Sunday, 2 February 2014

January 2014 KLNs

To help you forget about the C&D shenanigans that are delaying our translations (and definitely not the fact that our translators are lazy bastards who couldn't make steady releases if they were held at gunpoint), here's something completely different from our standard reviews: even shorter reviews! Except there's a lot of them!

 Unlike the Japanese Light Novel scene, the LN market is pretty limited in Korea; there isn't a big enough audience, and so there aren't too many KLN writers to match the rate of new releases that you'll find in Japan. So, perhaps fortunately, it's fully possible to describe every KLN that gets released per month without writing an unreadable wall of text! But, are KLNs any better? Are they an exception to Sturgeon's Law? Are they so great that I'm compelled to pay massive shipping fees and skip out on meals for several days? Or is it just my OCD? Who knows?

  Click on the images to see their respective teaser ads.

January 2014

New releases:

 


Title: 블랙스틸 어쌔신 (Black Steel Assassin)
Author: 김월희 (Kim Wolhui)
Artist: Anz http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=2507346
Publisher: Seed Novel

Premise:
A deadly game of Spy vs. Spy, except with people known as Detectives and Assassins. Assassins want to conquer the world with their evil, supernatural killing powers, while the Detectives want to stop them with their own brand of supernatural killing powers, which is often also evil. Let's think about that for a moment.

The male and female protagonists in the cover are Detectives.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
It wins the award for 2014's edgiest edge of edges in LNs.


 


Title: 위익의 프래그먼트 (The Fragment of the False Wings)
Author: 블루시드 (BlueSeed
Artist: 조이뿅 (Joypyonn) http://joypyonn.net/
Publisher: Novel Engine

Premise:
A goddess and a dimension-eating monster come to a fantasy world and cause trouble. The monster spawns a variety of smaller, conveniently combattable monsters, while the goddess gives powers to little girls to fight them. The male lead is a young mercenary who ends up being stuck in a school of superpowered girls.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Probably a 400-page fantasy novel that is far from being a 'light' novel. The art seems nice-- though, there's a dangerous percentage of the girl's butt crack being revealed there.

Post-Read Thoughts:
The overall story does no more and no less than what the synopsis suggests. The biggest problem is that it suffers from the usual issue of fantasy stories: the pacing isn't done very well. It seemed like the author was given a list of "things that are interesting to teenagers" and decided to tackle everything at once in the first volume. I got the same feeling that I had from Little Witch Academia; every scene went by very quickly without a chance to reflect. The hook of the novel seems to be mostly in the character designs; there are no crossing character traits, and so even the most obscured side characters are perfectly memorable by the end. The book balanced out to be a decent novel that's probably worth a read, but nothing that can raise an eyebrow.


Sequels:

 


http://www.seednovel.com/pb/module/board/view.php?code=seedadv&didx=523936 Title: 나와 호랑이님 9 (The Tigress and I Vol. 9)
Author: 카넬 (Kanel)
Artist: 영인 (Youngin) http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=122497
Publisher: Seed Novel

Premise:
The final volume to the best-selling KLN series that involves Korean mythology and a whole lot of loli characters. In this volume, more loli. Also included in the limited edition: even more loli (plus an adult), but in manga format.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Seed Novel will soon collapse for losing their biggest source of income.


 


http://www.seednovel.com/pb/module/board/view.php?code=seedadv&didx=522726 Title: 나와 그녀와 그녀와 그녀의 건전하지 못한 관계 6 (4Lovers Vol. 6)
Author: 최지인 (Choi Ji-in)
Artist: REUM
Publisher: Seed Novel

Premise:
Little sister arc. Imouto decides that she isn't getting enough screen time and becomes a hyper-aggressive sexual predator. In a very sneaky way. But then, a familiar face interferes in her quest for love...

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Thoughts blocked by a certain C&D.

Post-Read Thoughts:
I'll try to not spoil anything here, since the translation for 4lovers is still in the works. The progression of the story still follows the 'K-Drama' format where everything seems to be going surprisingly smoothly, and then BAM, a truckload of problems hit the characters out of nowhere (and perhaps quite literally). While the developing relationships are still wondrously complex and consistent with the first volume, the sudden injections of plot devices need to stop. There's really no point in leaving readers guessing for the next volume if the next thing that happens is completely irrelevant or entirely unforseeable.


