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Brave Story

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,996 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
A young boy finds his destiny in a world of fantasy. The Bravest Story Ever Told Young Wataru Mitani's life is a mess. His father has abandoned him, and his mother has been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Desperately he searches for some way to change his life, a way to alter his fate. To achieve his goal, he must navigate the magical world of Vision, a land filled w ...more
Kindle Edition, 938 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2006)
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Sadie
Jan 31, 2008 Sadie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Besides having to hide at my desk to read this at lunch hour (people were constantly asking me 'how long's it take you to read a book like that??), I really like it. I'm a big fan of japanese literature in general but this was my first taste of fantasy. Usually I can only get mysteries. Miyabe is an accomplished mystery writer which is probably why she managed to get this one marketed in the US. I'm so glad she did!

I'll be honest, if you don't spend hours glued to Final Fantasy you're going to
...more
Seth T.
Oct 28, 2010 Seth T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really there's not much else to say but that I was blown away by Brave Story. It was so much better than I expected, a thoroughly designed young adult fantasy that builds its strength on the problem of growing up.

It's a little known fact that I find most fantasy novels to be less engaging than their real-world counterparts. Authors of fantasy, then, really have to present something special or endearing in order to get a) to finish their works and b) to be happy I did. Despite being perfectly at
...more
Majo
Reading challenge 2016 #6 Un libro de habla no inglesa

Es la primera vez que leo un libro infantil japonés y realmente quede muy sorprendida de lo que me encontré.
El libro toca temas muy duros para ser catalogado middle-grade: adulterio, abuso, maltrato, asesinato y hasta suicidio. Y lo más extraño es que son tratados sin ningún tabú, si bien en el libro intentan proteger a Wataru de los chismes, el niño toma los temas casi con naturalidad, sin pararse a pensar en el horror de sociedad en la que
...more
Caroline
This is one of those books that I wish had been more heavily edited. It was good and I enjoyed it, but it was just too long to really be necessary. The beginning really sucked me in--it was a good mix of mystery, fantasy and drama. After Wataru is transported to the magical realm of Vision, things start to weaken significantly.

Overall, I felt that it was too many things right after another. As someone who grew up playing Final Fantasy and other Japanese role-playing video games, I'm completely u
...more
Hannah
Aug 05, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have this list of 7 things which the "Perfect Book" contains; it ranges from title and opening lines, to depth of characters and writing style ( plus some bonus factors that I find personally important). For my goodreads reviews I've condensed that list into 5 'star categories', and the total earned will equal my review score.

The categories are:
1) Appeal - did it grab and hold my attention?
2) Story
3) Characters
4) Style
5) Meaning - did it have something to say?

I gave "Brave Story" 3.5 Stars
**
...more
Ben
Sep 12, 2007 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Japanese animation fans, or fans of the Neverending Story
This was a fun, if lengthy story. According to the book jacket, Ms. Miyabe is quite an accomplished author, with several accolades and awards to her name in her native Japan. I'm always interested in the manner in which Japanese books are translated to English.
One of my observations is that the books I've read in Japanese tend to play a little more loosely with the point of view. In other words, the authors don't have a problem leaping from one character's head to another, and then back, within
...more
Denzil Pugh
May 25, 2012 Denzil Pugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember as a child watching cartoon movies on HBO and Showtime, movies like Nausicaa, which fascinated me, as they were nothing like any of the cartoons you saw on television at the time. Characters with emotional depth, with real feelings. And sometimes the characters died, which is something you don't see on American cartoons. Cobra Commander might have been an evil mastermind, but he couldn't shoot the broad side of a barn. And no Transformer ever got killed until the movie, which sent man ...more
DaViD´82
May 31, 2016 DaViD´82 rated it really liked it
Za pravděpodobně nejgeneričtějším názvem jaký lze knize vůbec dát se skrývá dílo, u kterého si nelze nevzpomenout na nadčasová díla jako jsou Bratři Lví srdce či ghibliovky Cesta do fantazie a Zámek v oblacích. Vyspělá (lépe napsaný rozpad manželství z pohledu nechápajícího vnímavého dítěte jsem nečetl), nedětinská, navzdory chladnosti procítěná, komplexní tématy i průběhem, věkem cílového čtenáře nesvázaná kniha „jakože pro děcka“.

Celé je to pojaté v podmanivé melancholicky posmutnělé atmosfé
...more
Chris
I almost didn't buy this book. I'm not even sure why I brought this book. Maybe it's the cover; I don't know.


Brave Story tells the interior and exterior of a young boy's struggle to deal with his changing family situation. There are similarities, as another review pointed out, to The Neverending Story, but the allergory between the magical world and inner self of the boy is more obivious.

The characters are well drawn and while the main character is a boy, there are several strong female characte
...more
Briana
Aug 06, 2011 Briana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's just...

it's just so LONG.

