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Axelord
Axelord rated it
Expecting to Fall into Ruin, I Aim to Become a Blacksmith
December 21, 2016
Status: v3c17
[CONTAIN SPOILERS, DUH]
How to break a potential hero.
How to make sure your main character is boring.
How to make sure there is absolutely no tension whatsoever at any point.
How to depict your main character as a spineless man.

Detailed stuff below.
... more>>
Spoiler

This whole thing is an exercise in anger management. The MC is a wimp in every sense of the word. Is it supposed to be comical in nature to see the MC act like he's trying for the position of 'World's Biggest Doormat?' And, it's not like the author is unaware of this since other characters in the story repeatedly points this problem out to the MC. Or, am I supposed to take him as some paragon of virtue (he isn't) when he thinks about not fighting? He even calls himself a pacifist (he really isn't) just because that probably sounded nice in the author's head at about that time.

He's s*xually harassed by a creep and does nothing about it. Supposedly played for laughs, gets crickets in return. His 'friends' completely disregard his personal space and privacy and he does nothing about it. Supposedly played for laughs, comes off as showing how weak-willed the MC is. At the end of volume 3, he gets dominated by a dog. No words about this one, a dog is superior to the MC.

And it's not like he's actually weak in terms of his body or his magic. He's broken in the general fashion of many isekai protagonists. His brain is the weak link, here.

At one point, he apathetically receives a beating and he's like 'uh, okay, ' and the perpetrators aren't heard of again. It's not like they were unknowns either. This is another major problem, things just seem to phase out and never be mentioned again. Dude has a fan-club, they build him a goddamn castle like three weeks into his first academic year and... nothing. No mentions thereafter.

At one point, some minor neighboring noble threaten to call up his buddy the prime minister and sic him on the MC and his family. The MC, of course, starts begging and crying on the ground at this point to be left off the hook. f**king why? He's on friendly terms with the Queen, on best-bro-quasi-mentor terms with the Second Prince and on cordial terms with the First Prince. Half the kingdom would ride up the MC's pelvis at a snap of his finger and yet he cry like a little bitch every time someone bites back, even if it's not even worth mentioning.

This isn't slice of life, this is sluice of coward. Volume 1 was okay. Volume 2 was suspiciously droll. Volume 3 just made me want to wring the MC's neck.

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Axelord
Axelord rated it
The New Gate
February 6, 2017
Status: v4
I got into it, then I dropped it. Liked the story somewhat. Characters were enjoyable.

But combat killed it. Best way I've come to describe it would be to compare the way the MC fights to the 'Goku vs Frieza' fight from DBZ. I'm strong. I'm stronger. I'm the strongest! No, I'm stronger. No, me! I'm the best! No, I am! Ad nauseum, etc. Complete with small increments of powering up all the way. Unlike DBZ, however you might like or hate it, this story is obviously not supported by visual... more>> so you can't even get distracted by pretty lights and bulging muscles. This is about as exciting as a five minutes fight being stretched to five episodes. MC's not a complete doormat but like 90% of protagonists in these kind of stories, he has zero libido. Or, if he has feelings for someone, he prances around the issue for no good reason, blue-balling the reader (and himself) needlessly. And somehow, he still tries to appear as selfish. More like no-backbone shell-fish! <<less
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Axelord
Axelord rated it
I Was a Sword When I Reincarnated (WN)
July 27, 2017
Status: c256
Four stars across the board.

It's seriously well rounded on all fronts.
Isekai, OP, all the shebang and yet it's still worth it. Majorly. Author knows his tropes and clichés actually like to play them on and off almost randomly. Some of it's taken straight, other times they are subverted so you really can't figure out exactly how stuff'll go around the next corner.

MC and MCette really do well together, although I wish (personally) that the Sword would use one of his ''fleshier'' skill more often. Cat-people are made to be... more>> pet and there's a definite lack of hand-on-head action in this (so far).

Spoiler

Only gripe, at this moment, would be the translation that got picked up in April of 2017. I had some minor issues beforehand but [Comet Translation] couldn't translate his way out of a German McDonald drive-tru with the correct amount of mcnuggets. Heck, he'd probably make his getaway with a slice of pizza, somehow! It's become a chore to read from Ch67 and onward. Newcomers beware, you might as well just google translate the raws yourself because that's pretty much what you're getting anyway.

I won't take any stars off because it's definitely not the fault of the author that it's become that bad but if I had to take the current translation as a whole I'd be very much tempted to dock a star, or even two. So, I'll be putting this in my [Ketchup] folder for now and wait either for [Comet Translation] to up his ball pitch or for someone else to pick up. All the better if the quasi-botched chapters are redone.

EDIT: Well, the gauntlet was run through and Comet Translation has long since stopped screwing with us. CardboardTL is doing a great job of it, props to them.

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If you're looking for a good power-leveling isekai with half-n-half amounts of seriousness and lightheartedness, then this is most probably right up your alley. <<less
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Axelord
Axelord rated it
Dragoon
August 1, 2017
Status: c119
How Not to Write Fight Scenes and Forgetting to Exemplify Character-Growth: The Movie.

