The Asterisk War: Festival Symphony

By Yuu Miyazaki and okiura. Released in Japan by Media Factory. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Haydn Trowell.

The author admits in the afterword that this was supposed to end with the start of the next school battle, but that things got out of hand. As such, we have another volume that is theoretically marking time and having fun before the next round of fights. In reality, of course, what we get here is more insight into the six other schools, with attention paid to almost all of them. We finally find out what Claudia’s wish is, and why the entire world seems to want to stop her. And Ayato gets another girl falling in love with him, and like the others, she’s intensely likeable. The drawbacks of the series remain the same – every plot twist is quite predictable, and the characters sometimes seem to be types rather than real people. But as a book that puts the “light” in light novel, it’s fun.

The majority of the book, as the title might suggest, is taken up with the Culture Festival that all six schools are giving. Ayato has agreed to take Sylvia on a date around the schools, something which the other girls in his orbit are all very well aware of. I liked the differing approaches to dealing with their jealousy – Julis hides from the entire festival and works on training, Saya does a bunch of events where she can just destroy everything, etc. Ayato, meanwhile, being terminally clueless about romance, has no idea why any of this is going on, which can sometimes be a problem, as he and Sylvia put on disguises but he keeps breaking their cover. The date itself also serves as an excuse to talk a bit more about the different schools and the types of students they attract, and we also meet some new recurring cast members, both comedic (the idol group that’s trying to top Sylvia) and serious (Jie Long’s new powerhouses, though Hufeng’s “long suffering” attitude is sometimes funny).

We’re gearing up for the next tournament, the Gryps, which depends on teamwork. As such, Claudia discusses her weapon and what the drawbacks to it are, and also shares why she wants to win: she wants to talk to a supposed criminal that’s been imprisoned. Ayato and Sylvia, meanwhile, may not be at the same school, but their desires also hinge on the book’s later plotline, with Ayato being offered a way to wake his sister up that involves a “deal with the devil” sort of bargain, and Sylvia finding out that her old teacher is not who she once was. Sylvia seems to have a large amount of “I don’t want to burden others with my own problems” to her, which I’m sure will get her in danger sooner rather than later.

The Asterisk War is never going to be among the best light novels out there, but it’s always readable and fun, and I’d argue it’s perhaps the most “typical” example of the genre.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind