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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
My Cold and Elegant CEO Wife
November 24, 2017
Status: c20
Seems like the author was heavily inspired by "My wife is a Beautiful CEO. *Cough* plagiarism *cough*. The writing of this novel isn't as good as "My Wife is a Beautiful ceo" but that might improve.

Not a great novel but not bad either. It's fun if it's to your taste. There are a few other novels that tell the exact same story (and some tell it better) but the genre isn't as full as isekai, so it's nice to have more variety. If you are looking for more "assassin slowly... more>> building a harem in a modern city" this is worth a read. If you're looking to see if this is the genre for you, look for one of the better novels first and then come back to this one.

Edit:
Sadly, the writing goes downhill after ch20. It still scratches the itch if you need a story from this genre but you have to actively ignore some of the more obnoxious habits of the author (he's one of those guys who likes to include exposition about how fancy and impressive something is, or how awesome the MC is, or how all women are obsessed with their appearance/easily frightened/easily flattered/obsessed with their looks in every chapter). I would change my rating to 2 stars if I knew how. There is still enjoyment to be had here, but be prepared to wade through some sewage to get to it. <<less
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Drake888
The best part of these kinds of stories is the undervalued MC. Everyone says he's a loser. In some stories (including this one) the MC even believes he's a loser. But the author quickly reveals that the MC is OP, and the ones who couldn't see that were the real fools. The reader gets to enjoy a fun story about the under dog getting his due.

The problem is how to make an OP character start in such a bad position. If he's OP, there has to be a reason why... more>> nobody has realized yet. Sadly, this author accomplishes this with lazy writing. The MC is treated like garbage because he's surrounded by cartoonishly incompetent jerks. He's even stuck in a world with laughably dumb rules.

Spoiler

One of the laws is apparently "once you join a party, you have to stay in it except in very specific circumstances". Really? If I narrowly escaped death after trying to fight a giant monster with a bunch of idiots, I would quit altogether instead of working with them again. Such a law would be impossible to enforce and cause tons of problems. But it helps create conflict, so the author included it.

Another problem is the MC's past. As a child, he was kicked out of an institute because his talent in healing was bad. Even though healing talent is rare enough that he was accepted into the institute solely because he had it, even though monsters are everywhere and people are constantly getting injured, there is no tolerance for anything below perfection in healing? They just threw a child into the streets to fend for himself instead of dropping him off to heal soldiers in some backwater town. That just doesn't make sense.

Also, the girl who joins the MC knows that his former teammates were scammers, so how does a receptionist of the guild not know? The author seems to be trying to portray the guild as unusually corrupt, but the complete lack of regulation of adventurers goes to far. Even the townspeople are afraid of them, and are attacked by them? That's a huge problem for whoever is in charge of the city. How is nothing being done?

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There are already some poorly thought out parts to the story, and I expect to see more. It's still fun to read, but the lazy writing hurts it. The problem with fantasy worlds is that they require so much more work to establish. And this author clearly hasn't done a complete job. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Pure Love ✕ Insult Complex
July 7, 2018
Status: c491
A lot of surface without much substance. Come for the s*x and skim through the plot.

A lot of reviews seem to gush about how amazing and complex the plot is. Don't be fooled. There is certainly a lot of story and characters here, but quantity does not equal quality. I understand that I am posting a review for a light novel on a light novel aggregation site, but even here the plot can be considered below average. The character development is at least standard light quality level though.

If you are... more>> just looking for an R18 high school age harem with dark undertones, you can give this a shot. If you are worried that certain parts might not appeal to you, here is my breakdown:

The plot. A long overarching goal, with several minor arcs provides a decent framework that keeps the story moving from s*x scene to s*x scene, picking up new girls all the way. Don't bother reading too deeply into it though, as the author's attempts to flesh things out usually just make things weird or worse.
Spoiler

