Explore Japan's Light Novel Culture
Anime is the spice of life carrying stories into visual media. Some anime is adapted from the manga and some from Light Novels. Light Novels appeal to especially people that want to get deeper into their favourite anime, and most of the time is million times better than the anime. We will explore more about Light Novels and their anime connections in this Bento Buffet, look at Light Novel/Anime themed food, recommend you some horror anime, listen to Horror AMVs and share a classic anime for our monthly anime challenge. Also, we have a new section Only in Japan, with bizarre and interesting content from the anime motherland. Hungry for Light Novels? We got YOU covered. Itadakimasu!!
October Anime News Recap
Keanu Reeves teaser teases Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world adventure set in a dystopian future where people modify their bodies with cybernetic implants. Players will play as a character called V, a customizable mercenary on the hunt for an implant that might offer immortality. The Cyberpunk 2077 game, which features Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand, one of the main roles, is from the same developers that brought us ‘The Witcher‘ games.
A teaser clip named ‘Seize The Day’ was released on the official Cyberpunk 2077 Youtube channel a few weeks ago, and it features a Japanese-dubbed Keanu Reeves.
The game is scheduled to be released, November 19th on Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Google’s Stadia cloud service. Netflix will premiere an anime based on the game’s world in 2022. As for the anime series, the developer partnered with Studio Trigger (Kill la Kill) and the anime will be a 10-episode “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” anime series and is set to be a spin-off of the game.
Disclaimer: The following trailer contains content aimed at a mature audience, such as blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and the use of drugs and alcohol. Viewer’s discretion is advised.
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
Since this bento is about Light Novels this is perfect. The Light Novel ‘I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level’ is joining the ranks of books that have been adapted to anime. The book records the life of an exhausted and overworked office worker, Azusa, who died due to overwork and was reincarnated in another world as an immortal Witch.
After realizing how her previous life was stressful and compact, she decided to live this new life in a very carefree and peaceful manner. To keep busy, she decides to hunt down Slimes, the easiest monster to fight, and she does it over a long period of time without realizing it. She had spent over 300 years just hunting down Slimes and had thus obtained insane power, making it difficult for her to live her peaceful and low-key life, since people with delusions of grandeur always seek strong opponents to show their strength, and people seeking power will plague her into accepting her as disciples.
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is set to premiere in spring 2021, and its anime adaptation is handled by REVOROOT, while Nobukage Kimura is in the director’s seat. The series script is done by Tatsuya Takahashi while character design is handled by Keisuke Goto. The cast includes Aoi Yūki, Kaede Hondo, Sayaka Senbongi, Minami Tanaka and Sayaka Harada.
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, the Light Novel, is written by Kisetsu Morita and illustrated by Benio, and was serialized by Shōsetsuka ni Narō back in 2016 and was then acquired by SB Creative in 2017. The Light Novel is on its 14th volume and also inspired a manga adaptation.
Netflix rises even higher in the Anime scene
During Netflix’s Netflix Anime Festival 2020 Livestream they shared new anime series to be streamed on their platform, as well as update information on several of their other anime projects. New projects revealed included Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, manga-based Thermae Romae Novae, High-Rise Invasion, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, and The Way of the Househusband. Anime such as Resident Evil, Transformers and Pacific Rim were also mentioned.
Here are a few trailers of forthcoming anime on Netflix:
Godzilla Singular Point
Netflix has been working like a ninja and entered new production line partnerships with four anime studios, NAZ (Hamatora: The Animation), Science SARU (Devilman Crybaby) and MAPPA (Attack on Titan: The Final Season), as well as South Korea’s Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra, Voltron: Legendary Defender). Other previous partnership lines with studios include Production I.G, Bones, Anima, Sublimation and David Production. The new deals with NAZ, Science SARU, MAPPA and Studio Mir bring Netflix’s anime partnership program to a total of nine studios, with the Studio Mir deal, in particular, signalling an expansion beyond Japan.
Proof of how well the partnerships has been working out is in shows like Altered Carbon: Resleeved (Anima) Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 (Production I.G) and Dragon’s Dogma (Sublimation), that already streamed on Netflix.
Only in Japan
We bring you a new feature in our bento called Only in Japan where we share the weird and the wonderful side of Japan or just the uniqueness of the anime motherland. So join us and explore what is Only in Japan.
Adult Theme Park
A porn company named ‘Soft on Demand’ opened an adult theme park in Tokyo, in 2020, which is a tad weird to do in a time when social distancing is very important. The theme park, called SOD Land is a five-floor establishment filled with bars and staffed by adult video performers. Entrance fee is 5,000 yen and includes a free drink and two items of merchandise, there is also the choice of a 2,500 yen fee for 60 minutes which include a free drink and a DVD.
The theme park mostly sells alcohol, food and adult videos and the customers get the chance to chat IRL with porn performers. Don’t worry apparently they are fully clothed or working in bikinis. They are apparently trying to keep the business coronavirus-proof by having the staff behind plastic barriers and the customers, masked.
