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.
Honestly, I think this would have been a much stronger book if combined with the equally short Vol. 14. I get that this series has never really had long volumes, but as with the previous one, by the time you get into the meat of this book it’s over. Fortunately the meat of the book is pretty good. Rekka, L, and the Doctor (no, still not that one) arrive in the future to try to track down the missing heroines. Unfortunately, Rekka’s mere presence causes war to break out. Speaking of which, we finally find out what caused the big war in the first place – no prizes for guessing who got the ball rolling – and hear a little bit about future Rekka, though he remains resolutely absent. (Given the series’ tendency towards parody at times – that’s what it started as, after all – I would not be surprised if Future Rekka is the Big Bad.) Fortunately, Rekka also has some future heroines who will listen to him, even if he’s not their Rekka.
While there are various things done to try to mess up Rekka’s sense of how far this is into the future, most of the girls look to be about 7-10 years older than they were in the main series. Some are almost exactly the same (Satsuki, staying on brand with the childhood friend type, and Lea, who has literally hidden herself away to avoid all this). Some are All Grown Up, in the trope sense of the word, as Harissa has gained confidence and Fam is now a Pirate Queen. The majority don’t show up at all, and the afterword has the author lamenting the fact that he wants the final book to have all the heroines get a role but has no idea how to do this. And then there’s Iris, who in her grief and anger started all this (raise your hand, who’s surprised? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) Fortunately, like almost all the future heroines, a hug from Rekka is all it takes to dispell most of the incipient problems. They are in love with him, after all.
As for the actual heroines that were kidnapped, we catch up with them at the end – well, some of them. The enemy has brainwashed those with the most combat power to take out our heroes. The enemy is on the cover there, and at first I wondered if it was Hibiki, but no, the answer is in fact even more obvious than that. The enemy also has managed to brainwash R, which leads to what would be an epic confrontation if it didn’t last all of half a page. I suspect the artist drew the cool color page but the author ran out of time, and so the solution is “a punch in the face fixes everything!”, which feels like a big disappointment. That said, the majority of the book is pretty fun, keeping things moving and taking Rekka back to his roots, as he has to think up clever schemes constantly in order to advance.
Now that we’ve revealed the supposed mastermind behind this – and found they may not be as mastermindy as we thought – what’s going to happen in the 16th and final volume? Will Rekka save the day? (Likely.) Will Rekka choose a girl? (Unlikely.) I look forward to finding out.