“Aw, come on Ex, are you doing this again? Really?”
Yeah, really. Of course I am.
In the previous review I wrote:
Will I read something else from Oniisanbomber? I don’t know, maybe not. […] I don’t see myself reading any other of his series because honestly, I’d rather read the other books that I’ve been piling up.
By the way, I didn’t read any of “the other books that I’ve been piling up” in the meanwhile.
So, what changed my mind?
"See You When the Snow Falls" is a little different from my other books. It's a standalone novel and not a series. That is why it is longer than usual. The tone is also a bit different. I hope everyone will enjoy it 🙇♂️— oniisanbomber (@oniisanbomber) May 27, 2022
I was pretty clear in my previous review: I didn’t like the book and there was a lot to criticize, but I can still see a good creative vision and I’m rooting for him because he can still grow a lot.
This time he wrote a book that is supposedly different from the others he wrote before. Which means that he’s getting his second chance. Let’s begin.
Due to a mix of laziness, my being fully aware that I should be working on one of my stories instead of writing this, and something I will tell you later, this time I won’t write a complete summary but a quick synopsis.
“See You When the Snow Falls” is about a boy named Satoshi Yamato who, after proudly stating that he would only study hard enough to keep slightly above the average of his class, is forcefully sent to work in a touristic ski village where his aunt manages a traditional japanese inn. There he meets Yuki, the spirit of a girl who died in that village and is still bound to it. She doesn’t remember much about her past, and Satoshi wants to help her pass on. The story follows the growth of Satoshi, his search for the truth about Yuki, and how this obsession impacts his life and relationships, bringing him back to the village he was supposed to hate. Meanwhile, his graduation comes closer and closer, bringing with it the feeling of impending doom that always accompanies adulthood.
Aight, I know what you want to know.
This novel is fine. It’s almost good, and more than just “decent”. It’s way better than “I Met You After The End Of The World”.
This is the thing that I wanted to tell you later (now): it’s a book that’s worth reading, and I didn’t want to spoil it.
I’ll start with a comparison of the things I criticized in the previous review.
The editor issue. Last time, Oniisanbomber’s editor did a terrible job and didn’t give him the advice about word choices he needed, nor did they correct his grammar and other stuff. This time, he either got another editor, or they did a way better job at it. I don’t have anything to point out.
His dislike of boomers. Honestly, it was kind of a joke point, but it was a bit too much to be enjoyable. In this story, instead, it’s kinda there but normal to the point that it’s unnoticeable. Semi-related, but Satoshi often says that he won’t have children due to “Japan’s declining birth rate”. My brother in christ you’re the one who needs to make your wife pregnant, not Japan.
His going off on tangents and being pointlessly precise. He did it a lot in the other book and it disrupted the flow of the words, but I didn’t notice it this time. No brand names, no model names. Thank you.
Inconsistency. The previous book had A LOT of inconsistencies, it was a big issue, but with this one I don’t remember reading anything major that made me scratch my head. A dude set something on fire using diesel and that did make me scratch my head, but it’s not an inconsistency, he probably just doesn’t know.
Lack of suspense, build-up, flow, and pacing of the narration. Suspense doesn’t really belong to this book, but he still struggles with the pacing. Some chapters were honestly too quick to read, with a lack of proper build-up and detailing. Sometimes he breaks a bit the flow with chapters narrated by some of the girls, but they’re clearly a narrative necessity more than wanting to give their perspectives, it’s disappointing. These are my major complaints and I would’ve enjoyed the book way more if he took more time to narrate things properly. This is why I chose the title “a book on getting better hand-delivered by a drone”: it’s about the growth of Satoshi, which also shows us a bit of what’s inside the head of the author (since he’s clearly a self-insert this time too), but his struggles are also very relatable for the most of us; yet, everything goes way too fast when it should slow down, as quick and precise as a drone; still, hand-delivered, with the hand showing a degree of human/emotional factor. Quite the stretch, I know. It’s also a quote from Bo Burnham, I changed its meaning.
Dialogues and emotions. The dialogues were way better than last time, definitely not as dry, and he conveyed his emotions better. Still some work needed, but I’m satisfied.
