This time, I’ll review something I’ve read a … rather long time ago. This novel, or I should rather say series, might be one of my eternal regrets 😥
“Honoo no Mirage” or “Mirage of Blaze” as it’s often called, is a Japanese light novel series, something I’m not reading that often. There’s also an anime with an OVA that I watched. In fact, that was what made me pick up the novel since it was pretty obvious there was more to this than the animation could show. I feel like I was right but, unfortunately, with 40 light novel volumes, this hasn’t been completely translated and I’m not sure it ever will. There’s definitely a fandom out there (so if anyone wants to pick this up, I and many others would be super grateful 😄) but that’s not always enough to sit through translating that much. Anyway, several volumes have been translated and others have at least been summarized in more or less detail. I’ll try to make a list of translations I’ve found at the end of the review in case you want to give it a try since I think there aren’t any links on NU.
Anyway, let’s talk about the story:
What is “Honoo no Mirage” about?
This is the story of a teenager, Takaya Ougi, who finds out that he is the reincarnation of a historic figure, Lord Kagetora, and needs to assume some of that guy’s responsibilities from now on, namely exorcising evil spirits and the like. He gets supported by Nobutsuna Naoe on that path but, unfortunately, things between them are a little complicated because of things that happened in their previous lives and they’re not about to become simpler.
What can I even say about this series? There’s a ton of characters running around, all of which I found very well-crafted.They all have their own baggage they carry around, as well as their own goals that they want to achieve and for which they’re willing to go a path they originally might not have considered. In short, this is a thrilling adventure even if you look just at the characters and their relationships with each other.
But other than that, there’s much more to this series: You have the previous life of Takaya (and the other characters as well) that slowly get unraveled, enabling you to understand some of the characters’ actions much better. Then, there is also their fight against the supernatural that isn’t always easy.
Actually, there is so much in this series that it’s impossible to really pick out anything to talk about at length. One of the things I’d like to point out is that even though not everything has been translated, several volumes are and over those volumes, there never was a time when I got bored reading. In fact, back when I discovered this series, I spent every single minute glued to the screen and was majorly depressed when I found out that there wasn’t any translation to continue with anymore 😭
Honestly, if somebody picks this up again from where others left off, I’d be willing to re-read the whole series and continue at once. It’s just that good to me.
Oh, and there’s ninjas in there, I feel like even a shitty novel can turn into a decent one with the addition of a ninja. If you have an already good novel with a whole organization of them … Do I even need to say who some of my favorite characters were? 😁
I’d totally recommend giving this a try! It’s a thrilling, mystery-filled epic with well-thought-out characters and relationships that aren’t always easy to understand and will need some time to unravel.
If you can live with the fact that you might never be able to read the ending and will have to rely on summaries for that, then this is worth it. I also still have the silent hope that some saintly person will pick this up again even though I know the chance is slim. Anyway, if somebody does, tell me about it because I’m willing to jump right back in. 😶
As promised, here are some links I was able to find:
- Volume 1 to 9 (as well as some extras) on Asphodel’s Haven, (there’s also doujinshis and manga volumes there in case you want to read those)
- Summaries of volume 10 and 11
- Volume 12 to 16 and 20 (yes, there’s a big gap in the middle)
- Summaries for volume 28 to 40 (last volume)
After volume 20, it seems that there are only scattered parts available. From what I myself have read, you can follow the storyline very well until the end of volume 16. After that … it got complicated and I, for one, felt that I missed out on a huge chunk of things.
I do have to say that I read before 2017 though. After that, there were more summaries added in the Asphodel’s Haven forums that seem to be quite detailed so I guess it’s easier now. And – much to my pleasant surprise – it seems that with these summaries, most of the series has been at least summarized. Only volume 17-19 seem to be missing but I did see a translation of at least chapter 1 of volume 18 so here’s to hope that I’ll be able to find these as well!
For some more information and a directory with more detailed links, you can always visit this livejournal page for Mirage of Blaze. There is also a (maybe somewhat more recent?) list on this website that contains the links for volume 13 to 16 which are missing on the livejournal page. The direct links to the summaries from volume 28 on can be found in this forum and/or this one.
Anyway, after writing this post and seeing all these new, added summaries … I think I’ll go and read everything from start to finish again now 😶