The name Kenji Yano might appear obscure for most people, especially among the non-Japanese. With his name seemingly not appearing to people’s consciousness until only joining Kojima Productions in 2016. Primarily as one of the creatives behind Death Stranding’s rather convoluted narrative, complementing that of master storyteller Hideo Kojima.
For one, Kenji Yano’s real name is not necessarily the same as his pen name. Known otherwise as “Hitori Nojima”—much to the speculation that it’s Hideo Kojima pulling a prank as a different author—Yano is essentially more known as someone else. The notion that Kojima is not “Nojima” was later debunked in an interview, revealing the true identity of the auteur. Also, in a tweet.
Yano choosing to adopt a pen name over his real name indeed plays a major role in his relative obscurity. Much to him often described as “secretive” in his writing career. Which is much unlike other established authors who were never shy at using their birth names as their pen names. Culminating to a life of popularity they cannot evade.
But despite the abstruseness, Kenji Yano is a prolific writer who had the pleasure of working with Kojima in the past. While cannot be credited for being part of the Metal Gear Solid series, he did, however, write the novels of the series. Replacing Satoshi Ito (Project Itoh) who authored the novelization for Metal Gear Solid IV after his demise back in 2009.
Kenji Yano’s involvement as a novelist for the Metal Gear Solid series did not happen until 2014, however. Beginning with Peace Walker and with Substance 1 and Substance 2 in the interim before The Phantom Pain.
However, unlike the tie-in project between Kojima and his friend, Ito, Kenji Yano’s novelization of the series did not see a Western translation. This significantly limits his exposure among literary audiences, especially to those in the West with a language barrier to Japanese.
With the novelization for Death Stranding having an English translation, this essentially makes for the author’s international debut. At least, to those audiences who cannot read Japanese texts.
Officially titled Death Stranding: The Official Novelization, the book is published by Titan Books and is now up for pre-order on Amazon.
In the meantime, interested buyers can choose to purchase the book either as a digital copy or as a paperback. There is no word yet regarding future availability of hardback copies.
Image used courtesy of Titan Books
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