James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Project

Reviews in Project: Translation (275)

More Than Madness

A Bride’s Story, volume 4

By Kaoru Mori  

20 Oct, 2021



A Bride’s Story, Volume 4, is the fourth installment of Kaoru Mori’s historical manga series. Originally published as Otoyomegatari, Volume 4, this volume was first published in Japan in 2012. The English translation appeared in 2013

Guide Ali delivers English scholar Henry Smith to Muynak, a small town at the edge of the Aral Sea, at which point Smith rewards Ali’s diligence by falling off his camel into the water. Smith is retrieved from the water by twin sisters Laila and Leily. It is on these two teens the narrative focuses.

Read more ➤

Pushing Down On Me

Lonely Castle in the Mirror

By Mizuki Tsujimura  (Translated by Phillip Gabriel)

13 Oct, 2021



Mizuki Tsujimura’s Lonely Castle in the Mirror is a stand-alone portal fantasy novel. Originally published in 2017 as Kagami No Koji, Phillip Gabriel’s English translation came out in 2020

Kokoro Anzai has been the target of mass bullying at school1. Rightfully dubious of the school’s ability and willingness to protect her, she has arrived at a simple but effective countermeasure. She refuses to attend school; she won’t even leave her house. Aware that their daughter is skipping school but not understanding why, her parents find her a new school. Kokoro confounds their efforts. Anything outside her house has become too frightening. 

Respite comes from her mirror. 

Read more ➤

Seasons Out of Time

The Crab-Flower Club  (The Story of the Stone, volume 2)

By Cao Xueqin  (Translated by David Hawkes)

6 Oct, 2021



The Crab-Flower Club is the second volume of Cao Xueqin’s 1791(ish) The Story of the Stone; also known as (perhaps better known as) The Dream of the Red Chamber. David Hawkes’ translation is from 1977.

The scion of a well-placed family of Chinese bureaucrats, young Bao-yu must one day pass the exams, gain a position, serve the emperor, and ensure his family’s continued prosperity. That day is not today. The young man has other concerns.

Read more ➤

Fools and Sages

Apprentice Shrine Maiden, volume 2

By Miya Kazuki  (Translated by Quof)

29 Sep, 2021



2016’s Apprentice Shrine Maiden Volume 2 is the second volume in the second arc of Miya Kazuki’s Ascendance of a Bookworm series. Illustrations are by You Shiina. The 2020 English language translation is by Quof.

Since her reincarnation in a new world, bookworm Myne has been working to recreate books, publishing, and libraries. The culmination of her long efforts appears to be at hand. Perhaps. What Myne doesn’t know about her new society (and doesn’t care to learn) is going to present difficulties. 

This is not the first time Myne has run up against this problem. Too bad she is a slow learner.

Read more ➤

Such a Classic Tale

The Apothecary Diaries, volume 3

By Natsu Hyuuga  

23 Sep, 2021


1 comment

2015’s The Apothecary Diaries: Volume 3 is the third volume1 in Natsu Hyuuga’s secondary-universe quasi-historical mystery series. Illustrations are by Touko Shino. The 2021 translation is by Kevin Steinbach.

Jinshu is a skilled administrator but he lacks the professional training that would allow him to notice a potentially ominous development in the imperial harem. For palace servant Maomao, the problem is more obvious.


Read more ➤

When Somebody Loved Me

The Devotion of The Surgery Room”  (Bond and Book:, volume 1)

By Mizuki Nomura  

25 Aug, 2021



2020’s Bond and Book: The Devotion of The Surgery Room” is the first volume of Mizuki Nomura’s Bond and Book series. The 2021 translation is by Nicole Wilder. 

Books speak to first year high school student Musubu Enoki and not metaphorically: he listens to conversations between books. This is a great power and, to quote an arachnid-themed character, with great power comes great responsibility.

Read more ➤

The Terrible Famine

Apprentice Shrine Maiden, volume 1

By Miya Kazuki  (Translated by Quof)

18 Aug, 2021



2015’s Apprentice Shrine Maiden, Volume 1 is the first installment in the second arc of Miya Kazuki’s Ascendance of a Bookworm book series. Illustrations are by You Shiina. The 2019 English translation is by Quof.

Reborn into the body of a sickly peasant girl named Myne, a Japanese bookworm is determined to return to her life of reading. This requires the invention of books, publishing, and the tech that supports publishing. In this, the second story arc, she is sent to serve in the local church, as apprentice shrine maiden. Myne embraces this opportunity as she does all others: headlong, without bothering to do any research.

Read more ➤

One Step Closer

Mao, volume 1

By Rumiko Takahashi  

11 Aug, 2021



Mao, Volume 1 is the first of four volumes in Rumiko Takahashi’s time-spanning fantasy series. It was first published in Japan in 2019. The English translation came out in 2021

Schoolgirl Nanoka survived the road accident that killed her parents. Her doting grandparents see her as frail and coddle her. Nanoka has never had any reason to doubt their assessment. After all, she is without a doubt the worst athlete in school. 

Although she dislikes passing by the spot where her parents died, it’s on the shortest way home from school. One day she takes a route she has never taken before. She steps almost a century into the past.

Read more ➤

Forgive and Forget


By Yasutaka Tsutsui  

4 Aug, 2021



Yasutaka Tsutsui’s Hell is a stand-alone contemporary fantasy novel. It was first published in 2003 as Heru; the 2007 English translation is by Evan Emswiler.

Nobutero, Yuzo and Takeshi were childhood chums during World War II but took different paths in life afterward. Takeshi was a law-abiding guy, albeit one with a fatal weakness for seducing married women. Yuzo joined the Yakuza. Nobutero steered a middle path between respectability and criminality. 

Hell waits for them all.

Read more ➤