The story is about a beta, slightly broken MC who gets caught up in a plot to torture a girl that he has a crush on. Other girls appear and quickly fall in love with him because of how sensitive he is to their wants and needs. Some of the girls are caught up in issues related to gangs, others in issues related to high society, but all of them have a connection to the brothel he is now a part of. He bounces from story to story, promising to take responsibility for the girls he has s*x with, while they do the heavy lifting in regards to making things happen with the plot. The problem is the bad writing. Too many issues are solved by the character just being "such a perfect match"for the girls. Every girl has some issue that can only be resolved by somebody as considerate as the MC. So they are more than happy to share him with the rest of the harem (8 that he has slept with, plus 3 that intend to sleep with him soon). There is mention of deeper plots going on, and it is interesting when they finish playing out, but they don't make any real sense because the MC, and by extension the reader, never get to see any details. We are just presented with an impressive end result and told that the plan was very complex and impressive. But it never is. For instance, one of the story arcs involves a battle at a hotel. It starts with a bunch of people attacking (the battles in this are awful) and ends with a powerful wealthy man weeding out traitors. We are told that it was all very impressive and intricate, but a bunch of high school kids manage to wander about as they please, and the MC, who wasn't even supposed to be there, winds up having to kill somebody to clean up loose ends. Other "intricate" plots are the same.

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The plot is only slightly below average in quality, and this is smut, so normally I would not criticize it in this review, but most of the other reviews lavish it with praise, so I just want to warn people. It is decent enough when you skim through it, but don't waste your time with the details.

The battles. The author tries to work fighting into the story because a lot of the characters supposedly engage in criminal activities. It starts off reasonably enough (if you can consider two high school girls being able to use violence to intimidate street gangs reasonable) but quickly flies into nonsense territory during a fight at a hotel.
Spoiler

one of the harem members can use qi to fight. She is basically a jedi. She can use qi to sense people's thoughts/feelings, and can cause them to stumble with a wave of her hand once she has grasped their qi. Also, the hotel battle is supposed to be some high level battle between some of the most dangerous guns-for-hire in Japan and some foreign terrorists. The battle is indescribable nonsense.

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. Whenever fighting comes up, just ignore it.

The s*x. It is what we are all here for. If you have read the summary, you know to expect rape. If you have read the tags, you know to expect harem. You can also predict high school age girls and some fetish stuff. You probably won't be surprised when adult women join the harem. You might be surprised when the author starts going younger though. The MC adds 3 middle school girls to his harem, and eventually a brainwashed 12 year old. The author goes out of his way to remind you that she is 12. Very distasteful. Just more stuff to skim over but be warned.

The characters. The MC is basically a cardboard cutout. He never seems to grow. A personal flaw will be introduced, he will seem to get over it, then 30 chapters later the exact same flaw is introduced as if it was never addressed before.
Spoiler

At one point, somebody notices that the MC doesn't value his life and is willing to accept death. The harem members are very sad to hear this and spend the entire chapter convincing him that he is no longer alone and had something to live for now (family). The MC realizes that they are right, and vows to them and to himself that he will treasure his life. 30 chapters later the process repeats itself, and all of the involved characters act like they are dealing with this for the first time. Even the MC thinks something along the lines of "I didn't notice it before, but I'm not attaching any importance to my life. That's going to change though, because now I have a family!" Then another 30 chapters later the exact same thing happens.

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Basically, the MC has the memory and emotional depth of a gold fish. But that's fine, because whenever something dangerous happens a nice adult pats him on the head and tells him to stay safe in a corner with his harem because his girls would be sad if he died. The Harem members are pretty standard. If you think the average Japanese light novel harem has 3-dimensional female characters, then you will think that this book does too.

Some people will wonder why I continue to read the story despite my negative views of it. Two reasons: I like machineslicedbread translations, and this is the one they update the most; and while the writing is bad, it still has frequent s*x scenes and is better written then a lot of the garbage smut on here. Although sadly, the s*x scenes are becoming less frequent. Multiple chapters of plot and cringeworthy character interaction are taking up page space. This latest chapter had one of the girls wondering if she was worthy enough to keep having s*x with this abandoned, jobless, dull (and according to his class mates, creepy) high school boy. And one of the other characters assured her that, although other members of the harem were wealthy heiresses who could show him a life of luxury, she was the only average girl with "normal values". And she was happy to receive this "reassurance". That alone is enough to set me off on another rant, but other readers seem to view it as character depth and complex interaction. Sigh.

