Sep 7, 2022
tl;dr: A fantasy isekai series with with interesting plans, mostly solid heroines, surprisingly good lore, and a pretty amusing protagonist that pulls off being cartoonishly villainous without being edgy or evil.
This novel series is an isekai with the main twist being that the protagonist, Shinichi, was summoned by the Blue Demon King to aid the demons against the humans. The demons aren’t that evil, with the reason that they ‘invaded’ the human world being that demon world food is awful, with even raw human world ingredients being better than demon world cuisine, and they only ‘invaded’ a completely empty valley at that. They only attacked
the humans in self-defense and made sure to kill the humans in such a way that they could be revived with Resurrection magic, which turns out to be incredibly effective in this world and makes a lot of things that would be horrific otherwise not that bad. Still, the demons are in general more bloodthirsty than humans, and Shinichi himself turns out to be okay doing pretty much anything to accomplish his goals. Thus, while the protagonist’s side isn’t really evil at all, they do have a general aura of cartoon villainy which the writing does it’s best to emphasize. This is a pretty fine line to straddle but overall, I think the author did a pretty good job and it worked well in producing an amusing story with a pretty unique atmosphere.
The protagonist Shinichi is overpowered, but in terms of intelligence rather than straight up power. He inherently does have advantages that no one has due to the way the magic system works, with magic ultimately being based on how well and deeply one can imagine a spell functioning. For example, turning one thing into another with magic is essentially impossible for magic users as it would require too much magic power, but because Shinichi understands that coal is made of carbon just like diamond and understands the structural differences, he can imagine one turning into the other at a lower level, thus requiring far less magic, and thus being possible for him even though his magic power isn’t all that strong. There are various other similar examples, and though they aren’t really advantages he’s earned, the author explains things well enough that they seem fair. Still, that’s only a small part of what he does, as the majority of the novel is centered around him searching for information and using that to enact various plans. These plans are often pretty complicated, overtly tricky, and rely on a good amount of plot armor in order to function but I’d still say they’re written reasonably well and its amusing to see them being built up to and pulled off. He gets some background relating to his original world to explain why he has a twisted personality, but overall I found it pretty lacking and it didn’t really feel like he had much of a character arc.
The characters outside of Shinichi were a mixed bag. Of the heroines I found them all somewhat likable but none of them exceptionally so. Arian and Rindo felt like they were pretty well developed and felt like they had good character growth, though Celes felt somewhat underdeveloped in that though she got some background and was present quite a bit she never really got a character arc. The main villain was pretty well developed, with extensive development of their background and motivations, wherein even though it ultimately resulted in a pretty simple one-dimensional villain, how they became as such was fleshed out well. The rest of the cast had some amusing characters and there were attempts at trying to give some depth to a few of the side characters, but nothing really worked all that well. Thus, there’s some nice moments here and there but not any especially great characters overall.
The world building I found far better than I expected considering it started out so simply. The lore was interesting in how it fleshed out the mythologies of different people, the humans and demons, with them both being based on the same true events but from different perspectives and thus with different elements twisted and different actors portrayed in a different manner, with what really happened being quite a bit more complex than the mythology of either. I think it takes too long to build up to and then throws out too much at once, with the majority of the revelations being in the final volume of the main story, but what it built was pretty impressive. The rest of the world building regarding different human nations, role of the Church, etc. and such was much simpler but worked well enough within the context of the plot. Ultimately the world building and plot did have a few inconsistencies, but nothing too major. The majority of them were actually things that I was pretty surprised were even there as they could easily be fixed without any major changes to the plot, but they were mostly things from the final two volumes that contradicted things lightly mentioned in the first volume, so I suppose it may well just be that neither the author and editor noticed and I only did because I binge read the series.
In terms of the ending the battle that served as the climax was satisfyingly well done and fit the series incredibly well. After that there’s an entire volume worth of epilogue, which I was originally very excited for as I generally love extended epilogues. Unfortunately, I found this one only so-so. It wraps up a bunch of plot threads that hadn’t been wrapped up and explains past plot elements that were left mysterious pretty well. Still, at that point it didn’t really feel like it was necessary to spend as much time as it did on them. Or rather, there’s nothing wrong with that is there, but I’d much rather the author focused more on another aspect such as the relationships between Shinichi and the heroines. This is something that is lightly developed over the course of the epilogue and that does reach a conclusion at the end of the epilogue, but I still felt it was unnecessarily rushed considering the epilogue was an entire volume and that it should have extended past the quick and abrupt ending it gave.
Though I can’t judge the translation quality, the English prose is solid and flows pretty well with most character’s voices coming across well. The art and character designs were pretty solid, though neither really stood out that much and overall aren’t all that memorable.
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