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.
It can be very difficult to write a true ‘Slow Life” light novel title. Most of the books that say they’re slow life actually have our hero doing a hell of a lot of magic battles/sword fights/adventuring, with him bemoaning the fact that he’s supposed to have a slow life. On the other hand, genuine slow life books run the risk of being punishingly boring, with our hero describing his rows of tomato plants for 45 pages. A lot of books tend to resolve this with a pile of young women and sexual situations (hi there, Farming Life in Another World), but again, that doesn’t feel like it supports the premise of “a slow life, relaxed book”. Late Start Tamer comes close, though. It’s a game, not a fantasy world, and there’s no “death game” aspect to it. What’s more, despite the presence of filthy shippers on the forums, there’s no actual romance in this series at all. It’s basically Yuto getting a series of powerful pets. It’s fun.
The bulk of the first half of the book is taken up with a Cherry Blossom Viewing party, as he has to invite some NPCs to the party to get an achievement. He also asks some players he knows, who bring other folks they know, and pretty soon the ENTIRE cast we’ve seen to date is present at this one party, stretching Yuto’s farm to the limit. What’s more, his dragon egg is hatching!… admittedly, what’s inside is a mole, not a dragon, but hey, it wouldn’t be a Japanese light novel without untranslatable kanji wordplay. After this the entire party battles a yokai that has infiltrated the party as a special event… which proceeds to unlock yokai for EVERYONE to start interacting with. Once again, hanging out with Yuto pays off.
As always, you’ll pardon me for saying the same things again, because while I enjoy this series and find it fun, it has zero character development, due to its nature as a game. I suppose you could argue that Yuto has greatly expanded his circle of friends from the start of the series, but that’s almost by accident. The mole is a fun addition, even if he looks just like the villain Mole from the Pogo comic strip. We also get a tanuki yokai which Yuto unwittingly (of course) purchases at an auction, and then happens to figure out the sequence of events to unlock them. What’s standard common sense to Yuto is mind-boggling to everyone else, and means that fans of Boruri will also end up getting a kick out of this one, even if Yuto is not quite in Maple’s league. We also get a few battles as well, though I find this the least entertaining part of the series, as the combat is nothing special.
This is not a must read per se, but if you enjoy slow life, or “overpowered by accident” books, you’ll enjoy this.