The first novel of one of the most popular young generation poets, Tahi Saihate, is a perturbing image of the life of high school students – their fascinations, loneliness, isolation. The two main characters face a challenging situation – their idol, j-pop star, a member of an obscure band, is suspected of a murder. The victim is said to be her boyfriend. The two high-school students, who otherwise might have never met, join forces to divert the attention of police officers, and decide to do it in a truly shocking manner.
Astral Season, Beastly Season will surely suit the tastes of the fans of Japanese iyamisu (eww mystery) of Kanae Minato. Although there are no graphic descriptions of violence or overly fast-paced action, the sense of foreboding stays with us throughout the book. And not only because the novel is concentrated around a murder – what’s just as terrifying are the hyperrealistic, shallow relationship between the students, the school hierarchy, the conventions.
We hope that this book will gain enough interest that more publishers will be willing to publish more of Saihate’s writing, especially her poetry. It’s worth mentioning that the book cover of “Astral Season,Beastly Season” was designed by Wang Zhi Hong, a famous Taiwanese graphic designer.