GUARDIAN exists to protect the people and prevent them from uncovering the existence of oni (demons). Relying on their contracts with the spirits, members of GUARDIAN combat these oni in secret. For Yotogi Shuji, GUARDIAN dictates his very existence. His job, his education, his friends, even his fiance were planned out because of GUARDIAN. Now, a new promotion brings him across the country, away from his family for the first time. How will he adapt to this new environment and newfound freedom?
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Mimi O Saku (MOS for the sake of brevity) is a young adult piece with a brooding protagonist and a few heaping tablespoons of supernatural violence and Japanese culture.
What MOS does well is weave its exposition into the plot instead of having clunky exposition dumps. You generally know what you need to know for that moment in time. If not, it motivates you to read a little bit more. This is especially impressive since based on synopsis alone this could have been an easy trap to fall into. The characters are quite literally colorful both in personality and what they look like. The aforementioned supernatural violence is not ridiculously gory but definitely not sugarcoated either.
That said, reading MOS can be jarring for those who are not familiar with Japanese culture, have watched a fair amount of anime, or read a fair amount of manga. The author is thoughtful enough to explain any cultural nuances at the beginning of the sequences but it can be distracting for those who are uninformed. The protagonist, Yotogi Shuji, right now is a bit too brooding for my tastes but I am hoping for some character development and a few shots of empathy to the heart. Some of the sentences can be a bit clunky and some more “show don’t tell” would be nice.
However, despite these shortcomings, I feel that the world the author is building is a worthwhile one to invest in. Based on the introduction of other characters and their various quirks and supernatural powers, there is definitely promise for more enthralling and creative content. There are definitely a few sentences that warrant a well-intentioned chuckle or a smirk. I’m excited to see where the rest of the story goes!
this story is pretty much what you would expect for a Japanese style demon hunter kind of story/series.
There is nothing groundbreaking to see here, but it's well written and true to form. If you liked the first season of bleach, then you will very likely enjoy this story.
Style: The story is written in a clean and consistent style. There is no confusion about who is saying or doing what, unlike what you find in most translated Light novels. All in all, the story flows pretty well from scene to scene. If the author had dropped using terms like chan/san, Oni etc, then it would be possible to not even realize what type of story has influenced the author the most.
Grammar: It's good. I'm probably not the right person to be judging, so take my words with a bit of salt. However, I think it stands up well to scrutiny even from someone who takes grammar more seriously than the average person.
The rest of us are very unlikely to find any fault with it at all.
Story: I gave it a 4, simply because it was going in a bit too predictable direction. There is knowing what you get storywise, then there is knowing too much. I feel that this story goes a bit too far into the predictable territory, and it's easy to get the feeling that you've read the story before at times.
Characters: This is where the story takes a turn away from the normal stereotypes you usually find in these stories a bit. The MC isn't a blind ditz when it comes to girls for one, but he does fall into the stereotype of male Japanese LN protagonists to a fairly large extent nonetheless, doing some cringe-worthy things like pushing his old flame away because it's in her best interest.
+I've read to the current chapters (only 9 of em so far) and it feels like reading a shounen harem manga which i guess is what the author is going for. If you like animes and stuff i guess this might be your cup of tea.
++Fight scenes are easy to imagine.
+++Theres hints that the enemies seems to be changing/learning/power up. Nice escalation i guess...
Now for the flaws:
Might still be too early but for now the motivation for the main character is still not clear.
One character sometimes being overconfident and then a scaredy cat then confident again in a very short span of time. I'm talking about the pink one btw.
I honestly don't have time to give a full review right now, so I'll be brief now and come back and give you more edits later. :)
Your style is amazing and your description really sets up the setting well. Your knowledge of Japan really shows, and it's obvious that you've been trying hard to make it realistic. As many people said before, though, some of your sentences are a bit clunky and could use some editing. It's a little hard to follow at parts. As I do not read much Anime, I can't appreciate this as well as many can, but it was a very enjoyable read none-the-less. I'll repeat what so many other people said, though- the way that you weave the exposition into the plot is highly admirable and something that greatly affects my view of your style. Love it.
