Light Novel Review: Hundred Volume 2

Who Would Like this Series/Volume?


It’s your generic, off-the-shelf sci-fi-battle-rom-com series. The similarities to Infinite Stratos are undeniable. Though, it’s not the boldest of rip-offs. But anyways, if you liked Infinite Stratos then you won’t be let down here. The very, very little drama it has is almost being ignored by the protagonist, so it’s simply smooth sailing through the rom-com seas with one or two battle waves hitting the sci-fi ship. There might be some eye rolling involved due to over-excessive generic-ism, so you gotta bring some stamina with you. Also, the heroines in this are rather pushy and direct. If that’s your thing, then good for you. This one isn’t Shakespeare either. But it has a rubber duck.

For: People who want Infinite Stratos all over again.

Difficulty


Neither the series nor the volume themselves are really difficult. But explanations can get technical and – as probably in every other battle series – the kanji used aren’t the most common. There are also characters and circumstances where the dialogue turns really “stiff and polite”, which can increase difficulty for some. There’s also talk about medicine and whatnot. If you’re holding a gun to my head, I’d guess it caps to 5/10. But only due to the words used, not the grammar or “sense” in general.

Difficulty 5/10

Translation Where?


I translated volume 1 over at guhehe. I also teased the prologue of volume 2. There’s nothing else of the light novel that I know of. Translation quality is, of course, epic. Legendary. Unreached. Godly. Guhehe-tastic. There’s also a manga. Yeah, there is. Hey, this is a light novel review. Don’t force me to read scanlations.

Translation: There’s volume 1 and the prologue of volume 2; and a manga that I haven’t read.

Contents


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!

The Whole Damn Thing
The Gang
The gang. From right to left: Hayato, Emilia, Claire, Souffle, Sakura, Ridi, Karen, Ritia, Erika, Charlotte, Fritz.

The prologue tells us about how Sakura, Hayato, and Karen first meet. It’s in the Gutenburg Kingdom within Britannia. After the big Savage attack, all three of them are orphans. Sakura feels very lonely and is grieving over her dead mother. Hayato – as a kid with the young, shy Karen by his side – calls out to her. When he asks her what she’d like to have, after first saying “my mum” which is impossible to give her, she tells him that she wants to hear a song. Her mother’s song. She then hums it for the both of them, so that Hayato can then sing it to her. Instead, Hayato and Karen end up praising Sakura for her clear voice, which makes her very happy. In the end they end up singing all together, with Hayato being the worst among them and being teased for that.

The chapter starts off with a practice battle between Hayato/Emilia and Fritz/Ritia. Fritz as well as Ritia want to fight with guys from the Selection as they want to join their ranks and hence prove themselves. In the end, Hayato and Emilia win, albeit after much struggling. After the battle, Hayato is told to immediately come to the student council room, which leaves Emilia behind. In there, Claire tells him that Little Garden will lay at anchor in front of Zwei Islands next week and that Kirishima Sakura will be holding a charity concert. The Selection is ought to act as security for said concert and Hayato in specific was asked by Sakura herself to be her bodyguard even though his data isn’t even official yet – reasons unknown. Claire further informs that seven Savage had dropped down onto the Earth from outer space. Four of which had been shot down in midair. The remaining three had been fought in volume 1. However, only one core from the four shut down ones had been recovered. So the other three might still be alive somewhere. Before Hayato accepts the bodyguard job, he requests something special for Sakura’s live concert… Thereafter, he visits the hospital and tells Karen that he arranged for her to get a good seat during Sakura’s concert, which Nii-san’s being rewarded with a hug (I love her). She’d also love to watch it together with Nii-san, but alas he’s on bodyguard duty. But this makes her all the more excited since he can get her an autograph.

Hayato’s being woken by some massive “earthquake”; Little Garden has “docked” onto Zwei Islands. Eastland, to be precise. In the corridor, Emilia asks Hayato whether he’d like to go to Fisherman’s Wharf on the east side of Zwei Islands, but his phone’s already ringing. It’s Erika. She tells him that the client arrived early and, as Claire’s busy with stuff, she’ll come pick him up and then they’ll go meet the client. And here Emilia wanted to be “all flirty” with him. Hayato’s headed for Little Garden’s airport, as Sakura won’t land on Eastland as planned but wanted to see Little Garden as fast as possible. On the way, Hayato’s handed an N-tranquilizer – an anti-personnel and anti-Slayer stun gun and a “sonar” to check rooms for bugs and stuff. Suddenly, he receives a mail from Karen, reminding him of the autograph and also letting him know that her fortune-telling suggests he should be cautious of water.

