Review of a Secluded Castle  in a Mirror: A Place to Heal The Wounds of the Heart

Secluded Castle in  the Mirror – Has it ever crossed your mind about the  existence of another world behind the  mirror?  Are there many fantasy  creatures there?  Or is it just a reflection of the world we live in today?  Or maybe it’s also similar here  except that everything is in reverse condition.   Who knows for sure?  It seems that it is those kinds of  imaginations that are trying to  be poured into the novel  Remote Castle in the Mirror.

The novel  Remote Castle  in the Mirror is a translated book by Japanese author Mizuki Tsujimura.  Who can argue that japan is a repository of many fantasy stories rich   in  crazy imaginations in it. The novel Secluded Castle in the Mirror is one of  the best.

Kokoro’s life  suddenly changed.  One day, the mirror in    Kokoro’s room  suddenly shines brightly, he crosses into another world – He sees a building, a castle that  looks mysterious. Kokoro  has just been driven away, lost his  place in his school, and now He is suddenly in an unfamiliar world  faced with a  castle building full of mystery.    Kokoro’s feelings  were mixed, amazed-astonished-horrified-curious, also perhaps a pinch of pleasure.  Kokoro finally decides to enter the  castle full of mysteries.

The inside of   the Castle also  amazes Kokoro,  the building is filled with many winding stairs  as well as  chandeliers full of flickering reflecting light.  Although amazing, Kokoro still couldn’t  remove the mysterious impression of  this castle from his mind.  The next surprise  arrived.  Apparently Kokoro is not alone, there are six  other children who show facial expressions not much different from Kokoro – astonished, confused, horrified, and amazed at the same time.   All these children  seemed to be about the same age as  Kokoro.

In addition to Kokoro, in  the  remote castle in the mirror there are also  Rion, Aki, Fuka, Masamune, Subaro, and Ureshino who are also as confused  as  Kokoro. There  were a total of  seven children of the same age who were carried into the remote castle in the  mirror at that time. Not over with their confusion, a surprise reappears with the  presence of a wolf-masked girl   who is none other  than a remote castle waitress in  the  mirror.

Wolf Queen aka the wolf masked girl then explained why and  what was wanted for the presence of these seven children in  a  remote castle  in  the mirror.  Kokoro, Rion, Fuka, Masamune, Aki, Ureshino, and Subaro must go through a challenge to discover the  secrets of  the remote castle in the mirror, and for anyone who manages to complete   then his  request will be granted.

And the thing that is no less  astonishing and horrified is that  these seven children have to leave the  castle every day before 5 pm if they want to go out alive. If they get to the point of violating this, there is  a no-brainering  penalty that awaits.

Over time, Tsujimura gradually  revealed that these seven children have similar problems even though they are  not the same.  Everything is  arguably related to mental  health.  In portraying the characters of the  Novel Remote Castle in the Mirror, Tsujiimura does not do it all at once or clearly.

Neither the stature nor the character traits  of  the Novel Remote Castle in the Mirror are depicted by Tsujimura  through narrative alone, but also through dialogues between other characters.   It is in this way that  Tsujimura describes his characters  in more depth,  this way also gives the  impression of depicting one character from many points  of view (other characters), not just from the  author’s point of view.

As one  example, there is a depiction of Kokoro’s character seeing  himself  as actually looking like a sick person.  Meanwhile,  in  another section, Tsujimura describes Kokoro’s physique through depictions made by  other characters even as a beautiful girl.

Through the novel  Remote Castle  in  the Mirror, Mizuki Tsujimura also raises several social issues.  The most serious issue  that Grameds can feel is the  issue of  bullying aka  bullying.  This issue was also faced by Kokoro,   he was forced to  quit school due to bullying by other students in his school.  In addition, the issue of parenting, as well as  self-confidence in children, was also  raised.

Characters in  the Novel Remote Castle in the Mirror

1. Tentang Kokoro

Actually, Kokoro is described as having a beautiful face,  it’s just that he is not confident.   Kokoro experienced bullying from other  students at his school, as a result of which Kokoro was forced to  quit school.

2. Tentang Rion

Rion is portrayed as  a beautiful-faced character. Rion is also said to be  a footballer.