 


http://www.seednovel.com/pb/module/board/view.php?code=seedadv&didx=523278 Title: 소심한 복수 사무소 4 (Petty Revenge Office Vol. 4)
Author: 류은가람 (Ryuungaram)
Artist: Nardack http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=341433
Publisher: Seed Novel

Premise:
The business of revenge-serving continues. The protagonist and the heroine must overcome their life problems through the power of love.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
It's okay, she's over twenty.

Post-Read Thoughts:
I'm not a big fan of the way the author split each volume into completely disjointed episodes, like he had been doing for every single work that he'd produced so far. Like the previous volumes in the series, the serious episodes that have any meaning in the characters' lives are always at the very end, and the earlier episodes mostly end up being lighthearted comedy. So, if you read several volumes in succession, the story becomes a very messy ride of the emotional roller coaster. If the sequence of events were smoother, this series could very well be the best KLN series ever.


 


http://www.seednovel.com/pb/module/board/view.php?code=seedadv&didx=523390 Title: 야자를 째자! 6 (We're Skipping the Night Classes! Vol. 6)
Author: 토돌 (Todol)
Artist: Cu-rim http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=101463
Publisher: Seed Novel

Premise (for the series):
People grew superpowers that heavily resemble standard RPG classes; fighters, mages, healers, and thieves. The protagonist is stuck in a strict school that treats its students like prisoners, and the only power he seems to have is temporarily taking others' powers through a kiss.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Another volume, another heroine who falls in love with the protagonist with a page's worth of development.


 


http://www.seednovel.com/pb/module/board/view.php?code=seedadv&didx=522830 Title: 이단의 마왕과 리버레이터 2 (The Heretical Demon Lord and the Liberator Vol. 2)
Author: 임경배 (Lim Kyoung-Bae)
Artist: JJ_1 http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=555804
Publisher: Seed Novel

Premise:
After a century of slumber, the Demon King revives as a cute little girl in a world where humans are overpowered. The protagonist, a high school student, is sent to kill the demon king as homework, but the demon king makes it so that she cannot be killed without the protagonist killing himself. High school life happens.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
More Maou series. When will this trend end?


 


http://novelengine.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=notice&wr_id=17962593&sca=&sfl=wr_subject&stx=%B8%F3%BD%BA Title: 몬스☆패닉 6 (Mons Panic Vol. 6)
Author: NEOTYPE
Artist: Gilse http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=702789
Publisher: Novel Engine

Premise (for the series):
Three exchange students are sent to a land where all mythological figures and creatures are real. In this land, titles bestow special powers or items to their users; for example, the title of Odin gives the Gungnir. As powerless humans, the students must learn to survive with their wits alone.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Standard Shonen.

Post-Read Thoughts:
I don't know if I can make a good judgment of the series, as someone who's really into mythologies -- my heart does a little jig every time I see a new name that I recognize.

The author does a really good job at avoiding overly niche or offensive elements that might drive certain types of readers away. He sticks true to the standard light novel format that led to the success of other action-oriented light novels; there are new problems in every volume, and taking action solves these problems, and so there's action in every volume. Character development keeps readers from being disinterested in existing characters, which means that the author isn't forced to add new 'main' characters that stay consistent for one or two volumes.

As a side note, the writer is a monster that can write 600 pages worth of stories every damn month. The first volume had a Japanese release, but it vanished into obscurity after several mishaps with the Japanese publisher and marketing mistakes.


 


http://novelengine.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=notice&wr_id=17962584&sca=&sfl=wr_subject&stx=%BA%D2%C7%E0 Title: 불행소녀는 지지 않아! 2 (The Luckless Girl Will Never Give Up! Vol. 2)
Author: LawBeast
Artist: 영인 (Youngin) http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=122497
Publisher: Novel Engine

Premise:
The second adventure of the luckiest boy alive and the unluckiest girl ever.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Youngin continues drawing his signature loli characters.


