Kagerou Daze VI: Over the Dimension

By Jin (Shinzen no Teki-P) and Sidu. Released in Japan by Enterbrain. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Kevin Gifford.

For all that I’ve joked about the Kagerou Daze light novels being short – and they really are, they’re easily the shortest books that Yen is putting out right now – that’s not a complaint about their quality, which has steadily improved with each volume. Kagerou Daze does not really give the reader a lot of information directly, so one can get very easily confused reading the first three books. As we move on, though, and discover backstories and connections between characters, everything starts to come together as we realize that there is an overarching plot here, we have a main villain, and we almost know what the villain is doing, though not why. It can also help flesh out previous books, and no volume does that more than this new one, which is a mirror to the second book, A Headphone Actor.

In that book we had the POV of Takane, the eternally angry high school girl who likes her tall, airheaded classmate Haruka but can’t do anything but take shots at him, because hiding embarrassment, etc. A tsundere with very little dere. This new book gives us Haruka’s perspective of the same events, and we can see that he does actually sort of like Takane, but unfortunately due to her actions he doesn’t think that she likes him much at all. If you’re going to haev a stereotypical angry anime girl, it’s always nice to show off how it can work against them in the long run. As for Haruka himself, he’s a bit shy, straightforward, nice… and dying, something that he’s known about for some time but hasn’t really told anyone about. The knowledge that he’ll be dead in a year informs many of his actions, especially as he begins to open up to both Takane and his new friends Ayano and Shintaro.

Shintaro is a bit of a revelation here, as from Takane’s perspective in Volume 2, he was quite different back in school from the emotional hot mess we know and love. Here we see Shintaro slowly open to to Haruka’s aggressive overtures of friendship, and we can see that the emotional turmoil is not all that far from the surface. There’s lots of bits in this book that work because we know the cast and their pasts from previous books – when Ayano walks in on Haruka and begins to act in a completely non-characteristic way, it’s easy to see that it’s really Kano. We also see the start of Momo’s idol career, and the fact that literally everyone but Shintaro can see how gaga Ayano is over him. Of course, Ayano is dead in the future, which also makes this a bit tragic as well.

In fact, the book ends darkly, as not only do we see Haruka and Takane getting turned into Konoha and Ene from his perspective, but we also see that Konoha seems to be somewhat possessed by evil, and also that Shintaro is possibly dead as well. Given that we’ve seen time loops in this series before, I highly doubt this is meant to be permanent, but our heroes still have a long way to go to fix things. Definitely worth a read, even if you’re not a fan of the songs.

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