Comfy Christmas: Light Novels

Another year has come and gone so it’s time for another one of these: a long list of things I’m telling you to do. This year we’re going to do light novels because as much as I love anime, reading is more relaxing since you’re going at your own pace rather than 20-25 minute chunks. Before I begin, I’m going to mention Baka-Tsuki which is a free fan translation project aimed towards translating light novels into languages besides Japanese (because learning a whole language might be too much for some just to utilize it to read light novels).  If you have an e-reader like a Kindle, there’s an ePUB generator for you to put these light novels in a more accessible medium than a computer screen.

First, let me just start off with saying that this list has no direct Christmas or holiday theme; rather it’s a list of light novels that you might enjoy reading during this break. (You are free to assume that I just couldn’t come up with a theme for all these LNs and you would be correct.)

Monogatari Series

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Yeah, gonna start off the list with this damned series. I love it; it’s ridiculously over the top with its depictions of erotic anime tropes (sister complex, loli, etc.) juxtaposed with insightful commentary and heartbreakingly accurate monologues keeps this series close to my heart. In comparison to the anime, Araragi is actually MUCH more perverted since a lot of what flashes on the black screens (that are too fast for anyone to read without pausing and disrupting the flow of the show) is actually written in all its glory on text. Concerning its English translation, since it is taking a while for all the books to be fully translated and curated for errors (remember Baka-Tsuki is a FREE project) I would suggest you watch the anime first and then pick up the light novel. This way you can read what you watched but, almost unbelievably, it’s going to be raunchier.

 

Fate/Zero

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I’m going to probably incite a riot by saying this but I did not enjoy the Fate/Zero anime too much when it came out. Maybe it’s just the general hype surrounding anything Gen Urobuchi does (I have a similar experience with Madoka) but the material was much too dense to be enjoyable in anime format. I’m referring more to Type-Moon in general rather than specifically Fate/Zero since there is a lot of world building done through the Visual Novels, Light Novels, etc. that isn’t immediately apparent in the anime. That’s why for someone unfamiliar with the series (like me) it was a struggle to keep up with everything that was happening (but let me just say I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed by any means so this could all very well be a personal problem). However, READING Fate/Zero was infinitely more enjoyable because I wasn’t being assaulted with information I was expected to know beforehand. The light novel series has been FULLY translated on Baka-Tsuki so if you feel like a challenge you should definitely try to complete it before your break ends.

 

Welcome to the N.H.K.

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The holidays are usually a happy time for many but I know some of you out there might not see it that way. Welcome to the N.H.K. is a tragically depressing yet hopeful light novel about a shut-in adjusting to the harsh realities of life. It goes for a more realistic route of what a shut-in is like rather glorifying it like other series. For those of you looking for some sadness to wallow in Welcome to the N.H.K. is perfect and like Sally Sparrow (from the Weeping Angels episode of Doctor Who) “[Sadness] is happy for deep people.”

This was probably more of a “What’s on Baka-Tsuki” (except N.H.K.) than a recommendation list but it stands to reason if you liked the anime series you’ll like the light novel. It’s almost New Year’s so those of you who resolved to read more, you can start here!


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