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Seirei Gensouki ~Konna Sekai de Deaeta Kimi ni~
November 27, 2016
Status: c18
This is just poorly conceived.

Characters: Male characters hate the protagonist, often without even meeting him. Female characters like him for no reason, except when they hate him for no reason. Main character is a high school japanese boy who's apparently perfect, but he gets reincarnated into a commoner child and he's still perfect.

Setting: The world is messed up. It's a bit hard to explain, but the situation really seems custom-made to be hard on the protagonist. I mean, it almost works, but the author forces the situation too far for... more>> me to take it seriously
Spoiler

like after the duke pins the blame on the commoner, it's revealed that he made a beastgirl daughter with a slave, and he enslaved the daughter, and all for the sole purpose of using her as an assassin. And then he uses this assassin to track down and kill a commoner whose death doesn't make a difference to the duke...

[collapse]

Story: For eighteen chapters, it's about a boy being bullied, framed, attacked, and hated wherever he goes, no matter what he does, no matter how he looks, no matter how he acts. At the same time, he looks down on everyone and is apparently stronger than elite soldiers with his background of... being a high-schooler who did martial arts. And the body of a child who never trained martial arts.

Conclusion: If the foundation is rotten, you can't expect what's built on it to stand very well. Even if someone says "but it gets better" or "chapter 100 is amazing!!!"... it would have to undo all the worldbuilding and character development so far, and at that point it should just be tossed into the garbage and rewritten. <<less
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Glory to Earth Magic
December 5, 2016
Status: c19
I'm actually getting kind of tired of all these "everyone looks down on one of the elements" novels. Not that it's a specific gripe about this story, but all the elements have specific strengths and weaknesses, and moreover they can strengthen or weaken each other. This is common to all "real-life" elemental systems, even if sometimes they disagree about how the specific elements work.

The only place this kind of "prejudice" could happen is in a poorly balanced video game. And that's only because you can't use elemental magic for anything... more>> but combat. Just for crafting and building purposes, earth magic (for example) should be essential, and every major castle should have a powerful earth mage as part of the defense force. Then you have all of the landshaping that can be done. Is it not flashy to be able to raise a mountain if you want?

But I felt bad judging the story based on my prejudices, so I read up to the latest chapter. Standard reincarnation into a fantasy world stuff. No special cheat, but the character has everything he needs handed to him (so far). As expected, the prejudice against earth magic has no real basis. There's even a city of smiths who honor the earth goddess, but the book doesn't go into much detail about that. Also, there's no "mission" or anything, and as expected of a japanese webnovel, after the "childhood" arc introducing the world, the story goes right on to a magic high-school with strangely japanese-style uniforms.

tl;dr it's nothing special and way too proud of itself for what it is, but it's not too offensive if what I griped about at the beginning doesn't bother you. <<less
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Skyfire Avenue
September 29, 2016
Status: c91
I'll start with the conclusion: Read it if you like fancy special effects and want to read about uncommon gourmet feasts. Don't read it if constant minor inconsistencies and pseudoscience bother you.

Good: This book has cool action, fun character interaction, and lots of quality, detailed descriptions of various types of food and wine. The main character and supporting cast are likeable.

Bad: The unrealism extends beyond superpowers and sci-fi elements: The beautiful women all are attracted to the main character (well, okay, he's just that manly and cool; maybe I'd be... more>> attracted too), but the main character is... extremely unmanly when it comes to women. For a non-virgin guy to get jumpy at the slightest sexual tension with a woman he's been close to for years is strange to a point where it can't be considered "faithfulness to his dead wife", especially when it happens repeatedly. If it was just that, you could say he was afraid bad things would happen to them if he got close to them, but he keeps emphasizing that he'll keep them close to protect them. So it gets weirder and weirder as the story progresses and you meet new "female acquaintances" of his.

