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Amplify rated it
Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN)
May 8, 2016
Status: --
If you want the short version:
Don’t read Arufureta, don’t fall for the younger teens who’ve never read anything else and have no standards as this series is not worth your time.

For a longer explanation:
The first volume is actually pretty decent, a somewhat typical revenge story about a guy who’s at the end of his rope, cling to life despite the odds, fighting his way to freedom and a better life while gaining interesting abilities along the way and dreaming of getting back at those who put him into... more>> this position. Then the second volume begins and the series nosedives faster than a Japanese kamikaze bomber at Pearl Harbor.

The first volume isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s pretty decent and if this gets an anime (which will prove that there is no god), with luck or a miracle it would be 12 episodes limited to just the first volume events. After the first volume and he gets back to the surface though? Any clever writing or rich storytelling goes straight out of the window; now he’s a dark & edgy guy, riding his magic fueled indestructible motorbike, with his 300 (?) year old beautiful loli vampire girlfriend on the back, headshotting dinosaurs with his hand held railguns, talking about how he hates everyone and will kill them while actually saving everyone and upholding justice, sticking it to ‘the man’ whenever he gets the chance, and having all the women in the world want him while the men are gibbering retards who can’t fall over themselves fast enough to f*ck up and make the MC look ‘better’.

Why does he do these things? Because the author says he can. There’s little (if any) attempt to justify why he or his harem can do the things they can when the rest of the universe doesn’t work that way, that’s just how things work now even if it means pulling these things out of his ass, and there’s no attempt to give the story any depth or creativity. The whole thing is the novel equivalent of having a few adults go into the children’s sandbox, then kick the kids out so they can drink beer and smoke there because they think it’s cool.

I’m all but certain that the author was beaten up in high school a lot, probably still is even now, and this ‘novel’ (I hesitate to use the term for it) is his outlet for the stress & anger where he beats up his bullies, gets all the girls and looks cool in a sociopathic spergfest through his self insert Marty Stu style MC. A psychiatrist could have a field day with him and this drek, but if you have the sense of ‘cool’ normally limited to pre-teens and man-children then MAYBE you could find some enjoyment in it.

For the rest of us however, 4/5 for the first volume and 0/5 after that. <<less
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Amplify rated it
Slave Harem in the Labyrinth of the Other World
December 27, 2015
Status: --

Are any of the following extremely important to you? If they are, then this novel is probably not for you:
Fast paced plot.
Big, bad evil guy that the protagonist is trying to overcome.
Exciting, intense battles in a Labyrinth or an other world.
A big plot like the protagonist trying to save his family from the evils of the government, or trying to get rid of corruption in the world or anything like... more>> that.
The MC quickly getting his harem together all at once.

Because if those are important to you, then you should probably give this a miss.

"But Amplify, why did you rate it 5/5 and why should anybody read it if it doesn't have any of that stuff?"
Good question imaginary commenter I just made up! It's simple really:
It's because it is incredibly comfortable, once it gets going, and it lets me release my frustrations from many years of romantic comedies.

The story is extremely slow paced, about a guy who gets sent to an Other World which has Labyrinths. As he finds out more about this Other World by scientifically scrutinizing as much of the workings of it as carefully as he can, he decides to form a Slave Harem by fighting in the Labyrinths so he can buy a new member of it roughly once every 35 chapters. Most of the novel is spent doing the following things:
Fighting in the Labyrinth (with his harem members once he has them)
Shopping with / generally enjoying downtime with his harem members
Getting to properly know each of the girls and spend time with them
Trying to slowly figure out the inner workings of the world and how things work exactly

That's it and that's honestly enough to put it in my top read novels, the purpose of the story is in the journey, not the destination and I cannot stress that important point hard enough. It's the slow growth of the MC and his harem members as he gets them, as they slowly make their way through the labyrinth and the normalcy of daily life. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the eventual conclusion of the novel is simply that they grow old together in comfort of each others company and you know what? I'm 100% okay with that.

