I apologize for yesterday's April Fools Day joke; I'm guessing from the lack of response that it was way too believable for a prank. But no, there is no light novel called Stranger Idol Panic -- Managerial Stress
, although I would bet that there is one like it yet to be written, or already written, or being written right now.
read a light novel recently, though: Kino's Journey
, by Keiichi Sigsawa. (Wikipedia article
.) It's a girl named Kino and her talking motorbike, Hermes (no, really!), and they travel around the world, visiting countries and stuff; I read the second volume of it about a week ago, after reading the first one, translated by Tokyopop, many years ago. Honestly, I have to say I'm not too impressed with it, for a number of reasons.
For one, I'm not sure if it's just an issue with the translation or what, but the writing for the series seems really affected in a way I can't quite put my finger on. It's a fan-translation, so the translators may not have had the time to polish it real well, but it could also be that the original text is stiff and ungainly as well. Either way it's kind of a rough read.
Also, I didn't like how thinly characterized everyone seemed to be; it feels like most of the characters Kino and Hermes meet are just props for the story's moral. That's not necessarily a problem, depending on the story, but too often the moral seems a little pat and "been there, done that". Also, the main characters are also pretty thin; most of what Kino does is done out of boredom, and she seems really disaffected from the events of the novel. Hermes works as a foil for Kino, but he's not a strong character on his own, and I still don't get why he had to be a talking motorcycle.
I did enjoy parts of it, though. Some of the stories are more dramatic and punchy than the rest, and I did like a few of the ideas that the novel talks about. Overall, is Kino's Journey worth your time? I dunno, you might be better off with the anime.
(Tune in tomorrow for a special All-Comics Edition of Currently Reading Wednesdays