Finally, Sakura and her producer/manager, Souffle Clearrail, arrive via helicopter. To guide Sakura around Little Garden, Ridi (apparently also with them) gets them a car as there’s hardly time to walk. On the ride, Sakura asks Hayato whether he had listened to her songs. He denies. She pouts. In Central, Sakura’s promotion video’s shown on some screens, so Hayato can finally hear her singing. When Sakura asks him how he likes it, he says that it’s “amazing”, which she’s very happy to hear. After walking around Central for a bit, Sakura wants to change and take a bath, since she hadn’t had the chance on the flight. They move on to the hotel with just Hayato and Sakura. The others have to meet up with Claire. Oh boy.

After they’re guided to Sakura’s room, Hayato makes a good impression as her bodyguard and forgets to check the room. After a friendly reminder, he catches up on that. She tells him to call her Sakura and she’ll call him Hayato after a short exchange. You know the name drill. Though, she tells him to be cautious and not call her name around other people. Apparently she saw footage of him battling the Savage on the Cybernet. She decided to do a charity concert on Zwei Island once she knew Little Garden would dock there, so that she could assign Hayato as her bodyguard. To Hayato’s surprise, she then asks him what he thinks of her and if he’d want to date her, since she’d want to date first before she marries. The world suffers from population decline and the earlier they marry, the more children they could… He’s hesitating, so Sakura asks him whether he has a girlfriend. Emilia comes to his mind. However, he then turns Sakura down as he doesn’t really know her. She pouts. Hayato decides to test her and take the offense, asking her if she’d like to kiss in case she’s alright with him. Sakura gets flustered and decides to rather hurry for a bath.

While she’s taking a bath, Sakura’s singing to herself. Suddenly, she stops and wants Hayato to get her PDA, since she’d thought up a good melody and wants to record it. When he enters the bathroom, he sees her pantsu (pant, pant) on the floor – the original with kuma-print. Some dokidokis later, Sakura opens the door, connecting bathroom and changing room, and is flustered as to why Hayato’s clinging to her panties. As she tells him to give her the PDA already and get out, she slips and falls. Spread-eagled on the ground, Hayato has a good look on her body and the rubber duck.

umad

After everything’s settled, they leave the hotel and meet up with the governor of Zwei Island where Sakura switches to business-ojou-sama-mode again. Settling that matter, Sakura wants to inspect the stage. Hayato’s confused why Souffle and Sakura keep worrying about the size of the ground and whether she could fly around there, so Sakura decides to show him what they’re talking about. She changes into some kind of Variable Suit and deploys her Hundred on the stage. Sakura is yet another Hundred user. Her Hundred takes the form of wings on her back (see cover) and she calls it “Fairy Fairytale” (don’t ask me). She then proceeds to fly around a bit. Charlotte and Mei-Mei join them. On the occasion, Charlotte explains that Sakura doesn’t really fly, but rather controls certain things within a certain area. Her Hundred is of the “Field” type, once she uses her Variable Stone, a certain area becomes her domain and she can even create illusions within it. Hence, Sakura calls the stage her “battlefield”. She gained her abilities in a certain incident in which both Charlotte and Souffle – coworkers back then – had been involved. This concludes Hayato’s bodyguard duties for the day.

But a car’s already waiting for Hayato to drivehim to Claire’s “holiday residence”. Chris leads him to the pool side of the residence – everyone in the student council’s in their swimsuits, of course – Hayato’s flustered upon the scene in front of his eyes. Claire wants to mock him and strike an even sexier pose. However, she forgot that Erika had rubbed some sun oil on her and her bra’s still unfastened. It slips off. Hayato’s eyes are everywhere right now, Ridi gets angry and wants to intervene. As she puts his hands on him, he slips and she falls with down with him. She then sits on his stomach spread-eagled. At least, they don’t beat him to a pulp but see how they’re at fault. Claire then moves on to business talk and explains to Hayato, that the Variable Stones that are also spread across Sakura’s stage and various new technologies used in them had been stolen during the last Savage attack. There was a high chance that the thieves were still around, so she had dispatched various Slayer to protect the surroundings and he should be cautious, too.

