The series originally starting back on February 17, 2011 with the song Jinzou Enemy, the Kagerou Project didn’t obtain major popularity until September 30, 2011 with the song Kagerou Daze. The Kagerou Project has been developed into several media adaptions, all with different story Routes that lead to one ending. The novel adaption is just one of the routes.
The creator of Kagerou Project, Jin(Shizen no Teki-P), not only wrote and composed the songs but he also wrote the story himself for the manga, novel and anime adaptions. However, the music videos are the origin of this story and the manga and novel help give life to the story. However, each adaption is meant to be different. The music videos are the base of the story, with the manga and novel each having different events that lead to one ending. The anime adaption, Mekakucity Actors, is the final adaption of the series while the novel and manga are still continuing their story lines.
From reading the blurb of the book, the story would sound very lacking. Those that have stayed within the Kagerou Project since the beginning or those that have seen the music videos first, would know the story and how deep it actually is. Right from the start of the book, the story is not self explanatory in any sense and that is a good thing. The first chapter being Kagerou Daze I is supposed to take place in the song of the same name, Kagerou Daze, showing Hibiya Amamiya’s point of view. After that chapter, it goes straight into what actually is the beginning of the story. Shintaro Kisaragi, the protagonist of the series, ends up having to go outside after 2 years of being a shut-in. Thanks to a random “AI” that entered his life, ENE, Shintaro has had to deal with her day after day. The torture goes from changing his passwords, annoying him constantly and making fun of him until one day, August 14th, Ene caused Shintaro to spill soda all over his computer. Since he is a shut-in and all he ever did was stay on his computer, Shintaro and Ene try to look for replacements but since it was the Obon holiday, they had no other choice but to go outside into the blistering heat.
Even though that is only the beginning of the story, there is a lot of things that come after. The story leaves out and gives you no context of what is going on, and thats what it is trying to do. The characters in the story, they don’t know whats going on until it is explained to them. The way the story is told is meant to put you in each character’s point of view, to show you how little they know or to help expand on the background of the story. However, this may be confusing for some readers.
The easiest way to get into this series would be to listen to the songs and watch the PVs. They set the basic storyline and atmosphere of the series, after that the manga would be the easiest to understand to a certain point. That is where you should read the novel and then watch the anime. Kagerou Daze -In A Daze- isn’t a bad start to the novel adaption at all. When getting to the final chapter, at lot more feels because it ties into the more arbitrary chapters. However, -In A Daze- was a bit weird to read even already knowing and loving the entire plot of the series beforehand. Even Jin himself states in the afterword that writing this novel was hard.
The second volume of the novel, -A Headphone Actor-, will release on September 22nd. The manga’s first volume has already released in America and you will be able find Mekakucity Actors online. This book only costs about $15 and you can find it at certain bookstores, being Barnes & Nobles or at Kinokuniya.