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Posts Tagged ‘light novels

I seem to have mixed up the caption and the alt tag. Oops!

Girls who are part robot confuse my boy parts.

The latest light novel to anime conversion is Infinite Stratos, a relatively new and unknown series by rising author Yumizuru Izuru. The science fiction series has sold 400,000 total copies over five books so far, which is a modest success but nothing to write home about – for comparison, the To Aru Majutsu no Index novels have sold 7.7 million over 20 books.

Infinite Stratos is about a world where a new type of powered suit can only be operated by women. This newtechnology, known as the Infinite Stratos (IS), leads to a revolution in society, changing the world into a matriarchy. But, since there are Rules about these things, a boy named Orimura Ichika accidentally activates an IS system and becomes instantly famous. “The only boy in the world who can use an IS” is immediately drafted into an elite IS pilot academy where, because there are Rules about these things, he runs into a lot of his childhood friends amidst the gaggle of cute girls who are all fascinated or threatened by his presence.

All of this is pretty much an excuse to have a high school romcom/robots hybrid, with a Strike Witches-style twist where the girls are hybridized with the mecha. There also seems to be a shortage of pants, judging from the book covers, but I am strangely okay with that.

The most interesting thing announced so far about this anime is that it’s going to have Kikuchi Yasuhito (Macross Frontier) at the helm, while Eight Bit (Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime) will handle the animation. I have a lot of faith in those two names, and that upped my assessment of this announcement from “another light novel to throw into the pile” to “This could explode in popularity like K-On!” Time will tell.

How can you resist that face? Oh right, she breathes fire.

Good names, mostly...

Dragon Crisis, come on down, you’re the next contestant on “Let’s Make a Light Novel Into an Anime!” Kizaki Kaya’s fantasy novels are on the fast track to the anime world, and a lot of anime veterans are conducting the train.

The above image from Shueisha’s homepage highlights the three major announcements: Tachibana Hideki (Bleach: Memories of Nobody, a few episodes of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun) will be directing the project, Kurata Hideyuki (Kamichu! and R.O.D.) will be the lead writer, and Ishihama Masashi (Welcome to the Space Show, R.O.D.) will adapt the character designs to animation. Studio Deen (also known as Sunrise Jr.) will handle the animation.

As you might have guessed from the title, Dragon Crisis is the story of a treasure hunting boy, his second cousin, and the young dragon girl they find in a box. It’s very reminiscent of To Aru Majutsu no Index in setting and tone, with a modern fantasy vibe and the usual Japanese spice of romantic comedy. Will it be as watchable as Index? We’ll find out soon.


Not shown: zombies

The anime industry may be jumping on the zombie bandwagon a bit late, but when they hop on a bandwagon, they do it with both feet. On the heels of the upcoming Highschool of the Dead anime comes the announcement that the action-fantasy light novel series Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (“Is this a zombie?”) has an anime adaptation in the works.

From the material available, it looks like this series has more to do with Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao than it has to do with George Romero-style horror. The story starts when young high school boy Aikawa Ayumu dies at the hands of a serial killer. His corpse is turned into a zombie by a cute necromancer (oh, Japan, you’ll add “cute” to anything), but far from becoming a mindless shambling killer, he goes the Buso Renkin route. With all sorts of superhuman abilities that come from his newly immortal body, he becomes embroiled in all kinds of crazy battles, with chainsaw-wielding magical girls and rival vampire ninja clans suddenly popping up everywhere.

This sounds like it could be legendarily stupid, wildly entertaining, or both – we’ll find out soon.

I wonder how many light novels are left without anime adaptations?

Image from AkibaBlog.

