1. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    A "different" kind of writing...

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by AndyC, Apr 18, 2014.

    This is not my work, but I never read anything like this, and I'm assuming a lot of you didn't either. I'll write a couple of paragraphs before telling you where this is found.

    This is the opening page

    There is something in this world which no one has ever seen.

    It is soft and sweet.

    If it is spotted, I'm sure everyone will want to have it,

    Which is why no one has ever seen it.

    For this world has hidden it quite well, so that it is difficult to obtain.

    But, there will come a day when it is discovered by somebody,

    And only those who should obtain it will be able to find it.

    And that is all.

    Chapter 1.

    "Damn it!"

    Seven-thirty in the morning. It was a fine day, and dim inside the house. The house was a double-room plus kitchen apartment facing south in a two-story townhouse, about a ten minute walk from the railway station. Rent was around 80,000 yen.

    "I give up! I just can't get this right!"

    A frustrated hand wiped the mist from the mirror. The run-down bathroom was foggy due to an early morning shower. So after wiping the mirror, it returned to being cloudy. It was pointless to take anger out on the mirror no matter how frustrated one was...

    "This stuff is nothing but a rip-off!"

    Make yourself gentle with floating bangs — That slogan was seen in the latest men's fashion magazine. Takasu Ryūji's bangs were now "floating". As the article instructed, he pulled his bangs at length, blow-dried them until they stood up, and then gently rubbed them sideways with some hair gel. He specifically woke up a half-hour early in order to make his hair resemble that of the model's and have his wish granted.

    Nonetheless, "Maybe I was too naïve in trying to change myself just with my bangs."

    Ryūji dejectedly threw the trendy magazine, which had taken him a lot of courage to buy, into the garbage bin. Unfortunately, his poor aim meant it completely missed, opened itself up as it landed, and tilted all the trash out of the bin. The open page read "You can still make it in time for the start of school. Gentle or wild? Our journey towards modeling."

    Were it up to me, I'm not too sure if I would care about modeling. Still, I wanted to change.

    But I failed.

    This is a page somewhat in the middle of the book

    Ryūji quickly backed off. Aisaka Taiga was actually smiling! It was not easy to tell, but upon closer inspection one could see that she was smiling.

    Her eyes were squinted small like a kitten that had just finished eating, her puffed up face was caressed by her hands and her mouth revealed the shape of an equilateral triangle. She remained like that until her neck became cherry red in color and her ears became bright red. If one listed intently, they would hear the faint whiffs that emitted from the depths of her abdomen...

    Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh..."

    ... She was giggling.

    "H, hey... Aisaka, what's wrong?"

    "Heh... what now?! The one who's looking wrong is you! Why are you looking so stunned? You should be happy for me as well, like a dog."

    "... Happy? For you?"

    After hearing this unexpected statement, it was Ryūji's turn to become silent. Happy for what? Though Aisaka was pouting, she still appeared to be in a very good mood... Her hands were now grabbing her ponytail and had begun spinning slowly... Is she... dancing...?

    But, why? How'd it come to this? Somehow it felt difficult to ask that in a situation like this... Ryūji, whose arm was whipped by her ponytail, frowned and asked,

    "Hey... Hey! Why should I be happy?"

    Aisaka stopped upon hearing the very direct question, she then scowled and exclaimed, "Wha?!"

    "What are you moaning about? Have you forgotten just what we have been fighting for? That's right, I see... since you are a complete and utter idiot anyway. Just how tiny is that brain of yours? Huh? Stop fooling around already! I have no time to waste with you! I'll tell you since I'm in a good mood right now! You wanna hear it right? Right? Ki, Kitamura-kun just practiced passing the ball with me! Heh heh..."

    She then reverted to her giggling. "Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh" ... After thinking for a while, Ryūji finally spoke,

    "... What's that supposed to mean?"

    "Huh?! Seriously, a dog has no right to complain..."