Is it wise to open a ‘theme park’ like this in the ‘year of social distancing? Only time will tell…
We have seen it in animation, a beautiful girl and she falls for a monster, like Beauty and The Beast, or steamy Urban Fantasy books that ladies like to read such as Bearista by Zoe Chant, where a girl falls for a bear, or the mythology story of Leda and The Swan or the anime movieWolfChildren where a woman falls for, not a werewolf, but a wolfman. In real life that is no different. Love is strange.
Meet Watanabe Seira, a huge Godzilla fan. Her Godzilla fan merchandise collection is epic and she wanted to have that one thing she desires most, a date with Godzilla. She wrote to Osaka television’s show Tantei! Knight Scoop, requesting a date with the reptilian hunk. Luckily for her Tantei! Knight Scoop takes viewers requests and turns those… beautiful dreams into reality. Miss Watanabe even wrote, “My love is so great that I would like to marry Godzilla,” so with a love that strong it must have been fate for what happened next…
Tantei! Knight Scoop visited her at home in Hyogo Prefecture, where she showed off her figurine collection and spoke to the show about her love for Godzilla. Then she suddenly saw her dream man… er… saurian outside her window and fell down. Her attraction to the saurian hulk was so great she had trouble breathing. They both left on a date, with a romantic bento she made herself, bringing her grandfather as chaperon. They visited the Godzilla Museum in Awaji Island, romantically holding hands, lunchtime she fed him from her bento (or tried to), they went to the beach at the end where miss Watanabe gave him a hug and a smooch and proposed to the monster. Sadly he declined her marriage proposal since defending the earth from giant monsters gets priority over love, but the memory of their date will be with her forever.
Kawaii Kulture – Light Novels
Light Novels are an important subculture in Japan and Anime and is an addictive hobby once you get into it. ‘What is a light novel?’ You may ask. Light Novels, also abbreviated to LN by enthusiasts are related to manga in a way but it has 89% fewer drawings and is well, a written novel, in a nutshell. It is a style of Japanese novel aimed mostly at high school and middle school students, but like anime, there are more mature light novels out in the world too. The average length of a LN is about 50,000 words (roughly about a hundred pages on average), close to the minimum Western requirement for a novel.
What makes light novels distinctive is that they are illustrated, in a manga art style and like manga, LN are often adapted into anime. You may have watched a few adaptations from LN, series such as No Game No Life, Spice and Wolf, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Sword Art Online and Kino no Tabi – The Beautiful World started out as light novel series before they became anime series. LN are mostly published in separate book volumes, but some have their chapters serialized in anthology magazines before being collected in book form, similar to how manga is published.
Light novels on recent years received a boom in fandom, but it isn’t a new concept, it actually evolved from pulp magazines. Aiming to attract more readers in the 1970s Japanese Pulp magazines started to add illustrations at the beginning of each story and included articles about popular anime, movies and video games. Each generation added more to these books, more illustrations and evolving narrative styles until the light novel became what we see today.
These books span many genres such as horror (Boogeypop), Dark Fantasy (Goblin Slayer), Medieval Fantasy (Spice and Wolf), Game (Sword Art Online), Slice of Live Adventure (Kino no Tabi – The Beautiful World), Food Isekai (Restaurant to Another World), Isekai (Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku) Magic (A Certain Magical Index) and Psychological (Welcome to the NHK) are just a few examples. Some light novels are also canon extenuations of anime series not based from LN such as the Naruto Light Novels inspired by the manga and series.
Like an anime based on a light novel?, then we give you fair warning that the LN usually is ten times better and tend to continue on far past the anime, so don’t say ‘I’ll wait for the next season of the anime’ (which sometimes never happens) and pass up on the opportunity to find out the actual destiny of your favourite anime heroes.
Are Light Novels The SOUL of Anime?!
Why You Should Read Light Novels
Spread The Word – Read (Verb)
This month we look at words for ‘read’ in Japanese thus our word of the month is:
Yomu – Read (Verb)
Here are some useful sentences:
hon o yomu – read a book
Terebi o keshite, hon o yominasai. – Turn off the television, and read a book.
shinbun o yomu – read the newspaper
zasshi o yomu – read a magazine
musume ni hon o yomu – read a book to one’s daughter
O-kā-san ga musume ni hon o yomu. – The mother reads to her daughter.
Food of Japan: Light Novel Food
This week we look at recipes straight from anime-inspired by Light Novels. Our first video is all about yummy Coconut pancakes and pound cakes, inspired by Ascendance of a Bookworm and our second video is a rabbit dish inspired by Asuna from Sword Art Online. Enjoy the meals. Itadaimasu!!
