10 Ways (Japanese) YA Novels Leave You Totally Unprepared to be an Actual Adult

This past Wednesday, author and blogger Donna Gambale wrote a refreshing and humorous piece on how unrealistic real life can be when presented within the pages of a typical Young Adult novel printed in America and Europe. Listing off ten scenarios, she gave two answers. The first was that which an adult knows to be true, and the latter that which a YA novel will seemingly support you doing. The idea was quite appealing and I realized that I myself could perhaps create my own small spin-off on the concept.

So without further ado, I will present the same idea, but using Japanese Young Adult literature (Light Novels) as my catalyst. I will also provide a “per courtesy” below each scenario to reveal which book it is drawn from.

Due to the fact that most readers here have probably never read most of these books, the jokes may not prove as familiar as the one’s presented by Gambale, but I hope that even with a different culture, the humor will still ring true.

Problem 1:
You wake up dazed and confused. You can’t remember how you got to where you are, and you can’t understand why a group of strange looking people are surrounding you. A girl leans down, informs you that you are her slave and kisses you.

Actual Answer: Run… Run… RUN DAMN IT! 
YA Answer: You find her somewhat cute and decide to wash her panties for eternity.

Courtesy of: “Zero’s Familiar” by Noboru Yamaguchi

Problem 2:
You check your wagon (which most adult’s usually have… somewhere) and find a 16 year old girl… naked. She claims that she’s actually a 600 year old goddess and needs you to smuggle her out of the country.

Actual Answer: Report her, find her parents and curse the recklessness of youth.
YA Answer: You agree and ride off into the sunset together… on your wagon. She may be 570 years older than you, but love can overcome all obstacles!

Courtesy of: “Spice and Wolf” by Isuna Hasekura

Problem 3: 
Your girlfriend treats you like dirt and is constantly jealous of you. She suspects you are no better than a dog and even at times grabs a whip for show. There is another, however: a girl who serves as the family maid, who has admitted she loves you unconditionally and is rather quite sweet.

Actual Answer: Dump her faster than Monday morning trash and quickly bend on knee to propose to the girl only few ever hope to find. 
YA Answer: Against all the odds, you’ll stick it out. After all, she’s kind of cute when she’s abusing you. Those scars on your back (and heart) are emblems of her love!

Courtesy of: “Zero’s Familiar” by Noboru Yamaguchi

Problem 4:
Airplane gets hijacked by terrorist organization.

Actual Answer: Prepare to die. 
YA Answer: Psh! No worries! Just get your teenage friend, who is super weird and serious, but who also happens to be secretly working with the military, to use the experience he had in Afghanistan to save the plane, hijack a giant mechanized vehicle and cause havoc in South Korea.

Courtesy of: “Full Metal Panic!” by Shouji Gatou

Problem 5:
A Catholic priest, drenched in blood, kills dozens of individuals using a rather large and sharp blade, all while quoting scripture. He then looks up at you.

Actual Answer: Oh shi… 
YA Answer: Nothing to sweat over. He’s probably just killing vampires like all good priests know how to. Maybe I can help him! I’ll go ask.
Courtesy of: “Trinity Blood” by Sunao Yoshida

Problem 6:
You find an invitation that is not yours but if used would grant you access to the high seas.

Actual Answer: Report the missing slip of paper and continue life as planned. 
YA Answer: Take the invite and sneak onboard, masquerading as another. Theft is okay as long as it might lead to some exciting adventure! Besides, the ship is pretty cool. The guests are already playing a game. One’s pretending to be dea…
Courtesy of: GOSICK by Kazuki Sakuraba

Problem 7: 
A girl you know eats paper… actual paper. Typically from books. Most recently from Moby Dick.

Actual Answer: Contact the poison control center ASAP. 
YA Answer: Give her some more paper. After all, you’re just happy she stopped chewing on the binding of Hemingway.
Courtesy of: “Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime” by Mizuki Nomura

Problem 8:
You come across a small city in the woods where everybody never leaves their homes.

Actual Answer: Start looting their supplies before nightfall. 
YA Answer: Invite yourself into one of their homes. They seem friendly enou…
Courtesy of: “Kino no Tabi” by Keiichi Sigsawa

Problem 9:
A flower you discovered in the garden has the face of a baby and seems, if the ears doesn’t fail, to be humming a lullaby.

Actual Answer: You’re dreams of having a child have finally broken you. The psychiatric ward is the next stop. 
YA Answer: Awesome! I’ve finally been granted my very own miracle grow baby.
Courtesy of: “Missing You” by Otsuichi

Problem 10:
Women everywhere flirt with you. They even get quite tantalizingly close to you. But under no circumstances does it ever lead to anything tangible.

Actual Answer: Get frustrated.
YA Answer: Get frust… oh, wait, this is actually the same for both. Ahem.

Courtesy of: All Japanese YA Romantic Comedies


If you’re curious about Japanese YA and want to learn more: CLICK HERE



2 Comments Add yours

  1. kafkafuura says:

    Problem 11:

    On your way back from purchasing some “erotica”, you’re walking down the street, in the dark and someone calls out to you. That someone seems to have recently been relieved of both arms and both legs and is… well in tatters. She says she needs your blood – all of it.

    Actual Answer: She’s delusional, and definitely needs that blood. Call and ambulance but be very careful as you run away, there’s probably a serial killer, or more like a pack of them somewhere nearby.

    YA Answer: Run away. Quickly. Don’t mind that she starts crying, you’ve got to drop your porn somewhere. It’d be embarrassing if someone found you dead with something like that. Run back, say you’re sorry. Dying by vampire sounds like an interesting way to go, and heck – she probably doesn’t really mean to kill you, she’s just lonely – and together you’ll be the most powerful beings that ever existed. Except maybe for a weird old guy in a Hawaiian shirt.

    Courtesy of: “Kizumonogatari” by NISIOISIN

    Problem 12:

    Someone hands you something called “Facebook”.

    Actual Answer: Avoid it. It may ruin your social identity.
    YA Answer: Avoid it. It will ruin your social identity.

    Courtesy of: “Dantalian no Shoka” by Mikumo Gakuto

    I thought I’d find more extravagant ones (and more cryptic ones too!), but I find that I encounter quite a few protagonists with heads on their shoulders, actually. Though the raw power of literature doesn’t often save lives,Tohko talks people out of disasterous physical and psychological consequences by showing them that they can learn from people who have experienced similar troubles as they have in the past. (“Bungaku Shoujo”) Though luckily we have laws to help keep some dangers in check, Kraft Lawrence has to make sure that the person he’s dealing with cannot benefit without him alive and unharmed. (“Spice and Wolf”) Mikiya shows that sometimes holding on to a sociological ideal can help save not only you, but others. (“Kara no Kyoukai”) “Dantalian no Shoka” even, shows us that almost everything comes with consequences.

    Still, it really isn’t the brightest idea to get involved in those life-threatening situations everyone seems to get caught up in. Probability will eventually catch up with you.


  2. I have nothing to add, but I think these translate just fine. LOL!

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