Tldr: the writing is average, which makes it better than most of the smut on NU, and there is plenty of s*x for the first couple hundred chapters. But as more girls are added, the amount of s*x decreases. Enjoy what you can, and be prepared for pedophilia. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Ordinary I and Extraordinary Them
August 7, 2018
Status: c20
This novel is clearly missing a fantasy tag, because magic is the only explanation for why anybody would want to be around this whiny douchebag. The MC has supposedly been friends for years with the two most popular people in school, but whenever either of them wants to hang out with him, his reaction is either "I want to go home" or "ugh, popular people are so annoying". Fortunately, the author quickly gives up on trying to convey a believable friendship and jumps straight into the "dense MC being pursued... more>> by 2 beautiful women for no reason" cliche.

It's decent enough as wish-fulfilling fluff, but other novels do it better and have more believable character interactions. The author wastes a lot of time on unnecessary descriptions in the first few chapters but seems to be improving as the story progresses. I honestly hope that the super poplar guy turns out to be a jerk who only befriended the MC in order to get close to the beautiful girl. Because otherwise he's just a nice guy who is getting treated like sh*t by a whiny loner that he thinks is his friend.

Edit: starting in c22, the author finally starts to properly flesh out MC and his relationship with other people. Presumably his earlier actions were some sort of exaggerated sarcasm for comedic effect? Bad writing either way, and to make it worse, the excessive descriptions appear again. <<less
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Drake888
I cannot begin to guess where the author is going with this story and frankly, I don't care. The background makes no sense and neither do the characters.

In fairness, the characters might get better if I read more, but there is no way to fix the nonsense established in the first chapter and prologue.

Super-attractive daughter of a DUKE is still unwed in a world with arranged marriages. The author specifically mentions that romance doesn't matter, marriages are arranged for political reasons. So how does a beautiful daughter of a duke... more>> (which is a very high-ranking noble) not have a husband? Chapter one even mentions the possibility of MC taking a mistress after marrying the woman, so it is even less believable that none of the previous fiancés went through with it. Also, a baron and a duke are separated by several levels of nobility. So even if the Duke was desperate enough to let them marry into his family, he wouldn't need to treat them as equals, much less waste an hour flattering a child who won't even inherit their name.

The MC's thoughts and actions are all over the place, but maybe more chapters will bring his character into focus, so I'll let that slide. But I won't let his family circumstances slide. "He is the first son of a baron household who isn't inheriting the title? What's the juicy story behind that?" Convoluted nonsense, that's what. All of chapter one is an info dump. It is established that the MC's father was a weak disappointment (and also a skilled warrior with several military achievements somehow?) and he angered MC's grandfather by marrying MC's mother, who was a court magician but also a commoner. They then go on to explain that magicians are super important and only the top twenty in the country get to be court magicians. Even the MC, with his noble blood, is going to have to work hard if he hopes to become one. WHAT? A baron household is NOT a big deal in any nobility ranking. In the real world they are at the bottom. Even if the author decides to bump them up a notch or two, that would still leave them barely above the bottom. Marrying a court magician would be a huge plus for them. I would understand if a high-ranking household (like that of a duke, maybe?) were to look down on marrying someone without noble blood. But there are always nobles willing to overlook such things in the interest of gaining power and authority. A house with the rank of baron would certainly have plenty of room to advance in this way, since a court magician would certainly have more power and authority than them, only lacking an impressive family background. The kind of people who would look down on them for marrying such a powerful commoner would already be looking down on them for having such a low rank. But moving past that, who is left to inherit the family if not the MC? If he has an aunt or an uncle, they should have been mentioned in that info dump. They should have inherited the title instead of MC's father. Instead, we have this nonsense of the MC not inheriting when the alternative seems to be the end of the bloodline. Pure nonsense and imbecility.

