By 616th Special Information Battalion and Wuhuo. Released in Japan as “Doushitemo Hametsushitakunai Akuyaku Reijou ga Gendai Heiki wo Te ni Shita Kekka ga Kore desu” by K Lanove Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Shaun Cook.
This is, as of my writing of this review, the latest volume in the series, and it’s been about a year and a half since it came out in Japan. I know that fans here in the English-speaking world tend to dislike those sorts of books, wondering why publishers would license it when it grinds to an unfinished halt. (The answer is almost always “because it was still ongoing when they licensed it”, in case you were wondering.) But yes, nothing is really resolved in this volume either – we’ve gotten up to the point where the “game” part of this would start, where the heroine is about to arrive at Astrid’s school. That said, I’m not exactly crying if this is all we’re going to get. The author loves writing morally bankrupt heroines, and even in a villainess light novel, a genre I’m particularly soft on, I think I’m starting to reach my limit with Astrid’s evil antics.
Astrid is still trying to figure out ways to avoid her fate (but not realizing that everyone loves her – it’s that sort of genre). She’s socking money away in a separate non-family bank account in case she has to go on the run. She’s getting familiars who are far more powerful than mere fairies. She’s conducting experiments on other students to see if they will murder small animals just because she tells them to. There’s a beach episode! You know, the usual stuff. Even as she tries her hardest to learn better magic/get more firepower, the world edges closer to the actual war that will likely trigger these events. And even her grades aren’t assured anymore, as she’s reaching the limits of what her previous life can achieve and realizing that science in another world is hard.
There are some cool set pieces in this. Astrid’s battle with the fenrir is pretty cool, and he seems to be a cool wolf familiar, albeit one that doesn’t really care if she’s got no soul. It is occasionally amusing seeing Iris having to deal with her friend’s crushes, and trying to help them along by drugging the crush to get a result… but not TOO much. Astrid’s mother, again, seems to know exactly what her daughter is doing despite Astrid’s best efforts to conceal it, and I wish we’d see her more than once a book. But yeah, I think I have reached my limit on watching “what if the villainess reincarnated decides to be more villainous” as a plotline. It doesn’t help that there are other areas of the book also starting to annoy me – Iris’ former bullies are now stealing her used underwear, because nothing says teenage lesbian crush like making it creepy.
This author pretty much does this type of character, regardless of the genre, and if you enjoy Her Majesty’s Swarm you’ll probably like this as well. If you like Villainess books, though, feel free to stop, as I’m going to.