When a book is good, it can be read in a breeze. Hai to Gensou 8 was good, really good. There was character development, there was important dialogue, new situations they'd never faced before, and like always fantastic action scenes with perfectly choreographed, complicated battles.
This is what happens when you get back to Grimgar, the actual setting for the plot, instead of wasting your time in worthless meanders. I have no idea what the author was thinking in books 5-7, but book 8 is right back to where the story used to be, at the same fever pitch of excellence as the anime. There are still three more books out in Japan, but the translation is moving along so swiftly that maybe we'll see them all by the end of 2018. Hai to Gensou may be one of the bright spots of the year after all.
The value added of Full Metal Panic!'s books is going down as the anime comes out, and the value added of Hai to Gensou keeps going up with the release of these new volumes, so Ao Jumonji has moved up to 3rd in my light novel rankings and Shoji Gatoh down to 4th. Hai to Gensou may eventually surpass even #1 SAO, given that SAO's anime is supposedly adapting all of Alicization. #2 Index is also receiving a third season, so its value added will also be shrinking even as Hai to Gensou grows. We might be looking at the #1 must-read light novel series by 2019. Another way of putting it is Hai to Gensou not receiving a second anime season is the greatest tragedy on Earth.
Spice and Wolf volume 19 is next on my reading list, and then Parchment and Wolf book 2 comes out just four days from now. (Though who knows if or when the pirated version will be released.) Aside from those two, I've read every translated snippet of the 27 light novel series in my Good Books hall of fame. It's tough keeping up with so many various works, but someone has to do it.
After Spice and Wolf, I want to find some more good light novel series, because Kakashi Hiden and Sakura Hiden really aren't up to snuff. I'd at least like to replace those two. But I can't take on any new projects until I at least finish my old ones.
I listened to all my newly introduced music Hall of Fame songs at least a second time to make sure they were really worthy, but it turns out they were all fine. The songs that were actually lacking were Asuka Sakai's which I've been listening to for a while. Both of those were cut and the composer reduced to 0 worth and eliminated. There was also a frustrating moment when I realized that FF 6's opening theme not only copied a portion of Terra's theme, which itunes could be used to snip out so wasn't an issue, it also copied a portion of another song from FF 6, Catastrophe. At that point I just threw up my hands in disgust and deleted it. Nobuo Uematsu is the worst when it comes to remixes, though everyone does it, he's just completely shameless.
Even Coin Song is partially a remix of Edgar and Sabin, but at least it eventually deviates into its own tune eventually. So for now I'm putting up with it.
I added in the title theme of Valkyria Chronicles 4 to make up some of the gap, one of the only two songs youtube has released from the game, but that still leaves my music hall of fame at 4798 songs. The perfect symmetry is lost once more. I guess like a flower, nice round numbers occasionally bloom but they always wilt again afterwards.
Nobody is really in my hall of fame until I've heard them 100 times and am still satisfied, and even then sometimes songs are kicked out afterwards. But when you've heard a song twice and still haven't changed your mind, generally you don't change your mind on the third time either. So I'd say at the very least these tunes have gotten through the danger zone. Which means all these new game soundtracks I downloaded are exactly as good as I touted them to be.
There was a humorous survey where Americans listed their main causes of stress -- not having enough money, not getting enough sleep, ill health, etc. They said that their favorite stress relief activities were listening to music and watching tv (as well as exercising.) I'm just sitting here smugly laughing as I listen to my 500 new euphonious treasures and watch all the anime I want while sleeping in as long as I desire. If everyone had taken my advice to begin with, they could all be living like me, the ideal life by their own self-admission. But they spurned my advice and went off to do their own thing, and now they're reaping the whirlwind.
I'm already happy. I want other people to be happy too. But if they don't follow my example, there's nothing more I can do.