“文学少女”見習いの、傷心。 // Bungaku Shoujo Minarai no, Shoushin

^I’m running out of pictures of her! But doesn’t she look lovely? This is from the first part.

“文学少女”見習いの、傷心。
 ”Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Shoushin.
 The Literature Girl Apprentice’s, Heartbreak (Off-Hand TL)

著:野村美月 (Author: Nomura Mizuki)
画:竹岡美穂 (Illustrator: Takeoka Miho)
ファミ通文庫 (Famitsu Bunko)
ISBN-13: 978-4047260306
発売日: 2010/01/07

Introduction:

This book was good enough to make me want to read it late into the night every night this week, but I collapsed and fell asleep every night just a little bit into it, so I had to finish it today. I was going to finish it Friday because I barely had any left, but when I got back and said I was going to read I decided to take a nap instead, and slept for 12 hours.

I don’t feel overworked, but maybe I am? I’m not feeling too well today health-wise overall either… so I guess I’ve got the weekend to get better? Maybe vodka will fix it! … I’m really behind in a lot of things – way to many things, so please forgive me for slacking on the song translations lately >.>

I kept the summaries shorter this time, mainly because I didn’t want to give anything away for the Frankenstein one, but Nanase does play quite a bit of a part this time around. (Though I’ve sort of abandoned her myself – If I had to pick Nanase or Tooko, I’d still pick Nanase for Konoha. If I had to pick Nanase or Nano, I’d pick Nano. If I had to pick Nano or Tooko…. maybe (probably) I’d still pick Tooko >.> <.<

I'll have to get into the drawing mood and draw something of myself for the review post for the last book. I haven't drawn in ages and I was never really that good, so don't expect anything.

Main Characters (in order of Prominence):

日坂菜乃  Hinosaka Nano [Narrator]
・Literature Girl in Training, First Year Literature Club Member
井上心葉  Inoue Konoha
・”Novelist Who Faces the Heavens” and Head of the Literature Club, (Detective)
仙道十望子 Sendou Tomoko
・Head of the Choir, Bright and Boyish “Frankenstein”
烏丸雫   Karasuma Shizuku
・Tomoko’s former friend, Extradited from the Choir as a “Monster”
琴吹ななせ Kotobuki Nanase
・Konoha’s Ex-Girlfriend and Tsundere, Friends with an “Angel”
竹田千愛  Takeda Chia
・Komeiji Koishi in disguise, Black Sheep “Pierrot”
冬柴瞳   Fuyushiba Hitomi
・Nano’s Childhood Friend
姫倉麻貴  Himekura Maki
・”Undine” that Haunts the Orchestra Club’s Atelier, Incredibly Connected

Story:

“文学少女”見習いの、傷心。:あなたの心にふれた、短い物語
 ”Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Shoushin:
  Anata no Kokoro ni Fureta, Mijikai Monogatari.
 The Literature Girl Apprentice’s, Heartbreak:
  A Short Story of When I Brushed Against Your Heart.

Nano plans to hold a Literature Club Summer Study Camp so that she can be all alone with Konoha and make some romantic memories – she gets Maki to help her, but… well… things go wrong? T^T. Based on “Immensee” (German) by Hans Theodor Woldsen Storm.

“文学少女”見習いの、怪物。
 ”Bungaku Shoujo” Minarai no, Kaibutsu.
 The Literature Girl Apprentice’s, Monster.

Lately, Nano has been spending her days trying to convince Konoha to do something for the School Culture Festival. Just as she’s arguing for a play, to which Konoha’s answer is “NO”. The president of the choir, Tomoko, jumps in asking Konoha to write a musical (well, chorus accompanied play) for them. She wants it based on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, so that she can perform some songs she has that were written based on the story. But every time the choir sings one of those songs….

Out of the doll stabbed in its chest the ribbon trailed like blood…
“It’s the monster!!”
“I told you this song was cursed!!”

ある日の千愛
 Aru Hi no Chia
 A Day with Chia

(Narrated by Chia)
Chia reflects on what she said to Nano, while talking with Ryuuto at his house.

Evaluation / Rating:

Franken-shoujo!
Why couldn’t we read stuff like this in college?

