By Sakuma Sasaki and Asagi Tosaka. Released in Japan by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jordan Taylor.
Sometimes I get a bit ahead of myself. I was really enjoying this second volume of Dirty Way to Destroy the Goddess’ Heroes, and tweeted as such. The second “hero” they had to face off with was very different from Arian, Shinichi’s plans were clever enough, the banter between him and Celes was fun. It was a really fun book, despite the occasional lecherous joke that made me wince. And then came the last quarter or so, where the lecherous jokes that made me wince became the resolution of the entire plot, and the bottom dropped out of the whole thing, leaving it once again something I can only recommend to those who don’t mind the usual light novel perversions, with an added slice of homophobia. It’s really irritating, as the characters are engaging, the plot lends itself well to a 6-book series (as this is), and some of the humor is great. Just… stop with the pedophilia and “gays are predators” jokes. I beg you.
The religious oligarchy trying to take down the demon lord (for their own personal gain, of course) now sends “the Saint” after him. Sanctina has been raised in a box since she was a baby, the daughter of talented magic users who were bribed to have a child and leave it with the Church. There were four others like her, but one by one none of them were quite as “devoted” (read: unwilling to question) as she was, so they vanished or were sent away. Now she’s in a neighboring kingdom taking people’s life force to power a magical container big enough to destroy the demon lord once and for all. Shinichi and company quickly figure out that, because her personality is somewhat blank due to her upbringing, normal means aren’t going to cut it. And so they decide to make Rino, the demon lord’s daughter, into… a pop idol?
As I said, most of this is fun. It mocks idol culture, and Sanctina does make a genuinely disturbing villain. Then we get the climax. First of all, Shinichi hired an incubus to disguise themselves as Sanctina and go around anally raping muggers (and later, after the denouement, Sanctina’s other “Holy Knights”). No. Do not do this. I don’t care how evil the muggers and knights are, and they’re pretty bad, don’t. Do. This. Secondly, Sanctina’s jealousy and hatred of Rino, who is not only a popular idol who can also heal the sick but shows a genuine love and compassion for everyone around her that Sanctina lacks, finally causes her to break. Which is fine. And be sexually attracted to Rino. Who is underage. We’d had a few pedophilia jokes scattered though the book that grated, but this is the climax, and given Sanctina returns with the protagonists, is likely not going away. Shinichi even observes “Great, she’s a lesbian”. Again, just… fuck this.
So yeah, I retract my prior tweet. Dirty Way to Destroy the Goddess’ Heroes has a lot of potential, but in the way can’t quite escape its tendency to wallow in nasty stereotypes for both humor and plot resolution. As such, recommended only to those who are used to that sort of thing and don’t care.