So I did start reading Sentou Yousei Yukikaze after Liou, and finished it this weekend. It was fantastic, just as I remembered it - if not even better. Currently reading through the second book, and it's really really good.
The story is about alien invasions, sadness, language, computers, and human nature. It's a deep kind of book. Philosophical, even.
Before I read the book, I watched the OVA adaptation back in 2009 or so. I watched it for Masato Sakai who voiced Rei (the protagonist).
And then I forgot about it... until I bought the novel last year on a whim. It was interesting to realize how the OVA staff interpreted the novel(s) (the sequel I'm reading right now is also incorporated) to make something quite different, in a good way.
Now that I know a little better about production and whatnot, I can totally understand why the OVA cut out a lot from the novel. For example there's a chapter in the first book that gives a lot of insight into the setting (also one of the saddest chapters, and a personal favorite). But I can understand how that story wouldn't translate well into an animated medium, since it's so internal dialogue-heavy and very little 'action' occurs. It's a slow and sad chapter.
I'm not sure if I would have had a different reaction to the OVA if I read the book first. I can see how a hardcore fan of the novel might have things to say about
the OVA. But because I already liked the OVA before I knew the 'original', I think it was easier for me to make a clear distinction between them as independent things - connected, but still separate from one another.
Adaptations are a really finicky thing, deciding who to target, what stays or what goes, tone and visuals, gauging the reaction of the original fans...
Oh, and Warner Bros. optioned the book for a movie adaptation or something. Tom Cruise is attached. I kinda flipped when I read this back in April, since I'm now incredibly invested in this novel series (and I love the OVA), I have extremely high expectations. I'm intrigued yet worried, feeling generally conflicted. Because five 1h animation installments are one thing, live-action feature films is another.