Tl;dr: the author knows nothing about nobility so I have no expectations for this novel about nobles. <<less
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Drake888
This seems decently translated and the writing is about average for the genre. I'm not fully caught up to the current translation but I'm just gonna drop it here.

My main problem is this: the MC's goal is too wishy-washy. Basically, her main goal is to live a happy life after two previous reincarnations. Because she is a decent human being, she can't help but want to save ML when they are both children, even though he betrayed her in the previous life. This makes sense and can be justified but... more>> it is a huge deal-breaker for me. The author makes it abundantly clear that she gave this guy absolutely everything she could only for him to toss her aside for some bimbo that gave him soup for his injured throat. Then when the bimbo wanted MC dead, ML tortured her horrendously before murdering her. She used future tech and OP kung-fu to make him emperor and he didn't hesitate to cripple her, rip out her fingers and toes, and whip her over one hundred times. Yet 3 days after reincarnation she is unwilling to see him die. Even feeling worried about if a rainstorm will make him sick.

Basically, the author makes the betrayal too extreme and her concern too extensive. If you are willing to overlook that, it moves well enough I guess. <<less
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Drake888
Another "transported to a fantasy world" story, is the best way to describe this. The author takes a very bland cookie-cutter approach, so there's nothing about the intro that you haven't seen before.

OP MC gets caught in the summoning of a hero and that hero's love interests, decides to hide his OPness, and opts out of demon subjugation. After leaving the castle he is targeted by the half-assed scheme of somebody from the castle but isn't troubled because OP. Goes to town, becomes adventurer, blah blah blah. They even have... more>> cliches like "cute receptionist girl" and "targeted by mean mid-rank adventurers".

I had to actively skip through the bland monologues about his dimensional storage, his OP items, and what his self-explanatory skills and titles do (does anybody really need a paragraph explaining that swordsmanship makes you better with swords and blacksmithing makes you better at creating weapons?).

If you're really desperate to read this kind of story, then this novel is worth a look, as even the least imaginative author will manage to create something unique after thirty or forty chapters and the opening isn't obnoxiously bad or anything. For everyone else, you can find the same thing but better, somewhere else.

Also, I noticed some complaints about grammar but that can be ignored. There are some noticable errors but the quality is actually above average in most parts. Anybody bothered by this level of grammar has obviously not been reading unlicensed translations for very long. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi
July 26, 2017
Status: c73
Probably the best erotica on novel updates in terms of plot and story. Excellent masculine wish-fulfillment. The MC is incredibly simple and straightforward. Plenty of harem building without any of the weird mind games in similar stories. The MC takes what he wants and doesn't shy away from direct confrontation. His harem members like that and stick around. If you want some erotica with sword and spear combat interspersed, this is must read. The only real flaw is that the author tries to add various fetishes into some of the... more>> s*x scenes and so a few of the NSFW chapters wind up a little weird. But I'm sure some people will find that to be a plus. <<less
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Drake888
The story starts off interesting, with a dense tomboy agreeing to cancel her engagement. However, after that incident is amusingly resolved the dense tomboy turns into a naive shoujo MC. All the story arcs revolve around her friends falling in love or somebody falling in love with her. She even stops focusing on fighting monsters and instead
Spoiler

starts focusing on making sure people don't feel unhappy, because negative emotions create monsters.

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Basically an interesting shoujo turns into a boring one.
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Tales of Demons and Gods
August 7, 2018
Status: c467
This used to be one of my favorite novels. A hundred chapters ago I would have given it a 4 out of 5. In the first two hundred chapters I would have given it a 5 out of 5. I would absolutely recommend this to anybody who likes xianxia though. It isn't high-quality, but the beginning world-building is great and original. This is a standard xianxia with a setting that feels different from the usual sects or isolated mountain village that most xianxia start with. The author does a great... more>> job of making a new world for his run-of-the-mill cultivator reincarnation story. Plus, the pacing is consistently good. Even later, when the story starts to get weak, the author avoids lingering on any particular event or battle for too long, and always keeps a clear short-term motivation for the MC.

