By Light Tuchihi and Saori Toyota. Released in Japan as “Kono Yuusha Ga Ore TUEEE Kuse Ni Shinchou Sugiru” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Matt Rutsohn.
And so, after a series that should have ended with the second volume keeps going, and manages to do a three-book arc that mostly justified its continuation, we get the conclusion of this two-book arc where it all falls apart. I’m not sure if I blame the author as much as the publisher. You may have an anime coming out, and a cameo in Isekai Quartet, but that doesn’t mean that a series should continue when it’s run out of things to do with the premise. When that sort of thing happens, you only have two choices: 1) completely break the premise and create a new one with our character, which this series absolutely doesn’t do, or b) snap everything back to the way it was and throw out all your character development. Cautious Hero doesn’t do this either, but it feels like it does. The author tried to write an arc where Seiya is even more verbally and emotionally abusive towards Ristarte, and justifies it towards the end. The trouble is, she’s too well written now for it to be funny anymore.
We pick up right where we left off last time. Seiya takes a somewhat broken Rosalie with him and heads back to the Underworld to train, train, train. He takes her as he thinks she’ll be a good distraction ad meat shield. Naturally, Rista is appalled, and she and Seiya spend most of the book disagreeing about the way he’s going about things. There are “amusing” training motifs. The beings Seiya learns skills with want to see Rista humiliated so they can indulge their fetishes, and as a result she is both molested and also given a tasty potato… that causes her to belch and fart uncontrollably. Ha. More seriously, Rista has noticed that Mash is seemingly possessed by Elulu’s dead spirit, which is telling him to destroy everything… which contrasts with the dead spirit of Elulu *Rista* is seeing, which is begging her to stop Seiya carrying out his plan. Will anyone bother to believe Rista?
There’s one big problem with this comedy right now – and no, it’s not that it’s no longer funny, though that *is* a problem. It’s that the jokes depended on Ristarte being as one-dimensional and annoying as Seiya is. Over the course of the last few books, we’ve seen her discover who her past self was, rekindle a romance that is then immediately lost, rediscover her child and have to watch as they die again, and learn to trust Seiya and not react like a cliched tsukkomi character whenever he does literally anything. She’s a real person now. Seiya isn’t, at least not 90% of the time. And that means when the books are humiliating Rista, it’s not funny, it’s just abusive. The ending shows us Seiya, briefly, expressing remorse at what he did and apologizing to Rista – but it’s a sign of where the two of them are that THIS is what gets the most over the top reaction face of the book from her.
It’s pretty clear that the author did not go further with Seiya here as they plan to do more with it in the next arc. Two problems with that. First, I’m about ready to drop the books here, they’re no longer fun. Second… there are no new volumes. The author started writing the Full Dive series (which also has a recent anime) and has not come back to this one in the last two year. So yeah. If you’ve read the previous six, you may as well read this. But boy, it left a bad taste in my mouth.