If you haven't read Mushoku Tensei all or most of the way through, skip this spoiler:

This novel is basically late Mushoku Tensei, minus Hitogami.


Yes, the MC has many faults I won't deny; including the facts that most of his brain is in his penis, he has little self confidence and he's paranoid almost to the point of wearing a tin foil hat. That being said, his perverted nature, combined with his kindness for those who are close to him, is also one of his greatest strengths if you hate being teased. Almost all Romantic Comedies tend to tease the relationship (s) between the main characters, and years of reading / watching them has left me feeling jaded.
I consider this series to be a Romantic Comedy of sorts and Michio is different for your standard Romantic Comedy MC. There is almost no teasing and if he wants to have a 6-way with his beautiful harem while the girls are wearing naked aprons with stockings or whatever else, then the only thing stopping him is making sure his girls are happy with it and 100% enjoy the experience.

If you like comfortable at a sedate pace, if you like Romantic Comedies but hate the teasing, If you don't mind reading about s*x (this series is mature), then please consider reading this series. For me I enjoy it a lot as it makes for great contrast to things like ATG and other Xianxia novels, giving me some comfy after having read high action. <<less
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Amplify rated it
Lazy Dungeon Master
May 8, 2016
Status: --
Contrary to other reviews that score this novel poorly; a higher rating is deserved when considering the series as a whole.

I will try to keep this short:
With characters based on the seven deadly sins or virtues, Lazy Dungeon Master is a humorous and interesting light novel. If Sloth’s (the MC) laziness annoys you at first, keep in mind that from around volume 3 onwards he shows many interesting traits and his laziness is only played for laughs afterwards.

The first two volumes act as introduction material; illustrating the basics of... more>> the world and the dungeons within. Once the world building is in place, it dives into dungeon building and adventurer invasions. Clever use of tricks are used to great effect, beating strong opponents with low effort.

It is a charming, comfortable novel I would highly recommend to many. <<less
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Amplify rated it
June 12, 2016
Status: v24c8
Before I go in depth; let me go ahead and say that Ark isn't really a bad novel and you could definitely do worse if you want to read a VRMMO novel, but you could also go read The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor (henceforth 'LMS') instead of this if you haven't done so yet.

Ark was written after LMS was and it shows, as the story reads as an LMS tribute at best and an LMS fanfic at worst. The names are all different, the basic ways the virtual world works are... more>> all different, but the structure and flow of the story, along with many of the characters and motivations almost all have obvious analogs with LMS, down to the MC being a less charismatic version of the LMS protagonist.

Ark does a couple of things right; a few of his plans contain some interesting strategical elements, and the sheer creative depths he goes to in order make a few more gold coins can be entertaining. Sadly, this comes at the cost of the plot running in 4 to 5 volume 'loops', as well as the story being shallow compared to LMS.
What do I mean about loops? Here's how roughly 4 volumes of Ark tend to go:
1: Ark gets an oddly specific or unusual skill, most likely from advancing his class quest storyline.
2: This new ability turns out to be useful to Ark, he uses it a lot and makes a good profit from it.
3: Crisis! Something happens and only somebody with the new ability Ark has can save the day!
3.5: If that doesn't work, miracle nursing is a get out of jail free card that will fix the situation every time.
4: The day is saved thanks to Ark, he then rips off as many people as he can, usually in an unkind way.
5: Ark finds he's relying too much on his new skill and it's getting his ass kicked by the new monster of the day, he goes back to his martial arts basics, practices a lot and vows never to overuse the previous skill again.
6: Return to step 1.

That's all the story is when you distill it down to the basic elements, it goes through the motions about five times and I was grinding my teeth a bit towards the end, then it rushes the introduction and beating of the final boss and everything else in a few short volumes; with the help of plenty of deus ex machina.

Honestly though, my biggest gripe with the series is that the world in LMS feels like a living, breathing, and organic world; rich detail is given about many aspects of it which in turn paint the image of a world of endless possibilities, where you can play for any reason and truly do whatever you like. Conversely, the world in Ark feels almost wooden and little is described that Ark is not about to experience first hand, giving the world of Ark an almost hollow feeling to it.
The protagonist of LMS exists for his world and he only adds to the depth of it, but the way the world of Ark is written makes it exist for him alone and that only detracts from it.

To repeat what I said at the start; this isn't a bad novel and if you're looking for more VRMMO novels to read then this is a decent choice, just do not expect it to be better than LMS as it will never be as good as it. <<less
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Douluo Dalu
July 23, 2016
Status: c229
I cannot rightly give Douluo Dalu a rating, as I cannot figure out exactly how I feel about it.

Time for a bit of "The good, the bad, and the ugly.",
tl;dr version:
Good - Development of the main characters, the teamwork, the first half of the novel, the power system.
Bad - Tang San and his ridiculous level of perfection, Tang sans's 30+ (and growing) list of regularly used trump cards, the incredibly long winded descriptions of most things (but especially attacking moves), the way the female MCs tend... more>> to treat the male MCs.
Ugly - Tang San's 'rival' from around c190.

The good:
The main gang of characters all well fleshed out nicely, usually any character that isn't the main one fades into the background and simply exists to support the MC. Not here thankfully, the main gang are all well described and elaborated upon.

Teamwork. Possibly the best novel there is for well thought out, detailed teamwork between the MC and any other characters, throughout the entire novel.

The first 100 to 150 chapters, especially the tournaments. At one point, Douluo Dalu was the best novel I was reading by far, I would refresh the Google drive page for the series dozens of times per day, simply hoping for the next part to come up. I'd honestly re-read some chapters 3 to 5 times as I'd felt they where just that damned enjoyable.

The pretty unique power system, getting a new ability every 10 levels from absorbing one from a slain monster is pretty interesting and I can't say I've really seen anything like it before or after, it also means everyone has X number of well defined abilities, with few exceptions. This means that instead of characters having just a few abilities that are still useful at their current level with the older abilities getting ignored now, old abilities grow stronger too along with the user and never get abandoned.

The bad:
The main character Tang San. Now hang on for a moment before you roast me for this; the problem is he's gotten a bit too impossibly perfect and it's only going to get worse as you go on. The man is a walking Batman-Jesus of a Marty Stu, and the author loves to remind us every other chapter that he's pure as jade, untainted by a single speck of dust and literally perfect in every conceivable way to absurd levels.

Don't get me wrong I like OP MCs, and I like characters that achieve perfection, but Tang San takes it to ridiculous extremes, even moreso than characters like Meng Hao and in ways that should sometimes literally be impossible. It's so bad that sometimes the story itself is purposely twisted in such a way that Tang San can be even more perfect in literally all respects, not just in cultivation - the one single flaw I can think of is he hasn't learned to swim yet and his cheat items take care of that.

Tang San's dozens of trump cards, combined with every other situation needing most or all of them to successfully surmount, plus the author's love of his handy thesaurus, is starting to grate on my nerves a lot. In the early days, Tang San only had a couple of trump cards so it didn't take him long to use them and beat the opponent of the day. Now that we're into the 200s and he has so many special abilities and tricks up his sleeve? It can almost take entire chapters for Tang San to go through each and every ability and combo ability and hidden skill and domain and whatever else, as it will take typically 2 to 5 paragraphs per ability to describe as he slowly squeezes out every drop of power to barely pass today's challenge.

Fights where Tang San simply wins without cramming an entire thesaurus down your throat are now depressingly uncommon, as whatever today's challenge is, is usually 20+ ranks above his level as the norm.