... And for me, it just bothers me that someone with the title and abilities of "Zeus" is being faithful to his wife "Hera". There are enough inconsistencies in the mythological references (abilities and titles changing from one section to another, various relationships like the ones between angels being incorrect) that it hurts my enjoyment. And while I liked the meals, anyone who doesn't care about fine wine or food might find that part to be overly detailed. Oh, and the science part is really... tenuous. For the amount of explaining, it's very unrealistic. <<less
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Dimensional Sovereign
December 4, 2016
Status: c25
Well, the story concept is fairly unique compared to other novels you'd be able to find here. But does that make it good? Not really. The character interactions are terrible and the plot doesn't make any sense if you stop to think about it. The game mechanics are iffy, too, but if you turn your brain off and skip to the fights, those are pretty good.
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Awakening
October 18, 2016
Status: c200
Typical power-trip reincarnation story: an all-powerful person takes over for a weak teenager and resolves all his problems with a few handwaves, leaving everyone in awe.

Story: The part introducing the side characters is pretty good, but after that there's just a series of abrupt transitions reminiscent of a whack-a-mole game: the main character just spends time with his toy - I mean, wife - and then some girl says "please help me" and he resolves her problems in less time than it usually takes for the author to describe... more>> her appearance.

Characters: The main character is a mess: the only constant is his condescension toward literally everyone else in the story. Every other aspect is whatever the author thinks is convenient at the moment. This includes everything related to his reincarnation as well as his personality. Other characters are just cardboard cutouts: The men are inept, the villains are cartoonishly evil (also men, therefore incompetent), the women are all beauties who fall in love with the protagonist, etc. Main character being loyal to his love interest in spite of beauties throwing themselves at him every arc would be more touching if his reason wasn't "they're all kids" and if he didn't treat his wife as a toy he could leave at home to play with whenever he got bored.

Setting: This is the part that's most messy. Way too many things are going on in this setting. You have werewolves, espers, intelligence organizations using drugs to control people, also random serial killers... but because of the whack-a-mole plot, none of these things have a real impact on the story past the arc involving them. You can have aliens or gods descend to Earth and as soon as a damsel in distress appears, the protagonist will whack them and everything will be instantly resolved.

In short, this is fine if all you want is an all-powerful main character, but if you care about anything else in a story you should probably skip it. <<less
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Legend
March 12, 2017
Status: c85
For the most part this novel is white bread. What keeps it from being a 3 or even 4 is it just doesn't have any jam or butter or anything at all to go with it, so it's hard to enjoy and kind of feels like a chore to read after a while.

Interactions? There are 5 characters. The Teacher (explains formally and in great detail), the Student (asks questions formally and interjects during explanations with further formal questions), the Delinquent (there just to be beaten up), the Cheerleader (there to... more>> squeal over how great someone is), and the Gryphon (guru~). Only one character is consistent throughout the series (guess which one). The speech is so stilted and formal that you don't get any real feeling of personality.

Combat? It's okay, nothing special. Reiji's too OP for the combat to have any suspense, but not OP enough to get any guilty pleasure out of him steamrolling everyone. He never lets loose the way the protagonists of Death March and Moon-led Journey do, so there's no real feeling of being OP, just bullying weaklings.

Setting? Generic. Plot? None. Harem?! Off to the side, ladies, Reiji's awkward enough as it is. I assume he would answer "Will you go out with me?" with a three-page MLA format essay on the nature of relationships. <<less
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World of Cultivation
December 1, 2016
Status: c445
I normally dislike slow-starting stories, and I don't like any of the author's other works. This one, though. This one's amazing.

The main character loves money, but it isn't the only thing he cares about. He's cunning, but he's not infallible. He's courageous, but not reckless. He has a a cheat, but doesn't rely on it, and he has a "old teacher that follows him around but no one else can see" but the 'teacher' is more of a ... well, you'll see. In short, World of Cultivation avoids most of... more>> the pitfalls of xianxia stories.

It has character development, world-building, action, schemes, military confrontations, and some slice-of-life. There's something to like for pretty much anyone, so give it a try. <<less
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There's nothing exceptional about this story either way. It's kind of a mediocre story but inoffensive enough if you like isekai novels and game mechanics in your fantasy. It hits all the main tropes without having the main character be too pathetic or edgy, compared to other japanese novels.

