LN Reading Program 2 — August 21

(pictured: Re:Zero)

(pictured: Re:Zero)

For the final week of this year’s summer reading program, we will discuss the final third of Re:Zero (volume 1) and Our Journey to the End of the Ceasing World. This is also your chance to discuss the two books as a whole, so feel free to share any general impressions.

Re:Zero

The final chapter of this volume was pretty exciting. I felt the author did a good job at writing a climactic action sequence detailing everyone’s struggle against Elsa. There are a few issues I had with the final act though:

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about Reinhard showing up just in time to save everyone. This is a trope I’m not fond of in any medium — I generally prefer it when the main characters work things out through their own merits and limitations.
  2. Loads of unanswered questions. Actually, pretty much every question I had over the course of this volume is left unanswered. I understand there are more volumes to be had in this series, but it still bothered me. We don’t even find out what the badge was! The thing everyone in the volume is fighting over! The lack of any kind of explanation over the Satella thing was also rather aggravating.
  3. I still have mixed feelings regarding Subaru’s… dumbness. Mainly I just don’t find most of his dialogue that funny, but there are times where he does go too far with his social ineptitude. His actions ultimately show his heart’s (overall) in the right place, but I can understand some readers not liking him.
  4. Elsa gets away at the end. Can this volume feel any more inconclusive? I get that this was originally a web novel series (and thus didn’t need to really follow a “series of books” structure), but still…

As always, feel free to guess what happens next. (e.g. What’s up with Felt at the end there? or How many more times must Subaru die to appease the fantasy world?) I don’t think anyone has commented on Re:Zero in these posts who hasn’t already seen the anime though. In which case, feel free to compare the novel to its anime adaptation.

(pictured: Our Journey to the End of the Ceasing World)

(pictured: Our Journey to the End of the Ceasing World)

Our Journey to the End of the Ceasing World

What do you think of this novel? Did anyone read it?

I’d like to say you all should have read it, but I personally just couldn’t get into this one. The final act was no different from the first two, and really not much of anything happens in this book as a whole. The author didn’t work with the premise in a way that I found interesting, and there was nothing to like about either of the main characters. While the boy was just thoroughly bland, I continually found the girl aggravating from start to finish. (She wasn’t quite as obnoxious as Ranta from Grimgar, at least?)

What do you think of the final vignette featuring the “princess” and the doctor? Any thoughts on either of them?

What does this story have to say about journeys? In what ways does the story being a travelogue affect its general themes and messages?

———

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 — August 21

  1. Final portion of re zero was the best (also I liked whenever he went against those three doofuses).

    Otherwise most of the volume felt average and I think I prefer anime take on it over the volume. Subaru came off as really dumb in the novel for this (howd it take him so long to figure out he was being revived) and most of his conversations with people were much ado about nothing. Like half the time what was he even talking about with folks. I guess this final part improved that with the close moments with Felt that came off as endearing.

    Will stay for v2 because reinhard is hot and has a cool sword that wasnt used.

    • I went ahead and started watching the anime the other day (I’m on ep 12 now), and I’ll have to agree the story is told much better there. The issues I have with the LN are minimized significantly thanks to the adaptation’s faster pacing. Long and aimless conversations that felt needlessly drawn-out in the novel are edited down to less than a minute in the adaptation, moving the plot along much more smoothly.

      (I don’t believe you’ll find Reinhard in the second volume of the light novels, BTW… He returns later on in the series.)

  2. As someone who watches the anime, I find that this is a series that just keeps you guessing. After last weeks cliffhanger in the anime, I have absolutely no idea what’s coming later today. I could understand someone finishing the first book and having to wait four months for an answer to be a bit more mad than an anime watcher only having to wait every week. Most of your questions are answered not too far into the series.

    I’m not a big fan of the showing up in the nick of time trope either. It’s the most common trope I can think of, happening in pretty much every series and any medium. If used right, it can add a lot of excitement, but I think it would have been better if they worked it out on their own as well.

    In comparing the novel to the anime, I think the voice acting helped in conveying the humor, and the visuals helped with the fight scenes putting the anime ahead for me. I also didn’t glean too much additional information from reading, unlike other series like “DanMachi” and “The Devil is a Part Timer” where there is a lot left out of the anime. From reading those novels, I learned a lot more about their worlds.

    • There’s a bit of a fine balance stories need to maintain when it comes to how much information to give the audience. My opinion is mainly just… if there is a question that should be very obvious for the protagonist to ask, then that issue should probably be addressed (or at the very least acknowledged) so the audience isn’t left completely in the dark. I get that it’s a tricky thing though, and perhaps it’s something Tappei Nagatsuki improves upon as the series goes along.

      Regardless, I definitely finished this first volume with the sense that I really didn’t know much about this fantasy world that Subaru has been summoned to. On one hand I understand Re:Zero’s focus may be working more on the protagonist as a character study (which I find interesting), but I do hope some more thought gets put into the worldbuilding.

      White Fox is doing very well with its anime adaptation, from what I’ve seen. The voice acting, animation, and pacing are all quite solid. It feels like the director is invested in this story.

  3. “I’d like to say you all should have read it, but I personally just couldn’t get into this one. The final act was no different from the first two, and really not much of anything happens in this book as a whole. ”
    I would argue and say the novel ended perfectly in a way that it was going for since the beginning. That it wanted to deliver a positive message despite the post apocalyptic setting. I’m sure it will be emotional as hell if they show the journey of the two characters until they literally disappear, but they didn’t, and I’m fine with it. Tabi no Deyou is another one of those story where it tells us that the journey is more important than the destination. And as for how the author “ends” the story? By successfully inspiring other people to go on a journey too? Again, I think that’s perfect within the context of what Tabi ni Deyou is going for.

    Man, I don’t know. I feel like I’m the only one who like this novel, that’s assuming if anyone even read it.

    • I’ve seen Tabi ni Deyou suggested on multiple occasions whenever the topic of good one-shot LN recommendations comes up. (That’s how I first learned about it, at least.) Also, it’s an 8 and 9 out of 10 for its MAL reviews. ;P

      At any rate, I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kai! I do appreciate the general atmosphere the story was going for at least, and applaud the author for working with a concept a little off the beaten path.

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