I don't have a problem with long books, guys, honestly not. If a well-crafted story can hold my attention for 800 pages, I am properly thrilled. It's just that there's no reason for this book to be as long as it is. It meanders into sub-plot after sub-plot - much like the video games it's inspired by, I understand, but it doesn't work very well in a literary format. The sense of realistic urgency set up by the first 200 pages was just destroyed by the 400th; at that
...more
Christopher
Mar 01, 2010 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoyed the Narnia books, the Wrinkle In Time books, or even Lloyd Alexander's Prydain books, you're going to love this one. At 816 pages, it's a little on the meandering side, but when you surrender yourself to its heft, you'll be rewarded with a very well thought-out imaginary world inhabited by tons of charming (and not so charming) creatures. If I had a kid just starting to sniff out more challenging literary adventures, I'd give her this book to tackle. The architecture of plot is so ...more
Chris
Jul 18, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-reflection, ya
I enjoyed this book, but I felt it was a little longer than necessary - and a little preachy at times. I loved the characters of Meena, Kee Keema, Kutz and Wataru - the relationships they built were worth reading about and kept me invested in the story. And the addition of the dragon, Jozo, added excitement just when I was about to give up on the book.

Wataru is a boy learning to come to grips with his parents' divorce. He finds himself sucked into an alternate reality in which, if he is successf
...more
David Ranney
Apr 20, 2015 David Ranney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Ashley
Mitsuru, the little boy who lost his mother and his baby sister when his dad went on a killing spree. Mitsuru Ashikawa, the little boy who'd been next in line to be murdered. Mitsuru Ashikawa, who tried to commit suicide.
Wataru curled up in a ball on the floor. He couldn't control his shivering. His whole body should until the bookshelf behind him was rattling.
So long. Goodbye.
Wataru knew now why Ashikawa had gone to the other world. He didn't have a place in this one. Vision was his home now.
...more
Woodge
Aug 24, 2010 Woodge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story (translated from the Japanese) is like two stories mashed together. It begins in the real world with a young boy (age 11) named Wataru. There's some strange goings-on in a half-built house in his neighborhood (and it's pretty interesting). But then that bit gets overshadowed by Wataru's disintegrating family. Wataru wants to fix things and thinks he'll get a chance by fulfilling a mission into another world called Vision. Brave Story is fat, heavy, 800-page book and Wataru's entrance ...more
Yami
Oct 21, 2015 Yami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
waaaahhhh, that was a long book indeed, as an anime fan this book was nonetheless one printed to words, it has all the classic elements of an anime, yet I was not bored for a second even with this huge number of pages.
the story talks about Wataru and it begins slowly building up the circumstances that will lead him to be chosen as traveler in an imaginary world, meeting new friends and foes and fighting his way to change his destiny. it is very intriguing, character are lovely,and events are ex
...more
Teresa Foote
Apr 12, 2011 Teresa Foote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very special book. I wouldn't say it's perfect, I think there is a little bit of muddiness that might be a result of translating it from the original Japanese, not sure. Still, I really enjoyed this imaginative and wonderful coming-of-age tale, that addresses issues that a lot of kids deal with and not many people talk about (divorce). Not all of the themes are unique--escaping to a world created by one's own imagination has been done before. However, I don't think that anyone has delv ...more
Jasmine
Aug 16, 2009 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow... I finally finished this book.
A few times I was ready to give up on it, not because of the story, but because it's such a long book! My other books were up on my shelf, gathering dust while I was reading this book,tempting me to put down Brave Story and pick up a book I recently bought. I'm glad I didn't give up on Brave Story, though, despite its whopping 816 pages. I learned a lot from this book. As an aspiring author, I am bracing myself for what I hope to have in store, and seeing Miy
...more
Jennifer
May 23, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that affirms for me why we read stories. Worlds created in our imagination make it possible for us to think in new ways and--perhaps--live in new ways. Miyabe gets spot on the anxieties of being a child and the trauma brought on by familial instability. She gives the protagonist, Wataru, the chance to alter his destiny in a fully realized fantasy world parallel to the "real" world. Part coming-of-age, part adventure fantasy, and part philosophical treatise on suffering and happine ...more
Zain
Feb 25, 2011 Zain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WAAH! what an epic book. I loved it till the last word of it, although I must admit that there were several unnecessary details. But the book was definitely worth my time. Miyuki Miyabe has the most amazing imagination. I really admire her. She did a great job in attaching Wataru and Mitsuru together. They had a very unique strange friendship that made me wish I had the same twisted relationship with someone. The book was filed with descriptions and some unwanted details but all to make the read ...more
Thomas
Jan 05, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
for me this story reverses the general American approach to young adult books. There, usually a large, complex, adult problem is simplified so that extraordinary youths can conquer it without giving into the world around them.

Here large, complex, adult problems are left that way and we follow an ordinary youth through a fantastic journey to just come to grips with the enormity of life and it's struggles.