Where it lost me was one point where the main character should have investigated something, and would have based on his personality and actions so far, but the author very obviously made him not investigate it while hitting the reader over the... more>> head with 'foreshadowing'. Don't make your character OP and intelligent and proactive, and then make him act out of character just for dramatic tension. There are better ways to achieve the same effects. <<less
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If you want a MMO story, don't read this. If you want cute girls doing cute things... eh, you might be able to read it.

The heaviest focus is on the game mechanics, but as a reader you'll find one mechanic more ridiculous than the next. Just from the start, you have to wonder what kind of game not only allows a player to put ALL her points into one stat with 0 points in all the rest, but also she gets free stat points on top of that stat so... more>> she can use her starting equipment. What follows is one ridiculous mechanic explanation after another, with very little rhyme or reason.

If you're hoping for Kaede and her friend to play together, as of chapter 20 they've mostly just stood around talking to each other about the ridiculous mechanics, then split up to do stuff. They're both tolerably cute, but the game mechanics and weird, obviously OP items just get in the way. <<less
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Perfect Sex
September 10, 2016
Status: --
So I read some of this on nocturne in the past. It's basically a series of one-night-stands that a traveling salesman enjoys with the help of his magic wristwatch. There's no real story, just scenarios that lead to sex, so read this if you enjoy porn involving aphrodisiacs and performance-enhancing drugs and sex with strangers.
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The Six Immortals
November 10, 2016
Status: --
The main character is trash. Not his cultivation or combat skills, but his personality. He's overly clingy, he'll randomly declare someone he meets best friends instantly, or not, with no actual reasons given either way... He's not only willing to take advantage of people in trouble, he's also willing to go out of his way to rob and kill strangers for no reason other than they're rivals of some guy he just met. In any other story, he'd be the character who tries to kill the protagonist for accidentally touching... more>> hands with the sect's most beautiful woman, or because the protagonist didn't worship the ground his friend steps on. There don't really seem to be any redeeming qualities.

As for the other characters, well, they also tend to pick their friends and enemies at random too. And for the story, it's very much the same way, the protagonist decides to do something and does it. Then he decides to do something else and does that, very abruptly. It doesn't feel like there's any long-term goal or motivation; the bit about bullying was resolved almost instantly, and from there he just acted like a puppet. Go here, do this, go there, do that. And there's not enough world-building early on to justify giving it more time. The pace of the story is fast enough, but it's just too disjointed to be a good story.

The translation is decent enough, so there's no reason not to read it if you're bored and don't have anything else on your reading list, but don't expect to especially enjoy it either. <<less
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Stranger’s Handbook
October 30, 2016
Status: c71
I don't often give five stars in a review, but this one deserves it.

Good characters, decent setting, cute romance, amusing humor. The treatment toward the summoned people seems to bother some people, but consider that:
... more>>
Spoiler

The ones who were killed were attempting rape at the time. The killers were honorable knights who acted after hearing an old woman scream and seeing two young men approaching a bunch of women with bad intentions. It serves as a notice to the reader that life isn't valued in the setting, and the people they killed weren't the target of the summons, after all.

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<<less
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The Simple Life of Killing Demons
October 26, 2016
Status: v2c6
I wanted to like this novel. I really did. The concept of a world under attack by demons, the main character seemed strong and confident, the female character he brought home was a cute elemental, I would have been ready to give it a 5/5 if it continued like that.

Unfortunately, MC couldn't decide if he was cool, a pervert, or just retarded - his reaction to a direct confession from the girl he likes is "Nah, there's no way she likes me". And that's his reaction to every female character,... more>> since they all fall in love with him. Even then, he's lecherous, but unable to do anything. It's like the author wanted to write porn but was a virgin so he couldn't figure out what would happen.

This would be easily forgivable if the main focus of the story was on the killing demons, but no, the main focus is on the main character meeting new women to add to his harem while he stares at their boobs and refuses to notice that they're in love with him.

So I guess if you like the cliche parts of japanese harem slice-of-life novels, this is for you. <<less
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Single Player Only
January 4, 2017
Status: c25
Interesting idea, not-so-interesting characters. I guess maybe that's keeping with the theme of old-school single-player games that are just about grinding to reach the top, but those were always really boring to watch other people play, especially when the other person has the personality of a doorknob.
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Spirit Vessel
December 10, 2016
Status: c84
Entirely too random. Pretty much everything that happens after the birthday party scene was just... Eh.

