Category Archives: Crime/Suspense

Kisaragi Seiyuu Version

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Author: Kozawa Ryouta
Illustrator: Kazu Aki
Format: Drama CD
H-level: None
Plot:
Artwork:
Characterization:
Overall:

After a long break, really long, I’ve finally gathered enough energy to listening to CD and writing reviews again.  The first CD I pick to review is a suspense mystery which has no H but a very rich plot.  In fact, the script won the 50th Buruli Bonaward.  In addition to a novel and movie, there is also a drama CD released by Momogre and the latter is the subject of my review.

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Hizamazuite, Eien no Ai wo Chikau

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Author: Yakou Hana
Illustrator: Nara Chiharu
Format: Novel
H-level:
Plot:
Artwork:
Characterization:
Overall:

Glasses
Drugs Rape Vibrator Pig Blood
Stabbing Guilt Chains Trick Dog Ring Arabic

Such are the keywords in this novel and if you don’t think you can swallow these, then stay away from this review.

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Sekai no Hatede Matteite (1) Tenshi no Kizuato

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I’m not writing the review in chronological order because there are many flashbacks in this novel. Also, since this is a "mystery" and the plot is quite well written. If you plan to read the novel, I suggest don’t read my review. I try to hide as much spoilers as I can but it’s sometimes hard.

Kurozawa Touichirou (黒澤統一郎) is the owner of a small detective agency in the heart of Shibuya. He is tall, charismatic, and handsome (in a manly way) and once used to be a policeman but he was forced to give up his career owing to an incident two years ago. One day, he got a visit from a young client – a middle school boy Hamurou Sou (葉室å¥?). The request was to find his twin brother Hamurou Ritsu (葉室律), who went missing three years ago. Kurozawa hesitated because his client was below the age of 15 and technically he should not receive the request. However, he could not leave Sou alone. He then consulted his best friend and former partner Kaiya Yukihito (櫂矢雪人). Unlike Kurozawa, Kaiya is the cool, elegant and smart type who is excellent at shooting. The two met when they were still in training at the police academy. Kaiya entered the academy after graduating from university but Kurozawa joined after quitting university halfway. Since Kurozawa had to take care of his sister, he did not live in the police dormitory. Their father died while Kurozawa was still at university. That’s why he quit to join the police. His mother ran away with her lover when Kurozawa was still in elementary school and he would not forgive his mother. One time, when Kaiya’s mission did not go well, Kurozawa invited him to have a drink with him. Kaiya did not like Kurozawa because he was like a rival to him but somehow, Kurozawa managed to persuade Kaiya to his house. There, he met Kurozawa’s sister, Mioko 澪å­?. She was then 16, with long hair and she seemed to be a nice and obedient girl. However, as Kaiya got to know her more, he realized that there was a time when she rebelled and went out late with friends and did not come home or would not do housework. However, one day she witnessed an accident and that changed her point of view. When she thought there was no other person in this world except her brother whom she could call "family", she became more obedient – stayed at home and prepared the meal for her brother. Since then, Kaiya would visit the Kurozawas and he would also bring cake for Mioko and for four years, the three of them had some lovely moments together.

Unfortunately, two years ago, a burglar broke into the Kurozawa apartment. Kurozawa was out at work and only Mioko was there. Mioko struggled and got murdered in the process. When Kurozawa came home, he found Mioko lying in the apartment and he caught a glimpse of the burglar. So he chased the burglar and during the chase, he was smashed with a glass and some fragments entered his eye. Although he did not go blind, his sight in one eye became extremely terrible and he was no longer fit for frontline police duty. However, his sister’s case was not solved because he knew that they did not arrest everyone responsible for her murder. He became a detective in hope to arrest the masterminds who sent out these burglars to rip off females who either lived alone in the apartment or were left alone most of the time (as in Mioko’s case). Soon after Mioko’s death, Kurozawa spiraled out of control from agony and Kaiya tried to stop him once – by offering his own body to Kurozawa. However, that was the first and only time the two got ever so close to each other. In the next two years, both sealed that night’s memory in the darkest corner of their minds and remained as ordinary friends.

