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.
We conclude Little Apocalypse’s first two-parter here, and though things end as one might have expected, the purpose of the journey has changed. Little Apocalypse has always waffled back and forth between whether it’s a parody or not, and it’s true that the next volume may make me eat my words, but for the moment it’s taking itself seriously. What we see here is what we’ve seen in previous books. Rekka uses various powers that he has available to him via the girls around him to solve his problem. (It’s much like Rokujouma in that regard.) But there’s little joking around here, the villains are seen to inflict horrible consequences, and the solution, as R notes, may actually make things worse. In fact, that’s how you know things are super serious – R is actually dispensing advice and trying to help, at least as much as she’s allowed to.
Speaking of R, we get to hear more about her actual mission than we have since the first volume. It’s clear that she’s not allowed to help Rekka figure out which girl he likes, or even clue him in that the girls like him. She’s only allowed to help him in his missions to save the girls’ stories. As we’ve seen, this can be very frustrating to her, as Rekka is deeply clueless about the feelings that the others have for him. That may change soon, though I somehow doubt it – he seems to think that Harissa’s gambit at the end of the book here might be accidental, whereas I’m pretty sure she, and R, knows exactly what she’s doing. Unlike Rokujouma, where you can pretty much tell near the halfway point of the series that they’re headed for some sort of polygamous ending, and everyone’s mostly confessed, here you’re continually reminded that the girls really are in constant rivalry with each other, and something else is probably needed to make sure we don’t end with an even bigger apocalypse.
All right, let’s talk about the time travel. I mentioned in my review of the seventh volume that even though I suspected that Sophia was somehow going to be saved, that didn’t make the matter of Lyun’s grief and rage any less important to Rekka. We get to see that even more with the massacre of the psychic gang, which hammers home once more how difficult the “job” that Rekka has is, and how easy it can be to get an unhappy ending. Fortunately, this is not Grimgar or something similar, and I was happy to take the time-travel out, even if it did involve Rekka disturbingly having to leap off a building to trigger it. But even with the time travel there’s still a lot of tension here – I’d mentioned that there was little humor in this book, and it’s true. Little Apocalypse has gotten serious, and thankfully in a good way.
Now, I’m not sure this will last. We’re exactly halfway though the series now, and I think the next volume may be far more comedic to make up for the serious bits here. But as long as it keeps up the small but noticeable character development we see here, and moves us closer to Rekka getting a clue and making a decision, then Little Apocalypse is still worth your time.