By Hitsuji Gamei and Fushimi Saika. Released in Japan as “Shikkaku Kara Hajimeru Nariagari Madō Shidō! ~ Jumon Kaihatsu Tokidoki Senki ~” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Alexandra Owen-Burns.
After a fourth volume that abandoned nearly the entire main cast in order to tell the “war” part of the subtitle, this new volume of The Magician Who Rose from Failure feels like an apology to the reader of sorts. It’s a chance to relax and take stock of where the various nations are after the giant battle that ended the previous volume, see how far Arcus’ father can continue to have his head up his own ass, and give a bit of attention to his main love interests, who were absent from the previous book. (Lecia, though she appears, gets very little attention, but I’m hoping a future volume will take care of that, as there’s certainly some family drama bubbling up.) Arcus is being forced to come to terms with the fact that he is now a Very Important Person, which means he can’t simply live his life holed up in a lab inventing fluorescent lights and pudding.
There are, as you might imagine, various problems that stem from Arcus’ antics in the last book. As least three other nations have now taken an interest in him, and want him either dead or on their side. His left arm was injured badly, and healing magic is not good enough to fix it right away – it takes most of the book for it to get mostly better. And, of course, he saved the life of the Prince, which is a very good thing but also politically difficult, so a story will have to be cooked up. That said, he does meet the king, who (of course) takes an interest in him. After this, he gets a new house, and throws a housewarming party, which ends up mostly being an excuse for his two love interests to fight over him. That said, Charlotte wins here, getting most of the back of the book to herself, as she crosses swords with Arcus.
The book has used its isekai sparingly, for the most part, with Arcus thinking of his Japanese memories as a separate person from himself. This volume shows off more of why he’s able to keep up with the sword genius Charlotte, though… as well as why she’s still ahead of him in the end. After all, if you can have a kid who has memories o a past life in another world, there’s no reason not to have characters have other inexplicable abilities. I admit, though, I do prefer Sue, who has admitted she’s the daughter of a duke, but that doesn’t quite seem right either. (She’s almost called “princess” here.) She also contrasts with Charlotte in that, due to their status and how they first met, he treats Sue like… well, like an annoying brat, whereas with Charlotte he has to force himself to not be excessively formal with her. Again, this would be a great romantic triangle if we hadn’t already heard this world has polyamory, so it doesn’t have as much impact.
This isn’t as strong a volume as the others, mostly as it’s a “breather” book with minimal major plot developments. But it was also nice to see the character interaction, and fans of the series should be perfectly happy. Unfortunately, we’re caught up with Japan, so it will be a while before the next one.