Sexual self-inserts. Nothing changed. They’re still here and they’re exactly as cringe as before, but at least the occurrences are shorter. The dude is a closeted coomer, but at least he doesn’t come out as offensively horny.
His obsession with Higehiro. THANK GOD THIS ONE IS NOT ANOTHER HIGEHIRO-INSPIRED STORY.
Since it seems that he improved a lot, I do have to point out that he did get worse at one thing. In the previous review I praised him for not using cringe quirky humor, but this time I can’t praise him. He didn’t write many jokes on a quantitative level, but man, the few ones he wrote really do be cringe. A sleeping girl that heard him but didn’t answer “left me on Read”. Don’t do this ever again. I will find you.
He kept chapters short and made a lot of them, like, 99 of them. It’s not necessarily a problem, but it felt weird. Maybe it’s a consequence of the pacing issues.
I also had the impression that from time to time he used words that he doesn’t fully understand, but that could be just me and my english-italian mental translation layer and I’m the one who doesn’t fully understand them. I think it might be him tho, my friends didn’t disagree with me. I felt like I should point it out.
Reading this story gave a deeper and wider perspective on who Oniisanbomber is.
He’s a coomer, first of all. I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum so maybe I just don’t get it, I say it as a joke. He’s still a coomer tho. Probably a virgin, too.
He might have had or is having trouble with his future, deciding what his purpose is, like most of us. He might be kind of a pessimist. In this book they both play a major role, and it’s cool to expose yourself like this.
He’s influenced a lot by anime, maybe by otaku culture in general. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s also not good if that’s your only influence. I don’t know if the latter is his case, but I think he can express himself better if the takes a step back from it, not giving it up but adjusting the amount. Personally, my number one influence is music, which might be atypical, and then I can find inspiration in the smallest things, like a drawing on Twitter, a video on Youtube, my other hobbies, and… I dunno, Bo Burnham? Bo and I have a lot in common, like a steadily deteriorating mental health and hands too large to fit inside a Pringle can. Of course, anime and manga play a role, but I don’t think of them as a major influence, they influence my style more than my ideas, and only some of them do. I’m digressing on purpose to show that even if your target is people interested in otaku culture, which is not a bad thing, you need more than that to write something meaningful and unique, and basically everything works.
What else, what else…
Oh right, I’m getting italian vibes from him. It’s an instinctive thing, an ancestral feeling that comes from the deepest parts of my guts, after all we italians are pretty good at spotting other italians. I might be wrong, though, I don’t feel too sure. He mentioned Italy in both books, so there’s that. I’m just trying to make this review longer for no reason.
Long story short, the dude can be a good writer when he tries, he’s on the right track, and with hard work he can get there. I’m 80% sure that he didn’t read the previous review, I didn’t tag him (1AM EDIT: whoops, looks like I did tag him after all) nor did I try to find a way to make him read it (being honest, I was worried that it could discourage him), but even if he did read it, it probably didn’t affect this book in any way: he started writing it 4 years ago, and it was the first book he started writing. So, even if I’d love to be able to say that I influenced this, I can’t. These are the results of Oniisanbomber’s hard work, diligence, and maybe even growth, and he deserves all the praise for that. But if he stops here, he won’t have a future as a writer. He needs to grow more, get better, recognize and fix his issues, and expand his horizons and influences. He needs to be more daring and not constrict himself into a narrow type of writing.
I really mean it when I say that have faith in him. As an example, there’s a big difference in what I think of him and what I think of Merryweather, two writers with some similarities despite the huge difference in the media they chose for their stories. I don’t see a good creative vision in Merry, or any well-defined creative vision at all, and in so much time he spent writing he showed no sign of real growth. There’s no honesty in Merry, but a lot of pretentiousness; Oniisanbomber instead seems very honest with his writing, maybe even a bit too much (coomer). I’ve been too harsh to Merry with some tweets and I apologized for it, but there’s no way Merry can be compared to Oniisanbomber: I said it before and I will say it again, Oniisanbomber has the right creative vision and a lot of potential, and I hope that the Oniisanbomber Literary Universe will be his playground while he gets better and finds a better pen name.
God’s peed you, Oniisanbomber. Good job.