Guin Saga

On a whim, I picked up a set of translated light novels a while back, the first five of the 130-volume Guin Saga, a popular fantasy series in Japan that I’d never heard of, notable primarily for its length and the fact that it was written by a very talented and prolific woman, Kaoru Kurimoto (who apparently had a hand in creating the yaoi genre in addition to her other accomplishments).

They’re a light, quick read, which is fortunate, because they follow a pretty basic formula, one that’s been done many times before and since. It’s noteworthy that the 2009 anime adaptation ripped through all five of these books in only 10 episodes without losing much that mattered. Although they did feel it necessary to make the one-on-one fights rather overpowered, and replace relatively realistic mass combat with plate-wearing soldiers jumping around like ninjas on crack.

I haven’t finished watching it yet, largely because it gets tiring to hear every character in the story constantly repeat Guin’s name while pausing the story for a closeup. Also, the closeups are pretty much the only decent art, the animation is tolerable-to-bad, and the music is intrusive and repetitive. I’d have given up already if I didn’t like the performances by the voice actors for Guin, Istavan, and Rinda (who was naggingly familiar until I had to look her up, at which point I wasn’t surprised to discover she played Maia in Daphne in the Brilliant Blue).

Not recommended, but if you’ve run out of other things to watch, it’s on Crunchyroll.