The story of the Hamurou brothers took place two years after Mioko’s death. Sou told Kurozawa that his brother ran away with an artist by the name Mizuta Tohru æ°´ç”°é€?. Actually, he still managed to keep contact with Ritsu all these years but he wanted to meet with Ritsu face-to-face and he wished Kurozawa could help him. Kaiya of course was not in favor of Kurozawa helping the Hamurou brothers as it would be unlikely he would get any benefit out of helping. However, when he found out that this Tohru was at the scene of a robbery at a convenient store earlier, he also wanted to find this Tohru and the young boy because they could be potential suspects in the robbery case. Thus, the search for Ritsu began. They knew Ritsu was in town because Tohru had been selling paitings under the name Shouko ショウコ. They realized this fact when the storeowner accidentally placed a painting which Mizuta said should not be sold – the painting of a young boy with two scratches at the back – wounds that resembled the marks left by wings torn from an angel. Ritsu had similar wounds because he fell down the hill and injured his back when he was younger. Near the gallery, there was a museum and currently there was a limited-time exhibition of Shousho (å?Œæ™¶) a kind of stone). Kurozawa had an idea. Since Ritsu liked stones, he would definitely be interested in the exhibition. That was the last day of the exhibition and he thought Ritsu would show up. Ritsu did and they managed to catch Ritsu, along with Tohru – the artist. Actually, Tohru was not the robber, he was just a passerby and he even drew a picture of the real robber for Kaiya. With the picture, Kaiya managed to arrest the real robber later. Sou asked Ritsu to go home with him because his mother was very worried about Ritsu but Ritsu said he could not go home. He wanted to stay with Tohru and tour around the country, seeing places he never saw. Tohru though reassured Kurozawa and Kaiya that he would let Ritsu go home soon.

The reason why Tohru could say that was because he had brain cancer and he had only a few months left. However, the fact that Sou employed a detective to find Ritsu was discovered by his mother who got angry and insisted to have Ritsu brought back home RIGHT THEN. Kaiya also thought it would not be good for Ritsu to have to witness death at such a young age. So, Kurozawa laid out a trap to catch Ritsu and Tohru. They went to the house where Ritsu and Tohru were and the mother begged Ritsu to go home. Ritsu said he would on condition they would not do anything to Tohru (like arrest him for bringing an underage boy with him) or he would kill himself right there. However, when Ritsu said "Mr. Detective (探å?µã?•ã‚“)", Kurozawa knew this wasn’t Ritsu who was in front of him. It was the twin brother Sou, who helped Ritsu and Tohru to escape. Ritsu loved Tohru very much. After Tohru lost his wife (who died while giving birth to her child – Shouko – who also died a few days later), Tohru no longer had any reason to live. In fact, he hated the fact that he was the only one left in this world. Then, he met Ritsu and Sou. The twins’ father admired Tohru’s artistic skills and invited him to stay at the Hamurou’s household. That’s how Ritsu learned about drawing from Tohru. Ritsu was always the mature child – obedient and good at school work. On the other hand, Sou was the mischievious one. Sou envied Ritsu because everyone praised Ritsu but Ritsu also envied Sou because he knew that everyone really preferred the sociable and cute Sou to the plain Ritsu who tried to act nice. He was tired of playing "nice boy" and the only one who truly appreciated him was Tohru. That’s why he ran away with Tohru because in front of Tohru, he felt the most natural and comfortable. In the end, Tohru died and Ritsu returned home and as a reward for his hard work, Kurozawa got a painting by the artist "Shouko". While he was alive, a well-known director already demonstrated interests for Shouko’s paintings and his death pushed the value up. However, Kurozawa had no intention of selling that picture. Instead, he let it hang on the wall that did not quite match the beauty of the objects in the painting.

Tsuki wo daita

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Rather than telling it in the order of the novel, I’m telling the story in a way that’s easier to grasp.

