Hibana (火花, Spark)



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    Publisher: Bungeishunju Ltd.
    Author: Naoki Matayoshi (He is the boke member of the comedy duo Peace and the book is about Manzai comedy, which makes it full of dialog like LNs and this is his debut novel)
    Awards: Akutagawa Prize (Probably on of the biggest--if not the biggest--award a new author can get in Japan)
    Adaptations: J-Drama of 10 episodes, available on Netflix

    Synopsis:
    The story centers around a young entertainer named Tokunaga who’s struggling to get his big break in the manzai industry alongside comic partner Yamashita. He then has an encounter with the enigmatic comedian Kamiya who takes Tokunaga under his wing, teaching the apprentice his own philosophy of comedy. The pair embark on a journey together, before eventually following different paths.

    An interview with the author:

    Kastel's Review

    A Translation of The First Few Pages.


    Well, I'll leave Orikawa to sell the book for you, guys!
    (Manga:Kuzu to Megane to Bungakushojo)
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  • I usually try and sell my suggestions to the JNC users more than Sam tbh.
    However, for a change, I'll try and say why it's good for JNC to pick Hibana.

    1. Even though it's literary book, huge chunk of the book is Boke-Tsukkomi so it won't be too different from LN. (Some online reviews call it a LN, even though, its Japanese ain't as easy to read.)
    2. It's quite short (152 pages) and it's by publisher JNC dealt with before.
    3. It can be a good middle ground between LN readers and Japanese literature readers of Tuttle, Vintage, Vertical, Haikasoru, Kurodahan, etc. As It's serious non-LN that doesn't use Otaku culture (unlike the licensed Hayakawa titles), yet it's full of funny LN-like dialog.
    4. It has themes that people who like Sakurasou and Saekano are familar with (the passion of aspiring artists) but with more sobering reality dose.
    5. As Kastel said, in a region where Whiplash managed to be quite the successful movie, Hibana should do pretty well.

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    Did you draw them all yourself or just re-used some images?
    On a side note, this type of books sounds like something One Peace Books might pick up. I remember seeing several literature type of books while browsing their Japanese selection.



  • @zing said in Hibana (火花, Spark):

    re-used some images

    I mentioned the manga name above. (They kinda mention a new book every few chapters as the characters read it and comment on it)

    On a side note, this type of books sounds like something One Peace Books might pick up. I remember seeing several literature type of books while browsing their Japanese selection.

    OPB hasn't licensed a new LN for a year and hasn't licensed a general literature since 2015 or 2016.
    Examples of people who licensed Japanese literary books along with LNs (recently) would be Vertical, Haikasoru, and JNC. (Seven Seas and YP did license literary books like Perfect Blue and Tomihiko Morimi's books but marketing them towards LN readers)
    JNC actually licensed Mari Okada's Autobiography from the same publisher.


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    @bloodygaikotsu said in Hibana (火花, Spark):

    @zing said in Hibana (火花, Spark):

    re-used some images

    I mentioned the manga name above. (They kinda mention a new book every few chapters as the characters read it and comment on it).

    Have you requested that manga? It's not out in English officially, right?

    It seems like the kind of thing I'd throw support in for, especially if it helps give more exposure to interesting novel titles in a fun way.



  • @terrence
    I haven't requested Manga here yet, I feel like their topics get lost.
    I think Manga and LN titles should be separated tbh.
    I got huge list to ask for (including this one), there's also Himizu, Nickelodeon, Sensei no Shiroi Uso.
    However, I still ain't sure how to suggest them yet.
    Should I include screenshot to illustrate their selling point?
    Oh, well. I'm overthinking it much, I guess?


  • Premium Member

    An image or two doesn't hurt. I wouldn't flood the OP with too many, just ones you think are fun or get the point across along with your text explanation of what it's about and why you want it, then you can intersperse images you like within the thread.



  • Tried to sell Hibana and Lesson of Evil
    Ended up selling Kuzu to Megane to Bungakushojo instead...


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    I'm already depressed by PunPun, I'm prepared to follow both the comedy and struggle of a comedian no matter how hard it gets (if that's what this is about).

    I kind of skimmed the review article for a few pieces of info that were non-spoilery. Sounds like everyone has a differing opinion on Hibana in reviews, some saying it should be considered a light novel because it's got too much "fun" in it, others saying it's too boring, and still others saying you need a dictionary to understand it, lol. But it sounds, like with Fate / Stay Night, the adaptation loses something by losing the internal monologue of a struggling(?) character.

    "火花 is one of those books that grows on you after you finish the book"

    This is kind of how I feel about the anime film Mirai. After the film, explaining the theme I got from it to people, it really did seem like something more than just "another emotional feels film", that there was something to take from it with you beyond the film. I think good fiction does that.



  • @terrence
    It's basically that.
    It's normal person narrates the story of the crazy artist who just keep going on even when things ain't going his way.
    Boring part comes from its lack of overarching plot. It's like slice of life genre in LN and anime but with more seriousness to it.


    "火花 is one of those books that grows on you after you finish the book"

    This is kind of how I feel about the anime film Mirai. After the film, explaining the theme I got from it to people, it really did seem like something more than just "another emotional feels film". I think good fiction does that.

    For me, I think Kazuo Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World was like that for me.
    Like I love Asano Inio and NisiOisiN, but they do present their ideas and philosophies in your face, Ishiguro, on the other hand, let it slip into the story for those who may pick it up. (But, I think Hibana will be like those and its themes will be really apparent in the narration and dialog)


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    @bloodygaikotsu said in Hibana (火花, Spark):

    Like I love Asano Inio and NisiOisiN, but they do present their ideas and philosophies in your face

    Oh yeah he does, lol. Solanin I think was the worst offender. At the start, I was quoting all the philosophy to Goodreads since it seemed meaningful, but by the end, there were way too many "poignant" quotes that I started to drown out some of that philosophizing.

    PunPun is similar early on, though some of them I really like (“You were scared they were going to laugh at you, right? So let them! People who discourage others will never find their own happiness!”).

    The ending to PunPun was actually pretty good in terms of not explicitly stating what you're supposed to get out of it (or maybe I missed it).

    I think Mirai's theme is fairly apparent, but not explicitly stated, so it works well too. Hibana sounds like it'd be a good one to go through for something to sit with me after it.



  • @terrence said in Hibana (火花, Spark):

    The ending to PunPun was actually pretty good in terms of not explicitly stating what you're supposed to get out of it (or maybe I missed it).

    Actually, all Asano Inio works end this way, it's an end muddled with both hope to move forward and pessimism of the atmosphere.
    I kinda feel like stories, usually, end with what he uses for the chapter before last.



  • So, I finally came around to watch the Netflix series.