Coconut pancakes and pound cakes
Asuna’s Rabbit Ragout
Top 5 Horror anime series recommendations
Many horror fans like to watch horror on Halloween Night (October 31st) and then go on a horror-binge in November. We share with you some horror anime to cater for your Halloween needs. Some of them are scary, some of them are creepy and some of them may haunt your dreams, in other words, fun. So, our dark and lovely readers choose your anime… wisely.
Disclaimer: The following trailer s may contain content aimed at a mature audience, such as blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and the use of drugs and alcohol. Viewer’s discretion is advised.
Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate
That not enough? Want more creep and scary? Then we recommend you try series like Another, if you love mystery and ghosts, or Higurashi: When They Cry if you think you are brave enough. Hell Girl can always scare you or a friend into becoming a good person, and if you love horror anthologies, maybe one of the seasons of Yami Shibai to binge will be a fun watch. In the mood for funny horror, then we suggest you try High School of the Dead, which is funny and will also cater for the fanservice junkies out there.
Anime Challenge for November: Death Note
Light Yagami, a high school student discovers a supernatural notebook, the Death Note, that was dropped on Earth by a Shinigami (a god of death) named Ryuk. The Death Note grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name and face they know. All you have to do is write the name of the person you want dead in the book while visualising their face. Pretty dark, right?
The series revolves around Light’s attempt to use the notebook to create and rule a world “cleansed of evil”, with his cast as a type of ‘god’, and the efforts of a detective known as L to stop him. In the first few episodes, criminals start dying one by one and fear falls in the criminal world like dark rain. People become too afraid to commit a crime, rumours float around about Kira, a name for this unseen murderer of criminals. Light decides to adopt this name to sow his seeds of fear.
Throughout this the Shinigami Ryuk watches with amusement as Light plans and executes these criminal deaths by writing them in the notebook, playing a cat and mouse game with the authorities and L, staying a step ahead of them as they try to catch “Kira”.
The Death Note manga first ran serialized in Shueisha’s manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. Our anime challenge series adaptation aired in Japan from October 2006 to June 2007 and was developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsurō Araki. The seres were also adapted into video games and light novel series, three Japanese live-action films released in Japan in June 2006, November 2006, and February 2008, and a television drama in 2015. A miniseries entitled Death Note: New Generation and a fourth film were released in 2016. An American film adaptation was released exclusively on Netflix in August 2017 and a sequel is apparently in the works.
Anime Birthday of the month: Kaede Fuyou (Shuffle!)
Our birthday girl is Kaede Fuyou from the visual novel and anime, Shuffle. Her birthday is November 10th. Here is a breakdown of the anime:
Ten years ago, the gates to both the realm of the Gods and Demons were opened, and residents from both these realms started to immigrate to Earth. Now gods, demons and humans study together in schools, even live together in neighbourhoods.
Rin Tsuchimi is a student at such a mixed school. Lucky (or unlucky we should say) for Rin, he has been chosen as a marriage candidate for two fellow students – Nerine, the Demon princess, and Sia, Princess of the Gods, making him a potential ruler of either the Gods or Demons one day. This all happened because of an event in the past, since he met both girls before when he was a young kid. As if Rin’s life is not complicated enough a few more ladies are thrown in the mix. There is Kaede Fuyou, the girl he has been living with since his parents died when he was very young who is our birthday girl this month. Kaede believes it is her duty to look after Rin and really loves him. Her competition and friends in this harem Urban Fantasy: there is the beautiful Asa Shigure, a tomboy but with a weak constitution and a classmate of both Rin and Kaede. Also there is Mayumi Thyme, a half-human, half-demon girl, and the sweet-toothed Kareha, one of the Gods and a real daydreamer. These girls together with Nerine and Sia are all interested in Rin, and he really must learn to ‘shuffle’ his life to accommodate everyone and keep them happy. Then of course is the little problem of which princess to choose. Just who will Rin end up with?
Please note that this anime does contain fanservice-like girls in bikinis and other forms of eye candy and the visual novel, like most, have adult themes. But both the game and anime are great entertainment so if you are old enough, you should go for it and watch it.
AMV of The Month: Shiki and Another
We’re treating you to a horror AMV Double play this month. First up is ‘Hide and Seek’ by Lizz Robinett featuring scenes from the anime Shiki, followed by Dead Memories by Slipknot featuring scenes from Another. Enjoy the AMVs!
Anime Meetup: 21st November - Dungeons & Dragons.
This anime day, come explore dungeons and slay dragons with us. Throw the dice of fate by bringing a friend and sharing in a fantasy feast of Fantasy anime. Anime that will be showed include Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka, Log Horizon, No Game No Life, Claymore, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and more. Come heroes and dragons alike, your adventure awaits.
Be advised that details may change due to the lock-down rules and the COVID-19 situation.
When: 21st November
Time: 12:00 AM to 18:00 PM
Place: Cool Runnings, Centurion (120 Ivan Str , Hennops Park Centurion, Pretoria) The anime day is at the back of the club in the anime screening room
Be sure to look at our event page on our website as we may update with more news on events.