Manga Light Novel Reviews! They’re here!

Guys, let me first explain to you what a light novel is. So, when a manga or anime is produced sometimes the authors will come out with a novel version which includes a “book” book version instead of a “comic book” type deal. These two that I’m showing here are a prime example. Both have animes and mangas that are part of their plotlines and are both fantastic in that sense as well but I really do enjoy them as light novels the most. I’m a big anime/manga fan and so is my husband and we tend to gravitate towards a lot of the Japanese/Korean/Chinese manga/anime. So far, I’ve only read Japanese themed light novels but I’m always interested in finding different ones. The ones that I’m reviewing today for you are Restaurant From Another World vol. 1 by Junpei Inuzuka and Overlord vol. 1 by Kugane Maruyama. Both are individual and unique in their own right but let me break down the specifics for you. Both books are what my husband refers to in Japanese as Isekai. Isekai in Japanese means and translates literally to “different world.” It’s when a manga or anime character is transported from the regular world into a kind of different world such as a video game or just another fantasy world in general. Isekai is also known as reincarnation anime/manga. It’s referring to when a character dies and is reincarnated into another world. This sub genre of manga/anime is one of my favorites for a lot of reasons. The thought of going to another world is spectacular and also the idea of defeating the impossible even, (death) is very empowering when reading them. There are a lot of different Isekai’s out there but these two would have to be my favorite for right now. Let’s start with Overlord. Overlord is set many, many hundreds of years in the future in Japan when video games have such things as real life sensory aspects as if you’re really in the world of the game. This type of game is a role playing game called a DDMMORPG standing for a Dive Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. The one that the series revolves around is one called Yggdrasil. The main character is a young Japanese man who is sick and tired of the daily grind in normal life and has played Yggdrasil faithfully for many years. The character is simply referred to his player name which is Momonga. The story starts when the game Yggdrasil is finally being shut down and the server is on it’s last night running. The game is not as popular as it once was and has been out for many years. Momonga appears in the first few chapters as dealing with his feelings of the shut down of the server and saying goodbye to his in game friends thinking that he will never see them or the world that plays in again. Well, he’s right about one. But not the other. The entire series captures Momonga’s feelings and story while he is transported inside the game and is a live character stuck forever in the world that he has grown to know and love. The NPC’s or Non Player Character’s that he’s also grown to know and love also have become real and the “real world” exists no longer. He goes through a series of adventures, trials and hardships and it’s really quite fascinating. I would definitely recommend this series to any video game lover who just wishes to take a break from the daily grind sometimes. I won’t spoil more for you so just go ahead and read it already! Now, the second Isekai that we’ll be discussing is Restaurant To Another World. This one takes place in Japan, kinda set in regular circumstances and time period except, it focuses on a little restaurant in the middle of bustling Tokyo that caters not just to this world, but to other worlds as well. As soon as you step inside, you’ll find delicious foods and delicacies. And a wide variety of patrons both human and not. It’s a cooking/food/manga/anime light novel which I will also say is one of my fav sub genres. Not only do you get to read about another worldly dimension, but you get to listen to the author talking about cooking and serving amazing food. What’s not to love? Both of these series I’d give a Goodreads rating a 5/5 stars. Amazing series. Fun circumstances. Check em out. And as always, I’m listening. -Caroline

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