What is a light novel, you ask? Check out my launch announcement post here for details. Basically, you can call it YA lit for Japan, though that’s not entirely accurate. I’ll be using the same terms for genres as I do in my Manga Monday segment, so if you get confused, go here for clarification on those terms.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get to our first featured light novel for this feature! Remember, if my choice of the week has been fan translated, if it gets licensed for your area/territory and goes on sale? Please buy it and support the original artists!
Week 7 Light Novel Choice: “Miss Sasami @ Unmotivated (Sasami-san@ganbaranai)” series by Akira
Series?: Yes! So far 10 volumes are out as of March 2013, and publication is ongoing.
Officially Licensed & Translated?: Nope, not yet. I’m hoping with the popularity of the anime and manga coming stateside that someone will license the books here for translation and soon.
Fan translated?: Yes! We have a partial translation for volume 1 by Dreadful Decoding right here.
Anime: Yes! One season as of Winter 2013. And it’s pretty awesome. It’s been licensed stateside by Sentai Filmworks so be sure to check it out on DVD/BD when it comes out here in North America (or your territory).
Manga?: Yes! Started publication in late 2012, so there’s only one volume out so far. It has not been picked up for licensing here stateside (yet).
Summary: The Japanese call them hikikomori—people who’ve become so withdrawn socially that they refuse to leave their homes for weeks and even months at a time. For Sasami Tsukuyomi, who’s attempting to pass her first year of high school despite being a shut in, it’s more than just a word. Fortunately though, she lives with her older brother Kamiomi, who just happens to be a teacher at the school Sasami is supposed to attend. Not to mention, her “Brother Surveillance Tool” which lets her view the outside world via her computer and will, theoretically, allow her to readjust to interfacing with people again. What it mainly does, however, is let her view her brother’s interactions with the three very odd Yagami sisters, who inexplicably seem to have had their ages reversed and have various types of “interest” in Kamiomi. And then things start to get really weird… Magical powers? Everything turning into chocolate? Is life via the web warping Sasami’s brain, or is it the universe that’s going crazy?
Why?: I actually started out with reading the manga for this one, and then watching the anime, and then getting around to the fan translation. I definitely need to buy the first volume when I get the chance, because this is hilarious. But it also touches on some very interesting social issues, and there’s some commentary in there you just can’t miss. Definitely one of the more creative LN series to come out in the last few years, “Sasami” combines a lot of already known genres, mixes them up, then makes fun of them. And for that alone, I love this series. I’m hoping with the success and licensing of the anime here by Sentai Filmworks, this series may just have a chance to get translated/published here, too. This one is a lot of fun, guys. HIGHLY recommended!
Are you a light novel fan? If so, which ones are your favorites? Let’s talk about it in the comments!