By Riku Misora and Sacraneco. Released in Japan as “Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai demo Yoyuu de Ikinuku you desu!” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Nathaniel Thrasher.
There are series where you want to concentrate hard on the worldbuilding, characterization, and moral quandaries. And then there are series that you want to read like popcorn, where you are not in the mood to think hard about anything. If you want one of the latter, then this new LN series is right up your alley. Thinking too hard about anything going on in this first volume, from its questionable “heroes” to its tendency, as with so many other light novels, to have its villains be the worst of the worst in so many ways, to its annoying White Man’s Burden viewpoint of isekai, you will probably end up finding this series quite annoying, especially as I don’t think it’s doing anything interesting with any of those issues. If you just sit back and enjoy the isekai candy and cool fights/schemes, then it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Check your brain at the door.
The gimmick here is that it’s an isekai times seven. Seven of Japan’s most powerful people, who are all teenagers and all friends, are swept away while on a plane trip to another world. We meet stereotypical samurai Aoi, morally terrifying doctor Keine, cowardly magician Prince, introverted inventor Ringo, arrogant businessman Masato, Prime Minister of Japan (in high school) Tsukasa, and “journalist” Shinobu, whose specialty is really being a ninja. Some of these are, obviously, more important than others in this first book, which focuses on Masato (in this volume) and Tsukasa (likely for all of them, he seems the “primary hero” sort). We also get Lyrule, who is the elf who is on the cover. She’s sweet, has a mysterious past, has a great figure, and she and Tsukasa bond almost immediately. In any case, this book focuses on them settling in with the village that rescued them and saving it from the local nobles, who are Very Bad Guys.
The author is also the writer of Chivalry of a Failed Knight, which is for magic academies what this is for overpowered isekai. Which is to say, the author wants to play in a fantasy world playground. There’s lots of ridiculous fun in this, from Ringo being able to build a nuclear power plant from scratch in about three months to Masato taking down the monopolistic trade company in the space of ONE DAY, to basically everything Shinobu says or does. (Who are secret ninja always named Shinobu?) We get a sense that each of the prodigies has their own tragic past – Tsukasa revealing his own father’s embezzlement leads to abandonment by his mother, and Masato’s father killed himself due to lack of money. I’m sure more will come in later volumes. And there’s also a lot of fun action sequences here as well, mostly due to Aoi, who is so terrifying bears run away from her, but also Tsukasa, who turns out to be well-protected against assassin’s bullets no matter what the world.
This series will, I anticipate, always be ethically suspect and have a tendency to fall apart if you look at it closely. But I had fun reading it, and will definitely get the 2nd book.