By Inumajin and Falmaro. Released in Japan as “Seijo-sama? Iie, Toorisugari no Mamono Tsukai desu! – Zettai Muteki no Seijo wa Mofumofu to Tabi wo suru” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Meteora.
It’s been about a year since the last volume of this series, but the core of it remains mostly the same. Kanata runs all over creation, finds all-powerful villainous creatures, and somehow manages to turn them into adorable puffballs, which they grudgingly submit to. It’s not a series to read for the character development, really, as there isn’t any: Kanata is not the sort of person who grows and learns, she’s just immediately OP and will never stop being goofy and slightly sketchy about snuggling her big fluffy beats. The comedy, thankfully, is also still good, with lots of great gags here, some of which don’t even involve Kanata burying her face in fur. And, as with previous books, there’s a somewhat terrifying plot and backstory in the background, if you care to look at it. Which Kanata does not. She is not here for past lives or gods eating souls. Are souls fluffy? NO!
Kanata’s general likeability and hideous strength means that people at least are not hearing the words “beast tamer” and trying to abuse her, at least. Arriving at a village, she hears a legend about an old mysterious monster who lives in an abandoned castle. She decides to go check it out… and finds the church’s knights attacking a gorgeous (but heavily wounded) vampire. This vampire is not really the evil sort, so tries to get Kanata away from her own struggles, but Kanata ignores that, and instead heals the vampire… who, of course, instantly becomes a pink ball of fluff. The vampire has fallen in love with Kanata, so happily comes along with her and her fellow beasts, though she’s rather grumpy about needing to stay fluffy. As for the goddess who has been trying to destroy Kanata, well…
The main story is only 2/3 of this book, with the last third being a side story that is mostly “let’s watch Melissa be incredibly strong but also mentally suffer”. The author indicates that health problems were why this book was so late, but I do think the presence of such a big story at the end of the book undercuts the terrifying cliffhanger ending. The goddess is basically “what if Aqua was evil”, but this does not make her fellow gods any better, and her fate ends up reminding me a bit of the ending of The Lottery. There’s also the description of the first saint’s travails (which involve the vampire we met earlier), and how the saint’s plan to return to this world basically involved reincarnating in different worlds for a thousand years, each life being terrible. It gives a certain heft to Kanata that she is not otherwise going to possess, and I wonder if the first saint part of her will ever come to the fore. Mmmmmm, probably not.
So yeah, enjoy the fluff, though some of it has a bitter aftertaste. Still fun.