Naoki and Ryou knew each other since they were children as they both lived in the same town close to a mountain. One day when Naoki and Ryou’s two sisters went out to play, an accident happened. Owing to this accident, Naoki felt very guilty and his attitude toward Ryou’s family altered because of the guilt. One day in high school, Ryou suddenly confessed to Naoki! Since he felt guilty inside and did not want to hurt Ryou, Naoki agreed. Ryou was very nice to Naoki and when they both moved to Tokyo to study at a university, they lived in the same apartment. Day by day, Naoki began to fall in love with the gentle Ryou. However, the more he loved Ryou, the stronger the guilt within him became until one day, he could not endure it anymore. So, he escaped by vanishing before Ryou. He dropped out of university, moved from town to town, and was too scared to find a permanent job in case Ryou might find him. Eventually, he worked as a part-timer at a flower shop. The actual story began with their reunion four years later after Naoki’s disappearance. Naoki was delivering flowers to a hotel when he met Ryou. This time, Ryou would not let him run away again. Ryou was very careful as he thought last time Naoki ran away, it was because he hated him. So no matter how much he wanted to have sex with Naoki, he surpressed his own desires and just stayed kind to Naoki (taking him out to dinner because Naoki was thin and did not seem to be eating properly). He also confessed to Naoki once again and said that it did not matter whatever the reason Naoki left last time. As long as he would not disappear before him again, that would be enough for him. Naoki also loved Ryou very much, but his guilt was a major barrier. There’s also Ryou’s sister – Yuri – who opposed to their relationship (after all both of them were men and also because Yuri knew about Naoki’s "secret". Naoki thought that was the reason why Yuri would not let him date her brother. Naoki promised he would not run away again but when he heard news on television that the mountain in their hometown would be flattened to build a golf course, he freaked out. He was afraid his secret would be discovered and then Ryou would really hate him forever. At that point, being hated by Ryou was the worst thing that could happen in the whole world. So, he broke his promise once again and rushed back home.
Ryou of course tried to pursue Naoki and when he caught Naoki at their hometown, he could not control his anger anymore. Mad with rage, he punished Naoki by imprisoning him at the local hotel and had really intense sex with him (4 times) . Despite that, from the insert artwork, you could see how deeply Ryou loved Naoki (and Naoki loved Ryou too). In the end, Naoki could not take it anymore and when they arrived at the mountain, Naoki told Ryou that it was because of him Ryou’s sister died. When they were children, they were playing at the river but Ryou’s sister fell into the river and died. However, she did not really die because of drowning. She had a weak heart and she should not go out to play. She fell into the river because she had a sudden attack and she died of heart failure but of course as kids, they did not know that. Naoki and Yuri panicked. So they buried her body in the mountain. Ryou then told Naoki that he knew all of these (and all along too) . Yuri told the family and they actually dug out her body and gave her a proper funeral ages ago. Naoki did not know that because on the day of the funeral, he was down with fever. Naoki also misunderstood Yuri’s hatred toward him. She actually loved Naoki, but she thought he forgot about her dead sister and so when she saw him with the brother she respected, she was very angry and wanted to break them up. That’s why she kept trying to destroy their relationship. When the truth was all out, Naoki and Ryou reconciled fully and with Yuri on her way to a happy future with a man she loved, Naoki and Ryou could alas smile at each other without fear, guilt, or sadness.

Midara na karada ni yowasarete

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For Nanya, LOVE -> SEX = O; SEX -> LOVE = X. Thus, you will NOT FIND me saying good things about stories where it begins with a ridiculous physical relationship. HOWEVER, I swear this novel, and PROBABLY only this novel will have all my love even if it violates this golden rule! Got you hooked? Let’s move onto the story.

