LN Reading Program 2 — July 17

(pictured: Psycome)

(pictured: Psycome)

For the second week of July’s reading program, we will discuss the second third of Psycome (volume 1) and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (volume 1). For Psycome, you need to have read up to the chapter titled “Fifth Period: Lucifer in the Cocytus.” Meanwhile for Grimgar, you need to have read up to chapter 16: “Aiming for the Top.”

If you have read further ahead, please refrain from spoiling anything past the points in the stories mentioned above. (Also, obviously, if you’ve experienced a manga or anime adaptation in the past, don’t reveal what happens next.)

Psycome

Life goes on in the dangerous school prison, but just barely. Kyousuke witnesses firsthand Maina’s destructive power, gets caught up in romcom-esque shenanigans with Renko, and learns the truth about Eiri. Also, the truth about the school?

Discussion Points

What do you think about Maina? Do you believe she is legitimately just a clumsy girl?

What do you think about Renko? Does she actually like Kyousuke? How would she react if she learned the truth regarding his twelve murders?

What do you think about Eiri? How does the reveal of her secret profession affect your understanding of her actions thus far in the novel?

How do you feel about the way the story has handled tone? Would you call Psycome an effective blend of comedy and horror?

(Psycome artwork by Namanie)

(Psycome artwork by Namanie)

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Life goes on in the dangerous world of monsters. After successfully killing goblins for some number of days, the party decides to take on a tougher hobgoblin. The raid ends in disaster however, with the priest Manato falling in battle. Following the loss, a priest named Mary is enlisted to assist them in their monster hunts, but she does not get along well with anyone. Haruhiro finds himself struggling to lead the team in Manato’s place.

Discussion Points

Nobody commented on Grimgar last week, so I’m guessing this series isn’t as popular as I thought? At any rate, the story has gotten a little more interesting in my opinion, though I’ll reserve my judgement for the story as a whole until next week.

How do you feel about the way the plot has progressed in regard to Manato? In what ways does his death further the plot and themes of the book?

Amusingly, while nobody in the story liked Mary, I’ve quickly found her to be my favorite character. Perhaps because she seems the most sensible one in the book? I always found it odd how the story depicted its priest as a character fighting on the front lines, and frantically healing every single injury that befell anyone. The group as a whole, in all honesty, has had poor teamwork and planning… I can not tell yet if all of this was the author’s intention or not, but in any case I agree with Mary on each point she has made, as callous as she might be.

We’re also getting some drama that could easily lead into a romance-driven point of conflict (which I find a breath of fresh air, after so many pages of fighting generic monsters). Any predictions on that front?

———

As mentioned before, feel free to discuss any point you would like to bring up about either (or both) of these two books. General impressions, predictions for how the stories will play out, some compare/contrast between the two books, or any random observations and things you’d like to analyze are all fair game.

6 responses to “LN Reading Program 2 — July 17

  1. I’m not really finding myself laughing at any of the jokes, and it doesn’t take much for me to laugh. And the horror elements more creep me out than anything else. But the truth about the school at the end of the chapter peeked my interest. When the teacher said the kids should try and murder her, I immediately thought of Assassination Classroom, except it’s actually a lot different. Here, the teacher has no qualms about hurting her students, and doesn’t seem like she has much interest in teaching them the main subjects, either.

    I feel like this is a school where no one is like they seem, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Maina was really the cold blooded murder pretending to be clumsy.

    I’m not sure what to think about Renko. She might just like Kyousuke because he killed 12 people, but I think the deed he (attempted) to do for her to save her might bring him points with her.

    I’m liking the fact that Eiri is an assassin who can’t get herself to actually assassinate herself. Shows she is actually more human than I thought. I wonder who else is lying about the amount of people they’ve killed.

    After the reveal at the end of chapter 4, I am a little bit excited to read the end of the volume and see where it goes from here.

    • Overall I agree that the humor in Psycome doesn’t click with me. There are moments I find clever at least, but most of the time I feel the “fluff” scenes drag on longer than they should. The twist regarding the school’s purpose is a fun one to work with however, and I’m also curious to see where things go from here.

      • Just caught up to you guys in Psycome as the first half of July was pretty busy for me. I also find the humor in Psycome to be sort of hit and miss. I remember liking it a bit more in volume 2 when I read the fan translation but that could just me adapting to its particular style. Eiri’s background reveal was my favorite little twist of the novel and I still liked it this time around. Really helped explain much of how she previously acted. Definitely the girl I’m rooting for in the series.

        While the fan translation was by no means one of the bad ones I’ve read I’m still immensely grateful for official releases as it reads so much more naturally there. I’m pretty curious how this one ended up on Yen Press’s radar and why they chose to go with it as its moderately different from their usual fare.

      • I learned in the afterword (not a spoiler) that the book won the “Award of Excellence in the fourteenth Enterbrain Entertainment Award.” Not sure exactly how prestigious that award is but I’m sure it had some influence in Yen Press’ decision.

  2. About Grimgar, I would say that the fact that they have really crappy teamwork was most definitely intended.

    Also, I haven’t read Psycome yet, which was why I haven’t responded to these posts yet! orz. Hopefully I’ll have read it by the end of the month so I can participate in the final discussion thread.

    • No worries Frog-kun, feel free to give your thoughts on Psycome next week!
      I’ll take your word for now, regarding Grimgar. =P

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