By Chatsufusa and fuumi. Released in Japan as “Dōyara Watashi no Karada wa Kanzen Muteki no Yō Desu ne” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roman Lempert.
I’ve talked before about the fact that I think avoiding cliches is an overrated issue. There have been several fantastic light novels and manga out there that use the same old thing: reincarnated in another world, noble’s daughter publicly shamed, let’s start a new high school club, etc. But as long as they keep the audience’s interest and have a good story to tell using those same old hoary elements, that’s fine. That said… I have my limits. I like to think that the artist read a bunch of popular webnovels and thought to themselves “now here’s MY spin on this idea!”. Sometimes, though, I don’t get that impression. I get the impression that the writer really has no goal or desire beyond “get clicks, get published”. And unfortunately that’s the impression I got with The Invincible Little Lady, a novel that doesn’t really put a foot wrong when it comes to fun characters and amusing scenes, but which feels like it lacks a soul.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a Japanese person lives their life weak and sickly, never leaving the hospital. As they finally pass on, they desperately wish for a strong body that will never lose to anything. Amazingly, God then announces that their wish is granted. Now she’s Mary Regalia, a duke’s daughter and the apple of her father’s eye, in a fantasy land of magic, monsters and swords. As she grows older, she starts to realize that God did the job a little too well. She’s immortal, can’t be harmed, and her strength is off the charts. Same with magic. She needs a maid to cater to her every whim… because if she puts on her own clothes, she tears them, and teacups shatter in her hands if she’s not careful. These are the stats of a great hero! But all she wants to do is life a quiet, peaceful life!
So yeah, if you thought of In the Land of Leadale, or Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average?, you aren’t alone. The author said in the afterword that they had read a bunch of webnovels and just sat down and started banging out one of their own, so it’s not surprising. And to be fair, it’s much better than it should be. The book for the most part avoids sexual assault, slavery, or the other isekai pitfalls. There’s not much fanservice aside from (sigh) Mary bemoaning her small chest and commenting on the chest size of others. It even attempts to have an in-world explanation for why she’s so ludicrously strong – she comes from a family that has ludicrous strength in it already, so no one is surprised. It ticks all the right boxes. But… why should I read more? What is the purpose of the series? I can’t find an answer after the first volume, and that’s a big flaw.
So yes, Sean vs. GC Novels has led to another loss for Sean. This is a well-written book that should appeal to those who want something to read on a plane or the beach. But I want more.