This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with another LitRPG, sort of. It’s Cherry Blossom Girls by Harmon Cooper!
Plot Synopsis: I was a just normal guy until the night the cherry blossoms bloomed, the night that Grace appeared on my doorstep. A failed sci-fi writer, a gamer, but a normal guy nonetheless. Grace was everything I was not, a psychic shifter, beautiful beyond my wildest imagination, a government conspiracy waiting to be unraveled…
Plot: The plot of this is rather bland. Honestly while it takes a ton of influences, and states what those are, it also isn’t turning it into something new or interesting. If you’ve ever read the original Elfen Lied manga you’ll know the story of the book pretty freaking quick. It’s not new, and it’s not that great. Another thing against it is that the book is constantly swamped with our main character’s, Gideon, thoughts. It’s also a plot point, Gideon is constantly thinking about things, and usually in a rather stupid way. There are some clever tricks, but honestly the guy is like a giant walking self-insert for the author and it’s not even attempting to be subtle.
Characters: Our leads are okay characters, with our two female leads being much more interesting than Gideon. Honestly I’d almost rather have her be our main Point of View except that we’d still get to hear all of Gideon’s thoughts anyways.
Overall: A mediocre LitRPGish story that has heavy influences by a ton of things, including Elfen Lied, but doesn’t really innovate at all. The fact that our lead is a self insert of the author doesn’t help at all.
For those who like: Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, LitRPGs, Action, Drama.
This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering a new series. It’s Talisman Emperor Chapters 1-40 by Xiao Jinyu!
Plot Synopsis: Chen Xi was a jinx who radiated misfortune the way a torch radiated light, and everyone around him knew it. His entire clan was annihilated when he was a baby, and not too long after that his parents disappeared. His marriage contract? Poof. Torn to shreds and gone up in smoke before the eyes of everyone in the city, almost humiliating his grandfather to the point of suicide! Cultivation? No time for that, he had a family to take care of! This is the story of Chen Xi, a youth forced to stop cultivating and instead craft talismans to pay for his younger brother’s tuition…
Plot: This is a pretty fast paced novel and these first forty chapters are really quite entertaining. Chen Xi is a pretty unlucky fellow and doesn’t fall into the traps that some characters have in other series, “cough” Linley “cough”. This is quite a fun series and frankly one of the better ones out there. It also helps that isn’t published by Qidian which means no bullshit on the publishers side.
Characters: The entire cast is great, although my favorite might just be Du Qingxi.
Overall: A great series to read, although few chapters have been released thus far, only a bit over 240.
For those who like: Xuanhuan, Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Martial Arts, Romance, Great Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.
For my first Serial Saturday post I’m doing the exact opposite of what I did for my Movie Monday’s first post. It’s Qi Worlds by Skully!
Plot Synopsis: The Qi Worlds Project is embarking on stage one. Eleven candidates have been selected to participate, from China and around the world. The Qi Worlds Project is essentially an experiment to develop the qi manipulation skills of the participants, while they are in a virtual environment. Ben is ones of those participants and while he has had experience with meditation, he has little to no knowledge of qi other than what he has picked up from anime and gaming. Ben’s personality has always been a “boots n all” type, he often acts with little contemplation and on pure gut feel. In all likelihood, he will succumb to the life within the simulation and forget about reality, aka “goes native”. Where others fail will Ben succeed?
Plot: Let me get this out of the way first, yes the full title is technically “Hardcore: Qi Worlds”. I’m fully aware of the fact, however nothing in the book ever gets “hardcore” in any way, despite the racy picture above. In fact there’s a lot that the author promises that just doesn’t come to fruition, he promises “Mystery” but the only mystery that pops up 40 chapters into the story comes down to a simple yes or no question. There are plenty of other frustrations that pop up, like the author’s strange fixation on calling Ben’s party “The Vanguard”. Instead of saying “Ben and the others walked to the city” it’s often “The Vanguard walked to the city”. It’s highly offputting and incredibly childish looking for the author, who I can only think believed that saying “Vanguard” over and over again was “cool“. The biggest issue with doing such a thing is you distance yourself from the main characters, who are supposed to be relatable. So when Skully continues to use “The Vanguard did so and so”, it just makes his work look like crap. I could have inferred that from the fact that he decided to post his work on Gravity Tales, but a few of the English original works on that site are actually decent and don’t deserve to be in that particular cesspool. So despite the fact that I read this work on royalroadl.com, I could only find this work as fitting right in with the rest of the trashy behavior from that website.
Characters: Ben is such a stereotypical main character that I was really hoping that the side characters would be at least interesting, but they weren’t. The female love interests are all incredibly shallow and stay so close to the classic archetypes of fantasy characters that they could have been in hundreds of other works and fit right in. The rest of the cast isn’t any better, in fact most of the cast is shallower than a inch deep puddle.
Overall: Stay far away from this pile of rubbish, there are much better works out there.
My Personal Reading Status: Dropped and searching for some brain bleach to rid me of the memory of this terrible piece of work.
Hey all for this week’s Anime Sunday I’m covering the less successful shows, in my opinion, of the last season. It’s my Losers of Fall 2017!
Juni Taisen: It was somewhat interesting, but frankly it was just too bloody with little to no reason about the why being explored. Sure there’s the Wish granted at the end, but I feel like there is just so much backstory of the actual Zodiac Wars that could’ve been explored that it was overshadowed by the incredibly messed up lives of the participants we got to see in flashbacks each episode. This is possibly the closest series in this post to actually not being on it. That being said it seems like it was just an overly violent series for the sake of shock and awe. So that’s why I’m putting it on this list.
