Drawn to Manga: May 2016

This special edition of Drawn to Manga will focus on a relatively new category of books for our library system: Light Novels.

What is a light novel? They are Japanese novels that may (but not always) include illustrations and tend to be geared toward young adults (but again, not always). Many light novels have been adapted to anime and/or manga like the Sword Art Online series and All You Need Is Kill.

A Certain Magical Index

A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 1
By Kamachi, Kazuma
Illustrator Haimura, Kiyotaka
2014-11 – Yen on

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 Touma Kamijou has the worst luck imaginable… Sure he’s a citizen of Academy City, a scientific marvel of the modern world where superhuman abilities are artificially cultivated and commonplace, but when it comes to paranormal talent, Kamijou’s been classified a Level Zero-a loser, basically. Oh, he does have one trick up his sleeve (literally), but even that’s more trouble than it’s worth.

When Kamijou encounters a delusional young girl convinced she’s a nun and raving about being chased by evil sorcerers, he’s eager to send her on her way and get back to failing his studies. Fate, it would seem though, has other ideas, and he suddenly finds himself caught up in a supernatural intrigue with a girl named “Index” at the center.

Science and magic collide in this first volume of one of the most popular light novel series ever penned.

 

Attack on Titan Before the Fall

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall (Novel)
By Suzukaze, Ryo
Illustrator Shibamoto, Thores
2014-09 – Vertical

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 Before the fall, and before the trials of “the Titan’s son” Kyklo, a young smith by the name of Angel Aaltonen grappled with the giants as only a craftsman could.

The first of the three-part “Before the Fall” light novels, whose second and third installments have been adapted into a manga of the same name, this prequel of prequels details the origins of the devices that humanity developed to take on the mysterious Titans.

 

Battle Royale

Battle Royale: The Novel
By Takami, Koushun
Translator Oniki, Yuji
2009-11 – Viz Media

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 In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death L to R (Western Style). Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan–where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller–“Battle Royale” is a “Lord of the Flies” for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, “Battle Royale” is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language.

A group of high school students are taken to small isolated island and forced to fight each other until only one remains alive If they break the rules a special collar blows their heads off.

Koushun Takami’s brutal, high-octane thriller is told in breathless. blow-by-blow fashion. “Battle Royale” is a contemporary Japanese pulp classic now available for the first time in English.

 

This may sound familiar! They made it into a movie called Battle Royale.
Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime

Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime, Volume 1
By Nomura, Mizuki
2010-07 – Yen Press

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 For self-styled “book girl,” third-year high school student Tohko Amano, being the head of the literary club is more than just an extracurricular activity with minor perks. It’s her bread and butter… literally! Tohko is actually a literature-gobbling demon, and instead of the less palatable option of water-soaked bread, she opts to munch on torn out pages from all kinds of stories. But for Tohko, the real delicacies are handwritten stories. And to satisfy her gourmet tastes, she’s employed (aka. browbeaten) one Konoha Inoue, an underclassman who has retreated from writing novels after his experiences with getting published at an early age. So day in and day out, Konoha scribbles away to satisfy Tohko’s appetite. But when, one day, another student comes knocking on the literary club door to seek advice on writing love letters, will Tohko discover a new kind of delicacy to whet her voracious appetite?

 

All You Need is Kill

All You Need Is Kill
By Sakurazaka, Hiroshi
Translator Smith, Alexander O.
2009-07 – Viz Media

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 When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally–the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

 

This may sound familiar! They made it into a movie called The Edge of Tomorrow.
Check out more Light Novels in our collection or at your local library!

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Light Novel Notes (May 2016) | English Light Novels

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