The Worst Light Novel Ever

December 25th, 2009

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I have been reading the world’s worst book.

As I’ve been reading it, I’ve been thinking about what make it the worst thing I’ve ever read. After I tell you what it’s about, I’ll tell you why.

Memeko is an extremely youthful-looking agent of the secret organization Al Hazan, that collects and protects rare eyeglasses. They are attempting to get a hold of the rare and dangerous Medusa glasses that, like the rare and dangerous Gorgon glasses, turn people into stone. Memeko is a Glasses-User, and can make a kind of energy knife shoot from her glasses wearing gaze.

But, for all her unusual strength with eyeglasses, Memeko is terrified of the world outside eyeglasses. When her handler, Lucia, asks her to attend and infiltrate Misono Gakuin to find the secret to the eyeglass theft that goes on there, Memeko finds it hard to talk to anyone who does not wear eyeglasses. In her homeroom that leaves her with one option – the tall, beautiful Ai.

I will not torture you with descriptions of the scenes that in another action book would be the “secret agent cleaning a gun” scene, or the “love interest and agent getting to know each other scene,” but I will mention that when Ai is saved by Memeko’s super Al Hazan eyeglasses skillz, she falls into the standard pattern of believing in and relying on Memeko.

Let me cut to the chase – the traitor was their homeroom teacher who was obsessed with Ai’s beauty and who stole all the eyeglasses to find the perfect ones for her. He attempts to scare Ai by telling her the truth behind Memeko’s skills, but it backfires and their love for one another defeats his ridiculous plan.

In the end, Memeko returns to the school, not as a secret agent, but as a 16-year old and a friend and probably soon-to-be-lover of Ai. And now she can talk to people who don’t wear eyeglasses, too. Phew. Happy end, except for the bit where there is a implication that there might be a sequel. AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!! As it happens there are at least two sequels. Scary, huh?

Okay, so, here’s why I think this is the worst Light Novel ever. Not because it was badly written. In fact, it was actually pretty well written, so scenes were exactly where they belonged in a genre title like this and the dialogue was exactly the same kind of jaded lines you’d expect from an action-adventure story. No, the real reason I think this is the worst Light Novel ever is because the author clearly felt that if you were going to buy a story called Kanoujo ha Megane-HOLIC (彼女は眼鏡-HOLIC) then you deserved whatever you got.

And he was right.

Ratings:

Art – 5
Characters – 2
Story – 2
Yuri – 2
Loser Fan Eyeglasses Fetishist – 451

Overall – 2

This book actually beats out Adam Smith’s On the Wealth of Nations for the worst book I have ever read. Congrats.

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7 Responses

  1. Cryssoberyl says:

    It didn’t sound too bad to me… ^_^;;

  2. DezoPenguin says:

    Yeah…it sounded completely corny and utterly generic but…unless there’s some joke in the title which requires knowledge of Japanese to understand (or just some joke in the review as a whole that’s sailing merrily over my head) I’m not sure I see how this is the Plan 9 From Outer Space of light novels, let alone of books as a whole?

  3. You folks really need to learn to use your imagination. I gave you the setup, and used the word “eyeglasses” several times. Now – re-read the bit about what *would* have been the ‘cleaning the gun scene’ and imagine that it is the ‘cleaning the eyeglasses scene’ and the ‘getting to know one another scene had to with freaking *eyeglasses*. Every scene, every turn of the plot was about *eyeglasses.* Crichey.

  4. Cryssoberyl says:

    I endured watching G-On Riders. This sounds positively pleasant by comparison. :P

  5. Allan says:

    normally i don’t comment on topics like this, but I truly find it entertaining that after i read the review i looked at my page and noticed not 1 but 2 ads for eyeglasses.

  6. @Allan – :-) Now that’s funny.

  7. You know, this sounds a lot like Unknown Armies, a roleplaying game about mentally disturbed mages and other occultists fighting a secret war for cosmic power. Adepts–your typical “magic users”–are defined by obsession and taboo. For instance, Dipsomancers are obsessed with alcohol, and gain magic power by getting drunk. Their taboo? They can’t use any magic at all when sober. The stronger the magic, the greater the risk. And obsessions can be extremely niche–there are Elvis impersonator magi, at least one woman who gets magic power from hoarding porcelain figurines…

    A glasses witch would fit right in to that sort of milieu. She’d be a handy informant, trading magic secrets for rare and expensive glasses. You’ve just gotta play the single-minded obsession as creepily as it already is, without even the crappy glasses-fetish-fic framework as an excuse.

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