Blabbering of a Fool
鴨川ホルモー (Kamogawa Horumo)
Meet Abe（安部） (last name unknown in the novel), who finally becomes a freshman in Kyoto University（京都大学） after having failed the entrance exams twice. Abe is so poor, he barely has enough money to afford three proper meals a day. So how does our protagonist survive university life? His dinners are settled from visits to orientation parties organized for freshmen by the many clubs and societies in school, while the rest he has to rely on his meager pay from multiple part-time jobs. At one of his job stints, he meets Takamura（高村）, a fellow freshman in Kyodai who is a returnee from Los Angeles, and on their way back home together, they are approached by two seniors hiding behind a torii. After introducing himself as Sugawara Makoto（菅原 真）, one of the seniors hands them each a blue flyer, stating:
“Let’s enjoy together, shall we?”
As suspicious as it may have seemed, Abe soon finds himself involved in the many activities of this Seiryuu-kai.
Reason for this? A girl by the name of Sawara Kyouko（早良 京子）.
Point of attraction? Her nose.
Yes, our protagonist has a ‘fetish’ for pretty noses.
But soon Abe finds himself getting more than he had bargained more when he gets roped into the official membership of the Seiryuu-kai. Things get weirder when he realizes that the same ten freshmen members (including himself, Takamura, and Sawara) show up for all of the Seiryuu-kai activities. And then, he learns of the ‘Horumo’（ホルモー）, the true purpose of the club.
But what exactly is ‘Horumo’?
It is a battle tournament between the Seiryuukai and three other clubs from three distinct universities: Genbu-gumi（玄武組）, Phoenix (formerly known as Suzaku-dan（朱雀団）), Byakko-tai（白虎隊）, and Seiryuu-kai. However, it’s a battle unlike any other; They do not fight with weapons, nor even do the fighting themselves. Instead, they have to learn the secret ways of controlling the ‘Oni’（オニ）, which will do all the fighting……
This is the book which I had mentioned that I wanted badly in a previous post. The author’s Makime Manabu（万城目 学）, who also wrote ‘Shika-otoko Aoniyoshi’, aka ‘Deer-man’. This ‘Kamogawa Horumo’ is actually his debut novel which shot him to fame in the Japanese literary field.
For those who have read ‘Shika-otoko’, you will find this novel rather similar in terms of his writing style, which is a first-person narration on the story of this ‘Horumo’. Also, the protagonist is as cynical as the one in ‘Shika-otoko’, so expect a madcap adventure through this 500-generation-old battle tournament.
For those who have not read any of Makime’s works, you can expect heartwarming bits of friendship, exciting adventure, crazy antics, and even bittersweet love inside this novel. Well, with my standard of writing, I just find the right words to describe this novel. All I can say/write is that, THIS BOOK IS WORTH YOUR TIME!!
And for those who thinks reading is a chore (meh~), no worries. This novel has been adapted into a movie that will be released later this year, starring Yamada Takayuki（山田 孝之）, Kuriyama Chiaki（栗山 千明）, and Hamada Gaku（濱田 岳）. Personally, in my imagination, Abe seems to take the image of Kyon from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu……
And a video on what to expect in the movie (I really hope they don’t take away this part from the book):
A still from the movie: