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It’s the vacation of a lifetime, a trip to a remote island filled with geniuses and murder.

On Wet Crow’s Feather Island, a tiny speck in the Sea of Japan, lives Akagami Iria, the exiled daughter of a powerful family. Born into great wealth, she was a princess of the highest pedigree–until she was cut off by the leader of the Akagami Foundation. For the last five years, she’s lived on Feather Island with her maids. But she hasn’t been alone. She has invited the best minds Japan has to offer to come and stay with her.

And so nineteen-year-old college student Ii-chan and his best friend, computer genius Kunagisa Tomo, find themselves as Iria’s guests at her elaborate mansion. Surrounded by fascinating women–a chef, a fortune-teller, a scholar, and an artist, not to mention his own friend Tomo–Ii-chan is feeling a little overmatched intellectually. But the sudden discovery of a grisly murder sends the island into shock. And Ii-chan discovers that he does possess a bit of genius: the ability to discover what is real and what is fake… who is who they claim to be–and who is a killer.

Associated Names
One entry per line
The Kubikiri Circle
The Kubishime Romancist
Related Series
Ningen Series (Spin-Off)
Saikyou Series (Spin-Off)
Monogatari Series (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. lotm vibes
  2. Personal Must Read Japanese Light Novels (Great No...
  3. JP fme5-9tnj-04
  4. Favourites
  5. Good light novel and some jp webnovel

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/29/21 Sway Translations v9
03/20/21 Sway Translations v8
09/01/20 Sway Translations v7
04/14/20 Zaregoto translators v6c4-10 + epilogue
01/04/17 Suimin Chuudoku v6c3
08/01/16 Mirrored Translations v6 prologue
07/24/16 Mirrored Translations v5 prologue
03/19/16 Suimin Chuudoku v6c2
01/11/16 Suimin Chuudoku v6c1
09/04/14 Suimin Chuudoku v6c1.1
02/22/14 Suimin Chuudoku v5 afterwards
02/20/14 Suimin Chuudoku v5c5
02/12/14 Suimin Chuudoku v5c4
12/16/13 Suimin Chuudoku v5c3
09/11/13 Suimin Chuudoku v5c2
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3 Reviews sorted by

Xoxopixie rated it
April 3, 2016
Status: --
Character focused mystery with a whole load of nonsense (zaregoto). Has a great plot with many twists and surprises, often because of the unreliable narrator, i-chan, whose full name, now at the 6th volume, we still don't know.
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Pixeldrum rated it
February 12, 2021
Status: v7
The Zaregoto series was made by Nisio Isin, the same guy who made the Monogatari series. To no surprise, this series gives extremely similar vibes to the Monogatari series.

The main character is extremely weak, but also has unique powers that enable him to interact with many eccentric, smart, and powerful characters, and this is generally how the series pans out. There's some pressing matter at hand that's shrouded in mystery in how it was done and why it was done, with a cast of characters that are equally as mysterious.... more>> I, the main character, is then forced to talk and interact with these interesting characters to find out/solve the problem at hand. Just like the Monogatari series, these characters always tend to be eccentric female characters that are unabashed and perhaps apathetic to the other s*x, in this case, I. Nisio really loves writing weird, hot female characters that flirt/interact with I. If there are male characters, they're either the "bad guys" or they don't matter at all. They tend to have strong personalities that challenge I, and make for interesting discourse because of their random personalities and their biased and extreme views. The theme here is that these characters force I to learn more about something that's happening, or something that damages our protagonists feelings/ego. They also help I in most occasions in some way or form in the future. I really is an edgy kid, admittedly with good reason, so a lot of the story is figuring out why I is edgy in the first place.

All in all, don't take these conversations with too much seriousness. After all, it's nonsense in the end. Half baked philosophical concepts and ideas that are fundamentally flawed are purposefully littered in the dialogue that I engages in. After all, it's nonsense. Most of the characters have unpredictable actions. After all, it's nonsense. There's killers, doctors, pacifists, pathologic liars, cultists, and psychopaths. There's strong people, weak people, emotionally strong people, emotionally weak people, supportive people, smart people, s*upid people, indifferent people, etc. After all, it's nonsense.

