By Suzu Enoshima and Eihi. Released in Japan as “Tsundere Akuyaku Reijou Liselotte to Jikkyou no Endo-kun to Kaisetsu no Kobayashi-san” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Minna Lin.
The “Disc EX” should tell you exactly what you’re getting with this volume. This is not a new volume in the series per se, nor is it a sequel or a side story. Even as a collection of short stories, that description feels inadequate. It’s the sort of bonus content you get when a game has done well and the creators are taking a victory lap. It’s not going to have any drama or threats – indeed, the one scene where there is a brief threat of actual consequences is quickly resolved by simply deciding to ignore the problem. Instead, you get exactly what you want from a fan disc – more of the cast being themselves. More of Lieselotte being tsundere, more of Sieg being overwhelmed by how cute she is, more of Endo and Kobayashi narrating out loud (even when they’re in the actual world itself). You don’t have to read this. But it will bring a smile to your face.
The goddess Lirenna has made things so that Endo and Kobayashi can be there on the day that Lieselotte and Siegwald’s wedding day, as we saw in the final scene of the 2nd book. They have most of the whole day there, so while there they ask about various things they didn’t see or missing pieces from the first two books. We hear about Lieselotte’s Memoir, which here is a simple diary of her last few years but in the fan disc at the end of the game Endo and Kobayashi played it was a dark chapter that showed you what Lieselotte was really like and drove home the tragedy. (We don’t get excerpts from the bad diary, that would be depressing, and against the premise of this book). After various short stories show off the supporting cast, the two are wed, and Endo and Kobayashi return to Japan permanently – except the game now has a video epilogue from its cast.
As I hinted above, the most interesting part of the book is where Endo and Kobayashi express surprise that Fiene gave in and got engaged so fast, as they know that she’s suffering from subconscious trauma due to being Eve and having her husband (Adam, aka Baldur) murdered in front of her by Kuon. They debate telling her about this, but realize that there’s really no good reason to do so, and a few good reasons they should not, so they just… don’t. I appreciated this. No need to lift lids off cans of worms. I was also amused at the side story devoted to Leon, and why he showed up with everyone at the final battle. The cast are all frustrated that they don’t know why, but we all know why – he’s madly in love with Fiene’s mother. I suspect he might eventually wear her down, but this is – again – a fun little bonus that readers know about but most of the cast don’t, which fits the fan disc theme.
I’d have liked more about Endo and Kobayashi’s relationship – they’re on first name basis now, but that’s about it – but this is fine. As a volume likely only commissioned because of the anime, it does its job quite well, and fans should be pleased.