By Rhythm Aida and nauribon. Released in Japan as “Buta Koushaku ni Tensei shita kara, Kondo wa Kimi ni Suki to Iitai” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Zihan Gao.
There can sometimes be a disconnect between when a title is finished and when a title is “cancelled”. Generally speaking, some light novel titles indeed were cancelled for low sales, with no ending ever being published except on the web. Deathbound Duke’s Daughter is a good example, or Roll Over and Die. On the other hand, if a series does have a definitive ending, and yet there’s more content on the webnovel that comes after it, is a publisher obligated to release all of it just to satisfy completists? Arifureta came to an end recently, but fans know there’s about 10+ volumes of “After Story” on the web, which Overlap has shown no signs of releasing. And then there’s Piggy Duke. Yes, there’s more content on the webnovel site that has events after this volume. But this volume comes to a satisfying conclusion, mostly. It doesn’t leave you hanging. As such, I think it’s perfectly fine.
It’s finally time for Slowe to confront his family. First his sister Sansa, a general in the military, who meets up with Slowe after his dungeon adventures to announce that he’s now important enough that he needs a better retainer than Charlotte, so they got him a new one. Needless to say, this does not please Slowe. The new retainer, Mint, seems at first to be a clumsy dojikko type, but it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that this goes out the window pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Slowe’s father is also coming to see him, but for a far more serious reason. There’s a mercenary group, Rust, that has worked with Slowe’s family in the past to do the “dirty work” the government can’t do. Now the queen wants them wiped out, and their leader killed. And the setting for that confrontation… will be Kirsch Mage Institute.
We do finally meet the family here, and it’s no surprise why Slowe has done everything in his power to avoid them all this time – they’re just like him. Especially his father, who made me wonder if Slowe was a clone rather than a son. Slowe is also feeling a little guilty, as this entire “let’s get rid of the guys who do our dirty work” plotline is likely happening because Slowe averted the war, and thus derailed the anime’s story. That said, peace is a good thing, so he doesn’t regret it, but it does lead to the second half of the book being one final battle. Sadly, most of the cast that we’ve come to know is quietly shuffled offstage for that – Alicia is absent dealing with fallout from the last book, and Shuya just helps to give exposition. But they are very good fights, something the author has always handled well.
I will admit the ending, particularly the ending picture, did feel very Shonen Jump “we hope you enjoy the author’s next work”. And yes, Slowe and Charlotte do have more ongoing adventures that will remain a mystery. But this ending was decent enough. I’ll take it.