All of you little sister fans got a treat today, when the light novel series Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (“There’s no way my little sister is this cute”) announced that an anime adaptation is in the works. The novels, written by Fushimi Tsukasa, follow a boy named Kousaka Kyousuke and his little sister Kirino. Kyousuke’s a regular high school boy, while his little sister juggles life as a successful teen model, popular honors student, and closeted otaku. What makes her shameful secret even worse is that she’s into moe games and anime about little sisters, which is the source of more than a little awkwardness once he finds out. It’s mildly similar to the Nogizaka Haruka series, but with a regular dude and his little sister instead of an uninteresting little nerd and Ms. Perfect.

The whole thing looks like it could be fun little subculture comedy, free of the pedantry of Genshiken and free of Nogizaka Haruka, one of my least favorite characters in the past decade. I’ll have to read the novels to be sure, but this looks like exactly the kind of series I like: a level-headed main character who isn’t a wishy-washy dweeb encounters a strange new world and slowly starts getting sucked into it.

Only the producer and some Aniplex involvement have been announced so far, but a more comprehensive staff announcement will be made next week, when the sixth novel is released.

Oh lord.MM! just became another entry in the “Light novels Dom should probably check out” file, since the publisher of Comic Alive just announced a TV anime project for the risque comedy.

MM! is one of those books that’s hard to explain to your friends – it’s about a young boy named Sado Tarou (A pun on “Sadist Boy”), who has an abnormal problem in his love life. He gets so excited by being verbally and physically abused, he’s afraid it’ll interfere with his ability to get a girlfriend and live a normal life. To find a cure for his masochism he goes to Isurugi Mio’s volunteer club, which claims to be able to fix any student’s problems, no matter how weird or freaky. Unfortunately for him, Mio is more than a little sadistic, so he’s in for a rough ride if he ever wants to live a normal life! And, because there are Rules about this kind of thing, poor Tarou ends up gathering a gaggle of girls who constantly make life more confusing for the bewildered young lad.

The anime doesn’t have a time frame, cast, or staff announced yet, but the drama CD had a pretty stellar cast – we’ll see if they can keep any of them for the anime, or if they’ll have to go the Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu route and shake up the entire cast.

This is the image I found that is still safe for work.

Image from Media Factory.

Today’s entry in the “yet another light novel series to be adapted into a TV anime” listings is Asobi ni Iku Yo! (“Let’s go play!”), an Urusei Yatsura variation. For those younglings who don’t know what Urusei Yatsura is, that means that Asobi ni Iku Yo! is a romantic comedy about an ordinary high school boy who meets up with a beautiful alien and proceeds to have wacky adventures. Instead of the Japanese/Chinese mythology theme of UY, the aliens of Asobi ni Iku Yo! have animal ears and tend to be called silly things like “Kyaatias” (a pun on “Cat Ears”), Rabbitians, and Melmacs.

I’m not exactly chomping at the bit waiting for this anime to be made, but announcements like these remind me just how clueless I am about the light novel market. I’ve never heard of this before, even though it’s been around since 2003 and has a whole bunch of peripheral merchandise already – according to the Japanese wikipedia entry I’m looking at right now, there’s a 6-volume manga, a few drama CDs, and a video game already out for the series, which has been published since 2003.

What other light novels am I missing? I’m going to have to start digging through the light novel rankings to make sure I find the next Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu before I miss out!


"Sorry I'm so late!"

The part of the Internet still devoted to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya exploded today at news from The Sneaker magazine (home of Trinity Blood and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), which declares that an excerpt of the next Haruhi novel will appear in the April issue of the magazine after a long, long hiatus. The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Kyougaku) was originally scheduled for a June 2007 release, but has become one of the more infamously delayed works in otaku culture.

Since we’re sneaking up on the third anniversary of the delay announcement, a lot of fans have taken a cautious stance. As Moon Phase points out, an excerpt of the final Full Metal Panic! novel was released by Dragon magazine back in its January 2009 issue, and there has been no sign of the book since. The existence of an excerpt doesn’t necessarily mean that the book is done; it just means the excerpt is done.

Maybe I’m just being bitter, though – after all, three years is plenty of time to write one book, right? Right?