By Yuu Tanaka and Nardack. Released in Japan as “Deokure Tamer no Sono Higurashi” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Yuko C. Shimomoto.
This is, for the most part, another solid volume in the series, with one exception that I’ll get to later. For all that I’ve been talking about Yuto accidentally becoming overpowered and a celebrity, that’s mostly just due to his personality and the way that he reacts to things vs. how everyone else in the game reacts. Looked at objectively, he’s rather clever, tends to choose the right option, and his constant experimentation usually pays off, even if it can lead to disasters at the start. Heck, even those disasters can be monetized -I loved the idea of selling his experiments with carbonated beverages as a “mystery box” where you could get delicious or awful. I also enjoy his interactions with Alyssa, whose freakouts every time Yuto casually mentions something he’s done are always funny. As always, there’s limited to no plot or character development, though that may change in the next book in the series, which implies he’ll buy a house. But that’s next book.
Most of this volume consists of Yuto and his companions going through various dungeons, each one hidden in a different cardinal direction. Given that a lot of this involves battling rather than taming or crafting, it’s not a surprise that it takes him a while to plow through them, and both he and his tames monsters suffer a bit. (The image of Sakura constantly being set on fire is, thankfully, not illustrated.) The reward for each dungeon turns out to be a broken child’s toy, and the implication is that this will pay off once you get them all – which turns out to be true. More importantly, though, Amelia invites Yuto to a tea party that’s going to be livestreamed, and leads to hilarious consequences as, once again, Yuto fails to realize how iconic he’s become.
Right, let’s get around to the thing I didn’t like. There is some good in it – the book introduces a necromancer who is a boy dressed in feminine clothing, and Yuto and various people say, a few times, that there’s nothing wrong with that. And, when the same character is bullied and shamed by another player, a few people come to his defense, including, eventually, Yuto. It’s more realistic than I’d expect, with a lot of folks sitting there doing nothing till they realize the tide has turned and it’s safe to speak up. The problem is that the author can’t resist the old anime trope of having everyone, including Yuto, think of said feminine boy in a romantic light and then quickly doing a “no homo!” bit to show off that it’s OK, still safe to read this, any men who might enjoy this series. And unfortunately, the latter eventually outweighs the former. It’s aggravating.
Other than that, though, this is a perfectly good volume in this very mellow series. I think we’re in a “time to renegotiate the contracts” lull right now, so it may be a longer wait till Book 7, but I’m happy to read more.