    "... I'm not complaining... it's the way you're happy for... Sorry for being blunt, but aren't you happy for all the wrong reasons? When you said practice passing the ball... didn't you just simply pass the ball to him only once? Besides, was your goal just to practice passing the ball with him? Aren't you supposed to use that opportunity to start a conversation with him and get to know each other better?"

    Ah...

    Aisaka's grin was quickly replaced by her usual grim expression. "Right?" Ryūji continued,

    "Furthermore, just what was that about? Did you even speak to him? Didn't you keep quiet the whole time? All you did was stiffly throw the ball out and he simply said thanks, and you call that a conversation?"

    He picked up the ball while mimicking the cheesy V-sign Kitamura made a while ago. As a result...

    "Hmph!"

    Aisaka quickly turned and slammed her hand on the ball he was holding.

    As a result of the great force applied, the ball bounced very high up, nearly touching the ceiling.

    Now, what is this all about?

    I was looking for something "new" to read, and a friend of mine borrowed me this book. It's genre is called a Light Novel (LN) and are written mainly by Japanese authors, so they're on Japanese. Nevertheless, this book I got is translated on English. I don't know how much of the actual meaning of this work got "lost" on the translation, but so far it has been really interesting to read, it's sentence structures are fairly coherent and consistent.

    This LN is called "Toradora!" and it's written by Yuyuko Takemiya, and I've been told it's one of the most popular LN out there. This one, as many of Japanese's works, is based on high-schoolers and their stories. It's kind of a romance/comedy story.
    What I know about LN is that they're written on a way that it's easy and fast to read. This particular LN is divided into 10 books, and each one has about 200 pages, so the story develops REALLY slow. This kind of writing is heavily focused on character development and dialogue, lots and lots of dialogue (it's almost based on dialogue), rather than the "story" itself. Most of the "plot" is only a "vehicle" for character development and interaction.

    I still don't know what to think about it, since I'm still on the early pages of the book, but so far I like it. It's just... Different. Different from what I'm used to read. That's all I can say about this book, actually.

    Have you ever read anything like this?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what do you think is so different about it?

    even the riddle isn't that different, as many novels in the fantasy genre include them [though the usual format is as a block indent]... and the rest is pretty normal...
     
  3. AndyC
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    AndyC Member

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    Well, yeah. But it's different from what I'm used to read on the way the story unwraps itself. After all, this kind of writing is considered to be a genre on itself.
    The story unwraps really, really slow. I mean, for what I've been told, you could tell the same story on half of a book. Nevertheless, this novel takes 10 books to develop itself, with almost 2000 pages total, so I'm guessing the way it is written has to be made on a very different approach, because I assume you need to have to get your reader really, really into the story. It can't be easy to maintain the reader's attention through 10 books of the same thing. I'm still very early on the book so I can't actually state that as a fact.
    Also, on it's original language, maybe the sentence structures are a lot different. After all, this is just a translation, and Japanese and English are very, very different languages. For what I know, it may even be completely re-written to fit the structure English has.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I didn't notice anything unique from the passages you posted, although I can tell from the second passage that it was written with a younger audience in mind. After all, according to Wikipedia, a light novel is basically a YA novel.
     
  5. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    thirdwind is right, it's pretty much the YA equivalent. "Light" is a very literal definition: it's light reading / doesn't contain complex themes. The stories themselves are typically dialogue-driven and are more about delivering a story for fast entertainment, rather than requiring any close reading skills to be fully understood / enjoyed.

    As for how it's written, the original Japanese texts typically use short paragraphs (a couple of sentences at most) and some also use furigana: which is where the correct reading of more complex kanji will be printed alongside it (typically directly above it) in hiragana. This is done with a lot of print materials aimed at younger readers to help them better understand any words they may not know.
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I started speed scanning a few lines in because there was no content within all the words. It would certainly no encourage me to read, quite the opposite.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    considered by whom?... and what genre?...

    ...yes, it could be... since japanese is written vertically, for one thing... and from right to left, the back to the front of the book, which would be backwards, to western readers... plus, the mind set of readers of japanese forms of fiction is not the same as western readers, so you can't really judge this in any way, by western standards...
     

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