3. Tentang Aki

Aki by Tsujimura is described as a girl who has a characteristic   ponytail.  The character looks  confident looking outward, but in it Aki  is just a girl with a fragile heart.

4. Tentang Fuuka

If   it   is later adapted into the  anime  version, maybe this Fuuka will quickly attract the attention of the audience.  Because Fuuka is depicted as having a distinctive voice of the characters in the anime.  Fuuka is  also described as a  girl with glasses.

5. Tentang Masamune

Masamune  is probably a pretty close character to most today’s teenagers.   Masamune is described by Tsujimura as a  teenager who loves to play games.

6. Tentang Shubaro

The character of Subaro in the novel  Remote Castle in the Mirror is described as a quiet figure.   Physically  Subaro is described as having freckles on his face.

7. Tentang Ureshino

Described as having a fat body and also very fond of eating.  Tsujimura seems to be equipping Ureshino’s character with a stereotypical inferior character and is easy to oppress. Not to mention the matter of Ureshino’s habit of  falling in love easily.

Author Profile of a Remote Castle Novel in a Mirror

Mizuki Tsujimura is a   Japanese writer whose work has received a lot of world  appreciation. The woman who was born on February 29,  1980, is known as a  writer who is shrewd in telling mystery stories.  Tsujimura not only  writes stories intended for adults, he also often writes  stories that can be enjoyed by children.

Through one of  his works, the novel  Remote Castle in the Mirror, Mizuki Tsujimura managed to rank  1st in Davinci’s Magazine Book of the Year 2017. Still in the  same year, and also still through the same title Tsujimura again won the  grand prize of King’s Brunch Book 2017.  A year later, the novel  Remote Castle in the  Mirror was  able to win the best-selling  title and won the Japan Bookseller’s Award (2018).

Thanks to its success in  winning various awards, the novel  Remote Castle  in  the Mirror also received a  lot of  attention from the international world. The novel was eventually translated into   various languages, including  Indonesian through poplar  publishing house.

Even so popular,  this 495-page  novel  has been adapted into a comic version by  Japanese publisher Shueshia, especially reportedly at the end of this year (2022)  an adapted version of the movie   the anime will  also be released.

Synopsis of  The Remote Castle Novel in the Mirror

Kokoro felt displaced from his own class, he was slumped – shutting himself at home until he refused to go to school.  Kokoro’s heart  grew more and more stunted, until one  day the  mirror inside  his room surprisingly  gave off a bright light.  How surprised Kokoro was  when He discovered that there was  another world behind the  mirror of  his room, and before him was a building – a secluded  castle.

Seven students who refused to go to school, chose to hide in the  darkness of their rooms, carefree and full of fear to face their  families and friends, until at one point the  mirror in  their room was transformed into a portal to cross into another world, a world that offered an  escape from the stressful realities of  life.

The secluded castle in  the  mirror became the place for  these seven children to play and  get to know each  other.  But not only that, there are tasks and rules full of  mystery that  they must obey.

These seven children  are given the task of  finding a key, hidden  somewhere in the castle.  Whoever  manages to find the key  then whatever the request is will be granted.  When that  moment comes, the castle will disappear without a trace along with all the memories of the adventures they experienced there.

And a rule that  is  no less mysterious is that these seven  children must leave the castle every before 5 pm.  If anyone breaks the rules, be prepared to be  devoured by the castle’s keeper, the wolf-masked  girl  – the Wolf Queen.

Elevating the  emotional side  of humanity,  the Remote Castle in the Mirror presents  a heart-warming   adventure story.  Packed in a  fantasy story full of surprises and plot twists.

Advantages of  a Remote Castle Novel in the Mirror

Although   a glimpse of the  novel Remote Castle in the Mirror seems to present an action-packed fantasy adventure story, in fact, it is not that simple.  Through the  narrative and dialogue of each character, Mizuki Tsujimura emphasizes more on  the emotional sides  and relationships between people. This  makes the novel  Remote Castle in the  Mirror not just an ordinary youth fiction novel, but rich in deep meaning about  the emotional side  of man.

Although packaged in a  fantasy story, the world built in the  novel  Remote Castle in the Mirror is very easy to understand.  It seems that Tsujimura  doesn’t  really make the fantasy world side the main highlight, what   he emphasizes is the relationship between his characters.  Whether it’s between the seven children in the  castle, or their relationships with their  parents  and friends outside the castle.

