Report Week 17 Jul - 23 Jul 2022
I finished reading the first volume of Slayers. I have to say I’m quite torn between it being an enjoyable light novel, and feeling like it was really really bad. On the one hand, I actually enjoyed some parts, some of the gags were funny and the description of certain things like battles and magic system were quite detailed (when they weren’t completely skipped). On the other hand though, a lot of the narrative doesn’t really hold up very well. The entire story feels very tropey and inconsistent. The entire closing battle revolves around the fact that they cannot use black magic (リナ’s strong point) against the big boss because he is the dark lord that controls all black magic, and then they end up defeating him by simply… using black magic but relying on a different dark lord (that was never mentioned before this very moment). It was completely out of the blue and kinda defeated the whole point of a huge chunk of the story.
After Slayers, I started reading the 9th volume of Kuma Bear. Continuing with the series, it’s quite a breath of fresh air. I’m fairly comfortable with the language by now, and I barely have to do any dictionary lookup at all, which is very nice. We conclude the birthday party arc from the previous volume with one of the side characters getting kidnapped and ユナ going truly berserker for the first time in the series. She fucks up everyone who slighted her and harmed her friend and gets back the kidnapped girl. That one was fun. After that, we go back to the usual shenanigans of cute girls doing cute things while discussing tasty food recipes (including a whole chapter on how two make rice mochi) and a whole new array of bear plushies for ユナ’s friends.
I’ve decided to give Stray a try, since it was free in my PS+ subscription. While it is not a Japanese game, I’ve been playing it in Japanese because I’m too lazy to change the language. The game is nothing special gameplay-wise but the atmosphere is really nice and the robots are cute. I thought there wouldn’t be a lot of dialogue originally but actually there’s quite a bit once you start talking to all various robots. The translation is… okay-ish. Some stuff definitely reads like awkward Japanese (a lot of 彼は, 私は, etc), but also it’s hard to say if it’s intentionally awkward or not because some parts appear weird also in English (for example using the “Meet” prompt to talk to robots, which was translated as 交流する in Japanese, both equally weird).
In preparation for the Made in Abyss volume 11 release next week, I went and re-read volume 10. Last time it felt really hard and with a lot of tricky words and I feel like I missed out on some finer details of the story. This time around it went much more smoothly and it only took me around 1 hour to read it which is quite fast for me: these volumes used to take me 2-3 hours before. I’m looking forward to next Friday with the new volume release!
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