Seventeen-year-old Hajime Nagumo is your average, everyday otaku. However, his simple life of pulling all-nighters and sleeping in school is suddenly turned upside down when he, along with the rest of his class, is summoned to a fantasy world! They're treated like heroes and tasked with the duty of saving the human race from utter extinction. But what should have been any otaku's wet dream quickly turns into Hajime's nightmare. While the rest of his class are blessed with godlike powers, Hajime's job, Synergist, only has a single transmutation skill. Ridiculed and bullied by his classmates for being weak, he soon finds himself in despair. Will he be able to survive in this dangerous world of monsters and demons with only a glorified blacksmith's level of strength?
Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou has been published digitally in English as Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest by J-Novel Club since May 6, 2017, and physically by Seven Seas Entertainment since February 6, 2018.
I honestly have mixed feelings about this light novel (or web novel or whatevs). On one hand, it has a really promising beginning, and I mean it. It's not your typical "meh promising", it's a "promising promising". On the other, it's squandered after some chapters. (mild spoilers ahead, skip to TL;DR if you want to avoid them)
You see, during the first few chapters, I wanted to know how the MC would develop and how he would get out of his dangerous situation. It was a story that made me want to read the next chapter as soon I finished one, despite the terrible translation (if
you are picky about grammar, oh boy, either stay away or brace yourself...)
But then, at some point, it becomes.... Bad and weird.... What was previously a really good engaging survival story, quickly becomes a wish fulfillment fantasy harem woohoo MC badass gets all the chicks and owns everyone's ass. Don't get me wrong, I like/love stories with overpowered protagonists, but when you do that, you need to make sure that your plot is engaging or at least the characters are good. And Arifureta doesn't have any of those two. The plot is bland and his harem is just... Weird... I give kudos to the writer for not being cliche/mainstream and picking the usual stereotypes, but his harem is just weird. There's no chemistry between the characters and no real connection.
I ended up dropping this novel as soon the MC met a certain someones, since that was the sole reason that kept me going. I literally don't really care what happens next.
Is this worth your time? To be honest with you, I think you should still give it a shot. I know it may sound contradictory, but I honestly think that at the very least the beginning is worth the read. The beginning is a good survival story that may entertain anyone who likes survival, but after that? You can decide for yourself.
TL;DR: Give it a shot, really good start, but may disappoint you later down the road.
Arifureta is a novel that can be described as a cliche harem fulfillment story with strong prepubescent undertones and wasted potential . (This is a long winded review but after reading 70+ chapter i want no one to make the same mistake i made.)
The first problem with this novel is the story, the first few chapters are well written. The author shows the reader the thoughts of Hajime, He also shows us his internal struggle with being labeled incompetent by his peers and his own feelings of inadequacy when compared to Kouki. (the would be rival protagonist in the story.) The story only gets more
intricate and entertaining once Hajime falls into the abyss and he undergoes a metamorphosis as he struggles to survive. As soon as Hajime meets his first female companion the story takes a nose dive, the genre switches from an action packed story with a cut throat hero to a harem romcom about a teenager who has obtained too much power.
Another glaring issue with this novel are the characters. Not a single character in this story can be considered entertaining or enjoyable. All of the major females in the story swoon for the "bad boy" Hajime while all of the men who once laughed at him stare at him with "eyes of jealousy".
Finally the largest issue with the story is the general lack of creativity there is nothing original in this story after the 90th floor in the orcus dungeon arc.
This novel was one of the first ever novels I've read, and the start to my interest in the "Another World" genre. Even though this story piqued my interest in the first place, it disappeared in the end due to unforeseen reasons...
Story - (5)
Well, it has quite a cliche story... "Main character not really liked by classmates, whole class summoned into another world, main character gets abandoned/leaves, and then becomes OP in the span of a few chapters". From the beginning, it has quite an interesting take on the main character's situation, but then it dipped into just being a harem...
Art - (?)
It's a novel,
I can't really give a rating for art at all.
Character - (6)
I showed interest in the main character's feelings on being abandoned by his classmates. However, unlike a certain novel that I've read afterwards, the main character didn't harbor feelings of bitterness towards his classmates. (And not literally see everything as pigs too, wait that's a different circumstance). Yue really brings up her devotion towards Hajime, but that's really all. Shia really didn't change much. Tio got some love at the later parts of the novel, but that's really all to it in my opinion.
Enjoyment - (7) -> (5)
Well, I certainly did enjoy reading the early parts of novel. This feeling of "interest" was lost after a few arcs, as the story spans into the main character seeking power to return to his own world, and that's all to it. I could sympathize with his wish to return to old peaceful Japan, and humor were attempted to be made here and there, but that's all to it.
Overall - (5)
This novel is an adequate piece of work, and I wouldn't really side with either this novel is 'Good" nor 'Bad'. Well, I guess you could try reading it, and make your opinions too...
Firstly I'd recommend reading the Light Novel over the Web Novel - The Web novel looks like it has been put through Google translate and I think anyone reading it would lose a lot of enjoyment that way.
I've read Light novels 1-3 which I believe is around 75 Web Novel chapters.
This was one of the best light novels I've read but I can understand how it can be subjective.
The story of the first vol (ch-1-25) is about the MC falling into a dungeon with the only way of escape being to clear it. It's story of survival and of how he has to destroy himself
and rip away at his own humanity in order to survive.
After vol1 the story becomes something more of power fantasy though of which I found leaps and bounds more enjoyable from other power fantasies. Rather than starting out OP we actually see the MC struggle to become as strong as he is. Though because of what he has been through his humanity is still fractured and so his choices are not what you might expect of an OP MC.
A large part of Vol 3 shows how his heart starts to mend itself, thanks to the characters with him, little by little but because of this he has to take on a heavy burden.
I'd recommend anyone to buy and read vol 1 of the light novel.