TNT: Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 01 by Toika

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first book in a just recently completely translated series! It’s Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 01 by Toika!\

Plot Synopsis: Left out during the elementary school picnic. Left out during the middle school camp. Left out during the high school trip. I finally became a college student, and what? I’m left out from all of humanity? Yu IlHan watches over the earth alone while everybody’s away in other worlds…

Plot: The plot in this first book (each book is 25 chapters long excepting the final book which is 24) is pretty awesome. I mean I don’t think I’ve ever really enjoyed reading about a person like Yu IlHan before. He is the biggest loner in the universe. But it was very interesting and entertaining with tons of references to a bunch of Asian pop culture ranging from Doraemon to Digimon.

Characters: Yu IlHan is an awesome main character, frankly he’s probably one of my favorites of all time thus far. He’s scary smart, except about himself, but he’s also pretty hilarious. Lita is also quite fun, although she’s really not around that much in these chapters. Erta is also pretty funny, although she is prone to info dump, it’s usually pretty important info. The rest of the cast we get to meet in this book is great as well, although we’ve got a small amount compared to later on.

Overall: If you love the Isekai Genre this is a great take on it, but it’s also an awesome LitRPG at the same time. This is a must read for pretty much everyone, it’s a pretty awesome series.

For those who like: Isekai, LitRPG, Action, Adventure, Amazing Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Bookish Wednesday: The Reborn by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s Eden’s Gate Book 01: The Reborn by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: When Gunnar Long logs into into the first fully-immersive virtual MMORPG, he finds himself in a new world filled with magic, mystery and adventure. However not is all as it seems as the creator of the game, Rupert Winston, decides to close off the world’s exit to make the world a true reality. Now trapped in the game and separated by an unknown distance from the one person who he cares for who logged in at the same time as him, Gunnar must make some tough decisions…

Plot: The plot of this book is okay, there are some moments where I really wanted to throttle Gunnar, but overall the story was good. It’s not super amazing, but it’s not bad. There are some seriously overused tropes that were used, trapped in the game etc. However the take on those tropes was interesting enough for me to overlook it for the most part. I won’t say it’s the best LitRPG book I’ve read, because that’s absolutely not the case.

Characters: Like I said above, Gunnar made me want to throttle him sometimes, mostly because he acts like an ass. There are multiple reasons why I dislike Gunnar, but he does get some very needed character growth over the book. The rest of the cast is great, with Adeelee probably being my favorite character of the lot.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, better than some (Unbound Deathlords I’m looking at you), but not as good as others like Awaken Online.

Manga Monday: Pochi Kuro by Matsumoto Naoya

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Pochi Kuro by Matsumoto Naoya!

Plot Synopsis: A human girl falls into the demon realm and can’t seem to communicate with the local demon, Kuro, who found her. Humans are rare in the demon realm and many would love to eat a human…

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty great, especially since Kuro and the girl can’t seem to communicate at all except through gestures. We never do get her name though in this chapter. I assume we’ll learn it later.

Characters: Kuro is a pretty hilarious male lead, as it’s pretty obvious he’s got no idea what to do when it comes to “cooking” a human. The girl is also pretty funny, although not being unable to understand her is a pit disappointing for us readers it does add to the humor of the chapter.

Art: The art is great as one would expect from a series that’s been published by Shueisha.

Overall: This looks to be an enjoyable and humorous series, definitely worth a read if you are looking for some laughs and a good plot.

For those who like: Fantasy, Drama, Romance?, Great Plot, Excellent Lead Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with some tips and tricks. It’s some Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations!

Web Serializations?: What I generally cover in these columns are Web Serializations, what is known more commonly as Web Novels.

Ok so tips?: Yep I got a few really easy tips to get the most out of every Web Novel you read. This can hold true for any piece of written work, but I find that they are really great for Web Novels in particular.

Tip #1 Stockpile!: Let any Web Novel you read get a good amount of chapters built up before beginning to read. Give yourself at least 3 whole days worth of chapters to read, and by whole days I mean days where you would do nothing but read those chapters. For me that means I often have to wait for at minimum a stockpile of at least 250 chapters worth. I read much too quickly, and if I don’t stockpile at least that much I’m liable to just go through it too quick.

This is for chapters that come out to at least 2,000 words per chapter on average. If they are shorter that means I’ll need to increase the amount of chapters I stockpile. The same is true in reverse, if they are incredibly long chapters I can get away with less chapters.

Another way to stockpile is to do it based on Arc or Volume, if there are Arcs or volumes indicated in the table of contents it’s totally doable to just stockpile chapters until an arc or volume is completed. This allows the author to go through a relatively self contained plot thread from beginning to end.

Tip #2 Binge!: Once you’ve stockpiled enough chapters to get a few days worth of solid reading, binge read that story and it alone. Don’t read anything else, unless you are like me you’ll probably confuse yourself if you are reading more than a single story or if you’re really skilled two, at one time. So go through those chapters and enjoy the story.