The love interests. All right it was acceptable at first, but more recently they've been taking it to obnoxious levels. What am I talking about here? The male main characters go to almost extreme lengths to woo, please and protect their female counterpart girlfriends / fiancees, okay sure, we're told the girls care incredibly deeply about their lovers, about how they sit by their bedside if they're injured, and how would do anything for them. That being said, the moment one of the guys want to hug or touch their fiancee, or their prior sexual history / knowledge gets brought up at all, what the guys get without fail is a frosty death glare most commonly associated with the words "You're sleeping on the couch tonight."

Basically with the probable exception of Xiao Wu (can't tell currently because story reasons), all the girls in the novel are... what's the word I'm looking for here? Oh right yes, they're c*nts, that's what they are. I'd struggle to think of more than one of two female characters I don't strongly dislike for reasons like that or others.

The ugly:
Around c190, we get a reveal for what is 99.9% for sure going to be Tang San's arch rival, pulled straight out of the depths of the author's ass. There were no hints leading up to this reveal, the justifications for what they're able to do pretty much violate several established rules, records and whatever else, all because the author realised he has f*cked up a bit making Tang San so ridiculously powerful and wanted an opponent for him who isn't 50+ years his senior. Their very existence rubs me the wrong way in almost every conceivable aspect, and if they ever appear in the story again it will be too damned soon.

I genuinely can't figure out any sort of rating I'd want to give Douluo Dalu, all things considered. If you're willing to overlook the bad, you should have a good time reading this. If the flawed parts start to grate on your nerves however then you're going to have a bit of a bad time.
Do I recommend it? Sure I guess, but I'd recommend other novels first; novels like Transcending the Nine Heavens, Coiling Dragon, Warlock of the Magus World, ISSTH, etc, before I would this one. <<less
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Genocide Reality
March 3, 2018
Status: c25
I'm declining to rate, as this isn't a standard review but a warning instead:

The novel itself is pretty good and highly enjoyable with plenty of promise, but the translator who took over from the 12th chapter onwards is doing a very poor job. The recent translations feel like a mix of 'wooden' and 'confusing' which either leave you feeling empty or unsure what happened, and while there is an editor they can only catch misspellings and translation errors, they cannot put the feeling back into the words that was lost... more>> in the initial poor translation.

I cannot recommend reading this as long as this translator (Sad Hoovy) remains around, but I will edit this review if the situation changes. Sadly while there is always hope that a dropped novel will get picked up by somebody else, the probability of a shoddy translation by an MTLer getting redone by somebody competent is very low. <<less
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Amplify rated it
To Be a Power in the Shadows!
May 1, 2019
Status: c142
To be a power in the shadows is a decent novel, the premise is somewhere at the junction between Overlord, One Punch Man and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Overlord - because the main character has an incredibly powerful giant organization at his back, filled with absolutely loyal members who worship the very ground he walks on.

OPM - because the main character is ludicrously overpowered compared to everybody else, though few people (outside his organization) realize it at all and he's only truly gotten serious a small handful of times.

Haruhi Suzumiya... more>> - because for all his delusions and play acting the main character does, he does not even realise that he has an incredible organization or near unlimited wealth at his fingertips, he doesn't even realise that the enemy he pretended was real at the start is indeed real or really realise much of anything at all. He pretends that many incredible things happen or that he knows everything and he is accidentally right about it all, while living a fairly mediocre life and worrying about money constantly.

It's certainly an entertaining read I will give it that, but there's one major fault with it that means I'll be stopping reading it here: in Overlord the main character does his mediocre best and his minions love him and the results he accidentally gets, while they attribute the successes to his (perceived) intelligence and the end result is the MC feels moe and loveable. In this novel however the way the MC has done things has more than a few times caused the seven main girls closest to him (among a few others) to cry tears of frustration or sadness through some of his misunderstandings. This, if nothing else, is unforgivable.

I can't punch this idiotic riajuu in the nuts and he does usually make it up to them one way or the other sooner or later, but those tears cannot be taken back and it doesn't leave me feeling good about the MC at all. <<less
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