original, and it’s written in the Western style. There’s no guessing who said something because the quote is before the mood text. Setting descriptions are complete, without being verbose. And the character descriptions aren’t simple tropes or tags, like “yandere” or the like. Hyperion is now in its third volume, and at a cliffhanger, not of danger, heroics, and derring-do, but of characterization and personal relationships. Something is going to happen. Just what is anyone’s guess.

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Konosuba (update)

(Update: at the end of the last episode, a second season was announced.)

The Farce is strong with this one.

Kazuma, a gamer NEET (well, not quite, he goes to high school) boy goes out to buy a new game and figure; sees a girl about to get run over by a truck, and leaps to push her out of the way. Ends up dead, and he’s awarded (by a cute goddess) the chance to be reborn in another world as an adventurer, to fight the Devil King. “So, at least I saved the girl, and that was worth it.”

“Not exactly…” says the goddess. “The tractor would have stopped in time to miss her.”

“Tractor?”

“Farm tractor. Not truck. But you were convinced it was a truck so you ended up dying from shock.”

“It gave me a heart attack???”

“Well, no. But the shock caused you to pee your pants in fear. So the girl and farmer laughed at you.”

“Augh!”

“So then an ambulance was called. And the paramedics laughed at you.”

“I died from embarrassment?”

“Well, that didn’t kill you.”

“What?”

“Your parents arrived at the emergency room and burst out laughing. That gave you a heart attack and killed you!”

“AUUUUUUGGGHHH!”

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Hmm.

Well, I didn’t see that Asterisk War got a second cour, excuse me, season. Now which redhead, fire-powered girl was that one? The spirit contractor? I forget…

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Dayum

I’m just not sure what else to say. The current season is so crappy i’m hitting the unwatched pile. So, to start with, Girls Bravo.

The banana scene. Neither words nor stills do it justice. Just…Dayum. No nudity, but consider it NSFW….

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Without Further Comment

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Random Thoughts

Because I’m too lazy to write a real article.

Going to early vote tomorrow. Think I’m going to vote Cruz. Favorite son and all that, but the real reason is I can chill and watch Trump through the general election and see if he’s going to say or do something stupid… not that there’s a chance I’d vote Dem in the general election, but there’s no way in hell I’m voting for “Amnesty” Rubio, so Cruz is the only anti-Trump left. Never been so happy for a long primary season; I’m not sure I trust Trump; man of conviction or demagogue? I know which way I’d bet…and a long season gives him time for the mask to slip.

Edit: I’m just too slow. I’m always getting to Steven’s place after he’s locked the thread, or said “no topic drift!”

After that, I’m going to Grand Prix Houston, for Magic the Gathering. Not competing in the main event as I’m not actively buying cards (it’s a Standard event, meaning only the last two years of cards are legal). Might play some side events, check out the vendors and just waste time. And then I just might swing over to the other end of the George R. Brown Convention Center. I’ve never gone to Anime Matsuri, but I can think of a few reasons…. Maybe I’ll grab a bite while I’m there. Interestingly, the prizes are better for MTG at Anime Matsuri, except for the big events.

Not doing any more Everquest. Finally got tired of the skewed effort/reward. Still doing lots of Minecraft.

Havent’ watched the last episode of RWBY yet. I kind of dread it, since I made the mistake of reading the writeup over at Brickmuppet’s. Not surprised though; anyone who paid attention to the OP visuals and song knew that a bad end was coming.

Bought the first few episodes of Lord Marksman and Vanadis (see the LN writeup here). Disappointing. One good thing: Lim wasn’t the cutesy girl; that turned out to be Titta. Overall, they made the same mistake as in GATE, in that a lot of the story was cut to speed it up and cover as much as possible. This really hurt the first episode, which should have been two parts; it stripped some of the personality development. Worse, the animators decided to tell, not show, the battle tactics. Well, they sort of showed –they replaced the soldiers with abstracted chess pieces, with some of them resembling the main characters, and then narrated it. Ugh. Female knights don’t seem to wear much armor, and there was much gainaxing to be had. The animation and CGI quality was pretty decent though, the horses looked a little wonky.

Reading the afterwords of a couple of the LN’s tells me how much the Japanese publishing system is messed up. The author’s original plan was for a guy archer and girl swordswoman; which was the case. However, the other Vanadis (girls with magical weapons) were created because the publisher demanded them. This changed the entire tenor of the novels, IMHO, and introduced a class dynamic that the author ignored. Specifically, the Vandis are all young girls (roughly teens/twenties), chosen by the (intelligent) weapons. There are no old Vandis; the draconic weapons move to new wielders of their own choice. By Zhected tradition, this makes them nobles, the rulers of duchies and second in authority only to the King. Of course, there is a strong bureaucracy to help them, but the reality is that they’re term-limited by the weapons, and there’s lots of other nobles to counterbalance them.

So what happens when their term is up? What’s the retirement plan? Either they’re all dying in battle, or going into a convent. What you’d think would be happening is that they’d be politicking for husbands. Given that the weapons only seem to pick cute, athletic (mostly) girls, they should be fairly eligible brides. It’s totally ignored.

I hate inept world-building…

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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.
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