Last spring we had the pleasure here on Okazu of reading a Guest Review by Mariko S on Mikagura School Suite Anime. In that review the protagonist, Eruna, was described as “an unusual/interesting heroine …. She is that rare anime heroine who has absolutely no lack of self-confidence. She always thinks she can handle whatever happens, and when she loses or someone is nasty to her she fights back with jokes and smiles and energy. She doesn’t mope or cry once. …you can’t help but love Eruna.”
This got me feeling hopeful, so when One Peace Books sent m a copy of the first volume of the Light Novel series, Mikagura School Suite: Stride After School, I happily made space for it on my to-read pile. And now have I read it.
What a strange Light Novel. ^_^; The author is credited as “Last Note” which seems fitting.
The book appears to be a prequel to to the anime. We begin by meeting Ichinomiya Eruna, the aforementioned confident protagonist. But what may appear to be confidence in the anime turns out to be something closer to delusions of grandeur with a side of unhinged in the LN. But never in a bad way. Eruna just has a selective memory, which rarely includes most rational deductions based on normal external stimulus. If Eruna were to be reaching for a hot coal, and you screamed “Don’t touch that!” she’s likely to assume that you mean, because she’ll have a magic power that will make her unable to feel their heat. That kind of “confidence.”
Eruna is a generally lazy, unmotivated person. Eruna is also interested in girls. She choses the school entirely because of the beauty of the girl in the catalog. But when she goes to take her exam (running extremely late) she is basically alone in a room. The exam, which she has been told is really hard, isn’t. And she still sucks at it. Nonetheless, she’s accepted. This quickly becomes a pattern…no one explains anything, Eruna, too delusional to realize she’s missing info asks nothing useful and fails to be even remotely competent…and still she gets into the school. She’s told only that she must join a club, that all the clubs are culture clubs and they battle. The battles determine the student’s status in the school. We and Eruna are told these things about half a dozen times and by the end of the book, we know nothing more than that. Thanks, Eruna.
Because Eruna is the protagonist, of course she’ll be fine, but I have to admit a couple of times I wanted to put her through a wall. In any case, it was a good exercise in being inside the mind of a character I couldn’t cope with at all. ^_^
The art by Akina is blocky and kind of appealing, in a way I’m finding it hard to describe. It’s sort of Pixiv-y or fanartish, maybe?
Story – 7 Silly, goofy, contentless wackiness
Art – 7
Character – 5 Everyone is in on the school except Eruna, so no one explains anything
Yuri – 4 Eruna is absolutely into girls
Service – 0 Not really
Overall – 7
So with all the wackiness and nonsense, would I read the next book? I think I might, if only to see if anything about the school is explained at all. It was an entertaining, if occasionally vexing, read. Thanks to the folks at One Peace for the review copy!