Yukikaze

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There's also an Anime based on the book, 5 (IIRC) OVAs
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I need to go find the rest
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Thank you for writing a decent book review about a lesser known book. As someone who reads a lot, most of the reviews on this site are old news to me, but I'm going to read this one right away.
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Yeah, that's a weird planet name. I got curious and from what little I know of Japanese and Yukikaze, in the original Japanese novel, the planet's name is phonetically written to sound like the English word "Fairy." I guess it's something that sounds cool to the average Japanese reader, but has different connotations to a native English speaker.
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Read it a few years ago. It's good.
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Yeah that was actually how I first came to know about it though the author is quite famous in Japan. The Anime however suffered a bit story wise for trying to cram too much into too few episodes and with too little dialogue. That said the aerial dogfight scenes are extremely impressive and well worth a look.
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Its interesting you say its written to sound like "Fairy", I guessed it was just a weird choice of translation as the Japanese don't seem to have anything directly analogous to fairy's in their mythology. Presumably as you say the author just wasn't aware of the connotations we associate with them.
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literally, combat fairy "snow wind". Yukikaze is also the (in)famously lucky IJN Destroyer's name. It is more appealing to Chinese/Japanese readers as it sort of "making more sense" It is more "artistic" in some sense
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the word “Yousei" (妖精) is different from the English word "fairy" even though they are some what similar. 妖 literally means monsters in Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji uses the same meaning. 精 means something like a spirit. It is like the difference between the Chinese Dragon and Western Dragon - They mean similar but different stuff. So, most of the good stuff are just lost in translation I guess
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Good shit Vahl, congratulations on getting on the staff-Your recruiter
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There is any way to buy online or download for the poor goons of SouthAmerica? :(
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Looks like this is getting made into a Tom Cruise movie...
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I actually read it as an ebook myself so absolutely!

Yukikaze, with its themes of drone warfare and alienation, has been translated from its original Japanese into a world where it is even more relevant than at the time of its release in 1984. After aliens invade through a portal over Antarctica, humanity regroups and pushes them back to the planet "Fairy". At the novel's beginning, the war has been all but forgotten on Earth and is regarded as something of a myth. Isolated and cut off on Fairy, the soldiers there are viewed with growing suspicion by the once again divided Earth nations.

Locked into isolated pockets of land by impenetrable jungle, the humans are forced to do battle with the aliens using advanced, increasingly autonomous fighter planes. As the humans and even their military computers begin to question the value of humanity's place in the war, the aliens become more important for their significance in this debate than for their lethality in combat. The moment when the humans eventually realize their opponents—being drone-like—may be conducting a war against the humans' machines, while remaining totally unaware of the humans themselves, is a chilling one, evocative of the debates currently raging over the military use of drones.

However, perhaps an even more significant theme of the book is that of growing disillusionment with the cause assigned to the inhabitants of Fairy. While the military expedition initially comprised humanity's greatest, the apathy of the nations of Earth has led to a military now staffed primarily with convicts and social rejects. Of this group, Rei Fukai, the main character, is assigned to a group of pilots selected specifically for their selfishness and disinterest in other people. Given the simple order "come back alive" before each mission, their task is to watch the combat, to gather data, and to make no move to intervene as their fellow humans are decimated.

The two main themes of alienation and replacement of humans by machines complement each other beautifully through the medium of Rei and his advanced fighter plane Yukikaze. Kambayashi also does an excellent job with the aliens, leaving them genuinely unknowable compared with most modern fare, and creating in the reader and characters a sense of bafflement that mirrors the confusion with which the aliens seem to regard humanity. If you are not one for big questions and philosophizing in your books, Yukikaze will likely leave you cold despite some well-written aerial combat. But if you can overlook some strange word choices wrought by translation (who names a planet Fairy?), Yukikaze addresses contemporary issues of robotics and disillusionment with a military cause through the lens of a compelling near-future sci-fi novel.

(No longer!) Perpetually broke pilot for Fidelas Constans. Send me an ingame mail if there's a book you think I should review.