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Bungaku Shoujo

One of my earliest exposures to light novels is the Bungaku Shoujo (Literature Girl) franchise, which also includes both manga and anime adaptations over time. I would very much love to appreciate light novels (alongside manga and such) in their original Japanese text, and that has somewhat become one of my goals after I've resumed my Japanese lessons. Before that day arrives, kindly bear with me as I combine information from the translated editions with references found online. Did I mention that I love the internet? Technology might be a killer, but honestly I don't think that I could live without it. Anyway, pardon the digression. I usually read the translated stuff from Taiwanese publishers, because they are the primary providers of my light novel fixes. I don't recall having seen any English translation in the local bookstores. Today's article will be a little tribute to Amano Tooko, otherwise known as Bungaku Shoujo, and her universe.

Amano Tooko isn't quite what most people think she is. Strictly speaking, she wouldn't be biologically regarded as human, despite looking and living like one. Amano Tooko has a little secret which is largely unknown except by Inoue Konoha, who also has a little secret of his own. You see, Amano Tooko eats books, or more specifically stories off great novels and those 'snacks' written to her by Inoue Konoha for his routine in Literature Club. Inoue Konoha would sometimes call her a monster, which annoys the latter so much that her face puffs up and such ("I'm Bungaku Shoujo!"). The interactions between them are generally friendly, although throughout the later course of the franchise there are several twists and turns that have nearly proved otherwise. And that brings me to Inoue Konoha's little secret.

Inoue Konoha had once led the life of a normal student until he suddenly became the most popular novelist in Japan with his debut novel 'Like The Blue Sky' which was submitted for a writing competition and eventually won the first prize. 'Like The Blue Sky' was written under the pseudonym Inoue Miu, and the actual identity of the author has never been revealed to the general public. Many people still believe that Inoue Miu is an extremely talented girl who had won Best Newcomer at the age of 14. The sudden fame and an unexpected tragedy had resulted in the breakdown of Inoue Konoha's life. He became withdrawn and sick. Even after he had managed to return to school, he became extremely reserved and avoided relationships with anyone.  

Amano Tooko and Inoue Konoha first laid their eyes on each other when the latter caught a glimpse of Amano Tooko from afar (she was under the mokuren tree) tearing a small piece off a page of a book and eating it. Naturally, that sight would be quite a shock, yet to Inoue Konoha it didn't seem to faze him that much. Eventually, Amano Tooko realised that she was being watched. To prevent her little secret from leaking out, she asked Inoue Konoha to join the school's Literature Club after asking for his name. One might think that their encounter had been nothing but a mere coincidence. Truth is, upon hearing Inoue Konoha's name, Amano Tooko knew right away that the person standing in front of her was no ordinary folk. She knew that he had a great gift of writing. In fact, she knew that he was Inoue Miu the other Bungaku Shoujo. It wasn't because she was a monster that she knew that much about Inoue Konoha. She just happened to have read the original manuscript of 'Like The Blue Sky'. How on earth could she have done that? I wish that I could spoil more for anybody, but try to read the novels to find out that and more. There is simply too much goodness in this franchise. If you are unable to get hold of the novels, the anime adaptations would be just as fine even though the episodes don't cover a lot of depth.

This is my collection of the Bungaku Shoujo novels. These eight novels complete the main story arc of the series. In addition, there are four novels which make up the side stories and another four novels that are short stories centred on characters and plots not focused in depth in the main story arc. Therefore, there are 16 books altogether in the entire Bungaku Shoujo franchise. Reading Bungaku Shoujo is a great way to free the mind and soul into an alternative universe where possibilities are endless and dreams are fulfilled. The novels also introduce and make references to many great literature classics. Even though I'm reading the translated editions, I don't feel short-changed at all. I definitely recommend Bungaku Shoujo to anybody who would love a refreshing reading experience.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪      

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