When Words Aren’t Enough For Light Novels
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
1w ago
One of the big distinguishing points between “light novels” and “regular novels” is that light novels are born into a multimedia ecosystem. They aren’t made up of text alone—they have insert illustrations and distinct anime-esque character designs, making it easy for them to make the leap from book to screen. Kadokawa’s business strategy revolves around streamlining this process as much as possible, which is why we often see anime adaptations of popular light novels within 2-3 years of their original publication. “Regular novels” don’t get this kind of fast-tracking. If you’re a strong believe ..read more
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Bunch of Updates!
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
1M ago
I’ve been quiet on this blog for a while, and by the end of this post you will understand why. (It’s all good news, don’t worry!) I Translated a Mushoku Tensei Book! So… After I left ANN, I got into the manga and light novel translation sphere. Translation was always something I dabbled in, like when I worked on Mari Okada’s autiobiography, but now I have more time to dedicate to it. I like translation because I can do it on a flexible schedule while focusing more on my personal life—plus, some of the jobs can be genuine passion projects. Mushoku Tensei is one of my favourite light novels eve ..read more
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Don’t Get the ‘Banished Hero’ Anime Mixed Up…
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
2M ago
When light novel titles swap the same couple dozen keywords between them, I wouldn’t blame you for getting them mixed up. Last season, there was an anime called Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside, and this season there’s one called The Banished Former Hero Lives as He Pleases. Based on those titles, you’d think they were the exact same story, but they couldn’t be more different, actually. And one is definitely way better than the other. First off, you might be wondering: “What’s with all the light novels about MCs getting ‘banished’ from their pa ..read more
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Anime’s New Great Detective
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
6M ago
The first arc of The Apothecary Diaries begins and ends with a mystery that relatively few people in modern Japan have to reckon with: why would a baby die before their first year of life? It’s a stark window into a time when high infant mortality rates were seen as an unavoidable fact of life. In historical China, the infant mortality rate was above 40%, and that’s a conservative estimate. A common wisdom stated by characters in the novel is that you can’t really count on an infant surviving to adulthood until they’re past the age of seven. Even the most privileged members of society aren’t ..read more
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Top 5 New English Light Novels of 2023
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
7M ago
It’s that time of the year again! Looking back on this year’s English light novel debuts, there were a handful of titles that I was really looking forward to but which ultimately disappointed me (Agents of the Four Seasons, The Ephemeral Scenes of Setsuna’s Journey, and Days With My Stepsister, to name a few), but I was also blown away by some unexpected surprises, which I’ll talk about below. This was a good year for romances, interestingly enough. 5) If the Villainess and Villain Met and Fell in Love Print and digital from Yen Press. To be honest, the villainess genre is oversaturated latel ..read more
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The Pig Isekai Light Novel Is Heartbreaking, What the Hell?
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
7M ago
I am shook. I am trembling as I write this post. I did not expect Butareba: The Story of a Man Turned into a Pig to actually be a good series. I did not expect it to tug on my heartstrings and leave me staring blankly at the ceiling for a long while after I read it. What the hell? Wasn’t this supposed to be some trashy isekai anime? How did it turn into such an emotional story about powerless people (and a pig) struggling against a cruel world? I know that some of you are probably reading this claim with scepticism. The first episode of the currently airing anime was borderline unwatchable wi ..read more
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The Anti-Slut-Shaming Anime
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
8M ago
In the afterword of Our Dating Story: The Experienced You and The Inexperienced Me‘s first volume, author Makiko Nagaoka remarked: “If I got lucky enough to date a beautiful voice actress I admired, would I give up on the idea if I found out she wasn’t a virgin? There’s no way I would…” She has a point. Statistically speaking, you’d be awfully presumptuous if you demand your partner to have no sexual or romantic experience before meeting you. Less than 2% of people marry their first love, and the average person has at least two long-term relationships before meeting the person they marry. But ..read more
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Why I’m In Love With the Villainess Is Such a Cult LGBTQ+ Hit
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
9M ago
At first glance, the I’m In Love With the Villainess anime isn’t a huge game-changer. It takes the oversaturated “villainess” trope and applies a yuri twist to it, which is, like…neat, but not unheard of in anime. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! and The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady both already have yuri elements in them (and is the central romance in the latter’s case). But I’m In Love With the Villainess has a strong cult following, not just in Japan but also internationally. The reason for this is simple: this series is in ..read more
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Reign of the Seven Spellblades Is Not As Generic As It Seems, Trust Me
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
11M ago
I don’t want to write another post-mortem about a light novel anime adaptation. The Reign of the Seven Spellblades anime technically isn’t a bad adaptation; unlike the Spy Classroom anime it covers all the plot points in a coherent manner. While the production values are modest, there are some action highlights here and there, like the extensive garuda fight in episode 4. Episode 6 also pulled off a great tone shift, enough to cause a mild stir among anime-only viewers. And yet, despite loving the light novels for their endless imagination, I had this weird thought when watching the first epis ..read more
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Finally, a BL Fantasy Light Novel In English! (Not Counting Danmei)
Fantastic Memes
by Frog-kun
1y ago
The title of this blog post says it all. I was really happy to read a You Can Have My Back in English! It ticked most of my boxes in terms of what I wanted/expected from the fantasy BL genre. Before I get on with describing the book and what I liked about it, I want to talk a little bit about the dearth of BL and BL-adjacent light novels in English. I actually mentioned this before in an earlier blog post, but I feel an urge to root for these kinds of books even though they don’t appear to sell very well. The ironic thing is that Chinese danmei novels are the bee’s knees right now. They are s ..read more
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