Kizumonogatari: Wound Tale by Nisioisin, translated by Ko Ransom [in School Library Journal]
As spring break begins, 17-year-old loner Araragi makes his only friend – and loses his humanity. Araragi is befuddled by class president Hanekawa’s sudden attention, and his conversation with her about a vampire sighting doesn’t sink in until he helps a dying limbless woman, only to wake up from the gruesome ordeal as a vampire himself.
His sole chance at salvation is to retrieve her missing appendages and put Kiss-Shot-Acerola-Orion-Heart-Under-Blade back together again. Guided by the unreliable, not-quite-human Oshino – together with Hanekawa’s inexplicable devotion – Araragi’s spring break is literally out of this world.
Already adapted as a three-part animated film series, Kizumonogatari (kizu = wound; monogatari = tale) is the prequel to immensely popular Bakemonogatari (monster tale), part of the bestselling Monogatari “light” novels/anime series by NisiOisiN(the palindrome is the pen name of one of Japan’s most successful and prolific young writers). Kizumonogatari is the first of three inaugural audio titles from Vertical, Inc. (a division of Kodansha USA). Vertical hopes to entice new audiences with these productions that combine music, sound effects, and recognizable anime voiceover actors. Erik Kimerer, Keith Silverstein, and Cristina Vee don’t disappoint here.
Verdict: From the merely curious to zealous otaku, going aural should capture fresh – even reluctant – readers.
Readers: Young Adult