Series Recommendation: Soukyuu no Fafner Novel – The Darkness Of The Azure Sky

Into the sea of Darkness, away from the Light he swims…

Soukyuu no Fafner is a long-running franchise with a very nich√© following; however, we consider it one of the most well written and animated mecha franchise out there. The story and characters are very well written and the animation from the first movie until now has been stellar thanks to studio Orange and Xebec Zwei. And while the anime has been very successful in depicting the mecha action as well as the relationships between the characters, there is something that only a written medium can do: conveying a character’s deepest thoughts and emotions. The Fafner Novel written by Tow Ubutaka is a perfect complementary piece to the anime.

The novel follow Kazuki’s POV at the start of the Fafner anime. It details how he and others were living on Tatsumiyajima in its false peace until the day Soushi return and the Festum attack. The novel continue on to about half of season 1’s story. However, you may notice a lot of details were changed compared to the anime. This can be said to be Ubutaka’s vision on how Fafner would have gone instead of the old scriptwriter for the anime. While the plot details may be different, the characters are still the same and other Alvis-related details should still be the same.

+ Plot: Since we look at the events from Kazuki’s POV, we get to see in-depth on what he was thinking, feeling and what he was doing during the events of the first anime season. There is a lot of dramatic descriptions and symbolism included in the novel. The characters close to Kazuki, mostly Maya and Soushi, were expanded upon quite extensively. We learn more about how they behave in certain situations and what Kazuki think about them. We can read about many things that were not shown or weren’t so obvious in the anime. And it meshes well with the anime direction even though some events are different. Furthermore, we also got more background information about when the island was still peaceful.

Since it is a Light Novel, the action scenes are not as vivid as the anime of course. However, Ubutaka went to great lengths to describe the scenes in detail. And the technical explanation are also mixed in but not too disruptive to the flow of action. It definitely helps if you’ve already seen the anime so you can form an image in your head and you can imagine “Oh right, he would totally do it like this.”. If you haven’t seen the anime, then after finishing the novel, you can check it out and you’ll go “oh so that’s what he meant.” However, as the novel is complementary to the anime, it is highly recommended you check out the anime first, at least until episode 16.

Ubutaka writing style is full of symbolism, but it’s not pertaining to any existing religion or anything complicated. It’s more of a inner-self imagery from Kazuki’s psyche. And if you read the novel, you can further understand why Kazuki is the way he is in the anime, and why he was able to do the things he did.

Furthermore, the Fafner novel also included very interesting info about Alvis and the Fafner in general. We got to understand some protocols that were put in place that wasn’t explained in the anime due to “well it’s a mecha series, don’t think too hard about the logic.”. The novel manage to put some sensible explanation in there, from how the adults educate the children to who got chosen as Fafner pilots and so much more. It adds to the foundation of details that we already have plenty of in the series.  

+ Conclusion: The Soukyuu no Fafner Light Novel is a great addition for fans of the series. It gives us more insights on the characters, especially Kazuki and Soushi, as well as their relationship. Ubutaka also added in information about Alvis to “explain” some stuff that happened in the anime. This book is quite an obscure media but it adds a lot of value. And we don’t have a lot of mecha novels right now, so if you’re an avid reader, definitely pick this one up.

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