by Yasutaka Tsutsui
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The stories are perfectly fine, if not a bit short. But the translation is so exacting in its use of language that it becomes a difficult read. It’s not a bad translation, but you can feel the Japanese-ness of it. And because the structure of Japanese is so opposite to the English language what you get are less flourishes of creativity, less mystery, more awkward stops between actions… Once I realized I was essentially reading Japanese in English I could sit back and enjoy the stories.
The Girl who leapt through time was to me the stronger of the two. There was a bit more action and mystery. A bit more tension. It also left me thinking about the idea of education in a world where technology is so advanced.
I didn’t care for the other story much. There was mystery but, the plotting was so linear which curbed all of the tension. I felt that the conflict was rather void. And, the solutions to the problems were extremely juvenile.
Overall I’d say due to the low level of conflict, and the directness of the translation that this story would most suitable for the preteen age group.