This is the third book in the Midara series by Shuudou Rena. Each book features a different couple but they are linked together because the main character of each book is one of the three friends who grew up together: The first book, Midara na waga ni datosarete has been dramatized and it features the prosecutor Kamijou Hideomi. The second book Midara na kiss ni ransarete features the beautiful and MEGANE solicitor Nakatsu Tadatoshi. I’m not going to review that book because it’s not a prerequisite to reading this book plus I dislike it (my only interest in that story is OKIAYU’s MEGANE NAKATSU so I’d rather review the CD This book begins with the three friends drinking again at Nakatsu’s house. Both Kamijou and Nakatsu are showing off their recent lovers. Kamijou’s lover is Kouzu Masatoshi, who’s quiet and good at cooking . Nakatsu’s lover is a reporter at a news agency Fujiwara Ryoumon. In the second novel, the two met when Nakatsu was working on a case and Nakatsu happened to have some information he needed so he coerced him into the relationship. The two then became lovers and now cohabit . When two of his best friends have partners, the latin style (muscular and tall and with curly hair) looking Kouenji Hisashige (who has very wild dressing tastes and rarely cares about RULES) now finds himself VERY LONELY . On top of that, he’s bugged everyday by his NASTY BOSS: Toomiya Taro Kachou. Toomiya is 26 (9 years younger than Kouenji) and the career type, which means he’s fresh out of police academy, an elite (a graduate from Tokyo University Law School), and a person who’s obsessed with rules. He’s also EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL (a feminine way). As Kouenji HATES bureaucracy, he naturally also dislikes the bureaucratic attitude Toomiya is posing and he is VERY CERTAIN that Toomiya also hates him VERY MUCH . One day outside the toilet while he’s complaining to Same-chan, his colleague, he said he wanted to at least "sexually assault Toomiya once". Outside talk: Same-chan is important because he is also featured in the Tsumi seires! The third CD – Tsumi na itazura, he’ll appear! Who maybe his seiyuu? I am hoping for Nakai Kazuya because he fits the image the most BUT I guess there’s something fishy between Same and Tomi (Yusa Kouji) so … it might be Nakai x Yusa again!? Unfortunately, Toomiya was RIGHT THERE and so he heard EVERY SINGLE WORD and even threatened accusing Kouenji for sexual harrassment. Then the MOST SURPRISING THING OCCURRED. That night, when Kouenji was in the guarding room praying there would be no 110 calls,
TOOMIYA WALKED IN AND RAPED KOUENJI!
Or to be more accurate, Toomiya, the UKE, just takes off Kouenji’s trousers and pants and starts mouth service. Then, he himself takes off his clothes and UKES whatever that comes out . So technically though Kouenji is still the seme, the CONTROL is completely on the side of Toomiya. What’s more interesting is that right after this, still living his se*men on Kouenji’s shirt, he walks away as if NOTHING HAPPENED, leaving behind only one sentence: "Rumors have it that yours is a magnum, it’s too early…". Holy cow, you can imagine the SHOCK Kouenji just endured (Nanya too). It’s not even 40 pages and we get such a delicious scene! UNBELIEVABLE!!! Too bad Kouenji didn’t have time to figure out what happened because early morning, there was a 110 call. A college student – Satou Yukio – was found dead lying on a bench in a park – strangled. Just when Kouenji and the pretty BISEXUAL Medical Examiner: Sukera Akihito were examining the body, Kouenji got a call from Toomiya (of course not about the WEIRD SEXUAL HARRASSMENT hours ago but that a man had turned himself in for the murder). Mikami Kazuhiko, 36, is an accountant at the Santou Kai (a yakuza organization). Kouenji’s intuition informs him that Mikami is not the murderer. He’s just a scapegoat used by the Santou Kai to cover up the real murderer. However, Toomiya insists that since Mikami confessed and there was NOTHING WRONG with his confession (no suspicious point), they should go ahead and press charges. Kouenji was pissed off by the result and when he talked to Motomi, the owner of the gay bar and an OKAMA, Motomi told him that Mikami could not be the murderer because he was drinking with him the WHOLE NIGHT! With that evidence, Kouenji furthered his investigation and wanted to challenge Toomiya’s firm belief in Mikami’s guilt. However, Toomiya WENT to Motomi’s bar and pointed out that Motomi lied as he had evidence Motomi was running errands that night. Motomi lied to protect Mikami because he was his former lover, 15 years ago. The relationship did not work out but he still believed Mikami would not MURDER SOMEONE. So, Kouenji persisted with the investigation, not realizing that HE HIMSELF maybe targeted because he was too NOSY. In the end, they learned the truth. Turned out the real murderer was the senator’s son and the senator was a good friend of the Chief of the Police Department, a.k.a. Toomiya and Kouenji’s boss. Also, he was the one who took care of Toomiya and helped him a bit with his career. It was hard but thanks to Toomiya’s intelligence, they were able to arrest the real murderer. In the end, the real motive behind Toomiya stopping Kouenji to investigate was because he knew Kouenji’s life would be threatened. He fell in love soon after meeting Kouenji but he did not know how to express his life thanks to his pride. As a result, he chose the WORST POSSIBLE WAY to express his love and Kouenji was RETARDED enough not to notice it until the very end (and Motomi and Kamijou had to enlighten him). Kouenji was sensitive in Nakatsu’s love (in the second novel) but here, he was very slow with his own love..