Unfortunately, the writing isn't good enough to last so many chapters. The author should have wrapped this up long ago. Instead, we have fallen into the old xianxia trope of new areas with stronger people, and an over-reliance on cheat items that only the MC has. The original setting that I was praising earlier is even swapped out for a new area filled with the usual sects that other stories have. The author still manages to add his own flair to the cliche sect life, but I have yet to read a xianxia that actually gets better when a new land with stronger people is added.

Basically, if you are looking for a fun story with cultivators and an OP MC, give this a shot. It has lots of action, a fresh feeling, and moves at a constant pace without stumbling over the problems that slow down other xianxia. On the downside, this is ultimately only medium quality. After a certain point, the author's flaws start to become apparent. If you've read good quality xianxia like ISSTH, you know it is possible for a story to stay good for hundreds of chapters. Sadly, this doesn't quite manage. But I loved the beginning so much that I am still interested in seeing how things turned out. <<less
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Drake888
An excellent start that fails to pay off. Sadly, this story never lives up to its premise. The author takes a cliche reincarnation story, arouses interest with likable characters, then never really completes it. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, but the early chapters are legitimately enjoyable. Isekai stories are certainly played out, but that doesn't mean that they can't be fun. Sadly, the author never really manages to make an engaging plot. The MC starts off concerned about his future failure because of the story of the game he... more>> reincarnated into, but that issue is resolved by his excellent territory management in the first few chapters and no new crisis replaces it. Even then, the characters are fun enough to keep the novel interesting, but the author's inability to finish a coherent arc ultimately saps the fun out of that as well. Read it for some lighthearted adventures in a fantasy school, but don't expect any real development or conclusion. Or consistency.

Spoilers, so stop reading here if you care

Spoiler

I eventually stopped reading when the author completely forgot about the prince's aide. After multiple chapters of nothing important happening, the MC starts to hang out with the Prince who is his class mate. Not to be confused with the young prince who comes to view him as a brother in the early chapters (another example of why his fear of some weird plot failure loses any credible threat). However, after several chapters of the two hanging out, I noticed that the prince's aide was nowhere to be seen, and no explanation was given. This is the aide who had shadowed the prince everywhere for the entire story until that point, only leaving the prince's side to hang out with the MC, whom he had developed an interest in. The arc immediately preceding this arc had heavily developed the character, but then he was nowhere to be seen in this arc, which would require actual explanation for his absence. A lot of the story was like this. The primary love interest was never developed at a pace that could be considered acceptable; a secondary love interest (the MC of the game he reincarnated into) was dealt with in a weird way where she seemed to be interested in the MC, then was interested in a random side character, then was doing some other thing; and various things the MC did would just be sort of left kind of completed (starting new stuff in his territory then leaving all the development to his father, a princess with odd luck who always seems like she's going to meet him but doesn't, various incidents at school that seem interesting but never really go anywhere, etc.). Basically a story with a lot of wasted potential.

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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Warlock of the Magus World
September 19, 2017
Status: --
The A.I. Chip isn't an issue in the story like some naysayers claim. It's basically just another xianxia artifact that needs time/resources/cultivation levels to give the MC am advantage over his rivals. The real flaw of the story (for the first 80 or so chapters I read) was that the MC didn't have any motivation for getting strong.

Similar novels have either a motivation or a likable character. I enjoy reading a manipulative MC screwing people over to get his revenge or a likable fool struggling to get stronger for no... more>> good reason, but a manipulative MC screwing people over for no good reason is disappointing. He has no friends, no family, and he severs every personal connection he makes because he sees others as a burden. After a while he is forced to get stronger to protect himself from people that he screwed over for short-term gains. The author actually has a minor arc where he establishes that warlocks (which is what the MC chooses to become) screw over their descendants because anybody with a warlock ancestor needs to jump through an extra set of hoops to be able to use magic. So the MC is even screwing over his future descendants for a bit of extra power. I would still be fine with that, but there is no end goal for all that power. When the story ends it's just going to be the MC, but stronger. The only enemies he will have overcome will be people that HE has provoked, usually for an item that is only relevant for one specific level of his cultivation. And he will be alone because he refuses to get along with anybody. His slaves are only used for research, loyal servants are left behind, and his method of power gain makes it impossible to have any allies.

