By FUNA and Touzai. Released in Japan by K Lanove Books. Released in North America by Sol Press. Translated by Lukas Ruplys.
When I reviewed the first volume of this light novel… 19 months ago… I remarked that it was relatively mild in terms of the eccentricities of its author, FUNA, and their other works, I Shall Survive Using Potions! and Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average!. I regret that now. This, the second novel in the 80,000 Gold books, is absolutely bananas. Mile and Kaoru wish they were this overpowered. Our heroine stops a war using modern artillery, gains a domain of her own to rule, and sets about ruling it, all the while flitting back and forth between this fantasy world and modern-day Japan. Can she keep it a secret? LOL. Not at all, and by the end of the book dragons are now “real” and Mitsuha is telling readers about the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine. The good news is that the book remains a lot of fun provided you don’t believe in gritty realism, and Mitsuha has toned down her fourth-wall breaking tendencies… somewhat… so is a far more tolerable narrator.
When we last saw Mitsuha she was running her little shop that sells shampoo and other luxury items. But that’s more a job for the heroine of her other book; Mitsuha has bigger things to do, even if she really doesn’t want to. She befriends the princess, who is a cutie and also loves to escape her guards, and from there the king. This means that she’s also called in when the country goes to war, and after an assassination attempt wounds her and mortally wounds Alexis, Mitsuha decides to stop holding back and calls out her friendly mercenary friends to destroy the enemy army (with has orcs, ogres, and teenage dragons) with modern-day tanks and rocket launchers. Her reward for all this is becoming a viscountess and gaining her own territory, which she spends most of the rest of the book sprucing up. And if that means bringing in experts from Japan to help her with the harder stuff… and indeed just selling the rights to the world in auction… well, that’s how Mitsuha rolls.
In the first book there was a great scene where Mitsuha, talking with her “newly adopted” family, suddenly remembers her dead parents and starts to cry without realizing it. There’s a similar scene here, after Mitsuha is shot with a crossbow and Alexis ends up taking several other crossbow bolts to defend her, where she just has a complete freakout. The author is good at this sort of scene (Potions has also used them), and it helps to un-smug Mitsuha, which is occasionally needed because most of the time she is pretty smug. I was rather startled at how fast her “I can travel to a fantasy world and back” thing became public, though at least she’s managed to hide that it’s “Mitsuha Yamano” who is doing thing. (This also leads to the funniest joke in the book, where the merc squad nicknames her Nanoha, because there’s no kill like overkill.) In between these parts there’s a lot of ‘building my little fiefdom’ sections, which are not as exciting but are fun for those who like Realist Hero and its ilk.
The other good news is between the first volume and this one, Sol Press learned to format digital books properly. As a result, there are no issues with the interstitial art and everything looks fine. As for the book itself, again, if overpowered – LUDICROUSLY overpowered – heroines annoy you, stay well away. But I found it relaxing, goofy fun, despite the very high body count. Mitsuha may be nicknamed Nanoha, but she’s not “befriending” her enemies.