Mysterious Dam (3): Murder at the Villa of the God of Death

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This is the third book in the series and by far the darkest work. After their “honeymoon” on Star Libra in the last book Miyako Ayane and his lover Hijiri Ukina are still arguing over the problem of cohabitation. Ukina thinks if they love each other, they should live together :D. However, Ayane thinks it’s bad for Ukina’s reputation if people know they’re a gay couple. The argument continued into the holidays, when Ayane got an invitation from Tonooka Shoushi (in his 60s), a top mystery writer, producer, and stage director to go to his villa with the name “Shinigami” or the god of death 😮 . Ukina was not too chilled about the invitation, especially when Ayane was already invovled in two serial murders earlier that year. So, he finished his work quickly and accompanied Ayane to the villa since it was impossible to decline the invitation of the most powerful man in the industry. When they got to the villa, most of the guests (mainly TV idols) had already arrived. The person who received them was Tonooka’s secretary and manager Gamou Daijirou, Ayane’s former manager. A big party was scheduled and the reason a not so famous author as Ayane was summoned was because of his reputation in solving the previous two murders. Tonooka wanted him to solve the problem of the “shinigami cards”. The people who got the cards were: Tsukasa Soyou (16), who’s a very “wordly” girl. She would openly flirt with Tonooka and made use of Tonooka’s lolita complex to win his affection; Makoto Yasuha (23), top idol who’s currently active in various TV drama series and variety shows and accompaning her was her manager Iwazaki Tohru. Oohara Kuniko, (early 20s) and lover of Hiwa Hiroyasu (an aging male diol in his 50s). Although she has a lover, she competes with Soyou for Tonooka’s attention. Hataba Konomi (19), another idol who’s also quite active in the industry. Aside from them, the friends of Ukina who appeared in the last novel, Himeda Kimika, and her lover, the TV producer Kuwana Shinpei. When the party was over, the storm aggravated and destroyed the road linking the villa to the outer world. It’s at such a condition when the idols with the cards got murdered, one by one…

The first to be murdered was Oohara Kuniko. She was found stabbed in the stomach in the shower (like Psycho). After her death, under the orders of Tonooka, Ayane interviewed each person who received the card and asked them as to the relationship with the victim and whom they suspected was responsible for the murder. After the interview, when Ayane was studying the cards again, Gamou suggested that the words on the card might not an e-mail address as everyone believed but the URL to a website instead. They tried the URL and found a page called “Death Gate”. On the website, it listed the names of the people who got the cards, and proclaimed it had video footage of the murder of famous idols for sale. The first victim – Oohara’s footage was already up and for the rest of the people, there was a sign “Coming Soon”. While looking at the site, Gamou realized it was updated with Hataba’s video! They then ran to Hataba Konomi’s room but she was already dead. They went back to study the webpage and found a hidden link with secret videos filming Makoto Yasuha’s in the toilet 😈 . After some deductions, they figured out she was the one who was responsible for murdering the idols. She did that because she knew her career and life was over and she wanted to drag the rest of the idols down to hell. Kuwana was also targeted because she thought he was the hentai who filmed her in the toilet. They hurried to find Makoto and by then, she was already in Tsukasa’s room attempting to murder her. She dragged Tsukasa out to the open and planned to murder her but she was stunned by Tsukasa’s words. After some struggle, she jumped off the cliff and fell into the sea. When everyone thought that was THE END, Ayane was not satisfied with the solution. He could understand Makoto’s hatred but he did not think she would be crazy enough to create that sick webpage. He then analyzed the situation deeper and arrived at the suspicion that it was her manager Iwazaki because he was a crazy fan of Kimiko and was pissed to know she was pregnant with Kuwana’s baby. So, he filmed Makoto when she was in the toilet secretly and used that to force her to carry out the murders. His goal was to kill Kimiko, Kuwana but to make it realistic, he used Tonooka’s interest in mysteries to stage the murder. In the end, Ayane arrived at the solution but he was stabbed in the back. He survived but Ukina took care of him all the while and gradually moved in with him, thus the cohabitation problem was solved 🙄 .