UQ Holder: I expected that it’d devolve into Fan Service-laden sequences frequently, although that is what Akamatsu is known for so maybe that’s not a surprise. But I just couldn’t enjoy the series all that much. Something was lacking compared to the original Negima Manga and just wasn’t conveyed through this Adaptation. That’s why I’m putting on this list.
Black Clover: Like I said in my impressions post of this series, it could just be called SCREAMING the Anime. This lack a lot of the charm that has been so prevalent in other series prior to this like Bleach (with it’s snappy musical soundtracks) or the emotional rollercoaster that is One Piece. Frankly this was a huge disappointment, and I’m probably not going to look into reading the original source material because of how off putting this adaptation was.
That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday. Did I miss a series that you felt deserved to be on it, or disagree with what I put in it? Leave your responses in the comments below!
This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the third volume in Lyle Walt’s adventures. It’s Sevens Volume 03 by Mishima Yomu!
Plot Synopsis: Having become fully fledged Adventurers, Lyle Walt along with Novem Forxuz, his ex-fiancee and his first love, and Aria Lockwarde, a disgraced noble and now potential harem member, leave the city of Dalien and head to the academic city of Arumsaas which has it’s own Labyrinth they use for both study and trade. There they will encounter much more then they were expecting to….
Plot: The plot of this third entry is pretty good although it starts off a bit depressing due to how the second novel ended. I’ll freely admit I cried during that scene in the second book. Thankfully this book helps pick the mood back up. I won’t go too much into the plot, but it was pretty exciting, and there may or may not be an appearance of everyone’s favorite character (except Lyle).
Characters: We get introduced to a couple new faces in this entry, Clara, Miranda and Shannon along with a Professor Damien who is a bit of a creepy guy if highly intelligent. There are some more people, but I won’t go into them because of spoilers. Needless to say that the newcomers were very interesting. Clara is probably my favorite, if only because I’d love to have her Skill (which lets her copy books she’s read and allows for an eidetic memory).
Overall: A solid entry in a pretty good series. If you haven’t started reading the series, you probably should.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m giving an author a second chance. It’s The Builder’s Sword, Book 01 in The Legendary Builder series, by J.A. Cipriano!
Plot Synopsis: Arthur Curie never expected to wind up in Hell. At least, not because he found an ancient sword in a pawnshop. To make matters worse, Hell isn’t as he thought. It’s a desolate wasteland under siege by an all-consuming void known as the Darkness. Now, he’s trapped with no way home, a ragtag army of women, and a sword whose only power is to modify the abilities of those around him. Not exactly winning odds…
Plot: The plot would have been decent if it hadn’t broken it’s own rules it sets just minutes before. It’s a standard LitRPG sort of book, although calling it a LitRPG may or may not be fully accurate I don’t particularly care enough about this book to waste time pondering that question. I had hoped the author, who I called out for making really blatant references in another of his series World of Ruul, had improved over the terrible writing he showed in that book. He didn’t, he has a character explain to Arthur that this isn’t a game, it’s real life. So what does Arthur do? He immediately starts calling out orders like he’s playing an MMO in a raid encounter. He uses words and slang that wouldn’t make any sense to the other characters based on what the author first says. Even worse he has a character that is almost a straight up copy of the main character of Legendary Moonlight Sculptor. There’s only one difference and that is because the character is a woman. I’m okay with clever and subtle references to other works, or influences, in your writing. The World Seed series makes an excellent example of what I mean when it is referencing LMS. However I am not okay with a character blatantly performing and copying the same actions as other series’ characters. The one thing he has improved on in this book is the blatant character references that were so prevalent in his World of Ruul series. That’s about the only improvement I’ve seen in his writing.
Characters: None of the characters are particularly deep, and Arthur is about as smart as a brick. The fact he gets things done is more because he’s a gamer, not that he’s anywhere close to intelligent.
Overall: Skip this book, avoid it like the plague. In fact you’re probably better off avoiding this author entirely. Unless I see a clear improvement in later works by the author I’m going to steer far away from Mr. Cipriano and his terrible work.
For those who like: Mediocrity, Poor Writing, Terrible Plot, Even Worse Cast of Characters.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, which should be just about everyone, except maybe Twilight fans.
This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the third volume in Hajime’s adventures on Tortus. It’s Arifureta Volume 03 by Shirakome Ryo!
Plot Synopsis: Having beaten Miledy Raisen’s Great Labryinth and acquired Gravity magic, Hajime and Co set out again to find another Great Labryinth. Meanwhile Hajime’s Teacher Aiko is travelling towards the town of Ul….
Plot: This is a pretty decent entry in the series and is full of action scenes while also containing some really important moments for Hajime. As a side note I’ve heard people complain about how Arifureta got boring and became a Rom-Com after the first volume. I assure you that’s not the case and while it may seem toned down there are reasons for Hajime’s bloodlust being dampened. It’s pretty freaking obvious, but I won’t spoil it if you haven’t figured it out yet.
Characters: We don’t get introduced to a bunch of new characters in this volume, but Tio would be my favorite. If only because she’s very earnest about what she wants and doesn’t care at all about other’s thoughts on it. That’s an admirable trait, although what she wants is less than admirable.
Overall: An excellent volume, and while not as bloodthirsty as the first or second, there are reasons for it.