I think the nonsensical nature of the novels are at its peak in the first 3 volumes. This was where the best volumes were at. Crazy, but fun stuff happens. Interesting. Nonsense at its finest. But, it kind of gets more story heavy, and the novels become more linear than episodic, where there's a culminating conclusion, I'm sure. I gets confronted with more serious things, deals with his past and present determinations and feelings. But honestly, the more "lighthearted" episodic adventures were more fun to me. I reminded me of Misogi Kumagawa from Medaka Box, but he ends up being a completely different character, and as such, the series shifts in tone and direction. But, I can't say it ever got "boring." Just, not exactly what I was thinking of. Overall, pretty good. It's got a unique style for sure. Compared to Araragi, I doesn't seem to care that much about romance and girls that much despite what he may say. That alone makes this better than the Monogatari series. <<less
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demonlord0 rated it
May 30, 2023
Status: v4c2
Below is my incomplete extensive review of Zaregoto. TDLR: This novel is full of nonsense, but it's entertaining nonsense, nonetheless. This truly is a novel where it's as good as the reader's attention span. All the mysteries explored are created as you read, which is one of Zaregoto's weak and strong points. If you pay attention, it's cool, but if you don't, then you're left lost.

I've binged the first 3 volumes of Zaregoto. This novel

    • focuses on a select few characters throughout the volumes.
    • emphasizes the main character's point of view and his thoughts. Ii is definitely unreliable as a narrator, so pay attention!
    • has a vast cast of women.
    • Volume 2 > volume 1 > Volume 3 so far.
This novel explores the human psyche like no other novel I've read so far. Topics such as motivation, way of life, ordinary vs. extraordinary, and other random philosophical concepts that we've all thought about at least once in life are delved upon in this novel. Don't take it too serious (or do), because in the end it's just Nonsense.

This novel only focuses on 5-10 characters per volume, and the first 3 volumes excel at exploring each and every character somewhat throughout the books. Lore about the scientifically-fantastically advanced world is also revealed each volume, such as Great Families, mind-reading, Humanity's Strongest Contractor, and other random stuff like that.

However, Ii is the biggest mystery of all; as each volume progresses, more information is revealed about our nameless main character; Ii is the main reason I continue to read this series (with the second being its psychological monologues).

Ii-chan/Ikkun/Ii is who Ayanokoji is trying to be. A truly indifferent sack of shit, manipulative being, his own judge, jury, and executioner, an untrustworthy narrator, and one that sees through all "nonsense". And, Ii makes no attempt to increase his competency in any situation unless a clear reason is given by himself (which means he lazy).

(If I had to give my opinion, Ayanokoji's character fails because he was too competent while pretending to act average for no reason whatsoever, because COTE has no relevant stakes. Maybe COTE would have been better if the students died lmao....I just wanted to sh*t on COTE so enough of that....)

My dislikes with the series:

    • Tomo Kunagisa
        • I dislike how NISIOISIN wrote her. She's too 'perfect' compared to the rest of the characters in this novel but she doesn't really do much and acts like your normal moe girl. Maybe I need to watch the ONA for zaregoto, because before volume 4, only volume 1 goes somewhat in depth on this character.
        • Then again, I'm only on volume 4 and still don't know much about Tomo, so we'll see.
        • Spoiler

          I absolutely hate this character and don't understand why Ii loves/envies her so much. I despise how much the novel emphasizes her genius, whether it be through her inconsequential PC set up, how much her hacking team adores her, how much the novel upsells her genius, etc. Too little is revealed about her, and I'm on volume 4. It just feels like a waiting game to find out her backstory, because it feels like once I understand Ii and Kunagisa's backstory, suddenly I'm supposed to become enlightened on Ii and Kunagisa's mentality on why they have such a weird love-hate relationship or something like that.

    • Volume 3
        • This volume was not nearly as good as the first two at all; I personally found it boring.
        • Spoiler

          I didn't really see the point plot-wise either, as half of the characters in the cover page died and the ending was basically just Ii gaining a new friend/disciple. More stuff about Ii was revealed but plot-wise the book was painful to finish. Little girls acting like serial killers while our lazy Ii somehow doesn't die once due to his silver tongue and his longing for death. Glad it was a short volume. In hindsight, I guess the whole point of the volume was the gaining the disciple part lmao

However, despite my dislikes of the novel, which are extremely biased, I'm still going to attempt to read up to volume 10. Highly doubt I'll read the Saikyou series (about Jun Aikawa) because humanity's strongest contractor isn't that interesting; but I'll for sure look at the Ningen series (about the Zerozaki family) because I want to know more about that family of killers.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, there aren't much Zaregoto spoilers online, which is probably the main reason I'm going to suck it up and continue reading. I'll update my review as I continue to read the series, because each volume is vastly different from the previous.

Edit after Volume 5

Damn, Psycho Logical saved the series for me. I'm still pissed I can't find out more about Kunagisa and Ii's relationship but its whatever. These last 2 volumes really showed me what the series is all about and I can't wait to read more.
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