The grammar is okay, although as said in the style section, the sentences can be a little confusing. But maybe this is just me. I would worry about it until you get to editing, these changes won't take too long.
The story itself is, as the author said 'a more light styled novel' but certainly an enjoyable one. Although not my typical read, the book is very well written and the plot makes me eager to read more. The tension and the conflict boost the story along and make you wonder what on earth is going to happen. Very, very well done, TooTimid.
Characters are amazing as well, each with their own fun quirks and amazing powers and gifts. They are very well developed, and very real, each in their own way. I feel that I can connect to them, and I like that a lot. The author dives deep into who they are and what they are feeling, which, in my opinion, is so crucial for stories such as this.
Amazing, amazing job!
With the amount of Japanese references such as the honorifics used, I strongly believe that tooTimid has done an excellent job in sticking to his aforementioned Light Novel style. However, I do agree with other reviewers that it's mainly people who watch lots of anime (like me) who would better appreciate the nuance and pace of this story.
As mentioned by other reviewers, one of the key strengths of this story is the ability to weave in exposition together with the storyline, such that it won't be interesting to just nerds (like me LOL). This is something I personally find extremely useful for other authors seeking to write in a similar style, especially if your story contains a lot of characters and other information. The balance between the need to offer a clear background and the need to arrest the interest of the readers is a delicate one, and tooTimid has done a great job so far in keeping that in check.
To tooTimid, if you intend to have multiple characters with several powers and abilities in the future, to help your audience keep track of who's who and who can do what, I suggest creating a separate database for us nerds to enjoy and relate to. This can be done on several media, where I use Google Drive for instance. This way, in the event that a reader has not been following your story for quite some time, at least there's the database to refer to much like a wiki. Of course, avoid putting up anything related to the storyline unless you have a disclaimer e.g. Updated as of Chapter...
Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed is character development. From the story description, I'd expected this to be an action-packed series, but starting from the very first chapter, tooTimid clearly demonstrates his emphasis on bringing his characters to life as much as possible, getting us to relate to their emotions as closely as possible, even if it means slowing down to a tortoise like pace. (nothing wrong with that) I feel that having such light, emotional moments on an occasional basis breathes new life into the story, and reaches out to a greater audience than solely the thrill seekers.
However, no story is perfect. In my opinion, the key conundrum in this story is grammar. I'm not referring to the use of Japanese honorifics but rather the sometimes awkward and confusing sentence structures. The overall meaning is not lost, but it can be a little annoying at times.
For instance, "Him not telling her she could rationalize as him being in his own head all the time." This sentence could be better expounded with more words to make it clearer into "She could attribute his refusal to admit the truth to his tendency to keep his thoughts to himself."
Overall, I think this has good potential to be an exciting read, especially when the action scenes come pouring in. Apart from development of the protagonists in GUARDIAN, I hope that the antagonists (the Oni) get some development as well instead of being restricted to mindless beasts to make it truly interesting. Keep it up and I look forward to your future chapters!
More of the same, but enjoyable nonetheless.
This is an early review (Ch. 6), so it's gonna be a simple one. That may change in the future, once things get fleshed out with more chapters.
What you can expect here is a premise and style very reminiscent of other Japanese LNs, done well. The story is delivered smoothly, the characterization is done quickly, and the universe is established early. Yet, there is nothing particularly unique; everything found so far can be found in many other Japanese LNs. However, once again, that may easily be changed with the addition of future chapters.
Check it out if you're a fan of Japanese LNs, or if you're curious about the style!
As of sequence three:
So far a colourful and easy to read venture into the world of anime. The prose is very clean and easy to read, the grammar decent and typos very rare. What I’ve seen of the characterisation is well done and I’ve got a sense of Shuji and the two girls. I did not find Hanako very likable, but my impression is that she is not supposed to be. Little touches, such as her photo and Umeki’s obvious gaffes all help breathe life into the author’s world. The tempo is a bit touch and go, but I admire how the author realistically weaves backstory into the character interactions.
I'm feeling generous - for Umeki's sake, I will give it a 4.5 rating.