Why is slavery such a common plot device in isekai web novels? It’s something I’ve touched upon in earlier blog posts and Twitter threads, but it’s only become a big question within the last year or so, thanks to The Rising of the Shield Hero‘s general popularity with the Western anime community. What was once a curious oddity within the light novel subculture has gotten much more visible now. And thanks to America’s fraught history with chattel slavery and persisting political issues regarding how that history is taught and remembered, isekai slavery is a more controversial topic there.
As a result of all the recent chatter, I became curious about why slavery became such a trend on Narou in the first place. I stumbled upon a story called よくある異世界奴隷事情を現実的に考えてみた (“I Tried Thinking About the Common Isekai Slave Circumstances Realistically”). It’s an essay/short story that explores the topic. I thought it was interesting so I reached out to the author ε-(´∀｀; ) and obtained their permission to translate it. Here is the translation:
The Witch of Tata (タタの魔法使い) by U Pa is one of the most interesting isekai light novels I’ve ever read. I’ve mentioned it before as one of the better examples of its genre, but I want to go into more detail about what makes these books so interesting now that the second volume has hit Japanese bookstores.
Have I ever told you about my impeccable taste in light novels?
Have I ever told you about how impeccably I choose the light novels that I read?
In the wise words of Wataru Watari: “The illustrations count for everything.”
Who gives a shit about the author, the plot, the reviews, or any other indicator of good writing? I always pick my light novels based on how cute the pictures look, and this method has never once failed me.
I was recently interviewed by Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses and 4PAnimeCast about my involvement as a light novel fan translator, my thoughts on the industry, etc. Links to the interviews below:
Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses: “Talking About The Future of Light Novels With a LN Translator”
4PAnimeCast: “Frog-kun Interview!”
The second interview is more in-depth, but hopefully you’ll find them both interesting.
Speaking of translation, I finished translating the Aldnoah.Zero novel recently, so check it out if you’re interested. I have also finally started work on Qualidea, but it’s just a casual project for me, so don’t expect it to be published online for some time yet.
As for my next blog post, my suspicion is that it will be about a manga or a visual novel.
That’s all for now. Ciao, my bromodachis!
2014 was a great year for English light novels. I’d say LN publishing was revitalised last year, thanks to the release of big name titles (and not just SAO and Index). I suppose this is a side effect of the oversaturation of LN adaptations in the anime industry right now. There’s no better time to get into the LNs, and I fully expect 2015 to be a lucrative year as well.
Why You Should Buy Light Novels
First of all, they’re cheap. The translations are a whole lot better than the fan translations, and most importantly, I think the success of these titles will pave the way for more quality translations of Japanese novels. Ideally, I’d like to see more Japanese literature beyond light novels being published over here. There’s a growing potential market.
Literally my reaction to the final volume of Sakurasou.
Obviously, don’t read this post if you don’t want to get spoiled. But I’m actually going to assume that if you clicked on this post, getting spoiled is your intent. You can’t be bothered reading through all that squiggly Japanese text yourself. (The last volume only came out a couple of weeks ago anyway.) Well, ask and ye shall receive. I will spoil the ending of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo just for you.