By Kisetsu Morita and Kaito Shibano. Released in Japan as “Oda Nobunaga to Iu Nazo no Shokugyou ga Mahou Kenshi Yori Cheat Datta Node, Oukoku o Tsukuru Koto ni Shimashita” by GA Novels. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Alex Wetnight.
Another in the many examples we’ve seen lately of “how can I get my webnovel to rise to the top of the rankings when it’s just a basic power fantasy?”, A Mysterious Job Called Oda Nobunaga is by the author of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years but is almost its polar opposite. It oozes cocky masculinity from every page. Honestly, also like many light novels I’ve read lately, its gimmick is somewhat irrelevant. Oda Nobunaga is in our hero’s head, talking to him about this and that, but I think only gives him specific advice once or twice. The rest of the time, Alsrod is simply being a brilliant warlord, and Nobunaga is in his head going “ah, yes, this reminds me of the time in Japan when I did this! Well done!”. That feeling when one of the greatest Japanese warlords is a backseat driver.
Alsrod, at the age of 18, is ready to get his job that will help to guide his career path. Some get fighter, some get thief. He gets… Oda Nobunaga, and no one has any idea what it means. Not good news. Less good news is that his brother the viscount is ordering him to go defend a castle that is on the verge of certain death… and he can’t refuse because he has to care for their younger sister, who is sickly. All he has is his new job and his childhood friend Laviala. Then he discovers that he has an aptitude for battle and warfare. He occasionally hears Game Stats in his head (very occasionally, thank God), and they help to make him and his allies more powerful. As the book goes on he removes his brother from power, attacks various neighboring provinces, and plans on how to move even further up in the kingdom.
I did mention this book was the opposite of Killing Slimes for 300 Years, and that applies to the pacing as well. This book zooms. By the halfway point Alsrod has killed his brother, become Viscount, is on his way to becoming Count, and taken his childhood friend as a lover and also a buxom and politically savvy wife. (Content warning, he also takes a third lover, who is said to be fifteen years old. This feels like one of those “it’s okay because it’s ancient times” author decisions that is not actually okay.) He carves through the neighboring areas with ease, never facing a single setback in the entire book. There is one brief hint that the second book might have actual conflict – another character has a job that is also a Sengoku Period job, and it’s the retainer who killed Nobunaga, so you sense there will be betrayal. But that’s not in this book. This book is “watch Alsrod be awesome and manly.”
If you like a plain old male power fantasy in every possible way, this is actually an excellent book for you to pick up. It has all of that. If you want conflict, or depth, or even Oda Nobunaga actually doing something, you might want to find another series.