By Toshio Satou and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shonen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.
This is a series that is a broad comedy, and is usually content to be just that. The characters are hilarious but also pretty much unrealistic, and the plot will always take a back seat to a joke. That said, there have been a few moments of drama in the books, usually involving Alka’s generation, and it’s the same here. In particular, it’s Eug. There was one scene in the book that had be basically recoiling and going “Jesus Christ”. Surprisingly, it was not the part where she dropped off weapons so horrifying that her soldiers are all appalled at the very though of using them, or her inevitable downfall after being manipulated by Eve. It’s where she gets so angry at the thought of Lloyd that she accidentally breaks her own fingers from clenching her fist too hard. That’s terrifying, and it gives the scenes afterwards a bit of pathos.
It’s time for military exercises, as everyone is posted to a different department. That said, our boy Lloyd is so over-powerful that he’s posted to handing out food to the soldiers, mostly as that also helps to avoid one department getting an advantage over the other. Unfortunately for the country, Eug’s nation has decided (with a little help from Big Bad Eve), that now is the perfect time to invade for real. They have traitors in Azami’s forces. They have really powerful tac nukes. They have soldiers who have recently been given delicious hot meals… by Lloyd? Wait, what the hell is Lloyd doing aiding and abetting the enemy? Unfortunately, Marie has an even bigger problem: some hussy in a hood is the new military advisor, and she’s taking the queen’s place in her father’s heart!
A series like this advances its plot bit by bit, so it’s no surprise that only three real things of consequence happen here. The first is that Rinko reveals herself to Marie, which is mostly played for comedy, but allows the joke to not get stale. The second is the revelation of what actually happened to all the Earth scientists, which turns out to be totally different from what we thought. And indeed what most of them thought as well, particularly Eug, whose repressed guilt over the population of Earth is what allows her to be so easily manipulated. And the third, of course, is the removal of Eug from the board, though I expect that will be temporary. Eve is now very definitely the main antagonist, and it will be interesting to see how things go. Oh yes, it was also nice to see Lloyd essentially lose here, and even get injured enough he had to be carried off. That’s a rarity in these books about Lloyd being basically invincible.
So yeah, a decent entry in the series, though I admit Marie’s patheticness is starting to wear on me. The author knows she’s #1 in the harem stakes, but is doing too good a job of knocking her back.