By Takehaya and Poco. Released in Japan as “Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Warnis.
We’re back to plot-heavy in this volume of Rokujouma, which sees the enemy making its move. No, not the actual Big Bads of the series, though they do sort of sit at the side, watch, and offer occasional “help”. Instead, the military wing of Forthorthe has been sabotaging things behind the scenes, and they decide to finally make their move to either capture or kill Elfaria once and for all. Naturally her daughter is not going to take that lying down, so everyone gets on their spaceship and rides. (I will assume for the sake of the plot that it’s still summer break or something, as missing school is not brought up at all.) Of course, just getting there is not going to be easy, as they’re trying to remain undetected, and are dealing with both actual bad guys and soldiers who’ve been fed ‘the Empress is a traitor’ fake news for a while. Fortunately for the Empress, she has the Blue Knight and company on her side.
The book starts off with Theia looking romantically at magazines showing happy wives and mothers, and also getting a big revelation from the more scientific princesses in the group: Forthortians and Earthlings have near-as-dammit the exact same genetic makeup, so having kids won’t be an issue. Leaving aside the sheer unlikeliness of this (which is mentioned in text), one thing I’ve noticed about Rokujouma is how pure it is, especially given that it’s about a guy and his nine-girl harem. Theia is seen to be dreaming of having kids, but there’s no real mention of how those kids will be made, and the girls never really think beyond “kisses on the cheek”. Part of this is due to Koutarou’s ongoing intimacy issues, but part of it, I think, is that it’s just that sort of series, and that trying to make things sexier would almost be like removing a magic spell or something. Besides, at heart this isn’t about the girls “getting” Koutarou, it’s about family.
This is Theia’s book, really, and she gets to show off a lot of sides here, even (towards the end) her self-sacrificing side, as she’s determined not to let an innocent fighter pilot die even if it costs her own life. Of course, that doesn’t happen, thank to both Koutarou and a screaming but competent Magical Girl Yurika. (Yurika is pretty whiny this book, but given the circumstances, and that she’s out of her element, it’s mostly fine.) I suspect we’re going to get an awful lot of “you guys go on, I will stay here and hold them off (and die”) going forward. Naturally, this will always be counteracted by everyone else in the cast, but I’m pretty sure that things are only going to get harder from here on out. Especially as the actual bad guys still haven’t stepped in yet.
We’re starting to get towards the endgame here (the books “end” with the 29th volume, though they are still ongoing with ‘after stories’). I expect the next volume will have more political machinations and big ol’ battles. Which is fine by me, as the author does those pretty well. Just as long as the emphasis is on the bond between these sweet, pure kids.