By Tamamaru and Kinta. Released in Japan as “Kajiya de Hajimeru Isekai Slow Life” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Linda Liu.
Still enjoying this series, don’t get me wrong, but it’s time I face up to the face that I am skimming a large chunk of it every time simply because I really don’t care one jot about the Blacksmith Life part of this book. There is just so much detail about how to make swords correctly, knives correctly, and katanas correctly, including hilts and scabbards and the like. And of course we also get to hear Eizo talk a lot about how he’s using his cheats too, so these are essentially IKEA blueprints that contain the S. Harris punchline “then a miracle occurs” halfway through the process. It is a BIG chunk of every book, and I think the series would benefit from less of it, even if it means sacrificing a bit of the slow life pacing. Which gets a bit of a kick in the pants in this volume anyway, as halfway through Eizo is called out to help with a monster subjugation that turns nasty.
In the first half of this volume, we essentially get the same thing as the second half of Book 2, only with the elf replaced with a demon. Nilda recently suffered a crushing defeat battling against a mere human, and the mere human had a very familiar sword. Now Nilda wants a sword of her own to challenge her, so basically stakes out Eizo’s hometown till she runs into him. What follows is a lot of slow life sword building and all the girls admiring Eizo’s muscular blacksmith body. After this, Marius asks that Eizo go monster exterminating with them, so that he can repair the swords and armor when they’re broken in battle. This battle ends up being more personal than he expected, as he runs into the elf Lidy, who just left his shop with her own magic sword. She’s here to help them take out the main monster boss… and avenge her brother.
I gloss over it a bit in these reviews, but this is still very much that genre of “a harem series without any actual sex or even kissing” that is so popular in Japan. Nilda clearly likes Eizo. By the end of the book, Livy has gone back to his shop and moved in with everyone. We meet a young woman, Frederica, who is in charge of logistics and can best be summed up as “small insecure accountant” but also clearly is in love with Eizo by the end of the book. Hell, it’s implied that the Queen of the Demons has taken a liking to him as well, and the flashforwards we occasionally see very pointedly say he has a wife but never say who it is. This book is written for folks who love seeing a man surrounded by a dozen women but who will be making precisely zero moves. I know this upsets some light novel fans.
Still, it is what it is. It’s slow life, adding girls one by one, and smithing. So much smithing.