Just announced yesterday on Enterbrain’s FB Online site
The Bungaku Shoujo series by Mizuki Nomura, illustrated by Miho Takemura, will be running in Square Enix’s Gangan Powered monthly magazine by Rito Kohsaka.
I doubt many English readers know of the series, so I’ll write a little about it here. The story revolves around Amano Touko, the “Bungaku Shoujo”, literally “Literature Girl”, and Inoue Konoha, a boy one year younger than Touko.
Touko is described as a girl who “loves books so much, she eats them up” literally. She’ll tear up pages from a book and eat them with as much relish as normal people eat food. Normal food tastes like nothing to her, but she will describe the stories that she eats in glowing descriptions using the power of her imagination, “this must be what warm roasted chestnuts tastes like, sweet and fluffy” and so on.
Konoha is the only other member of Touko’s Literature club at school, and is generally tasked with writing short stories for Touko’s snacks with the 3 topics she gives him club activity. However, he had been the youngest author to have published a bestselling novel at age 15, but had since sworn off writing again.
The overall genre of the books is mystery, and the books each focus upon one of the characters as a mystery slowly unfolds. And befitting the title, each book also has a famous literary work as its central theme, often providing parallels or hints. Sometimes it is a classic piece of Japanese literature, like Osamu Dasai’s “Ningen Shikkaku” (人間失格), Kyoka Izumi’s “Yasha ga Ike” (夜叉ヶ池, ), or Western classics such as Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” and Gaston Leroux’s “The Phantom of the Opera”. Other smaller works by the same authors as the central work and even the biographies of the authors themselves are often drawn into solving the mystery.
Already, from this description, a book lover like me would already be interested in the story. But what probably made it enter Takarajimasha’s “This light novel is amazing” (このライトノベルがすごい!) Top 10 lists for 2007 (8th) and 2008 (3rd) was because they’re well written. Mizuki Nomura’s noted on her ja.wikipedia page for having a reputation for very well done character descriptions and skilled use of foreshadowing.
With the coming of a manga, there’s an increased possibility that there’d be more adaptations, possibly to drama CD or an anime series. I’m somewhat worried about the exact voice casting if that should ever happen, but I’d still want to see it, so that more people can share in the stories.
Meanwhile, the 7th installment of the series, and first part of the final ending, (“文学少女”と神に臨む作家（ロマンシエ） 上) Bungaku Shoujo, and the novelist who faces God, part 1. will come out April 28, 2008. Surprisingly, a box with my name on it will be leaving a loading dock in Japan and headed to New York City less than a day after.