Every character overreacts to everything in every way possible. The main character keeps saying he's ruthless and won't go easy on women, but he constantly leaves people with deep grudges against him alive, and he constantly goes easy on women (because they're women, and no other reason). In fact, every interaction the main character has with women will likely leave you wanting to stab something.

The plot is extremely inconsistent, as well. It moves fast,... more>> but at the cost of being extremely luck-driven. While most xianxia characters can't take a stroll down the street without tripping over priceless treasures, stunning beauties, or some kind of cartoonish villain... This story is just one long string of random events happening one after another. MC just HAPPENS to be in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the right time, time and again. While I criticize a lot of novels for being too slow, this one could stand to slow down and build up the characters a little along the way.

So far, it feels like the author is trying to introduce all the plot threads one by one, then send them off somewhere to wait their turn to be developed. It's the same for characters. Unfortunately, there's no real guarantee after 83 chapters that any of the plot threads or character will ever show up again, and since the bad stuff that happens to MC is mostly directly or indirectly his fault, it's hard to feel anything for him, except maybe disgust. Maybe it gets good "eventually", but it's up to you if you want to wait 150 chapters or so for that to happen. <<less
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9 Heavenly Thunder Manual
November 2, 2016
Status: c95
Normally I would come up with something good about a novel that people might like to read if they don't care about all the bad stuff, even for 1/5... but I can't for this. Maybe if you hate Japan, or maybe if you just want to hate yourself, you could read it.

The main character is one of the worst people I've ever read about. He's more hypocritical than most xianxia villains, he acts childish at best, and at worst he's manipulative and opportunistic. And the worst part? Everyone loves him.... more>> No, not because he's like that - they just love him because he's beautiful and strong. And he never really does anything for the women in his harem, mind you - he just has some kind of main character pheromone or something. Then bad things happen because of him, and he blows it or blames the girl for it and worse things happen to it. And they still love him - again, for no reason.

Not that any of the other characters are better. You have people with, apparently, the power to destroy a country, and all of them are old men, but they're all also childish and self-absorbed. The villains act in a way that makes it seem like they specifically target the main character for no reason other than he exists, and not because of any goals or plans they have. Any character who isn't the main character spontaneously fangirls or fanboys over the strongest nearby person, which is usually the main character.

The setting is a mess. There's sci-fi in the form of the "Kou country" superdrugs, there's cultivation elements, and apparently there are things like werewolves and probably vampires too. All this is jammed into what could be called an ordinary modern-day setting until the main character leaves his home country, because it's obvious the author has not. An ancient martial arts family in Tenglong is not only known across the world, but is all-powerful everywhere. Spending an hour or so on the internet is enough to turn someone into a superstar, then make every business in the country fight for the right to throw money at him. Ninjas trained by an organization using drugs are ready to betray their organization and fight for someone else after about a minute of torture and two lines.

And y'know, this could actually work if it had a comedic element, but the writing is completely serious. And the story is fully character-driven: The main character meets someone; if it's a villain, the villain bullies the main character, then the main character has a lucky encounter and gets revenge; if it's not a villain, the character instantly becomes a follower of the main character - later on, a villain will meet that character and the main character will get revenge for him/her, but otherwise the character will only exist to think about how awesome the main character is and give him whatever he wants. <<less
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Inma no Hado
September 4, 2016
Status: --
So I've read this on syosetsu (nocturne, of course) up to close to the latest chapter. How do I put it... there's a story there, but don't expect it to move fast. In fact, you might forget that a character is significant to the plot because she gets introduced, there are about a dozen new girls the protagonist preys upon, and then oh yeah, he also preys on the major girl in the same way. The story itself is actually decent for what it's worth - an excuse for him... more>> to go and enjoy all the R18 content with all kinds of women from mature (~30s-40s) down to lolis (iirc early middle school). In fact, the way the story unfolds is actually pretty interesting (for a porn novel!).

