By Ryo Shirakome and Takayaki. Released in Japan as “Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou” by Overlap Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.
The last third of this very long final volume of Arifureta is a giant victory lap. We get lots of cleanup after, the apocalypse, lots of comedic stuff involving the Haulia, some vaguely amusing jokes, and Hajime finally gets around to having sex with most of the rest of the harem (offscreen, sorry to all those wanting your “snu-snu”). It probably goes on far too long, frankly. But I was so happy to be reading it, because it meant that I was not reading fight scenes. After last volume being 175 pages of fights, this volume is 220 pages of fights, and frankly I would rather chew my own arm off than read more of the battle first going one way, then the other, and the occasional nameless person that we don’t know actually dying. The only named people we know who die are the evil God, and Eri, who was killed off last book. We know how this final battle will turn out, this is not Arifureta Zero.
Even the fights in the book are divided neatly in half. The first third of the book shows us Ehit’s apostles versus the rest of the cast that weren’t fighting in Book 12, including Kaori, who frankly gets the MVP for that battle easily. That said, it shows off everyone’s cool moves, shows everyone almost winning and them almost losing, etc. It’s very much a final battle. Then we cut to Ehit vs. Hajime for the second half, and the same thing happens, only every time it appears that Hajime is almost losing, he pulls some new “I was only fooling” bullshit out of his ass, because, frankly, this is Arifureta, and if you didn’t think this was coming you’re reading the wrong series.
So yeah, the first two thirds of the book is basically fight now grr. the only emotional moment is the one pre-designed to be a tear-jerker, which is where Miledi shows up to save the day and also die, because now that Ehit is finally defeated there’s no reason why she cannot finally pass on and rejoin all her friends and her true love. (There’s an additional short story that adds a nice even happier ending to that, if you like). The last third is a bit more varied, as we see Kouki trying to deal with apologizing to literally everyone he’s ever known, Kousuke unlocking his inner chuuni and ending up with a rabbit girlfriend, and Liliana pouting because she’s still too young to get the sex that the rest of the girls all get. And there’s a nice little epilogue where Hajime finally returns home to his family, which is heartwarming.
The webnovel this was based on has an After Story that would probably run about 13 more volumes, but Overlap has shown no sign they plan to release any of it, so this might be it for Arifureta. Which is fine, frankly. It ties up well, and I don’t need the wacky adventures of Yue in Japanese high school. To the end, Arifureta was the “I’ve got the lamest power and everyone hates me, but it’s secretly THE COOLEST” that every other similar series tried to be, and none of them really could ever touch it. I won’t MISS it per se, but I’m glad I read it. Mostly.