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Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e
June 20, 2017
Update: It has come to my attention that the English translation was done by multiple translators. One of them, Onehallyu is clearly a machine translation and even plagiarizing the works of other translators without even giving credits. I'll recommend avoiding their translations as their translation of volume 3 is very very bad and v9 is a badly edited copy from TLanon and ConfusedTLs which introduces several mistakes in the process.
This is a short review for up to volume 11, or more like my impression of it.
For those who expected BakaTest,
this may be a nice novel to read if you wanted more. The premise of a school where they compete for the top position is pretty standard, but the thing that makes it more interesting is how they compete. They get points for outstanding achievements at school which they can use to buy stuff with. The plot is pretty interesting and shows how our MC and his class are tackling the tests and challenges the school throws at every class. They compete with the other classes in an almost zero-sum game and the mind-games they have between each other are fairly entertaining to read.
I am very glad that not only the MC gets development, but other students also get their time to shine. The rivalry between them are some of the more entertaining parts of this series. I can absolutely recommend this series for those willing to dive into a story of the underdogs overcoming trials, mind games, betrayals, blackmailing, lies, love, friendship, rivalries, and growing up. With a main character who isn't what he seems to be.
June 7, 2018
Do not be fooled, this is not a light novel. It's a walkthrough of how to become a riajuu, disguised as the average rom-com light novel. At times a bit idealistic and everything goes according to plan, at other times, very grounded in the problems faced by students at school every day.
So I had a friend who said to me: "Try reading Jyaku, it's what Oregairu would have been without the melodrama". Sure why not? So after catching up there is one thing he was wrong about: This is what
Oregairu would have been, had it been a how-to guide.
Behind the scenes, there is the usual analysis between the main character and his teacher where we see a through analysis on fashion, speech pattern, voice intonation, body posture, conversation topics, how to feel and change the flow of conversations etc which feels like a how-to. The main character uses the "skills" to level up in the real life, like he would have done in a game.
On the stage we have Tomozaki, who is socially awkward and thinks life is a shitty game. We see him develop, step by step, as we see him find friends, problems, and his own way of life. Despite the cliches in the first few chapters which may stop people from reading more, this is a really good series that gets better for each volume.
You want smart main character? Check. You don't want wimpy characters? Check. You want good female characters? Check. You want fantastic male characters? Check. You want romantic subplots? Check. You want pairings besides the main character? Check. Some melodrama? Check. You want a good rom-com? Check!
This is a must read.
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