Light Novel Review: Shurabara! Volume 1

Who Would Like this Series/Volume?


It’s a romantic comedy. It closely resembles other romantic comedies like Nisekoi and OreShura. There isn’t much drama involved and the contents aren’t extreme. So if you’re looking for something light on the stomach and don’t expect Shakespeare’s rebirth from it, you’re all set.

For: People who like rom-coms in general.

Difficulty


I’d judge it a 3/10. The grammar difficulty’s basic. Sentence complexity’s elemental. The word choice can be difficult here and there, but this is still a light novel and targets not people who are learning the language but natives, of course. If you keep in mind that you’ll look up words every now and then, you shouldn’t have to face too many problems reading. It was light enough to serve as my bedtime reading.

Difficulty 3/10

Translation Where?


There is a partway translation of volume 1 on Baka-Tsuki. I haven’t read it. But let’s face it, it’s likely not worth it. Why? Well, I’m just gonna show you two versions of only the chapter titles that have been translated. One is from Baka-Tsuki, the other one done by Google Translations™. You guess which is which.

This Is Not Simply Popular Period VS. It’s Not My Popular Period
Congratulations, Our Kazuhiro-kun VS. Congratulations, Our Kazuhiro-kun
Hunted After by MIB? VS. MIB is Aiming?
I am the Messiah? VS. I am Messiah?

But as I’ve heard, there’s a manga of it, which should also have a translation. I’ve also heard it’s rather a best-of than a faithful adaption. I’ve no idea. You go find out and decide.

Translation: Maybe the manga will save you. Then again, >Scanlations.

Premise


Kazuhiro (一大, praise Japanese name readings) is what you’d call a “friendzoned guy” these days. He’d love nothing more but to have a girlfriend, does his full-blown studies on girls’ hobbies and tastes, so that he can say what they want to hear and take them where they want to go. As a result, he gets very close to them, but maybe too close, because every single confession of his has been turned down with the words, “I rather want to be friends with you.” And as if that wouldn’t be enough already, he’s even being asked by his male friends, to tell girls that they like them, and vice versa being asked by his female friends to tell certain guys. Putting it bluntly, he’s bringing couples together like Valentine, yet can’t find his significant other.

One day he just can’t take it anymore. Sitting on a grassy he thinks about what he did so far and where it’d gotten him. Bugged by the results, he begins rolling around in irritation and voices his desire to find a girlfriend, when he’s suddenly being called out by a girl. Saotome, a glasses girl from his class which doesn’t really stand out in any regard, be it either looks, socializing, or class participation. Where will this encounter lead Kazuhiro?

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

Conclusion


Volume 1 Cover
Volume 1 Cover

The first volume of the Shurbara!-series has quite the interesting approach. Instead of being in a single fake relationship with the other heroine’s watching like some female cuckolds, the protagonist has to play out all relationships which allows the author to let the main character progress farther without making the girls look like, cough, whores. Since there are, at least in volume 1, no battles involved, the series will have to focus on character relationships and character development, which is far more appealing to me than the usual battle series with its cookie-cutter approach: fight -> be beaten -> grow stronger -> fight -> victory -> new opponent -> repeat.

The character design altogether is to my liking. We’ve got one part-way ally with Saotome, who’s pretty straight-forward as a character. We got the mandatory ojou-sama and the childhood friend who can kill a grizzly with her hands. The rom-com gang’s all here. Their personalities aren’t all too worn out, so throughout the whole volume, there was hardly any eye-rolling on my part. A good sign. It’s not a serious novel, but nor stupid either – and far from unbearingly stupid like other light novels I’ve read. It all plays out fairly plausible. The comedy’s there and something between solid and good; I haven’t cried tears – neither of joy nor despair.

Alas, the story feels shallow overall. I don’t get the feeling as if the author will surprise me all too often. It is interesting to read, but it doesn’t swipe me off my feet. I’m glad, though, that we have the tomboy childhood friend and she’s not flat! My rating’s a 7/10, since I’m a rom-com fan overall. The series can become an 8/10 in case the author’s better than I expect him to be and a 6/10 or even 5/10 if stuff grows dull and the setting wears out quickly as I currently expect it to.

It’s likely not a master piece but very solid and fun.

Rating 7/10

 

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2 thoughts on “Light Novel Review: Shurabara! Volume 1

  1. I like reviews, especially if they’re about happy stories; this one seems like a light hearted, zero drama one so I’m all for it. I’ll keep that in mind if they make an anime out of it.
    I lol’d at the google translator part.
    Thanks for the fun post! Oh, and of course, “post more, next review when”. The overly synthetic english and the lack of “please” are intentional, it’s to bring you the typical comment flavor that keeps you motivated 😛

    • I will write more reviews. It’s nice to think back on what you just read and see how much actually stuck with you. I gotta admit that I had to look up almost every name. I’m not good with names.

      I could review Hundred 2, for instance. But nothing much stuck with me. Same for ShominSample 4. Maybe I’ll skim through them once more.

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