TNT: My Favorite Japanese Novels

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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Hey all this week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with a continuation of last week’s topic. It’s all about My Favorite Japanese Novels!

Mushoku Tensei: Mushoku Tensei is a story about Rudeus Greyrat who was a truly sad, pathetic excuse of a human being in his past life. So in his new life that was granted to him he decides to live life to his fullest. Over the course of the story we see Rudy change from a rather perverted otaku good for nothing  scum into a person at the beginning to someone who is watched over in his last moments as an old man by his entire family in the last scene. The best part is that he was never the hero, he was never going to be the person to save the world, and he knew it. He didn’t want anything to do with heroes and just tried to live life to his fullest.  He impacted the world greatly, but he didn’t want the fame from it to the point that his existence is questioned in future generations.

Arifureta: I see this series get a lot of flak, and honestly it annoys me that a series as great as Arifureta gets it. Most people that I’ve seen criticize it say it grows into a romance comedy, but that isn’t really true. The thing people get upset over is the fact that Hajime is a complete bad ass in the first volume after he falls into the abyss of the Orcus labyrinth, but grows soft in later volumes. But that was the point of the series, the word Arifureta means sorrow or deep sadness in Japanese, and the subtitle is the key to understanding the point of the series. Hajime is literally thrown into hell, and barely keeps any humanity at all by meeting Yue in that hell. When he gets back to the outside world he meets Shea who starts to breathe life back into him slowly. Over the course of the series as more and more people show their care and affection towards Hajime, and particularly when he gets scolded by Aiko in Ur, he realizes that he needs to reclaim the humanity he threw away to make those he cares about happy.

By the end of the main story he finally accepts the love of not just Yue, but grows to love all the women who love him back and returns back to Japan with all of them and his classmates. The fact he falls in love with 8 women is a sign of his returning to being a human who can care about others after becoming an unfeeling monster. He makes a speech to Kouki, after he reveals the truth about Tortus and Ehit, that he gained strength to not only return home but to protect those he cares about. He didn’t do it to save everyone, but those who he cared about. But those he cares about might care about others and that impacts him as well and he grows to accept that fact over the course of the main story.  That’s where the subtitle comes into play as it means From Commonplace to the World’s Strongest. He was the strongest because he wanted to protect those who meant the world to him, and was willing to literally kill a god for one of the women he loved.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday.

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