The language  style  Tsujimura uses is quite easy to digest.  Tsujimura is not  in a hurry, so he can describe each character in more detail  in  his novel and the various problems they face.

Disadvantages of  a Remote Castle Novel inside the Mirror

On the other hand,   Tsujimura’s slow   narrative style actually makes the storyline feel slow and boring.   But  this is very  tolerable because Grameds is  more able to absorb each character and  the problems faced by each character.

With the fantasy label  at  the beginning, the novel  Secluded Castle in the Mirror  might be a little disillusioned for Grameds who were  expecting an action-packed  adventure. Because in reality, Tsujimura highlights the  psychological side of each character more than fantasy actions beyond  reason.

The Moral  Message of a Remote Castle Novel in the Mirror

One of  the moral messages that can be learned from the  novel  Remote Castle in the Mirror is that Grameds was  invited by Tsujimura to try to  understand adolescent psychology through the perspective of  teenagers.  Sometimes some adults often take lightly the mental  burden borne by teenagers.  For example, the feeling of being alienated because of being ostracized by classmates.  Being blasted because of a physique that is not good looking, or even considered strange because he is engrossed in  his own world.

Adults often take these problems lightly, as if they forget that they  have  also passed the phase of  adolescence.  For teenagers, dealing with these problems  is a pressure that often impacts  them unable  to bear.  Often they end up harboring all these  problems because of the confusion to find an interlocutor.

Therefore  , Tsujimura developed the character of  these seven children  who were later able to make friends with each other.   Listen to each other and share the burden.   The Secluded Castle in the Mirror not only provokes  tears, but also warms the heart.

For Grameds who want to read and have the novel  Remote Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura, you  can get it at Gramedia.com

Recommended Novels of a Kind of

In  addition to the novel Remote   Castle  in  the Mirror,  here are a few other books that  you might want to love.

8. Novel Young Adult: Pulau Sae (Shima Wa Bokura To)

Living on the remote island of  Sae  in  the middle of the  Seto Sea, Japan, every day Akari, Kinuka, Genki, and Arata have to take a ferry to the  mainland to go to school. Born and raised on  the island, they are familiar with the   villagers, including with the settlers who started a  new life on  Sae Island.

And  this season is their last year together, because after that,  the children of the  island have to decide where they will pursue the future: go or stay afloat in  Sae Island?

Sae  Island  is another  work about the teenage life of Mizuki Tsujimura.

9. Novel 1Q84 Volume 1

Novel 1Q84 Volume 1 is the work of  the famous Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. The novel is the  opening of the 1Q84 trilogy.

Now it’s 1Q84 – It’s a true  world, there’s no doubt  about it.  But in this world  there are two moons hanging in the sky. In this world,  the destinies of two humans – Tengo and Aomame are  closely intertwined. Each in  its own way is  engaged in something that invites  danger. And in this world,  there seems to be  no way to save the two.  Something so powerful is  in motion.

10. Novel Happiness Battle

This mystery thriller genre  novel is a  translation of the work of  Korean  writer Joo Youngha which  tells the story of a husband  and wife found in terrible conditions in a  High Prestige Apartment supermewah in Gangnam. Kang Do-joon (the husband)  was found with a stab wound on  his back, while the wife – Oh Yoo-jin was killed in a hanging position on the balcony railing.

The news of  Oh Yoo-jin’s   death reached the ears of  his sidekick during high school – Jang Mi-ho, without much ado, he was encouraged to conduct his  own investigation into a  case that he thought was  awkward said.

In the course of her investigation, Mi-ho discovered the facts about a  “war of  happiness” involving Yoo-jin with several kindergarten mothers on social media.   They raced against each other, uploaded photos, showed off that  they were the happiest.

They show off various things, ranging from the  impression of  having a loving husband, various luxury goods, even to the debate over academic achievements and  children’s achievements.

In  an  official statement issued by the police, it was stated that Oh Yoo-jin committed suicide  after stabbing her husband.  But Mi-ho did not believe  this just like that, he  suspected that the death of his best friend was closely related to the  activity of the “war of happiness”.

Also about the mysterious EXISTENCE  of  USB that  everyone hunted down.  But on the  other hand, does   this case also have anything to do with the trauma in high school seven years ago?

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