By FUNA and Itsuki Akata. Released in Japan as “Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!” by Earth Star Entertainment. Released in North America digitally by Seven Seas. Translated by Diana Taylor. Adapted by Maggie Cooper.
A lot of the transported/reincarnated to another world titles tend to follow the same series of events. If reincarnated, there’s sometimes a talk with and apology from God. Then the hero shows up at the standard vaguely medieval town, starts fighting fantasy monsters, and slowly amasses a group of young women around him. Oh, and is also ludicrously powerful. With this particular series, the hero is a heroine, but for the most part the exact same thing happens. The former Misato, killed rescuing a girl from being hit by a truck, is allowed by God to reincarnate in a fantasy world with magic and monsters and the like. That said, in her former life in modern Japan she was a talented, gifted girl good at anything… except making friends. And so she begs God to just make her an average girl in this new world. Hilariously, God has a ridiculously literal take on the word ‘average’. But that’s OK, as the heroine is just as ridiculous.
For the most part this story is a comedy, and the source of the comedy is Misato, who in this new world is first named Adele, and later takes on the name Mile. As she wanders through this new world like a bull in a china shop, you realize that even if God HAD made her an ordinary human she’d still have managed to stand out regardless. What she finds is that she’s average, not compared to the typical human, but average against everything in the world, including elder dragons. As such, she has super strength, super magic powers, and super reflexes. This horrifies her, and she spends most of the book trying desperately not to stand out. She is incredibly bad at this, to a ridiculous degree. Fortunately, she is a bit better at actually making friends this time around, first at the Academy for Slightly Lesser Nobles she is sent to, and then later on at the Hunter Academy when the series reboots itself.
The big flaw in the series, of course, is that it was originally a webnovel, and feels like it. As I said, about a third of the way through the book the author clearly decides that they have a better idea of what to do with their heroine, and so Misato/Adele ends up in a new country with a new name and at a new academy, but the situations she’s in are much the same – she even gets three other friends who seem wary/annoyed with her at first but quickly warm up to her after realizing that she’s less of a snooty genius and more of a hot mess. The reader may wonder why the first section wasn’t simply excised in editing. Once things do settle down, though, we get a number of fun, entertaining and funny scenes. Mile and her friends form a nice cohesive unit, and I like how she tries to teach them how to be more powerful by working the magical system this world has while also telling them it’s SUPER SECRET. And, of course, we see her being ridiculously overpowered, which is so ridiculous it turns out to be contagious.
The book tends to meander a bit, and anyone who gets annoyed by “OP heroes” should steer well clear. That said, I found reading this book an absolute hoot, and it was also nice to see a standard “other world” series where the focus is on a girl and her friendships and not possible romantic interests. The print book ships in June, and given that the second book is slated for August, I’m hoping we can read it digitally earlier than that. Also, what with this series, Walking My Second Path in Life, the upcoming I’ve Killed Slimes for 300 Years, and (sort of) So I’m a Spider, So What?, we’re finally getting a decent number of light novel heroines who are women. About time.