When he arrives back at the dorm, Hayato decides to take a bath. However, the sign on the bath house door tells him that its undergoing cleaning. Hayato checks who’s on duty and it’s Emilia. He wants to ask when she’ll be done but the door’s locked. After using his PDA – which still holds the same security key as Emilia’s due to their formerly shared room – it does unlock. In there, Emilia’s taking a bath. Flustered, he tells her to change the security key already, but she refuses as she wants to be able to enter his room. That aside, Hayato tells her to let him know once she’s done, but she returns that she doesn’t mind him coming in (guhehehe) right now. After all, that’d be Yamato’s legendary “mixed bathing”. He tells her about the Cybernet and the video that’s starring the two of them in the Savage battle. It’s dangerous because her being a girl could be revealed. While Hayato slips a few “Sakura”s into the conversation (you know the drill) which makes Emilia jealous, she suggests to investigate the video herself. After some more booby-grabby-by-accident action, Emilia leaves the bath house with her head being dizzy from various things.

This day, Hayato and Emilia gonna catch up on their date. They go into a big fashion shop on Eastland. Emilia tells him to wait a few minutes and when she comes back, she’s dressed up like a girl. Hayato’s flustered and worried that her cover might be blown when people from the Bugeika see them. She, however, assures him that this place is an insider tip. He then buys her a purse as a present, since she has none herself – and a necklace. Next, it’s Hayato’s turn to get some clothes. He tells Emilia that she could pick for him and she gladly accepts. Suddenly, he spots Fritz and Ritia arriving at the parking lot outside. Hayato drags her into a changing cubicle. Emilia admits that she had actually heard of this store from Fritz. Once the dokidoki situation’s over, they leave the shop and go into a restaurant. Hayato brings the battle footage topic up again, but the video itself seems to have disappeared from the Cybernet/-space/whatever. During the conversation, he promises her that he’ll show her around Yamato if Little Garden happens to ever sail there. Emilia heads for the bathroom after the conversation. Suddenly, his phone rings – an emergency call by Claire. She tells him that Sakura had disappeared, seemingly having sneaked out of the hotel. Nonetheless, Hayato notices that Claire sounds kinda weirdly irritated. She returns that she knows that he’s in a restaurant with Emilia (GPS much). However, her mood lightens up after he promises to take her out for dinner, too, once he has the chance. Lastly, Claire tells him to let her know in case he spots Sakura and cuts the line. Immediately following, however, Sakura is standing next to him – in disguise. She had put a tracking device on his jacket the day before as she wanted to a) meet him and b) show him a special place. And so she drags Hayato into a taxi, but at least he can pursue her to contact the others and let them know she’s fine.

The place they go to is a pretty isolated and hard-to-reach one that Sakura’s mother had frequently taken her to when she was still alive. Hayato basically protected that place for her when he fought the Savage. She then hums the song her mother had kept singing. Hayato recognizes it, as Karen happens to hum it often, too (see prologue). And so both of them realize that they’ve met before. Apparently, Hayato was the reason she had come to like singing, since he had praised her so much back then. When they had been separated, Sakura had developed the typical Savage virus disease. She soon ceased to be able to move a muscle. Consequently, she was taken into an institute in Russia, or rather was sold to it for research purposes since her father had a drinking habit and couldn’t pay for her treatment anymore. In said institute, kids like her were fed drugs containing Savage thingies. Most of them died, but there were also some who developed strong powers. The idea was to put the goo into them and hope that they could get antibodies out of it. Sakura herself had long since lost the ability to speak and, of course, to sing. After several days of fever and being on border between life and death, she somehow managed to grab onto her life by hoping that she might be able to sing and move again after. Once she and some other kids really had survived and been cured, they had to take an aptitude test to see how their compatibility with Hundred was. No reaction to either one of them. So they were fed more drugs as the goal wasn’t treatment but the creation of artificial Slayer.