That said, the story is pretty solid and has good pacing (once you get past the incredibly dull school arc at the beginning). And since it's on Wuxiaworld it is well translated. The only technical flaw is a lack of any kind of character development.

P.s. Some people are going to say that my complaints are purely subjective but I would like to point out that every adventure requires a hook to keep the reader engaged. That is usually achieved by having a goal, an interesting character, or engaging interactions between developed characters. This story has no overarching goal (the MC's desire for power doesn't really count because he doesn't have any motivation or personality. "Calculating" is not a personality type.) The MC just sort of wanders around because of nebulous goals and threats. The MC is not an interesting character because the author never manages to develop his identity. He is never forced to make difficult choices because of his lack of attachments so we as the readers have to fill in the blanks. The engaging interactions are similarly impossible because none of the side characters stick around long enough to develop or matter. It's possible that changes in the second hundred chapters but that is a ridiculous wait. The story is only engaging if you enjoy reading about the life of an objectively awful person in minute detail. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
History’s Strongest Senior Brother
July 24, 2017
Status: c218
A run of the mill xianxia with good enough writing to keep the fights interesting. If you are looking for depth or a new style of xianxia, look elsewhere.

A lot of other reviewers seem to criticize the author's switch from mocking tropes to following tropes. I honestly don't remember getting that vibe in the first place. The MC definitely makes frequent reference to tropes like reincarnators, ridiculous luck, and plot armor but the author doesn't really play it up for laughs. The MC definitely has a sarcastic tone when he... more>> mentions these things, but that's usually because he is either doing it better or annoyed by the effect on his plans. Frankly, I just read the story as a typical xianxia but with the MC being a more believable archetype. I like reading all the underdog xianxia stories, they're fun, but it's nice to finally read a story where the sect is actually giving proper support to their OP student from the start. That's what I read this novel as. It's a "What if the super-talented rich guy actually made proper use of his gifts?" kind of story. The petty sect politics aren't threatening to destroy the sect, the MC's father properly supports him, and the various rivals aren't able to constantly send cannon fodder to bully him for stupid reasons. Just a typical xianxia with the MC playing a different role. If you want a comedic xianxia that pokes fun at the tropes, read "Elder Brother has a Pit in his Brain". The light novel only has 6 chapters translated but the manhua is very far along. Otherwise, just enjoy HSSB for what it is. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Heavenly Castle
June 5, 2019
Status: c25
A story about a boy (I know he's supposed to be 30 but he's way too immature and the number just seems to be an excuse to make him seem more mature than his teenage love interests) who interacts with the world around him in a powerful and meaningful way without ever having to leave the safety of his own personal bubble. Also, people can only enter his bubble with his permission, and even after entering his bubble he decides how much access and interaction they can have with his... more>> stuff. Also, everybody agrees that his bubble is awesome and imposing and not at all a sign of insecurity. Wow. I could make a lot of guesses about this author's state of mind from this book. But honestly, if you don't think too deeply, it's not that bad. Not great, but not bad. It's wish-fulfillment for a niche audience. Say what you like about the castle protecting him from any real possibility of failure, but it's not always bad to read a story with wars and intrigue where you don't have to worry about anything traumatic or excessively underhanded.

I would compare this to "isekai nonbiri nouka" in terms of tone and the form of MC's OP ability (in that he has his own territory where he is in control). But those are the only similarities. This story is more immature and slightly lower quality. But I think certain people will still get a kick out of it. Just think of it as a guilty pleasure. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Trash of the Count’s Family
March 13, 2019
Status: c168
A terrific fantasy. I highly recommend it. The writing is great and the concept is fresh.

