Ok, so I know I haven’t done any reviews on this blog yet, so obviously this is the first one. Also, since it is the FIRST one I’m pretty sure helluva sure that it will suck or at least not be pro OTL  So plz deal with it kay?
Now then, time to start the Zaregoto Series Review!

Zaregoto Book 1: The Kubikiri Cycle

At first I randomly picked this up at the library (yes, the library) for the heck of it since it’s the same author, NisiOisiN, that wrote Bakemonogatari.  So,  I decided to give it a read.

The narrator of the story is a dude under the nickname “Ii-kun”, and just like Kyon from Haruhi, we never hear his real name. However it is himself that doesn’t give his name away saying he is only a bystander or side character that has no value. Seems kinda modest right? Well, for now he does sorta give that impression. Now, his train of thought is very sarcastic and in most cases, quite amusing. Then theres the other main character, Kunagisa Tomo, she is your average Happy-go-lucky girl that always pounces on Ii-kun saying she loves him.  Just like Ii-kun, these two are like the ever so common stereotype characters that we can find in every other anime.

Now, the twist! Kunagisa is actually a genius hacker and these two hide some sort of dark past that aren’t yet revealed in Book 1. Also, later on in the book, Ii-kun’s personality starts to reveal itself as a very pessimistic and philosophical nature, unlike other stereotype characters. These characters are well developed and have unique traits that make it interesting, but don’t knock out the side characters! One of my favorite factors in this book were definitely the side characters that can be easily attached to. Like the genius scholar, Akane Sonoyama, the genius cook, Yayoi Sashirono,  the genius fortune-teller, Maki Himena, the genius painter, Kanami Ibuki, the caretaker of Ibuki and the only other non-genius, Shinya Sakaki, the head maid, Rei Handa and the three maid triplets with very contrasting personalities, Akari Chiga, Hikari Chiga, and Teruko Chiga. Not to mention the mistress of the island, Iria Akagami.

Now then, did you see how I mentioned the word “genius” a lot? Well, that has every little to do with the plot. Akagami Iria is the owner of Wet Crow’s Feather Island, and to satisfy her boredom, she invites geniuses to her island, gives them free lodging in her mansion, provides food and other necessities, and even pays them. Sweet deal. On the other hand, Ii-kun is no genius and is only accompanying Kunagisa to help her out with her disorder.  However, a string of murders begin with the famous painter, Ibuki, and a very gruesome one at that. Her head is chopped off, pretty thought huh? Despite this, the Lady of the land (Iria) doesn’t want to call the police! GASP. and thus decides to instead lock up the only one without an alibi, Akane, into a storage room, thus creating a deadlock to suspend the killer into advancing with the slaughter . However the killings continue and Akane is the next victim. and still no police. DOUBLE GASP. Although it seems that the non-genius, Ii-kun, is quite useless in this case, in fact, he is the one that manages to solve the case just in time to return home without meeting the genius of geniuses, Jun Aikawa. Not that they partically wanted to anyways. Though in the end she did appear and in quite a showy fashion if I do say so myself.

Now then, the only complaint I have for the book was that the solving of the case was very anti-climatic. The author built up so much suspense only to have it come to an end by having someone so simply explain. Not that I’m complaining about the mystery itself. No sir, the mystery was very, very original and I have never seen anything like it, though it could be due to the fact that I haven’t read enough mystery novels, but still, it was wonderfully executed and thought out. It made sense, was logical, intriguing and in general, was really cool. Even the explanation, although anti-climatic, was very, very satisfying.

So overall this was a wonderful book and should be definitely be given a read to not only mystery and anime fans, but by anyone and everyone that isn’t blind and can actually read (no offense to blind ppl). In conclusion, I rate this book a 8.5/10.

And now, the review for volume 2!
Zaregoto Book 2: The Kubishime Romanticist

The book starts off with a very boring and lack luster prologue. It just seemed like it was only there to use big words for the sake of using big words. None of the other chapters in book 1 even remotely had as many big words fit onto it compared to a single page of that prologue. Well, it’s not like those big words were really that “big”, but the wording was really odd and I just couldn’t seem to NOT think that they did it for that very reason. Just to use big words. Now, whether it was the English translators to blame or the author himself (or herself), I don’t know since I haven’t read the Japanese ver. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a very good way to start the book and honestly, I was quite disappointed. I immediately jumped the gun and thought the first book was waaay better. WRONG.

The second book was actually waaaay better. Not that the first book was bad. Just that the second, in my opinion was just way too good. Well, except the mind-numbing prologue.

Now then the story begins with Ii-kun living ordinary life and going off to college. None of the side characters other than Kunagisa and Aikawa reappear in book 2. Instead, they focus mainly on a new cast. Of course making them just as appealing and captivating as the last. Maybe even more. Like the last book, you just can’t seem to help but get attached to them even though two of them dies (not gonna ruin it!) after only having a few pages of dialogue. After bumping into another happy-go-lucky character and his classmate, Mikoko Aoii, in the cafeteria while eating a WHOLE FRIGGIN’ BOWL of kimchi, he somehow gets dragged into going to another classmate’s Happy 20th, Tomoe Emoto. Along with her other friends the delinquent looking, Muimi Atemiya, and the casual Akiharu Usami. The day after the birthday bash, Aoii, which totally has a crush on Ii-kun, visits Tomoe to give her a bday present only to find her lifeless body (Oh snap, I told you one of them :P)  This time it seems that she had been suffocated to death. and thus, the investigation begins with Ii-kun as the main suspect. DUN DUN DUN! Two police officers, Sasaki Sasa and Kazuhito Ikaruga start interrogating poor Ii-kun, and seems to throw him off.

Also, in this volume, Ii-kun is a lot more pessimistic and evil. Though I’ll leave it up to you to find out what I mean ;D This book overall is a lot more psychology and philosophical than the last, with Ii-kun and the “prowler” Zerozaki, talking about life and many problems concerning the world and random things like that.

The rating I give for this is 9/10. Yep, better than book 1! Probaly doesn’t seem like it with the way I lazily slapped together this review compared to the last. But, I found this one much more interesting and wanting to find out more about Ii-kun’s ever-developing messed up and vile personality, along with his still withholding dark past.  My statement from the above still stands, IF YA AIN’T BLIND AND CAN READ (well obviously you can read otherwise wtf are u doing here?!) THEN GO PICK THIS BOOK UP. NAO. srsly. Also kudos to Del-rey for picking this up and releasing it in North America, though the next book won’t be delivered ’till 2011. And without anyone/group translating this book, it seems I won’t be reviewing the 3rd book anytime soon. Plus, theres 7 more volumes….If it takes a year and a half to release one then I’m pretty sure I won’t be finishing this series anytime soon either. Tho I’m left wanting more, I can understand that translation is a lengthy process and so I’ll keep my head… For now. mwahaha

-Alice

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