In the course of the conversation, the fact that Hayato is a Variant slips out of his mouth. But luckily so is Sakura, thanks to the human experiments performed on her. After the second row of drugs, the large part of the give survivors were able to deploy Hundred but grew mad in exchange. Sakura had nightmares for several days and her friend told her that she should keep singing, since it kept her calm. However, most of the kids and even her friend died, she had lost her will to sing. Then, Souffle and Charlotte came to her aid. They shut the institute down with Warslan’s help. Sakura wanted to use her power to help people, but refused to fight. Hence, she kept true to the words of her friend and sang again. And apparently, when Sakura sings, her voice causes the virus, which has already been spread to a bigger or lesser degree throughout most of humanity, inside others to go active, which stirs emotions.

In order to return to the hotel, Hayato and Sakura board a bus. But before long, they get attacked by a Savage, which topples the bus sideways with its bombarding and keeps blowing some holes into the scenery. Hayato immediately informs Claire who does her best to get him reinforcements as fast as possible. When the stubborn passengers won’t listen to Hayato’s evacuation instructions, Sakura decides to give him a helping hand, deploys an N-barrier and – as she’s being recognized as the idol she is – tells them to listen to Hayato instead. Hayato deploys his Hundred – without armor ’cause no Variable Suit on him – and intends to strike the Savage’s core once its shot’s (hopefully) blocked by Sakura. They succeed in their plan, but another Savage shows up. This one doesn’t shoot at them, but at the concert ground. However, Claire contacts them and tells them that only parts of the backstage have been hit. Finally, Fritz, Ritia, and Emilia come to their aid. They try bringing the Savage down, but it keeps regenerating.

They come up with a plan to get its core destroyed, but upon enacting it, some mysterious figures appear and hinder them. One of them, sticks her blade into the Savage’s head and simply cuts the core out. When Ritia warns her that the fluid would infect her with the virus and drive her insane, she simply licks the fluid off her fingers. Hayato and company realize, that those guys can’t be up to any good, so they try to keep them from doing whatever they do. Alas, those guys are much stronger and give Hayato etc. a beating. After they did what they came for, they take the core and retreat before reinforcements arrive.

It turns out that the figures from before were from an organization called “Hunters”, they brought the last (third out of three) Savage down too and stole its core. Apparently, Savage cores can also be used to make Hundred. They more or less plan to use Hundred against people.

It’s time for the concert. Emilia and Hayato accompany Karen to her promised seat, which is almost right in front of the stage. However, Hayato has a visit to pay before the concert starts and so he leaves Emilia and Karen behind for a bit. Actually, Sakura asked him to come backstage before the concert begins and after walking in on her while she’s changing, he enters properly and well-mannered once she’s done. Meeting him relieves her anxiety before the concert, which surprises Hayato. However, she also tells him that there’ll be a surprise for him during the encore.

On the way back to his seat, Hayato meets Fritz and Ritia, and takes them with him, whereas they give him some light thingies for the concert (Japan much). Sakura enters the stage, deploys her Hundred, and does her show. When the last song’s over, everyone’s cheering for an encore. Sakura returns and explains, that this last encore’s dedicated to the one, who fought the Savage and protected her. Before long, Hayato realizes that it’s a love song.

Finally, Karen gets her autograph on the airport. Sakura also sings that old song to her, so that Karen, too, realizes that they’ve met before. Karen and Sakura then sing it together, and Sakura gives her her phone number, so that they can talk about Hayato (guhehehe). And lastly, Sakura steals a kiss from Hayato.

Some nice fan service with Claire, Emilia, and Sakura. Just so much: Sakura enrolls into Little Garden.

Conclusion


hundred2_cover
Volume 2 Cover

I had a rough battle rating this volume. Let’s be honest, this series is generic. It’s even a battle novel with some kinda transformation, so it’ll turn into some “this isn’t even my final form”-sorta thing. We got our blonde tsundere with drills. We got some kind of childhood friend who’s all over him. We’ve got our fair share of stumbling, falling, slipping and grabbing onto something bouncy. The battles are, in my opinion, rather boring, too. But I’m not really into the typical battle cycle (fight -> lose -> get stronger (new transformation?) -> win -> new enemy -> repeat) to begin with, so let’s overlook that matter for a bit.

