By Mizuumi Amakawa and Mai Okuma. Released in Japan as “Fushi no Kami: Henkyou kara Hajimeru Bunmei Saiseiki” by Overlap. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Maurice Alesch.
It’s rare that you suspect that an author feels that his series has too many readers, but that seems to be the case with Fushi no Kami, which is really going to be pushing the limits of reader tolerance here in just how much the cast can praise every single thing Ash does. It really is ridiculous, and that’s not even counting Maika and Arthur, who are in love with Ash, or the maid that he gains in this book, who clearly is also falling in love with Ash. Now, to be fair, in their eyes Ash is this weird combination of Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and God, so I suppose it is perfectly reasonable in some ways. Adn yes, Ash is trying to bring back many of the ancient civilization’s conveniences, as well as ruthlessly fending off assassination attempts. Still, I would love it if in future books he gets a complete failure or two under his belt.
We start off with Ash finding a new outlet for his creativity, and this time he isn’t alone. Fellow study group friend Hermes turns out to have an obsession with planes, and has built a model that is being made fun of by the local bullies. Naturally, Ash is over the moon about this, and decides to help him build, if not a full-sized passenger plane, at least a working model. Ash is also getting rewarded, as he gets a medal for taking out the demon monster in the previous book… which promptly gets stolen, leading a vengeful Maika to do some investigating. In the most serious story in the book, some spies have been snooping around from the capital city, and they are looking for a girl. Given this is happening at the same time as Ash’s class is doing survival training, he has to protect said girl while also drawing away the spies turned assassins who have been ordered to kill her. Which… sounds like a fairly sedate book for Ash, given the previous two.
Frustratingly, we still don’t quite get all of Arthur’s backstory here, but we get enough to know why they have to unfortunately return to the capital, though I’m sure we’ll be seeing them again in the future. Much is made near the end of their rivalry with Maika, and I agree they share wonderful moments of closeness, but let’s face it, Maika is going to be married to Ash eventually, he just doesn’t know it yet. I would not necessarily call her a yandere, as she doesn’t really fit the criteria, but she’s certainly obsessed with Ash to the point where it’s almost disturbing, and moves heaven and earth to make sure that he stays by her side for future books. The book’s chapter titles all deal with planes, which makes it a bit frustrating that we only get proper plane building in the first section – I hope they return to this again. More to the point, the cast have now graduated and are essentially adults… how much more can Ash actually pull off now?
As noted, these books require a lot of patience in terms of the cast calling Ash the greatest thing since sliced bread. There’s also what amounts to a torture scene about 3/4 through the book, and the fact that Ash does not realize what he’s doing does not really make it any less (deliberately) creepy. That said, Fushi no Kami remains resolutely readable, which is one of the best qualities in a book.