 


http://novelengine.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=notice&wr_id=17962580&sca=&sfl=wr_subject&stx=%BC%D2%B5%E5 Title: 소드걸스 5 (Sword Girls Vol. 5)
Author: 류세린 (Ryu Serin)
Artist: SALT http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?id=340139
Publisher: Novel Engine

Premise (for the series):
Novelization of the now-mostly-dead online TCG, Sword Girls. Yuri series.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
There's something very unsettling about that side view of that girl's face.

If anything, it's the only true yuri KLN series. Also, the author seems to have realized that he can just write 200 pages per volume and still put the standard light novel price tag on it.


 


http://novelengine.com/bbs/board.php?bo_table=notice&wr_id=17962612&sca=&sfl=wr_subject&stx=%C0%FD%B4%EB Title: 절대소녀ㄴ 공주님 3 (Absolutely (Fe)Male Princess Vol. 3)
Author: 모베 (Mauvais)
Artist: 모브 (Mauve) http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=564736
Publisher: Novel Engine

Premise (for the series):
Trap series. A princess finds a little boy (the protagonist) who looks just like her, and forcibly makes him masquerade as her so that she may go on an adventure. A bunch of demons kidnap the 'princess', and the protagonist must not reveal his true identity to avoid a certain death.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Worth buying for the synergy between the names of the author/artist alone.


 


https://www.haksanpub.co.kr/novel/extreme_notice_view.asp?code=12&idx=2128 Title: 에이투지! 2 (A to Z! Vol. 2)
Author: 서혜성 (Seo Haesong)
Artist: SALT http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?id=340139
Publisher: Extreme Novel

Premise:
The protagonist, an undergraduate engineer, goes bankrupt due to a scam. He decides to confront the company that scammed him by marching into the CEO's office. Unfortunately, the company was a cover for a Korean mafia. The mafia boss likes the protagonist enough that, instead of killing him immediately, he'll be forced to teach his daughter, a high school girl, who happens to be just as violent as her father.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
First volume probably flopped, since they made the grave mistake of putting every single illustration (color and B&W) into the teaser ad. Now's their retry.


 


https://www.haksanpub.co.kr/novel/extreme_notice_view.asp?code=12&idx=2127 Title: 빈약해도! 빈유라도! 2 (Even if I'm tiny! Even if I'm flat! Vol. 2)
Author: 김청 (Kim Chung)
Artist: JUNA http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=66655
Publisher: Extreme Novel

Premise:
Generic fantasy. It's somehow a plot point that the heroine is flat-chested while others aren't.

Pre-Read Thoughts:
Dangerous pseudo-loli illustrations.

10 comments:

  1. There's some very interesting novels there that I wouldn't mind reading.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most of the KLNs' art designs I have seen are pretty cute and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am extremely excited for these upcoming KLNs! Can't wait to read them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, if we can actually find a translator for every new book...

      Delete
  4. Dear Blogger,
    It is my hope that you can take some time to manually forward over this letter of legal concern to (주)디앤씨미디어 from a third party. As I member of the EFF community, I cannot sit idle when I see DCMA claims that are unjust or not properly filed. So when I read about the DCMA claims on imoutoliciouslnt.ca, I knew I had to message copyright holder. This is because they didn’t file the DCMA claims 100% correctly.
    http://imoutoliciouslnt.blogspot.com/2014/01/news-dmca-take-down-notifications.html
    Some of content that has been taken down is protected by fair use under the law because they contained a review of very same novels, copyright owner is filing a DCMA about. Some of the content is questionable. Right now I am also semi-disappointed in Blogger in degree of automation of DCMA process when its competitor WordPress has taken a stance against copyright trolling. (http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/striking-back-against-censorship/ and https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/wordpresscom-stands-its-users-goes-court-challenge-dmca-abuse )
    Sincerely,
    Mysha Lane

