Sunday, March 6, 2016

Light Novel Review: Kamisu Reina Series

rin usagi drop
Couldn't find a relevant image so here is Rin from Usagi Drop

Rating: 9

Kamisu Reina-the only friend I have, Kamisu Reina- The girl who murdered my whole family, Kamisu Reina- The one who understands me and will help me fight humanoid energies, Kamisu Reina- Our salvation, our only hope, we must follow her to a new world. Who is Kamisu Reina?

This is by-far the shortest and most accurate spoiler free description I’ve ever written. It might not make sense at first, but when you start reading the novel, you will get what I am trying to say here.
I came across Kamisu Reina series while randomly jumping through recommendations on MAL. I read the weird summary and was curious to read it. At that time, I didn’t know that Eiji Mikage is the author of Kamisu Reina, in fact I came to know about it after finishing the first volume.

Kamisu Reina does not has a single story but a set of stories that take place in a city or some even in the same school and has only one thing linking them-Kamisu Reina, a mysterious girl with unparalleled beauty. But even more mysterious thing is that whoever comes in contact with Kamisu Reina, dies shortly after. Her existence resembles a candle flame, it attracts insects and burns them when they come close enough.
Kamisu Reina has a very intense and dark atmosphere in it. It has a similar aura of that of a criminal or horror novel. It keeps your brain running to analyze all the facts but as you think you have cracked the code, another plot twist comes up leaving you in confusion. But fortunately, everything starts to make sense by the end of first novel and the trend continues throughout the second novel.
There are various main characters in Kamisu Reina. As I said earlier, Kamisu Reina has many short stories linking together. If you have read or watched Baccano, you will understand what I am to trying to say here. Discussing each character could act as spoiler so I will not discuss them at all. The only thing I can tell safely is that all the characters have some serious problems and thus use Kamisu Reina to fill the void in their lives.

Let me halt my mindless babble and finally reveal why I like Kamisu Reina. As I stated above, I was not aware of the fact that Eiji Mikage was the author until I finished the first volume. Eiji Mikage is also the author of HakoMari, which is according to me and many others, the finest novel ever written. It is no surprise that Eiji sama created not one but many masterpieces, Kamisu Reina being one of them. The thing I love about Kamisu Reina is that its mysterious nature feels similar throughout. Each arc begins with the name of the main character for that part as the title. You get to see the world from the eyes of that character and sometimes the main character of that arc encounters the main character of upcoming or previous arc. Many times, you will end up hating a side character in a particular arc for their peculiar beliefs only to have a change of heart when they come as the main character of another arc, thus leaving you in bewilderment. 

Throughout the series, you will begin to build an image of Kamisu Reina (The mysterious girl) based on what other characters think of her. And guess what is the name of the final arc, or simply put, who is the main character of the final arc? It is Kamisu Reina herself. The series concludes excellently with everything answered in the end.
As someone who longs for good endings, Kamisu Reina was a delight to read. The consistent and dark plot really made me enjoy it thoroughly. Although I was a bit confused at first, I caught up soon with what was happening due to Mikage’s excellent story telling skills.

Kamisu Reina is a pure entertainment for people like me who are into mystery and supernatural genre. The darkness that surrounds each and every line of this novel will also cling to your heart. Kamisu Reina has a complex story with dense characters who go against all common beliefs. They feel real, but their way of thinking will shake you. The mere existence of the mysterious girl name Kamisu Reina is enough to send shiver down your spine. Each time her name came up in novel, I found myself alerted and sometimes even sweating due to all the tension. By the end I had vague idea of what Kamisu Reina really is, and when I came across the final arc, I was left breathless . As soon as I read its title I spat Holy F*ck and stared the ceiling for fifteen minutes thinking if I should read any further or not. The mere thought of what could be waiting for me in the final arc was enough to startle me. But my curiosity gave me courage to proceed and I read the final arc in one go.One small hint that I can give about the ending is that it has one thing similar to the ending of Gekkou, I will leave it to you to discover what that similarity is.
Personally I think Kamisu Reina is very under-rated. Not only in terms of rating but also in terms of popularity. Google Kamisu Reina and see for yourself. I don’t say that Kamisu Reina is absolutely perfect, for that I would have given it a 10. But since I gave it a 9, it means that it misses something. That something being related to the ending. Although the reason of Kamisu Reina’s existance betrayed my expectations, it also made me a bit sad, for I did not want to see something like the conclusion of Gekkou again. I am not talking about the absolute ending of Gekkou but it is related to what Tsukimori in gekkou.

Still, Kamisu Reina is a great novel that deserves a bit more attention. Getting a 9 of me here is no easy task and I don’t have any second thoughts while giving Kamisu Reina such a high rating. I recommend that you should add it to your plan-to-read list and must read it someday if, as it is an excellent fusion of mystery and supernatural.

Who would read Kamisu Reina?
Horror, mystery and supernatural fans will have a good time reading Kamisu Reina. People who like Another will also like it. In my opinion, people who prefer a bit light stuff and slice of life fans might find it difficult to digest Kamisu Reina, but since it is my opinion, I might be proven wrong by someone.

Their are countless reasons I could give you to read Kamisu Reina, and zero to not read it.

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