Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
It’s not the most light-hearted rom-com you’ll ever read. There’s a few dark things and the whole character set-up is kind of complex. Figuring everything out feels more like a mystery novel in some regards.
For: People who want a more mature and complex rom-com.
There’s lots of figures of speech, the vocabulary’s advanced, lots of slang, lots of otaku terms. It’s not exactly easy, if you just wanna read it like nothing, you should probably be somewhat past JLPT N1 standards. I’ll play it safe and go with 8. There’s harder light novels out there, though. It’s a 7 for the brave.
Not that I know of. Maybe there’s a manga adaption, but the series is fairly new, so dunno.
Translation: No for the light novel.
Aramiya Seiichi is an ordinary high school… eroge otaku who’s given up all hope on girls in the 3D world due to a certain incident. One day, after he’s bought a bunch of new material in consequence of experiencing the frustration of a perfect eroge character turning out to be “used goods,” he encounters a delinquent-like-looking girl being about to get raped by a bunch of guys. By mere chance, he rescues her. Days later, when school starts again, it turns out to have been his classmate, Ayame, a feared delinquent girl who’s got all kind of rumors about her – especially that she’s “used goods.” And it appears that she’s set on becoming his ideal girl to make him fall for her.
NOTE: These summaries can never give you an accurate impression on how the book reads or what the book is really like. It simply gives you the gist of the novel, but don’t judge the book by this alone. It can’t be helped that things read rushed and colorless in a summary. You can get an idea by reading the conclusion and, finally, by reading it yourself!
Let’s start with the bad things. There are three points about this novel that I didn’t like. 1) The bad stuff that is going on in this is basically rape or attempted rape. It’s treated like nothing, really. “I’m really upset, but it’s not that bad a thing.” That kind of feeling. The bad guy should’ve been reported to the police a looong time ago. I really don’t like this half-assed behavior related to the incident at hand. 2) The stuff that’s going on is almost a tad too dark for a rom-com. I don’t like these heavy topics to begin with and although the story’s very exciting to read, a bunch of situations are hard to stomach. 3) Towards the latter half of the volume, the author shifts his focus from “interactions between characters” to “diving into the characters’ history.” Since the character interactions were hilarious to read, it lost a bit charm by doing that in my opinion. Lots of talk towards the latter half is like “So what kind of relationship do X and Y have?”
Now that that’s outta the way, let’s get to the good part. As you might’ve noticed, this novel’s complex. Like, really complex. Usually, rom-coms are a pun feast with lots of blush inducing situations, but oh so flat characters. I can tell you that everyone of the characters introduced in this story has rarely-seen-before depth. They’ve got reasons for doing what they do and the various threads that connect them are thick. Everyone’s got history with one another and what kind of picture this history draws is pretty vague. Figuring the big picture out is like a mystery novel, there are several clues among the story, so you gotta stay sharp while you read it. If you’re not it’ll be laid out before you in the end, though. So all good.
The characters are great and easy to tell apart. I’ve read stories where I had problems telling who’s who that’s just how plain they were. But not in this case. Their characters diverge in many aspects and it’s interesting to see them duking it out with one another. Although it turns into a police interrogation story towards the end (see 3), it’s not so bad since you really wanna know whether the heroine’s a whore or not.
There’s a bunch of good comedy in this too, but comedy’s not the biggest part of it. It’s more rom/drama if you ask me. But although the drama’s topic is pretty dark, it never gives off the vibes that something really bad’s going on. There’s always a “oh well” floating around in the subtext. It feels a bit weird but makes the heavy subject less repulsive, I guess. The author never gives you the feeling that it all might end bad. Like I stated under 1, it feels kind of weird at some points, to be honest.
All in all, you won’t ever understand the beauty of this novel if you haven’t read it yourself. So either you gotta wait and pray for a translation (has to be fan-made since there’s so much hardly-translatable stuff in this that no company would ever consider touching it), or read the summary and hardly understand why it’s great to read. If I wanted to summarize it properly, it’d probably be about 20 pages. There’s just too much important stuff going on. The above-mentioned weak points draw it “down” to an eight. I sure am eager to read volume 2, I’m really curious how the author keeps the suspense up and the story interesting since basically everything has been resolved in volume 1 already. No cliffhangers. Not really any questions left.