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 11 Light Novel Choice: “Baccano!” series by Narita Ryougo
Author: Narita Ryougo
Series?: Yes! As of February 2013, it’s still being serialized and continuing at 20 volumes strong.
Officially Licensed & Translated?: Not yet! I’m hoping that someone will get a NA license for this series soon.
Fan translated?: Yep. Right over here at Baka-Tsuki. Not all of the volumes are completely translated but there are a lot of people working on it.
Anime?: Yes, one season and it’s been licensed here in the States for sale.
Manga?: Yes, two volumes. Not licensed yet.
Summary: Aboard the Advenna Avis in 1711, a group of alchemists summon a demon in the hopes of gaining eternal life. The demon gives them an elixir of immortality and the method of ending their existence by “devouring” one another. Soon after, one among them begins to devour his companions. Realizing the danger posed by staying together, they scatter across the globe.
Centuries later in 1930’s America, a certain federal investigator tries his best to combat the rise of organized crime during Prohibition, send a particularly infuriating terrorist to Alcatraz, and catch an outrageous thief duo. Meanwhile, the transcontinental train, the Flying Pussyfoot, begins its trail of blood across the country.
In 2002, a small group of the original Advenna Avis alchemists are on a journey to find the rest of their fellow immortals. However, there is one companion they did not expect to meet again.
Seemingly unrelated events, from a sleepy Italian city in the early 1700’s to a modern luxury cruise ship traveling across the Pacific, reveal themselves to be far more connected than anyone could imagine…
Why?: This is another Narita series, and much like “Drrrr!!”, it has several stories going on at the same time to join into one bigger story. “Baccano!” is a story that goes across several centuries, and has different spin-off books that all eventually tie into the same story of the original Advenna Avis alchemists and the fateful misadventure that made them immortal. There’s mafia hijinks, too. This is a really fun series in an insane world that Narita put together with a cast of characters you’re never going to forget. I’m still reading my way through this series, and all I know is that the day this series ends, I’m going to be quite sad. Highly recommended!
Are you a light novel fan? If so, which ones are your favorites? Let’s talk about it in the comments!