Anyway, way to go Nomura Mizuki-sensei. You’ve surprised me a bit this time around, and in a good way.

The best thing about this particular book is that there’s a lot of “subtle mystery” (which is something Nisioisin, who I love, is excellent at). It’s not “we can’t figure out this or that”, but “some things just don’t seem to add up right”. In a lot of sections, Nano will fire things off to herself, passively explaining how she perceives the other characters, and most of it makes sense, but it’s like looking in a picture that’s just slightly asymmetric. We can feel that Nano’s impressions are off, but we can’t prove that they are, we don’t know how or why they are – at least not just yet.

I also think in general that Nano’s narration has improved – at least her narration feels more like it’s coming from her. Nano may be idealistic, but she’s not nearly as dull as Konoha was most of the series (even if we assume part of that was him forcing himself to ignore certain things). She may be wrong, but she herself in her thoughts betrays that she feels she might just be making excuses in her explanations. So anyway, my complaints last review about Nano’s voice just piggy-backing off of Konoha are gone.

You know, I’d like to think that Shizuku/Tomoko could be thought of as a symbol for young adults in Japan struggling in the “real world”. You can’t bring “new ideas” to the table – those that try to be individualistic are often shunned, hated and despised – like Shizuku was for trying to change the norm with her “disgusting and disturbing” songs. Tomoko’s case is a bit different, she has a long she wants to change – a rebel at heart – but she succumbs to those in power not taken seriously and made literally into a doll, a plaything for the upperclassmen’s amusement. Each “dress up party” is a message to Tomoko that she’s powerless. What’s perhaps most interesting about Tomoko is how she deals with being freed from all of that after all the upperclassmen either leave or graduate.

I was actually glad to see the “*****” again and had to face-palm near the end when they had been giving us too many hints. It just goes to show that all of these Bungaku Shoujo books deserve a re-read.

Overall: 9.55
Much better than the previous one. I think it (still) relies a little bit too much on references to the main series, but well – I suppose it’s inevitable…
Concept: 9.7
There’s no reason for me to move this so I’ll just keep the score the same.
Pacing: 9.6
Much better pacing – like I said, I was trying to read this every night. (It might have been better if I had read it all in one weekend-day >.>)
Plot: 9.6
I actually really liked how “Heartbreak” turned out. I don’t think I’d ever felt as close to Nano or on her side as during that short piece. As for “Monster”, I really like the “theatrical adaptation” format. You might think that using that as a frame is cheap and it makes it “too easy” to overlay the story that is being adapted, but – nah. Most of the emphasis is before, and there are a lot of fun things you can do with the tension in a performance. Like when Konoha said, “I’ll leave the rest to you.”
Characters: 9.5
Alright, I’ll have to admit, Tomoko’s actions at points put a strain on what I thought was “believable character action”, but I really like how she turned out. Nano’s growing, and Konoha is as well, and a lot. In fact, though we hardly see it at all, I think Konoha needs a round of applause for how much he’s grown in a volume especially when you compare that progress to the books earlier in the series. Nano’s really good for him, even if I don’t really think they should (or would) get together. It was interesting to see how “*****” interacted with everyone again. ***** hasn’t changed yet but there were parallels and before I knew the truth my thoughts did drift back to that volume. Hitomi needs to be slapped – I hope Nano does it for me.
Writing Style/Flavor: 9.6
Improved narration – more perfected in “Heartbreak” I’d say, but great overall.
Illustrations: 9.5
I didn’t think Chia looked enough like an all-knowing goddess, so I marked this down felt like marking this down a few points. :/ – but no really, I wish Miho would put more of her watercolor pictures (like the one at the top and Nano in drag [not-pictured]) in the book, because they are SO amazingly good. I only complain because I don’t get enough I guess. The insert that comes up in “Heartbreak” will break your heart.

About these ads
    • thatfpsguy
    • September 4th, 2011

    !!!

    I haven’t even started on the first book. I stopped myself from reading any further than the introduction because I don’t want to spoil it.

    Not that you wrote spoilers or anything.
    I’m drunk, don’t mind me.

    Anyways, yeah. Vodka might fix you right up if you can relax with friends.
    Or pseudo “friends” on an online game.

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