By Meguru Seto and Takehana Note. Released in Japan by Kodansha Lanove Books. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by T. Emerson. Adapted by Cae Hawksmoor.
This continues to be the most McDonald’s of light novels. It’s bad for you, and if you dig into it it’s filled with yucky stuff, but it fills you up fast and tastes yummy, so you don’t care. There is literally nothing in this entire book that will even make you raise an eyebrow in surprise. Our hero’s harem does not expand, but the others all basically do everything but stick their tongue down his throat and he blinks at them in confusion. (Honestly, the best bond he has in this book is with the lion monster he takes in as a pet. And even that has a brief ‘hah, the tulip on his head makes him gay!’ joke that made me grind my teeth.) The little sister is getting to be more like incestuous little sisters in other books. And I suspect the author has a fetish for getting stepped on that is basically showing up as is in this book. And yet… it still reads smooth as silk. Sigh.
A brief summary of things that happen to Noir in this book. He gets a huge pile of money from the noble girl he saved at the end of the last book. As mentioned above, he befriends the dungeon monster (also from the last book) and it essentially becomes his talking dog/mount. He rescues an elf zombie. He gets a midterm exam, which consists of easy, hard, and impossible tasks (pick one. He picks impossible). His guild receptionist faces off against another guild receptionist who uses sex to lure adventurers to her. He rescues a sentient tree from a passel of monsters (said tree takes the form of a little girl, so cue those sorts of jokes). And in the largest story in the book, he helps a village win against a group of thieves that has stolen their women. Oh yes, and then he and the others do the impossible task.
As the previous two paragraph might tell you, this book is still trash. It doesn’t even really get to the level of McDonald’s – it’s more of a Jack-in-the-Box. Noir is the blandest of heroes, who is always ready to help anyone but cannot understand why all these girls get angry at each other around him. This includes a chapter where he’s sick and three of them essentially fasten themselves around his body. Everyone is in love with him: the childhood friend, the elf girl, the receptionist, the little sister, the mentor stuck in the dungeon, his teacher, AND the noble princess. He gains powers by hugging, kissing and other fetishes, but of course will never go farther. And his powers are as OP as anything, but he constantly insists that he’s just lucky. I have expected him to call himself a humble vice-commander.
But it’s easy to read, the girls do actually achieve things that don’t revolve around Noir (sometimes), and its fanservice has drawn its wobbly line in the sand. If you like OP harem series and aren’t picky about anything else? This is right up your street. (It’s trash, though.)