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Friday, 22 February 2019

Sibling wizards

Who do you think these two are? I don't speak Japanese, but given that these are the covers of Blood Sword books 3 and 4, I'm going to take a guess that it might be Psyche and her brother Icon. That's Saiki and Aiken to their friends -- or indeed to their dearest enemies.

"Role Playing Game"? That wasn't me. I didn't even know the publishers had sold the rights in Japan till I received these copies.

And while we're chatting about Blood Sword (subtle segue, huh?) have you seen the Kickstarter for book 5: The Walls of Spyte? (In English, that is.) And there's an interview I did with The Story Fix giving some background to that Kickstarter; you can read that here.


  1. Well hopefully you’re at least making some yen out of it!

  2. The yellow "Role Playing Game" banner at the top was something the publisher (Fujimi Shob) put on most of their RPG-adjacent paperbacks back then.

    They did have similar an "Adventure Game Book" banner that I've seen a few times, but I suspect this either came out before that banner was introduced, or that they tried to market it more as an introductory RP experience, similar to what Fighting Fantasy wanted to do with Riddling Reaver. The impression I've got is that a lot of Japanese readers in the late 80's and early 90's got interested in role-playing by way of session transcripts and solo-campaigns, so Fujimi may have tried to use Blood Sword as an intermediate of sorts between that and "the real thing".

    I do miss this era of Japanese fantasy art, though. Much more lush and inventive than the sterile, uniform, ready-to-be-franchised-out-as-a-cartoon style most publishers seem to want these days.

    1. I don't really know anything about Japanese art after Kuniyoshi, but I think I see what you mean. I'm not a fan of the hyper-cute art I've seen in recent JRPGs, visual novels, and the like, but those covers have got something interesting going on.

    2. The original '90s editions of Fabled Lands had a strapline at the top of the cover that said "Fantasy Roleplaying Adventures". I kept telling the publishers they weren't roleplaying games, but they had somehow got it into their heads that roleplaying was popular and would sell more books.