    ReplyDelete
  5. “Dear (주)디앤씨미디어,
    As a third party that monitors DCMA claims, I have become aware of your DCMA claims against imoutolicious. Those claims have concerning for several reasons:
    https://chillingeffects.org/dmca512c/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1454607
    https://chillingeffects.org/dmca512c/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1452911
    First off, you forgot twice to date one signature in final section. Technically Blogger is not supposed to take action till everything is properly signed. This has been one over several huge problems in US copyright holders faced in December with YouTube new automated copyright system. So please take time to properly sign and date everything.
    Second off, you description does not mention anything about the violator, yet you signed agreement to “dmca affirmations penalty”. You are supposed to provide any information you have on the person you are filing a DCMA claim against. How are we supposed to know that you did your work in checking that imoutolicious team is not protected by 17 US Code 107?
    Third, there what I feel slight 512(f) violation made by not completely filling out all the links DMCA claims. In fact, Imoutolicious does reviews and those reviews are protected by 17 US 107. The links of concern contain both translation AND (!) reviews of 나와 그녀와 그녀와 그녀의 건전하지 못한 관계 and 숨덕부!, not just pictures that you did copyright claims on. So part of the content on that page is heavily protected by DCMA law. ((It’s the review and summary part.)) Normally, Eff.org encourages copyright owners to try to seek a dialogue with the person they are filing a claim against in such situations. The heavy handed approach you all took is not always the best to encourage the sale of your products.
    Now, have you (주)디앤씨미디어 made any attempt to start a dialogue with http://imoutoliciouslnt.blogspot.ca/ or received any e-mails from http://imoutoliciouslnt.blogspot.ca/ through Blogger? I know for a fact that http://imoutoliciouslnt.blogspot.ca/ has tried to contact you to get this issue resolved. This is because the imoutoliciuos team created their blog to support (주)디앤씨미디어. So, I am sure that if you actually had a dialogue with them, you help to see the spread of your work in the United States. I mean this is over measly pictures on the website not the actual reviews that go with them. Like Nintendo did to chuggaconroy you can silence your greatest supporters and defenders just due to misunderstandings. This is why your approach is heavy handed.
    If in the next 72 hours they do not hear back from you, then I am going to have to do two things:
    1. Recommend that imoutolicious contact info@eff.org to officially enlist EFF help in contacting (주)디앤씨미디어. Because you are overseas, it can be difficult to actually start any meaningful dialogue.
    2. Recommend that imoutolicious and anyother other reviewers of Korean works on Blogger probably move over to Wordpress.com, a web provider who is willing to stand up against copyright censorship, like you have done of their reviews of (주)디앤씨미디어 work. I don’t say use the censorship word lightly, but a reflection of the modern DCMA. Because the recent surge abuses of copyright filings, publication companies really need to take the time to do file your DCMA claims properly if they want their copyright to be taken seriously.
    Sincerely,
    Mysha Lane
    Eff.org member”

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear imoutolicious team,
    As I have posted above, I am willing third party counter-claim notice on your guys behalf. Sorry it took me 3 posts, but there is a character limit in Blogger that I forgot about. -_-;
    Please note, even if google doesn’t like these 3rd party notices being sent, they are still legal and valid under the law. Also I can I correctly assume that you have filed a you have had trouble contacting (주)디앤씨미디어 yourself through the counterclaim process? I might appreciate if you could translate the actual letter to (주)디앤씨미디어 into Korean.

    Let me know what you think or if you want me to send it as is. Also, please not its is my very strong recommendation that the imoutoliciouslnt seriously consider moving over Wordpress as an alternative to Blogger. I know it might be a bit troublesome to move, but Wordpress protects its users, takes DCMA claims very seriously and will defend your under 107 in court. Can you say the google would do the same for you?
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/wordpresscom-stands-its-users-goes-court-challenge-dmca-abuse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mysha Lane,

      I would like to thank you for your concern and your generous offer of legal aid. However, we are not currently interested in filing a counter-claim. We are dealing with this matter internally as a group, and we would prefer to keep it that way. On a side note, moving to Wordpress is one of the options we have explored.

      Again, thank you for looking out for us.

      Yours truly,
      Imoutolicious

      Delete
    2. Holy shit. We have legal support. I'm stoked we have people willing to go this for for our sake. But I'm really hoping we don't need it - we were hoping this would just die down. If D&C Media tries to be more anal about it, then we'd appreciate your help though.

      Delete
    3. holy shit is right O.O GO LEGAL SUPPORT! =D

      Delete

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