Archive | Lauren Lapinski RSS feed for this section

A Manga/Light Novel Pick for AAPI Heritage Month: My Happy Marriage

24 May

When it comes to manga (Japanese Graphic Novel), the first thing that comes to mind for many are Shonen titles, also known as action series. Things like Naruto, My Hero Academia, Bleach, One Piece, and Black Clover are often found on the forefront of that train of thought. There is a similar effect when light novels, a type of Japanese novella, are brought up. In this case, the one thing that comes to mind is the Isekai genre, in which a protagonist is brought into another dimension through various means. Rising of the Shield Hero, That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, and I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level are a few examples of well known light novels among light novel fans.

However, there is one genre that falls into both the manga and light novel category that is starting to see a resurgence in popularity once more. Shoujo, a genre that focuses on works aimed towards young female readers, though anyone of any age can enjoy them. 

This is where My Happy Marriage comes into play. Written by Akumi Agitogi and illustrated by Tsukiho Tsukioka, both the manga and light novel editions tell the story of Miyo Saimori, a young woman, who is part of a renowned noble family which is gifted with supernatural abilities, but she was born without any power of her own. Frequently abused and neglected by her family, she is given away as a potential bride to Kiyoka Kudou, heir to another powerful family surrounded by rumors of cruelty from rejecting past would-be brides. 

Both light novel and manga vibrant in their storytelling, the light novel lets us see things through Saiyori’s eyes while the manga shows us just how hard things are for her, both showing us the abuse that she faces from her family that gives very strong Cinderella vibes.

The mediums of how they’re written also compliment each other very well. For the manga, the art throughout the pages is wonderfully drawn while the writing within the light novel is refined, yet simple. The one advantage that the light novel has over the manga is the fact that we get further insight into the thoughts of the characters and see the world they live in through their eyes. While the manga also does an excellent job of this, it’s not as deep of a perspective as it is in the light novel. With the anime due out in July and the live action movie hitting the top ten spot in movie theaters across Japan, it’s easy to see why many people find this series so captivating.

For those looking for a heartwarming read for the summer, My Happy Marriage is one I highly recommend.

You can learn about some additional staff Manga picks here and check out my review of Villains Are Destined to Die, a Manhwa (Korean Graphic Novel).

Share your favorite Mangas, Manhwas, Light Novels as well as Graphic Novels written or drawn by Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders with us for AAPI Month in the comments!

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Information and Digital Services Assistant

A Secret Worth Sharing: Tress of the Emerald Sea

5 Apr

On March 1st, 2022, Brandon Sanderson surprised not only his fans, but fantasy book lovers and aspiring writers across the globe when he announced he had written four surprise novels during the 2020 lockdowns and would be having a Kickstarter for his fans and those interested in these new projects. The Kickstarter would then go on to be one of the most successful ones to date, reaching over $6.8 million by its completion. Now, one year since its announcement, Secret Project 1, also known as Tress of the Emerald Sea is now available as an ebook, with the print copies just released yesterday.

One of the unique things about the novel is that it’s being told to us by Hoid, a well known character within Sanderson’s Cosmere universe who travels from world to world. It is through him we are introduced to one of our main characters, Tress, and her friend Charlie. After Charlie disappears at sea, it’s up to Tress to find and rescue him from the clutches of The Sorceress.

The charm of the narration takes center stage and the readers find themselves in a novel with high stakes but still a sense of whimsy that carries on through Tress’s and Hoid’s adventure. The worldbuilding is imaginative with a surprisingly fresh take on the sea and magic tech that is intertwined with the use of spores as both a weapon and practical device.

Both Tress and Hoid carry the story well, each one engaging through the shared adventure they are on and Hoid’s additional quips to us as the narrator of this tale. For those familiar with Hoid as a character, this novel gives us a unique insight into his thoughts and opinions on things during the novel and serves as a potential teaser for things to come if you listen to Sanderson’s reveal in the Postscript of the audiobook.

Tress is also quite the interesting protagonist, a character who is intelligent and brave without falling into the “perfect, strong female character” trope that is quickly becoming prevalent in other works of fiction.If you’re looking for a whimsical adventure in an imaginative setting and fun characters, look no further than Tress of the Emerald Sea.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Information and Digital Services Assistant

%d bloggers like this: