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Light Novel / The Isolator

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"I'm looking for absolute solitude... That's why my code name is Isolator."

Minoru Utsugi lived a nice ordinary life with his loving family, but that all changed the day they are tragically murdered in a home invasion. In the eight years since this terrible childhood tragedy, now sixteen years old and living with his adoptive sister, Minoru longs to simply disappear not only from his own life, but from the memories of everyone else as well. What he longs for is nothing but the ultimate, perfect, absolute solitude.

That all changed when mysterious extraterrestrial life forms, called the Third Eye, come into contact with the human species granting the individuals they encounter strange powers. This incident grants his wish giving Minoru the power of Isolation—an unbreakable shield that surrounds his body.

But not all of these small alien orbs are as harmless as Minoru's. Some of these eyes known as Ruby Eyes are malicious and seek to case harm and others known as Jet Eyes seek out these murderous Rubies. And he soon finds himself thrust into a battle he never desired to fight. In this fight, he meets Yumiko Azu and learns of an organization of Jets that seek to stop the Ruby Eyes. As his old life comes to an end, he steps into a new role…as the Isolator!


The Isolator: Realization of Absolute Solitude (Zettai Naru kodoku-sha ≪Isolator≫) or just The Isolator is an ongoing 2014 Light Novel series written by Reki Kawahara (the creator of Sword Art Online & Accel World), and illustrated by Shimeji that is published by ASCII Media Works under the Dengeki Bunko imprint. The series was originally published on Kawahara's website alongside Sword Art Online under the title Absolute Solitude (Zettai Naru Kodoku) in 2004 but left unfinished and on hiatus after his writing debut in 2009. Until 2014, when Kawahara decided to return to series and revive it as light novel. It received a manga adaptation illustrated by Naoki Koshimizu (miz22) and serialized in the Dengeki Daioh in 2015 and ran from Jun 27, 2015 to Jan 27, 2018 for a total of four volumes.


As of May 2019, five volumes have been published: The Biter, The Igniter, The Trancer, The Stinger, and The Liquidizer.

The light novels have been licensed by Yen Press for a Western release in 2015. The manga adaptation has been licensed for an English release in 2017.

Also has a Character Page under heavy construction here.

This series provides examples of:

  • And the Adventure Continues: The manga adaptation ends in the opening chapters of the light novel's third volume when Minoru meets Suu Komura expressing that until the time comes when Chief Himi erases all memory of him he wants to fight as a member of the S.F.D.
  • Barrier Warrior: Minoru's abilities grants him an unbreakable shell that surrounds his body.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Oliver Saito is half Japanese and half French.
  • Code Name: Every Third Eye user is given one based on the power given to the host.
  • Commonality Connection: Minoru and Suu. Like Minoru, Suu is a very shy and retiring personality, which allows the two of them develop a mutual understanding.
  • Darker and Edgier: In comparison to Kawahara's previous works, The Isolator is much more mature work that is more grounded in a sense of physical and psychological reality and a focus toward psychological drama.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A reflection of the Personality Powers - the more troubled the past, the stronger the power. (which continues a similar theme from Accel World) It's not a coincidence that the two most powerful members of the SFD are a girl who was seriously contemplating suicide when her Jet Eye found her, and a boy who still suffers from crippling survivor's guilt and PTSD.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The Specialized Forces Division, a fictional branch of Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare's Industrial Safety and Health Department, that is tasked with the tracking of Ruby Eyes.
  • Happily Adopted: Minoru was adopted by his distant cousin Norie Yoshimizu (technically by her father, who died pre-series), one of the few people he still cares for. Their interactions veer between siblings and parent and child depending on the current situation.
  • Heroic Host: Jet and Ruby eyes alike all gain their abilities thanks to the Third Eyes which bond with them.
  • Leave Me Alone!: What Minoru ultimately wants because of Survivor Guilt.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: In September 2019, humans encounter extraterrestrial lifeforms. Those that encounter them become Third Eye hosts.
  • My Greatest Failure: As a result of his Survivor Guilt Minoru has constantly blamed himself for the death of his family.
  • Personality Powers: The powers of each of the Third Eye users are manifestations of the characters’ mental state; either in response to a previous trauma, or the circumstances the user was in when the Third Eye found them.
  • Refusal of the Call: After Minoru first faces off a Ruby Eye to save Tomomi, he learns from Yumiko and DD about Third Eyes and the conflict between Jets and Rubies. Yumiko insists that he has a duty to join them in this fight but he absolutely refuses and has no desire to fight Rubies.
  • Super Senses: Everyone infected with Third Eyes have greater enhanced senses such as hearing.
  • Super Speed: Yumiko's ability allows her to use acceleration to throw all the molecules in her body forward, allowing her to perform teleport like dashes in one direction.
  • Survivor Guilt: Minoru Utsugi's main issue.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Despite Minoru's refusal to fight Ruby Eyes, The Biter finds out where he lives and kidnaps his guardian Norie forcing him into action.
  • Theme Naming: Each novel is named after the main Third Eye that serves as the stories focus.
  • The Promise: Before her memory of the Biter is erased, Minowa asks Minoru that should they meet again that they will become friends. They do.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The series begins in the not too far off year of 2019 and doesn't seem that different from modern day Japan, aside from a few technological differences and the presence of the Third Eyes. Granted, the series was originally written in 2009, so there was a bit more of a gap back then.

Alternative Title(s): Zettai Naru Isolator