Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Vol 1 Light Novel Review: Hazardous

Overview:

I’ve previously reviewed the anime adaptation of this but I wasn’t overly impressed  with certain aspects of the story (wasn’t bad but also wasn’t anything overly amazing, but the fight sequences do make it worthwhile) and so I picked up the first volume of this hoping it would tell the same story but better. We’ll get to whether it succeeded in the review, but basically this is the story of Adlet, an idiot who through some childhood trauma ended up training himself to be the self-proclaimed strongest man in the world in the hopes of being selected as one of the six braves who will go and fight the evil god who awakens every so often and tries to destroy the world. All pretty simple except that seven braves show up and one of them is a fake who is most definitely trying to get Adlet killed.

Review:

My issue with the anime was the lack of viable suspects after they set up a mystery and if I’m honest the book is worse if I read it as a mystery. The whole who is the seventh thing is absurd, plus this book jumps perspectives so we can ‘hear’ the inner gloating of the seventh from time to time starting at page 80. Even if I hadn’t watched the anime the tone of this, the timing and choice of target just scream at you to figure out who it is. So while the characters are solving a mystery, the reader isn’t and nor are they really invited to given you’re mostly just waiting for the reactions of the characters once they catch on.

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I do actually like these character designs better than how most of them appeared in the anime.

I actually looked this up after reading and the book is classified as a fantasy in most places I found it and isn’t labelled as a mystery. So the disappointing mystery element might be overlooked, except that there is nothing else in this story.

We have introductions to seven characters, some mythology around the braves, the saints, the fiends, and the evil god, and we have a locked room mystery that the braves have to solve. That’s it. This book doesn’t get on with that bigger story or anything else, it is pure set up, but it is set-up that is mostly pointless.

Throw in that Adlet is a little bit more insufferable in written form (that ‘strongest man in the world’ line get’s really irksome) and that Fremy comes across as completely irrational, and two of the characters I didn’t mind so much in the anime are pretty much down for the count. Hans works better in written form (both his character design and his scenes seem to have more life and energy than they did in the anime) but this is about the only character where there seems to be a noticeable improvement due to the difference in delivery.

So far I’ve enjoyed picking up reading light novels but I won’t be continuing this series. It just wasn’t interesting enough and the plot didn’t go anywhere. And maybe the argument could be made that the story is just getting going, but when I’ve read a whole book and feel like I’m still just waiting for a story to get going it is time to bail.

The real question is whether I might have enjoyed this more having not watched the anime first and the answer is probably not. The writing works but isn’t particularly descriptive, it is hard to visualise a lot of the fight sequences (and I was probably filling in blanks with things I had seen in the anime) and the characters are fairly ordinary (Hans being the exception because I quite enjoyed him in the book). With a plot I’m not really interested in and a set up as generic as defeat the evil god that then isn’t even really addressed, I probably would have passed on this one anyway. At least the anime has cool and well animated fight sequences to distract you from some of these issues in the story. So while I might have watched a continuation of the anime (had it got one) I’m not going to read any further.

If you have read the book or watched the anime, I’d love to know your opinion of either so leave me a comment below.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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21 thoughts on “Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Vol 1 Light Novel Review: Hazardous

  1. I went ahead and bookmarked this review for when I’d eventually sit down and read the series for myself. Having seen the anime already, I skipped the first book (something I would otherwise never do, but I got antsy) and just finished reading the second. Much like the first, there’s lots of neat twists and cool character dialogue, but very little progress in the main story. I have a feeling that we won’t get to the Evil God until the past book, which I believe is seven . . . Not sure. Anyway, I agree that the action was very poorly described, making it more entertaining as a mystery for me than a fantasy adventure (at least in novel form). I will be continuing, as I did admittedly have fun with the new reveals of the second volume, but I can understand stopping where you did—heck, you sought both mediums for the same story, that’s brave in itself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of me really wishes this was a bit better. There are definitely aspects of it that I would like to read more of. But the overall impression wasn’t great and the writing just isn’t strong enough for me to continue on with a plot that seems meandering.

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  2. What a coincidence, right now I’m writing a sort of review about the anime. I was wondering about the quality of the LN but you’re probably the most reliable source I’ve found.
    Just for the record – does the novel end the same way as the anime?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty much follows identically from what I could remember of the anime (it has been awhile since my first watch through). But same twist after the villain of the series has been dealt with.

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  3. I actually went into Rokka in the order LN -> anime, but I remember not being able to visualise much (and I was irked by the “strongest man in the world” line in both). I think it was the nature of the medium but the reveal of the 7th caught me off-guard the first time (I can never work mysteries out if they’re in novel format) and the Fremy/Adlet romance seems a little shoehorned, for reasons that are explained in later volumes.

    I think the description aspect does get better with the arrival of a certain blood-whip cow woman (no spoilers aside from that!) but only by a little.

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    1. I don’t think I’m signing up for any more of this at this point. There are so many other series I am wanting to read and this one just didn’t do anything for me having read the first volume.

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  4. I actually enjoyed Rokka (anime), but I don’t read any light novels unless the anime really fascinates me. Rokka was a decent anime. It wasn’t the typical action/comedy/fantasy shonen I watch. It had a little mystery (although it wasn’t much of a mystery. The intro and outro told who me who the false brave was). There were only two elements I didn’t like: the cg monsters and the ending. They solve the mystery only to set it up again.

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  5. Hm. I’ll be honest, I hated the anime. Though the suspect factor wasn’t really the issue for me. At least not entirely. It certainly didn’t help. I just couldn’t stand anyone. Almost everyone was painfully unlikable. To the point where I predicted exactly who the culprit would be, just because I knew stories like this always try to be clever and subvert your expectations. Which only annoyed me even more. I don’t generally mind things being predictable on the basis of me just seeing the trope done before. But failed attempts at clever writing (which is redundant since most active attempts at being clever instead of letting it happen naturally fail) just annoy me in the worst way. Either way, I won’t really be shedding any tears if it just quietly goes away.

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    1. It really did seem like they expected the reveal to be more of a surprise moment than it was and that they thought a lot of the twists were more clever than they were. And you are right, there is nothing more annoying than something attempting to be clever and not succeeding.

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    1. To be more specific, it was terrible because it took an interesting setting, northern south America, and a world with a semi-knighthood of the Inca empire… and then dropped a great big smelly poop on it and shifted it into a mystery show nobody wanted to watch. What were they thinking? It was awful. It was terrible. It was craptastic. I can’t forgive them for what it turned into only 3-4 episodes into what COULD have been a really interesting setting. Sigh. Avoid this show.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The show had issues, mostly the obvious nature of the culprit and the overall lack of plot given the show ends as the plot seems to get going. But I did really like the action sequences in the anime. They were pretty cool.

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