I was entranced by this tale of the breaking of ignorance and innocence. Of growing up and
...more
Milankovitch
Jan 28, 2016 Milankovitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific. Good character development. More philosophical than I would have imagined, but in a thought-provoking, creative, emotional, and inspiring way. A long book, bit slow in the beginning, but well worth the read. I found it very entertaining. I'm sad to be leaving Wataru, Vision, and the adventure. Being that I am currently struggling with personal misfortune like Wataru and Mitsuru, I find that I am strengthened to go bravely forward and embrace my future, and find happiness in all the goo ...more
Bobby Cockrell
Apr 01, 2016 Bobby Cockrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great children's book, dense with philosophy, cosmology, and life lessons. It is a meditation on creativity, friendship, and the construction of reality. The fantasy world of Vision is so wonderfully crafted that it is nearly Tolkeinesque in its scope and depth of history. It's major flaw, to me, is a sense of formula that drives the plot to its denouement. Some might call the pacing a flaw. The fantasy content does not begin until around 230 pages into the ~800 page novel. This is no ...more
D.
Mar 13, 2014 D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was
Hannah
Engaging story with a beautiful ending. The story had classic fantasy elements, but most were used in a way that felt fresh. I feel privileged to have spent so much time with Wataru and Mitsuru, and I'm looking forward to checking out the other media their story has inspired.

I'd give it 5 stars overall, but I took a star off for some of the depictions of female characters. There was a lot of focus on physical feminity, especially with Kaori and Meena. Wataru kept describing Kaori as "doll-like,
...more
Felipe Guerrero
Mar 18, 2016 Felipe Guerrero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es sorprendentemente diferente a la película de anime y, a mi gusto, innecesariamente largo.

Lo digo más que nada por el principio, donde nos cuentan el origen de Wataru, nuestro héroe, un niño japones de 11 años. De hecho la mitad del libro es sobre la vida de Wataru en la escuela y con sus amigos y la otra mitad es sobre Wataru en el mundo fantástico de Visión.

La temática de la primer mitad del libro es de un tono bastante adulto, mas propio de una telenovela que de un libro para niños y jóvene
...more
Valerie
Aug 15, 2015 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I would put this book in that "fairy tales for people old enough to understand what fairy tales are about" category. It's a little over-the-top on its symbolism but also pretty heart-wrenchingly poignant when you get to the core: a boy trying to deal with the adults in his life revealing they are also mistake-making humans. That he does this through building and exploring an entire video game-esque alternate reality just means that this story would make an amazing Studio Ghibli animated feature. ...more
Josiah
Jun 19, 2015 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If ever I've come across a satisfyingly meaty fantasy novel for the youth set, this is it. Miyuki Miyabe's instant classic recipient of the Batchelder Award for the year's best foreign language juvenile novel translated into English is a long book even for its eight hundred sixteen pages; the print reads smaller than it would appear to at first glance, and extends further up at the top and down at the bottom of each page than in most books. Brave Story is such a dense volume, I found it impract ...more
Devon
Apr 22, 2015 Devon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14+ y/o's who love fantasy, and aren't afraid of big books
At 813 pages this is both the longest book I've read, and one of the toughest books to sell, but just having it in store as my staff pick has seen it bought. It is something I read in early junior high that stuck with me, and that one day I would really like to read again.

The main character is 12, and the content is not incredibly mature, but it is in the Teen section and it's length is intimidating. I would recommend this book to someone as young as 14 if they're willing to try, and love fanta
...more
Eli
Oct 21, 2014 Eli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes fantasy and RPG games.
Shelves: favorite-books
Wow... Estoy sin palabras. Primero que nada tengo que decir que este NO es un libro para niños y si lo leyeran tal vez no alcanzarían a comprender la magnitud de la historia que se cuenta, es simplemente magnífico. Hace ya mucho tiempo que no leía un libro tan bueno como este, definitivamente se lo recomiendo a todos los interesados en el género de la fantasía, y a los que no, denle una oportunidad, no se arrepentirán.

Wataru Mitani, el protagonista, es un niño de 11 años a quien le encantan los
...more
Jane Lebak
Jun 30, 2015 Jane Lebak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come.
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See also 宮部 みゆき.宮部美幸

Miyuki Miyabe (宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki) is a popular contemporary Japanese author active in a number of genres including science fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction, social commentary, and juvenile fiction.
Miyabe started writing novels at the age of 23. She has been a prolific writer, publishing dozens of novels and winning many major literary prizes, including the Yamamo
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More about Miyuki Miyabe...

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“As long as there is happiness, there will be sadness. As long as there is fortune, there will be misfortune.
“…What’s real is something that not even the strength of the Goddess can change. The only one who can change it is me. If I don’t change my destiny, if I don’t cut through the obstacles in my path, then no matter where I go, I’ll always be standing in the same place, doing the same thing over and over again, for the rest of my life.”
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“Vesna Esta Holicia, until you shine again, into vision, into the real world. Though a child of man knows time, life itself is eternal.” 7 likes
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