current mood: blank
So, Shadow was bad and found a copy of the novel online. ^^; From what I've read so far... I'm still not sure I want to buy it as I'm not sure I'm actually enjoying reading it?? It's a bit weird. As I mentioned before, it's not too difficult to read, so in that sense it's not all that bad. The good thing about the novel is that there's much more detail and things are more fully developed (from what I've read), so things make more sense overall. There were some things I didn't really understand or had questions about in the anime that became non-questions when reading. As it is, I've only managed to read up to ~the end of ep 1 which is actually a decent amount; it's until pg 85. ^^;
I think this is in order as they're revealed in the novels but am not 100% sure. I'm going a bit from memory here. ^^;
- Re~-chan the mynah bird is fairly small and (probably, as speculated by Kouichi) female. She(?) was an impulse buy by his grandmother the autumn before last and is (probably) ~2 years old.
- YomiKita has its own version of the seven school mysteries, but Kouichi asks his aunt to only tell him a couple since 'they would give him something to talk about with his classmates' but internally he wasn't particularly interested in things like seven school mysteries since they tended to be the same everywhere and pretty mundane (sic foolish).
- The first school mystery his aunt heard was about the animal enclosure behind the gym. One morning, all of the rabbits and guinea pigs kept there disappeared from the enclosure. The door to the enclosure had been broken and there was a large blood stain inside. The incident was reported to the police causing a major uproar. Not a single animal was ever found, and they never found out who the culprit was. Shortly thereafter, the enclosure was dismantled, but afterwards, every now and again, a bloody rabbit or guinea pig (one of their ghosts?) would occasionally be seen where the enclosure used to be. There's a strange embellishment to the story, however. When the police investigated the bloodstain, it wasn't rabbit or guinea pig blood but human - Rh- to be precise.
- Resolutions of YomiKita #1 - If you go out on the the roof of the school and hear the cawing of the crows, you should enter the school with your left foot first.
- Res #2 - When you become a third year student (sic Gr 9), you mustn't fall on the hill outside the back gate.
- The two resolutions were likely jinxes from the past. If you don't use your left leg when re-entering the school, rumour has it that you'll end up getting injured within a month. Falling on the hill outside the back gate was rumoured to result in doing poorly on one's high school entry exams.
- On the first day of class, Kouichi can't help noticing that the students in his class seemed rather quiet and subdued. When looking at Mei's seat, the light coming in from the windows made her difficult to see making her seem like an incorporeal shadow. As the day progresses the sense of a strange undercurrent of quiet stiffness or tension remains.
- While being shown around the school grounds, Kazami and Teshigawara ask Kouichi if he believes in ghosts and curses - the paranormal. Kouichi admits to being a complete non-believer especially for things like schools seven mysteries.
- Teshigawara tells Kouichi about another of YomiKita's school mysteries - the hand in the lotus pond. Every now and then a bloody human hand is occasionally seen sticking out from among the lotus leaves. The pond in the inner courtyard is supposedly that pond, but Kouichi thinks the plants in the pond are water lilies and not lotuses and thinks the story stupid.
- Teshigawara admits to believing in things like Nostradamus' predictions, but Kouichi doesn't believe in such things at all. Kazami asks Kouichi if he absolutely would not believe in such things regardless of what happened, and Kouichi admits that if something happened and someone showed him evidence of something like a ghost then he might believe.
- The school is made up of several buildings - A wing with admin offices, T building with special classrooms (home ec, music room, etc.), 0 building (the old school building which until ~10 years ago held the third year students classrooms, but with the things like the decrease in student numbers it stopped being used and came to be called the 0 building. The second floor is deserted and students aren't allowed in there, while the first floor has the secondary library, the art room, and the cultural club room.)
- The school has an art club this year. Last year they didn't have an art club and it was brought back this year in April.
- Teshigawara starts to tell Kouichi something but Kouichi cuts him off when he spots Mei and heads straight for her. He quickly heads to where Mei is sitting on a bench beneath some trees and starts talking to her saying he transferred to the school that day. Mei confuses Kouichi when she asks 'why' and 'if it was okay this way'. She tells him he should be careful; that he should be careful and things may have already begun.
- On the school roof, Mei mentions that Kouichi was probably self-conscious about his name since it was only one year ago at about that same time that Japan had been thrown into major turmoil. And that fortunately, his name wasn't Seito. Kouichi tells Mei that he'd gone through some bad times because of his name at his old school. Last year, Sakakibara Seito was being talked about a lot at that time and was also a 14 year old middle school student. While it didn't go so far as bullying, people did bug him about having the name Sakakibara and sometimes called him Seito instead. Eventually in the autumn of that year, he ended up coming down with his first case of pneumothorax and the stress of that teasing was probably partially to blame for it. Hearing how he felt, Kouichi's father decided to have him stay with his grandparents while he was away in India thus giving Kouichi a fresh start. When Kouichi admits Mei was the first person there to refer to his name, Mei tells him that the others are probably refraining from doing so. Not necessarily out of consideration for his feelings but because they didn't like that the name Sakakibara reminded them of death - a very cruel and unwarranted death in a school setting.
I think the main feelings I've gotten from the novel that wasn't portrayed in the anime during the first ep is that it wasn't so much that his classmates didn't tell Kouichi about what was going on so much as it was on both sides - they didn't tell him and Kouichi was cutting them off and not giving them a chance to tell him anything. Also, I didn't connect the name Sakakibara with the incident at first, but the additional explanation in the novel reminded me of the 1997 murder of Hase Jun an elementary school child who's head had been left in front of the gate to a school in Kobe. Sakakibara Seito is the alias used by the killer (a jr. high school student at the time) in the note he left to the police. (I looked up some of the info about Sakakibara Seito on the Japanese wiki site, but there was too much detail about the murder for me to stomach. It was really horrible. ._. )
As it is, I'm not sure if I'll keep up with the novel tidbits per ep or if I'll give up on reading the story. It's one thing if I enjoyed reading it but... I get a really weird feeling of nothingness when I read this one. O_o