So I rate 2 stars not for the story, but for how messy the sex is written. Seriously, each girl says exactly the same things in the same ways during their scenes, so despite the variety of settings and "heroines" it gets repetitive as soon as he brings out his disciplinary rod. The frequent shifts in POV without warning also give a lot of difficulty to the reader. There's only one thing that should be hard while reading a sex scene, and it shouldn't be figuring out who's thinking what. <<less
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Battle Through the Heavens
October 24, 2016
Status: c500
This story teeters between "pretty interesting" and "wish fulfillment" constantly.

Story: Pretty common fare even if you've never read xianxia. Xiao Yan travels around looking for MacGuffins for his training, meets beauties along the way (most of whom fall in love with him, of course), gets in fights with lots of random guys, trains in a crafting skill (alchemy, of course). I doubt you'll ever think "wow, that was a twist I didn't expect!"

Characters: This is where it gets interesting. The main character, Xiao Yan, is... insane. And the reason the... more>> story can be pretty interesting is that everyone notices, and even people who are on his side draw back from him because he's obviously unstable. And it even makes sense for the women to fall in love with him, because he's crazy, but he's also successful. The important thing is that they tend to back off when he does the more insane shit. The only people who consistently stay by him are his teacher (ghost grandpa who's kinda stuck with him), his pet (much more powerful than him), and his childhood friend (girl with mysterious background who's also yandere).

Setting: Honestly, the setting is as unstable as the main character. You might wonder after a while why everything hasn't already fallen apart by the time of the story with every location Xiao Yan visits being on the verge of disaster. Power levels and skill levels are fine, except that Xiao Yan's teacher and pet are way too convenient. There's a feeling that most established powers are either corrupt or incompetent or both, but that's pretty normal for xianxia.

All told, I don't recommend this for people who haven't read xianxia before. Most xianxia elements are exaggerated almost but not quite to the point of parody. If you have read xianxia before, accept that the narrator is
Spoiler

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unreliable_narrator

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and you might be able to enjoy it. <<less
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God and Devil World
September 8, 2016
Status: c200
So there are a lot of reviews that say "this is racist" and "this is sexist". How do I put this...

They're wrong. It's all about the MC. Men, women, humans, monsters... Every guy other than the male is only good if he is willing to fight for MC. Otherwise he's evil (or just weak and useless). Every woman is only good if she's willing to have sex with (only) the MC. Otherwise she's a slut or evil. Humans and monsters alike, if they're on MC's side, they're good and beautiful... more>> and noble, and if they're on the other side they're evil and ugly and cunning.

As for the author not saying bad things about China specifically, that's obvious: if he did, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to read this, because it would never have been allowed on the Chinese websites. You can see the viewpoint of the Chinese people, government, and military very easily even without that, though. So yeah, it's not racist and sexist. It's just that the characterization for all characters and countries in this setting is so bad that no one has more than one character trait, and it's either enemy (of MC) or slave (of MC).

But the characters aren't the only reason the story is bad! The author focuses too much on numbers. Levels, skill levels, stats, troop numbers, harem size. These are pretty much the only thing the author seems to care about. If he restrained himself to the main character and important side characters, it would be within the bounds of reason, but even minor characters often have their levels and stats mentioned. In fact, the main character's stats are constantly being compared to the stats of other characters.

The setting is also extremely "convenient" for an apocalyptic story. Everything the main character needs, he already has. He doesn't need to act skillful in anyway, partly because his opponents generally mess up at critical moments, partly because useful items and allies seem to just fall from the sky. Everything he does seems to go well and turn out useful for him, despite him doing some really dumb things.

... That said, there's a possibility that this is a brilliantly written but subtle parody of all those xuanhuan/xianxia novels with game elements, taken to the logical extreme. That possibility, along with the decent translation, keeps the rating from being a 1/5. <<less
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I recall reading this in the raws for a bit. Protagonist goes to fantasy world with game mechanics and has to make a dungeon and start from scratch. While he builds the strongest dungeon he acquires a harem of fantasy girls. It doesn't really bring anything special to the genre as far as I remember, but it's a relatively light-hearted read and if you like dungeon/town building slice of life, this will definitely feed your craving.
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