Bakezaregotari

by dm00

Yummy Take cover art

Yummy Take cover art

When I first read the description of NisiOisin’s Zaregoto:

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 19-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. 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.

I wasn’t particularly excited.  “Oh, a locked-room mystery on an isolated island, how uncontrived”.  Not even Andrew Cunningham clearly plumping for it and Omo being cryptic was enough to interest me.

But then I got hooked on NisiOisin’s Bakemonogatari with it’s odd characters and their odd monologues, and grew hungry for more.

Well, if you’re looking for a hit of that Bakemonogatari magic, this is a good place to look.  Once again you have your nebbish narrator surrounded by weird women with the ability to spin words into webs of fascination.  NisiOisin actually manages to make his characters’ supposed genius at least credible (even if they do take a bit long to seize on the post hoc).

And, hey, it’s a pretty decent mystery.  Even better: there’s a twist to the solution that even eludes the main character, delivered with the sort of punch fans of Bakemonogatari are accustomed to.

The only bad thing is that Del Rey doesn’t seem to plan to bring the second volume of the series out until June of next year.  Give them encouragement.  Go buy it.

10 Responses to “Bakezaregotari”


  1. 1 21stcenturydigitalboy August 18, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Having read Zaregoto is exactly why I’m haivng a hard time getting into Bakemonogatari. It’s the same overload of weird dialog, only in Zaregoto there seemed to be a reason behind the weird dialog, and it went somewhere. Bakemonogatari is just weird dialog flying in all these random directions.

  2. 2 schneider August 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    June of next year?! FFFFFFFFFFFFFF-

  3. 3 dm00 August 18, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    @DB: I can see your point. I hope Zaregoto doesn’t spoil me for Bakemonogatari and it’s weird dialogue. A lot of it is (as Andrew Cunningham notes in his review of Bakemonogatari) is otaku-loaded dialogue — ideally suited for SHAFT. Also, Senjougahara is, because of her intensity and unpredictability, growing into a fascinating character (at least for me).

  4. 4 21stcenturydigitalboy August 19, 2009 at 7:02 am

    I’m actually most interested in Araragi. I think he’s got a lot up his sleeves, and after seeing what the main guy of Zaregoto could do, I want to see Araragi in action.

  5. 5 2DT August 19, 2009 at 8:00 am

    That sounds fascinating. I’ll order it once payday comes.

  6. 6 X10A_Freedom August 20, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Saito Chiwa’s superb performance voicing Senjougahara really makes this series come to life.

  7. 7 moritheil August 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Interesting. So would you say a pretty ordinary guy surrounded by highly unusual women is a winning formula?

    That . . . actually calls a certain anime to mind.

  8. 8 ETERNAL August 23, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    At first I thought I was strange for liking Zaregoto – and oddly enough, I read it shortly after reading And Then There Were None for the first time – but I’m glad to see that it has its share of fans. I’ve been behind in anime lately so I haven’t seen Bakemonogatari yet, but the general weirdness of the characters in Zaregoto was pretty interesting, and it wasn’t nearly enough to break my suspension of disbelief. And yes, as you said, the plot twists are great. I’ll probably forget why I liked the first book by the time the second one comes out, but I’m sure I’ll read it.


  1. 1 What’s Cool About Light Novels Is They Remind Me What Stuff I Love « Fuzakenna! Trackback on April 18, 2010 at 12:14 am
  2. 2 Zaregoto 2: The Kubishime Romanticist « Drastic My Anime Blog Trackback on July 19, 2010 at 11:42 pm

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