By Fukada Sametarou and Sakura Miwabe. Released in Japan as “Konyaku Haki Sareta Reijō o Hirotta Ore ga, Ikenai Koto o Oshiekomu -Oishi Mono o Tabesasete Oshare o Sasete, Sekai Ichi Shiawase na Shōjo ni Produce!-” by PASH! Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Yui Kajita.
Oh dear. I’d say “and it was going so well, too”, but to be honest I had a few issues with the first two volumes of this series as well. This third one, though, feels like an episode of that game show where you send contestants into a supermarket and they have to stuff as many groceries into a cart as they can in 60 seconds. Theoretically the final volume in the series (more on that later), this volume seemingly had one plot left to deal with: Charlotte’s family and her past as an abused child. Admittedly this is a tricky plot to write when you’re doing a sweet romcom that uses the word “naughty” as its main gag, but clearly that was going to be the thrust of it. We do get that, but it’s lost in an avalanche of “everything but the kitchen sink”.
Now that Allen and Charlotte have confessed to each other, they can only get closer. Unfortunately, Charlotte casually mentions that tomorrow is her birthday… a fact that literally everyone in the cast except for Allen seems to have known, and they’re all lining up to deliver the absolute best presents, while Allen flails and is pathetic. Finally settling on “a kiss once everyone is asleep”, he then runs into another problem: Charlotte’s body holds two souls, the second one being the former Saint of her country Lydilia, who has occasionally been taking charge of Charlotte’s body (that’s how she escaped so easily), but now wants Allen to kill her as she is tired of life. (Kill her soul, I hasten to add – Charlotte would be fine.) That’s still not good enough for Allen, and now he has to find naughty things to please a completely different noble lady.
I cannot begin to describe how the first third of this annoyed me. Suddenly this non-isekai series is filled with reincarnations from Japan, who are busy creating ramen cafes. Our mail carrier catgirl turns out to have been searching for her missing twin sister… who she finds within 2 pages of her explaining this. The “perfect birthday present” section is excruciating, with Allen suddenly becoming ten times more pathetic than he’s ever been. Lydilia’s plot works best, especially when the narrative turns serious, but it also feels like it was shoehorned in so that the same “sharing souls” concept could be used to explain part of the overcomplicated solution to Charlotte’s past abuse. Lastly, the final scene with Allen and Charlotte meeting as children actively made me snarl at the book in its obviousness.
Still, at least with this last volume, we’ve… End of Part One, you say? More books coming? Sigh. If you really enjoyed this, you might try more, but this third volume just annoyed me.