By Namekojirushi and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Ore ga Heroine o Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Mokushiroku!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Mana Z.
What struck me most about this volume of Little Apocalypse was what a well oiled machine Rekka’s heroine saving has become. We get three heroines arriving one right after the other, and Rekka and company know what’s going to be happening – he’s got to save them all. He picks out his crack team of Rekka’s Angels based on who he feels would fit best with what’s planned, and for the most part he’s absolutely right about it. The girls occasionally fight over him, but it’s “offscreen” so we don’t actually need to see it, and when times get tough they’re all business. They’re also the main “muscle” of the story – Rekka admits point blank that he’s the sort of person to rely on the powers of others, and they certainly have a lot of power. That said, there are certainly some spanners in the works in this volume, both on the heroine end and the plot end.
Our heroines this time include Haruka Tenou… erm, I mean a phantom thief who has unfortunately put a cursed tiara on her head; Setsuna Sakurazaki… erm, I mean a noble samurai girl from 500 years in the past trying to save her princess; and another princess, this time from Atlantis, 1000 years in the past. As you can imagine, there’s going to be some time travel here, but by now everyone mostly shrugs it off. The phantom thief is the easy part of Rekka’s mission (and honestly the dullest – she’s too perfect). The samurai is more of an issue, as Rekka, due to events, chooses to prioritize the other two girls first, which pisses her off, especially as she hasn’t yet seem Rekka in action and doesn’t trust him. Why would you trust a guy with a harem of girls who says he can fix everything? Moreover, the Atlantean princess, who as a tragic ghost was noble and sweet, as a living being is… well, a spoiled princess.
The other spanner here is the plot twist near the end, which I thought was rather clever. You know that things are going badly when R can actually talk to Rekka about his actions – usually she can’t influence him. It also allows Rekka to save the day at the end with a very clever device that relies on his “greed” – not for money or power, but his desire to save all the heroines (who are listed in order, which is helpful as I’ve forgotten some of them). I was also amused, if somewhat ruefully, at the twist at the end. Rekka thinks that, due to the fact that two of his three heroines this book live in the past, that he’s not going to have them joining the cast herd. Nope – here they are, and the explanation actually works. This is what you have to face up to when you’re a man whose inability to get it romantically led to the end of the world.
So a strong volume in the series, and we’ve only four more to go. How many more heroines can we stack on? And will Rekka manage to graduate?