Tip #3 Once Caught Up Stop Reading!: If you are reading a Web Novel you’ll come to realize that most of the story is so splintered into  small chapters that it’s really hard to appreciate the story if you continue reading every time a new chapter is released. Don’t do this, it’ll ruin the stories for you. Seriously it sounds counter intuitive, but absolutely do not continue reading once caught up. Follow Tips #1 and 2.

Tip #4 Rotate!: In order to allow all the above tips to occur I rotate stories I’ll read. Assuming all series release with similar amount of chapters per week, it’s easy to set up a rotation of different series to read in order to really get the most out of stories. In reality this can’t happen due to how different authors, and by extension translators, work. So you’ll need to build a vast library of different series in order to really get a solid rotation. This might end up being 20+ series, but you’ll be able to get a good amount of chapters stockpiled for binge reading for each series if you go through the rotation.

For me I’ll constantly add new series to my rotation and drop those which I’ve found to be not worth reading in comparison to other stories. I’ve stopped reading stories due to many reasons, sometimes I just find they are inferior to other similar stories and so I’ll drop them in favor of the other. There are plenty of other reasons as well, but the biggest is the one I just mentioned.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday! Hopefully this helps those fellow enthusiasts of Web Novels, and other media, enjoy the stories more!

 

Retro Game Friday: Ogre Battle 64

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure title most probably forgot even existed. It’s Ogre Battle 64!

Plot Synopsis:  The story follows Magnus Gallant, a recent graduate of the Ischka Military Academy and fledgling captain in Palatinus’ Southern region Alba, as civil war erupts in the country.

Plot: It was pretty good and one of the first console games to have multiple endings that I played.

Gameplay: This was a RTS, instead of a turn based strategy game like Final Fantasy Tactics, which made it a bit more hectic. Frankly at the time I preferred turn based combat, and for strategy games I would say that still holds true for me. That said this was one of the more obscure games and getting a copy to play wasn’t exactly easy. I only played it a couple of times.

Art: The art is mostly 3d in an isometric perspective, so while it hasn’t aged very well, it’s aged better than more fully 3D games like Perfect Dark or the like.

Music: Don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to play it, go for it. It’s pretty interesting, although the gameplay may seem somewhat simplistic now.

For those who like: RTS, Strategy Games, Good Plot, Decent Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: Breakers Arc 02 by Chwiryong

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with the continued adventures of In-gong. It’s Breakers Arc 02 by Chwiryong!

Plot Synopsis: Having been transported into the world of his favorite game Knights Saga, In-gong is now the Ninth Prince and one of the children of the Demon King. But he had never played as Shutra before, because the only playable characters were Zephyr, the Second Demon Prince and Locke the Human Hero. Now armed with knowledge of the game he loved, he’s begun to change the story so he can prevent the massacre of all his new siblings by one of their own. The strongest and most powerful being after the Demon King, The Second Prince Zephyr… He only has a little over two years to change the world to prevent ending up a corpse.

Plot: This second arc is short, only a few chapters long, but it really sets up the rest of the series and builds off the first arc wonderfully. I won’t spoil what happens, but it’s the beginning of ripples that will affect the story Shutra knows that is suddenly his new reality.

Characters: We don’t really get introduced to any characters in this Arc, but that’s okay because we get more interaction between Shutra, Carack, Caitlin and Chris.

Overall: This is an excellent second arc, and although still a foundation arc, it’s not at all boring.

Anime Sunday: Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Summer 2017 season. It’s my Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In a world where medieval knights use giant robots called Silhouette Knights to fight against demon beasts, magical ravenous animals that devour everything on sight. Tsubasa Kurata, a mecha otaku from Japan who gets killed in a car accident is reincarnated in this new parallel world as Ernesti “Eru” Echavalier, a boy born into a noble family…

Plot: The plot pacing of this series is way too fast for my tastes, which is a pity because they could’ve doubled the number of episodes and the series probably would’ve done fairly well. But we’ll never know now most likely. The pace is half a Light Novel volume per episode, so two episodes equals a Light Novel volume. I’ve stated in the past this is just way too fast for most series, and I stand by that statement still.

We don’t get to see Eru’s rebirth and him getting to actually learn magic and come to serious understanding of it and befriend Addy and Kid. Instead the entire School arc is pretty much skipped over, including probably huge plot points that will be key in later arcs. That being said it wasn’t a bad episode, it just went much too fast when I have my own prior knowledge of the actual source material.

Characters: Eru is a decent main character, but we lack a ton of background on him that was glossed over in this first episode. Addy and Kid are severely lacking in character background, which is a pity as Addy’s relationship with Eru is much more expanded upon and makes her look not nearly as childish in the original source material.

Art: The art isn’t bad, but it’s not ufotable quality at all. It could be better, but so could a lot of things with this series.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not super amazing either.

Overall: This could’ve been a much better Anime, it’s a pity it got so screwed over with this adaptation. That being said it’s still fun to watch, just don’t read the original source material prior to watching. You’ll hate yourself.

For those who like: Fantasy, Mecha, Magic, Action, Drama, Politics.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or poor pacing.