The devil is in the details.
Does it sound haughty if I say this story is really not for you if you're looking for something mentally engaging? MC is thick and dumb. All support cast have to tiptoe around him on some level or another. Despite the strange-fun beginnings, the story rapidly switch to a weird sort of dating-sim kind of setting but where the MC has 0 s*x-drive. Par for the course, I guess. Doesn't make it... more>> any better in and of itself. It only doesn't look as bad if you put it side-by-side with the million other Japanese fictions that do the same.
With that alone, I would have given it 3/5 stars. Unfortunately, the devil really is in the details.
Spoiler

The author cannot, for the life of him, write good fight scenes...
Actually, that's not true. He can, he just won't do it. I can think of a single time where he got it so right I physically fist-pumped over it. Set-up, build-up, climax and resolution all happened within the span of ten/fifteen short paragraphs. It was fantastic.

Unfortunately, the author probably gets aroused out of writing long, drawn out, useless chatter-filled fights that sometime even span over whole chapters. Which brings me to my biggest gripe of them all: Character Growth.

Both on an interpersonal level and in terms of raw power, the author really, really like to keep things as they are. Make the MC less thick? Nope. That would ruin the three cut-and-paste joke template the author drew up. Sub-MC has no backbone? No problem. More rehashed jokes! Did someone say something about a training montage? Doesn't matter, the MC will eat dirt in two chapters anyway. To someone who has no idea of how broken the MC actually is, no less. Experience? You can recite Shakespeare at a storm all you want, that won't actually save you from getting fried by a lightning strike. There's no payoff to hard-work, only to experience in this story.

I'm not kidding. Apparently, 'experience' is treated in this story like it's a go-no-go metric/stat. 99% of fights are decided by who has spent more time fighting stuff. Talent? Divine Blessings? Broken Chuuni Magic Eyes? Though sh*t, eat dirt! I have the upper hand because I'm your senior. It's just so infuriating!

It wasn't so bad at first, but even I got the hint that things weren't about to change anytime soon. I realized eventually that the MC and everyone else was stuck in a sort of metaphysical Groundhog Day. If you see anyone here (or anywhere else) praising the character growth in Dragoon, I suggest having an aneurysm on the spot. That's about as helpful.

For that reason, Dragoon earns itself a very generous 2 stars out of 5.
I want to punch the author in the throat, now, for having wasted so much of my time!

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Spoiler

EDIT:
Wow, can't believe I almost forgot about that...
Okay, so not only can the author do good fight scenes but simply decide not to, so can he write actual character growth.

One character actually went through major emotional (and behavioral) upheaval at some point. I say 'point' because she was basically that. An instanced character that, more or less, got killed off. Yeah. Author just offed her like that. That's some mafia bullsh*t if I've ever seen some.

No horse-head jokes needed. It's just plain wrong.

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Axelord
Like wine, except thrown back in time.

It gets worse as the story progress. I've written long and comprehensive reviews before but I don't even think this story deserves that. It was good, then it was okay, then it was droll and finally, by chapter 130ish), it was infuriating.

MC started cool, became a limpwristed wimp.
Supporting characters started each with unique personalities that didn't fit exactly existing archetypes. Ended up being a bunch of cardboard cutouts.
Story was non-standard, at the very least. Then it turned out into your usual companion-a-thon... more>> filled with the aforementioned cardboard cutouts.

I would give it 4/5 stars if it had ended after the Water hero arc (don't remember the chapter, 80ish?). Everything after is 2/5 stars at most. <<less
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Axelord
Axelord rated it
Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi
December 6, 2017
Status: c91
Stopped at c91

It's not bad overall but there's nothing about this story that's really worth it. Other novels do it better, might as well read those instead. Still, you could do worse, I guess? Characters are nice, some of them at least. MC is a meathead in the truest sense of the word. I don't know why anyone would want to focus on such a person for so long, but whatever.

The real deal-breaker would be the erotica... Unfortunately, that's kind of a let down the further you progress. The... more>> eros is graphic, which is nice, but it's like the author has only know how to turn up the volume up to 11 when it comes to se­x. It's bombastic and flagrant and very much in-your-face about it all the time. Caps-lock on, cruise control on, let's go! It doesn't help that the author only has three specific kinks and almost never deviate.

It would have been fine for 50 chapters (or even pushing 75), but I'm simply burned out. There's almost 450 chapters written as of now. That's NINE times over past the Goldilock-zone. <<less
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Axelord
Axelord rated it
Nidome no Yuusha
May 28, 2018
Status: v2c22
Edgy, but good-sort of edgy.

There's not much to say outside of what's already visible in the synopsis. Just, don't expect it to be a masterpiece by virtue of it's moral depth or character interaction. This is a 'trash' story that can only be enjoyed by being awfully blazé about it.

... more>>
Spoiler

TL quality is good too, although not superb. CardboardTL has some sort of fixation on using bad-form English at place, even doubling down when a mistake it pointed out. I'm personally dropping the story at v2c22 because I was getting bored, but it was a close-thing when I was still debating keeping or flushing it. CardboardTL doubling-down on using 'could care less' instead of 'couldn't care less' was really the straw that broke the camel's back. It completely broke the flow and immersion for me.

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