Mysterious Dam (2): Star Libra Murder Case

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Synopsis
 
 
 
 
 

Miyako Ayane and his lover Hijiri Ukina used to go the same high school and were in the same mystery club. Later, both became famous mystery authors but in different ways. Ayane’s novels were very detailed and had great plots but didn’t sell :roll:. On the other hand, Ukina’s novels were bestsellers but mostly targeted the younger population. Recently, Ukina’s hit series "Detective girls in uniforms" got a movie deal and so Ukina was very busy. Although the two became lovers since half a year ago when they were both involved in a murder case at an onsen, the two had very little interactions since then. By chance, Ukina got a ticket to the newly completed "Star Libra" and invited Ayane but Ayane got onto the boat’s virgin cruise with his own luck instead :P. While on the boat, Ayane hoped there might be a chance he could spend some sweet moments with Ukina (in short, he wanted a honeymoon 😀 ) but Ukina was busy accompanying the beautiful actress of the movie adaptation of his novel – Himeda Kimika and that really pissed Ayane off. On top of that, people were dying one by one on the boat. What would happen to both Ayane and Ukina’s honeymoon trip?

 
 
Critique

Story: This is the second book in the Mysterious Dam series which I’m collecting at the moment. I am attracted to this series because it’s rare in the BL novel genre to find murder cases. In this novel at least, probably since the emphasis is on "honeymoon", the case itself is very simple and I don’t really feel like there is any deduction at all. A good part of the novel is spent describing Amane’s worries about the way the relationship between himself and Ukina is going as they don’t have much time together. Also, there’s the jealousy factor as Himeda is a beautiful woman and he is not sure just how "gay" Ukina is yet. Also, he himself is troubled by his "fanclub", especially the gloomy guy Umezawa who seems to have taken just too much "absurd" interest in him. It is probably because of the factors above this appears more like a normal "honeymoon" romance rather than a proper "mystery" story. The format here reminds me of Shuudou Rena’s Tsumi series ;). Still, it’s quite an enjoyable read because the two characters are really cute, especially Amane. Since the story is narrated from his point of view, he appears to be like a normal "cute" uke. However, in reality, he is very smart (though he underrates himself in his descriptions) and he loves alcohol but his personality changes vehemently with alcohol. Although he’s tiny physically, he’s surprisingly brave and will confront the murderer or suspect alone (not considering the fact that he might easily be KILLED off). It’s such CUTE Amane that makes this series super enjoyable. Ukina on the other hand is completely the different type. He has a sweet tooth and can’t stand tobacco or alcohol. Although he’s got a nice figure and hangs around gorgeous people all the time, he’s ulber jealous and can’t stand Amane with ANYONE 😦 (Nanya: Oi Oi, this is not fair my boy). Still, he can be quite nice, especially when he invites Amane to live with him. Usually, the seme is the one who doen’t want a high level of intimacy and in Ukina’s case, this can risk losing his reputation if people know he’s gay but he seems to treat Amane more importantly than his own career :D.


Artwork: The illustration is by Matsumoto Katsura sensei, whom I’m a big fan of (her artwork is VERY cute and has a shota feel to it. I particularly like the color insert where Amane first meets Ukina’s producer Kuwana. His "erk" face is mechakucha kawaii!! The picture where Ukina is enjoying his parfeit is also super cute. Best of course is that we get to see Amane-chan in tuxedo although that DEFINITELY doesn’t fit him. He’s best in a school uniform.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bottomline
 
 

If you like mystery + BL and don’t mind a balance that’s overly tipped to the romance side, I recommend this novel. However, please read the first novel before attempting this one. Sadly for me, the first book was out of stock when I ordered it so it made this book a bit hard to comprehend (because there are heavy references to the first novel). In terms of Japanese level, this book should be easy to moderate and it comes with full hiragana and katagana explanations for the kanji so it will be a breeze for learners of Japanese (aka me) to read 😀