Why not 4/10, then? We got a few things that make it better. The author at least hints at human experiments and stuff – could be interesting. And we’ve got Sakura. Frankly, I hated her at first. She’s got an attitude and is aggressive, though not in a cute way but rather in an offensive manner. Yet, this has a refreshing feeling to it. I don’t know many characters like her, so whether I like her or not aside, she’s got a certain degree of originality. Also, we’ve got (praise the lord!) an imouto who’s not a brat but rather shy and kinda rude to strangers. This is also a kind of character that is not worn out yet. Alas, she’s had hardly any screen time yet. Another plus in my opinion, this volume doesn’t focus on battles all too much. Though, it had almost lost me right in the beginning (practice battle). Lastly, lots of fan service – and that in volume 2 already. O Lordth!

Why not 7/10, then? Do the characters play their parts well? Not really. It’s a lot of blabla which doesn’t fall in place nicely (good example’d be the talk on the special place – anti-climax.). Regarding the human experiments being interesting, it’s alas just a few pages and the author even makes it look ridiculous (“I was experimented on.” “You’re a Variant?” “You too?” “Yeah.” “Ufufu, I’m so happy, tehehehe. Anyways, human experiments…”). Emilia keeps being pushy and so this harem just can’t happen without him being a total jerk. And as its model series, Infinite Stratos, it commits the bad, bad mistake to have lifted the reverse trap all too early, which makes the character situation a lot less interesting because the less people know about the reverse trap’s true nature, the more interesting is it to watch her act. This point’s not falling into the ranking all too heavily, though, as it’s not really a problem of this volume (stuff happens in volume 1 already) but of this series in general. But there’s also potential that it might work out and imouto gets more screen time, which would add more diversity to the currently generic harem. So this series can rise to a 7/10 or even a 8/10 if stuff’s played out more nicely. Even so, as it is I don’t want to grade its potential but this volume and its current state how I see it. Personally, I’d give it a 5/10. But that wouldn’t be fair. It’s not bad per se, just not good either. Adding everything up, I can force myself to a 6/10. Without the fan service, I wouldn’t have read it at all, to be honest. The story itself, and the characters enacting it, give me just too little.

And this leaves us with only one question:

hundred2_illu

Where’s his dong? But think again: he’s Japanese.

Rating 5/10

 

EDIT (Juni 2016): Downrated by one point since volume 3 isn’t quite good but overall still better than volume 2. Hundred volume 2 is hence considered an average experience.

 

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17 thoughts on “Light Novel Review: Hundred Volume 2

  1. Funny review, bonus points for the jokes and images (the duck!! Genius. And the last one too). Seems more light-hearted than I imagined so I might give the first volume a try. It made me interested so it worked 😀
    Karen is already my favourite character just by the chara design. Knowing she’s a shy imouto makes it better.
    Fun fact: Mei Mei was Junk’s (I mean Suigintou) artificial spirit in Rozen Maiden. Coincidence? Reference? You decide. Game of the day: can you name all the other artificial spirits? I almost succeeded, but I forgot poor Pizzicato 😛

    • Great choice with Karen, I still hope she’ll get much more action later on. I’ve bought all the volumes up to the one where I GUESS she’ll get the majority of action. If that hope’ll be let down, screw this series.

      • Sure, pay me about three million Euro so that I can retire in comfort and I won’t even stop with 2-9, I’ll translate anything you want for a reasonable time. Dat bargain.

  2. First time reading Vol 1 was alright. The thing that really stood out was the editing from whoever edited it since most translations are a bit frank. Second time reading it was pretty awful tbh. Too predictable and nothing that really amusing happening.

    • Someone who’ll offer a translation service for roughly 250 pages (workload 7-14 days depending on the time and effort put in) for 50 bucks, so 20 cent per page? No one outside China, no.

  3. Hey cautr, it was a very good translation back on volume 1, im really thankful for your and guhehe’s staff work and effort in this. I wanted to ask if you are planning on the translation for volume 2 in the future because well lol volume 1 was pretty good tbh. Keep up the good work!

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