Considering how it is much more effort is required, it is understandable that light novels are less translated as compared to the other mediums in anime. Naturally, the ones that do get translated are mostly the ones who already have been adapted into anime to get the popularity, such as Suzumiya Haruhi or ToraDora!. Nevertheless, I’ll go for a somewhat less known light novel: Tricksters, by Quzumi Shiki.
In a seemingly normal university, the protagonist enrols into a very unique course, The Study of Magic. There, he encounters the mysterious, beautiful and most of all, eccentric Professor of Magic who is internationally renowned and is one of the world’s last few ‘True Magician’. Volume one opens with how in the first day of the course an unknown intruder declares a challenge to whoever is able to prevent him from murdering someone and to capture him. Naturally, the Professor is more than ready for a game of wits… and magic.
[Characters] The characters, so far, are rather average. The protagonist is your typical nice guy – smart (and not a loser like in a typical ecchi-harem) but still more of an average joe. The Professor, is also the archetype Chaotic Neutral (Chaotic Good at best) character who is obviously formidable, but is more concerned with having fun, playful and taking on challenges. Being a niche class, there are only six students, five of which are conveniently females. Needless to say, you have the ones like the Ice Queen and potential tsundere, the peacemaker, the Genki girl and such. Not exactly a bad thing per se, just hoping that because volume one is more on setting the scenario and will compensate with more satisfying character development in the later part.
[Story] Now this is where I’m actually rather pleasantly surprised. Despite the storyline about Research into the History of Magic, as well as the illustration of the novel being date of a signature Magic genre, it turned out that this novel isn’t about magic in the fantasy sense; it’s not Zero no Tsukaima magic with summoning of creatures and casting spells. Instead, it’s actually more of ‘real-life’ magic – illusions, sleight of hand and little bit of messing around with psychology to confuse and distract others. In addition, the novel is actually more of Crime Solving/ Logical Deduction sort of story. In short, it’s more like how the opponent, also a magician, is using all these little tricks to supposedly masquerade in the campus and supposedly is about to or already commit a crime, while the cast are in turn trying to deduce and break down his tricks.
[Expectation] I have a rather high expectation for this novel. Its concept is rather interesting, having several references to Sherlock Holmes and while I’m not expecting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s level of deduction, I hope that at the very least, there’s going to be a good amount of quality mind games going on.
* I’ve only read like 1/3 of the book, so I may be wrong; there might just be the possibility that ‘fantasy’ magic involved, my interpretations might just be wrong or something etc.
** I’m not sure if this novel is already being translated into English. I’m reading it in Chinese, since my Japanese is at best only sufficient enough to read manga lol.