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NICOSERIAL

A lot of ambition, but sometimes things get ‘lost-in-translation’

By nippoten, author of Entirely Presenting You

Jul 24, 2017: Yokaishiteru is actually one of three serials on the site (with a fourth to come soon). This will be a general review/impression of what I’ve read.

The three serials are as follows:

Yokaishiteru – A story about a group of troubled girls as they form a school idol club.

Checkboxes – A story about a girl who tries to ‘save everyone’ before she dies. (That’s in the description) Set before Yokaishiteru.

Akuma no Imouto – A story of demon siblings who own and operate a bar that’s a popular hangout both for mortals and demons, and the secrets that are shared among patrons.

The first thing that struck me about the stories is that they’re anime inspired. Or, to put it more clearly, Japanese-media inspired. These serials wear their inspirations on their sleeve. From the settings, characters, the way the dialogue flows, mannerisms, in-jokes, it’s all very up front and apparent. If you are really not a fan of what are essentially Original English Light Novels, you might not get past the first chapter of any of the three serials. However, if you are at least familiar, you might be able to find something enjoyable. The writer clearly knows their stuff, and can easily flip typical ‘anime’ tropes on their head.

As far as general impressions go, the three stories are okay. The characters are varied and distinct enough to find at least one you’d want to follow, making me want to click ‘next chapter.’ Dialogue can be awkward at times, mostly because the writer is trying to write as if it’s a translated light novel. Characters usually ‘tell’ more than ‘show,’ and reading out ‘chan’ ‘kun’ and ‘senpai’ in English can be distracting.

There are some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout, though. In Yokaishiteru, the main character is a demon, having learned human culture through watching television, yet refused to believe that the French language was real when she heard it for the first time. And, it’s clear that each and every character has a detailed backstory, with little clues and hints sprinkled throughout every chapter (though heavy-handed sometimes). It’s clear a lot of thought and effort went into these serials.

The three serials are fine on their own, but being clumped together on the same site, by the same writer, presents a few issues. For one, Yokaishiteru takes place in the same school, but some time after Checkboxes. Know that it will come with some huge spoilers for Checkboxes, and a few off-handed references to events that are only relevant if you’ve read that serial. It’s not too distracting, but I would still probably say start with Checkboxes, its plot is more intriguing, and feels more focused.

Secondly, since there are so many serials, each serial is rotated in terms of updates. Meaning, if you catch up to say, Akuma no Imouto, and you only want to read that, you’d have to wait almost a month until the next update. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but it’s something to keep in mind as far as being a reader goes.

All in all, what’s here is interesting to follow, and it’s easy to tell that the writer has a lot of ambition. The writing itself is decent, so if the writer can shed some of the Japanese influences that color their work, and focus that ambition into a single serial, I think we’d have something worth revisiting every week. As of right now, it’s at least worth a look.

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