Galge no Sekai yo, Youkoso! Vol.1

September 16, 2010 at 12:20 am 9 comments

Title: ギャルゲヱの世界よ、ようこそ! (Welcome to the Galge World!)
Author: 田尾典丈 (Tao Noritake)
Illustrator: 有河サトル (Arikawa Satoru)
Label: ファミ通文庫 (Famitsu Bunko)
Publish date: January 30, 2009

Tsuzuki Takenori is a normal student living a relatively boring life. Living with non-blood related siblings, having a female childhood friend living next door, meeting the school idol, bumping into the new transfer student… None of these standard galge archetypes and events happen in the real world. One day he receives a mail with just one line: “Do you want to change your world?”. He thinks it’s just a spam mail, but his curiosity gets the better of him. Deciding to use his favorite galge Eternal Innocence as a base, he enters a world where the game world now becomes reality.

Hearing someone calling out to him, Takenori wakes up and finds the game’s childhood friend character Akihara Rie by his side. Somehow she knows his name already even though he had never told it to her. After the initial confusion and surprise in seeing Rie in front of him, he realizes that something is clutching his lower body. That something is the imouto character, Natsumi. She had come to wake him up and instead ended up getting in his bed to sleep a bit longer. Afterwards, he also meets two other game characters: oneesan Harumi and the school idol Kagura Saki, who has her own fan club.

It’s quite a change for him walking to school with four cute girls by his side. At school, many events that happen in the game also appear. Knowing the protagonist’s lines by heart, he repeats them and gets the same responses from the girls as in the game. However, many other things that do not occur in the game also happen. He wonders if it’s just because the game makers didn’t want to write ‘normal’ events or the illustrators didn’t want to make more character sprites. Regardless, it’s a refreshing bonus to a game he loves dearly. He now experiences the warm family and harem life that he had wished for.

Knowing what would happen if he did not pursue Saki’s route first, he attempts to meet up with her to further their relationship, but it’s not as easy as clicking on an icon on map select. It seems instead that he is activating flags on other routes as well. Could it be that all routes are happening at the same time?

However, even though they are originally game characters, this is still reality. It is not normal for little sisters to be that close to their older brothers. Being a school idol means you are loved by some, but also hated by others, including Takenori’s actual classmate Takahashi Aiko. Bad things befall all the characters at once: Harumi gets injured during a tennis match and gets sent to the hospital, Natsumi has an argument with her best friends and locks herself in her room, and Saki is bullied by her classmates and collapses due to her illness. Everything is different from the game scenario now and Takenori is at a loss of what to do.

He feels that unlike the protagonist, he does not have the ability to solve all these problems and save those he loves. Rie comes and yells at him to not run away. It is not courage and passion that is the reason he’s the protagonist, it is his kindness. With that, he realizes that he needs to take initiative in order to bring happiness to everyone.

It is no surprise that I would come upon this light novel considering the heavy galge/eroge influence. This is the author’s first work and his background is in the gaming industry. Galge no Sekai was the grand prize winner of the Enterbrain Entame novel competition. The novel starts off slow being pretty much a copy of any love comedy visual novel storyline and a depicts a world that many of us eroge players have dreamed of at one point. However, it soon picks up when things start to go awry and Takenori has to summon his courage to solve them. This is reality and you must always take the good with the bad.

This is only the first volume of this series, but you can really read it like a standalone. The illustrator worked on Love Delation! and the subchars for Hoshikaka, but I found the artwork somewhat lacking (possibly because Bokutomo‘s was much better). The pacing is fast after the first few chapters and there’s lots of challenges along the way, which help build Takenori’s character. At the beginning, he is just pretending to be the protagonist by replicating words and actions, but by the end, he is thinking for himself, protecting those he loves and bring happiness to them. Some sudden plot twists regarding the last game heroine, mysterious transfer student Akashi Aoi, make for an interesting last few chapters.

I liked how the game world mixed in with reality. You begin to realize just how unrealistic games are. How can you tell where a character is at any point? Why are there only 3 choices and there’s always a right one? Why don’t you see other heroines anymore after you’re locked on a route? Galge no Sekai brings up a lot of good points that many galge/eroge players would appreciate. I also love how the girls have gained their own identity after coming to reality. They’re not just fictional characters anymore, but girls with their own heart and mind. When problems arise, it isn’t as easy to overcome as in a game where there is always a happy end.

The ending was a little bit of a letdown since I wish that he had made a clear decision, but I guess it sets up nicely for the next volume. In particular, I hope that they will reveal more about the origins of the e-mail and the fairytale.exe program. While the art is standard, this should be a fun read for those that are familiar with galge and wish they were the protagonist in one. I know I’d love Sana to be with me!

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amoirsp  |  September 16, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Interesting read. Not surprised on the review with the said content, but it brings a good dimension. On the other hand, never heard of the series either, so it’s a fresh look.

    On the contrary, while the scenario is interesting, the premise makes it a bit weird. It’s like, somewhat (or not) pointless to revert Takenori back to the real world, and applied what he sees for greater appreciation (or it just negates the effect of the other world), yet without resolving it there’s no real solution either.

    Ah it’s fiction anyways. I do like the light novel’s aspect though, as you can delve even more imagery along the lines. Excellent post.

    Reply
  • 2. Kresnik  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Very interesting, maybe I’ll try to buy and read it too..

    Reply
  • 3. nagiamatsu  |  September 16, 2010 at 3:53 am

    uoghh… this has stir me up to read it. Nice one if I have to say.
    the image is nice, and I like how the story goes~~

    Reply
  • 4. warum  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Sometimes when I wonder about galge, I think that most galges are modeled off real life situations in an idealized manner. So I’d think having the other way around in theory should be manageable. Now that a light novel is here to prove me wrong, I’m very interested in finding out what happens.

    I hope no one materializes galges like Higurashi, I’d be horrified D: (though I guess technically Higurashi doesn’t really count as one)

    Reply
  • 5. Kotarou  |  September 16, 2010 at 8:46 am

    “It is not normal for little sisters to be that close to their older brothers.”

    Reality is cruel.

    Reply
  • 6. seele00  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

    You’re doing light novel reviews now? Nice, keep it up.

    Reply
  • 7. nekowar  |  September 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

    i have not read this novel yet….

    Reply
  • 8. Micchi  |  September 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    @Amoirsp: Well technically it is still reality, except with the game characters becoming part of this reality. I anticipate that he will improve as a person, but it’d be sad (and the story would lose its title meaning) if all the heroines suddenly vanished…

    @warum: Maybe if you’re a do-M like Zen.

    @Kotarou: That’s why we are all dreamers.

    @seele00: That’s the plan. Most LN I read are love comedies and/or have imoutos. But you’ll possibly see series that aren’t reviewed elsewhere. I’m still trying to find a post structure I’m comfortable with, but we’ll see what happens.

    Reply
  • 9. johnishida  |  September 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Ok, now I need to find this LN! At first, when I read “he enters a world where the game world now becomes reality.” I wasn’t impressed but then, when you described how deep plot goes I just thought: I must read this! Very interesting post, waiting for more reviews, hahaha

    Reply

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