There are a surprising number of poor reviews but I advise anyone interested to try reading at least the first 20 chapters. At the end of the day, this is a light novel; there will always be flaws if you look hard enough. But this novel does a great job and I can only assume that the people with bad reviews were simply triggered by the few specific flaws that this actually has. Except for... more>> the people who call it repetitive. They are just wrong. The MC knows the future and knows the location of treasures. Unsurprisingly, the incidents and treasures are scattered all over the place. So he has to go to various locations, figure out ways to stop bad guys and help good guys, and grab any treasures he can. Sometimes the treasures are related to the problem, sometimes not. Sometimes he converts a bad guy, sometimes he wins over a good guy, other times he sneaks through without being recognized. <<less
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Drake888
Very interesting FL. Also seems to be very smutty. Definitely a plus. But it just doesn't feel right. The first smut scene is just too jarring. The timing is odd, the actions don't really seem to fit the FL's character, and the whole thing is just jarring. Smutty though. Perhaps I'm just the wrong audience. I'm giving it a low score because I don't like it but I can't deny the possibility that I'm just not the target audience.
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Dungeon Maker
September 1, 2018
Status: c70
An interesting story with good combat and fun characters. Lots of focus on dungeon-building and guiding character stat growth but never so much that it becomes excessive. The plot is also engaging, with clear goals and to reach and looming threats on the horizon. Unfortunately, this is another story with pacing that is only good when binge-reading. But when you are binge-reading, this an exciting story about a young guy rising to power in the demon world while discovering powerful legacies left behind by his ancestor.

The grammar of the translations... more>> is a little annoying. The translator clearly has trouble with pronouns. Good quality in other respects though. <<less
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Drake888 rated it
Legend
July 18, 2017
Status: c105
Mediocre. The plot is unique enough to be interesting, but this is another reincarnation/overpowered MC light novel. As others have said, the story takes a nosedive in quality during the escort arc. The author spends way too much time describing things that don't need to be described (entire paragraphs are devoted to explaining who is the vanguard of a party of 5, with no relevance to the plot) and even the battles are badly written. I actually started skimming through chapters to avoid the clunky writing and still had a... more>> firm grasp of what was going on. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
The Charm of Soul Pets
June 15, 2019
Status: c636
This is a surprisingly good story about a monster trainer and his battles. I was expecting a cheap pokemon knockoff but this book actually does a very good job of coming up with its own world and monster system. I definitely recommend it for anybody looking for a different style of monster training.

The author has his own view on elemental weaknesses (ice beats fire) and has a whole system of monster types and levels. Unfortunately, he constantly refers back to this system to explain things like how difficult it is... more>> for a phase 5 stage 7 monster with rank 6 attack to fight against a phase 6 stage 8 monster with rank 7 defense. That sentence was annoying to write and it's even more annoying to read over and over. Still, as annoying as it is to read through all the numbers and details, this is the type of story that requires a lot of planning from the author and it definitely has that. There are tons of monsters amid a well thought out world to really keep you immersed.

This is a great book to read for a different take on monster training or just to scratch that pokemon itch.

EDIT: This novel borrows a lot from cultivation novels, including the flaws. By 630, I was planning to drop this. But at 635, I am satisfied with the explanation for the world expansion and have some hopes that the quality will pick back up. As for my updated opinion:

The damn monster stats never go away. That's gonna be a plus for some and a minus for others.

Standard cultivation money problems. Necessary items become more expensive until a new unit of money is introduced and resets the numbers. The cycle will probably repeat.

The MC's personality is a little lacking but still acceptable.

Some complaints about the romance.

The focus on battles remains constant. If you are immersed, that is a plus. If not, you will skim multiple battles against enemies who are clearly fodder yet still have multiple chapters dedicated to their defeat. <<less
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Drake888
Drake888 rated it
Close Combat Mage
March 30, 2019
Status: c53
An earnest effort by an inexperienced writer. This is a fantasy story with an MC who gets ahead by thinking outside the box. The logic is flawed, which leads to some annoying explanations about the MC's strokes of 'genius'. But the author clearly cares a lot about the world-building, so it sort of balances out.

Sadly, nothing balances out the side characters. This is yet another story where every other character (especially female characters) has the mind of a child. The type of story where the motivations of side characters make... more>> sense, but don't really hold up under scrutiny. It is like the MC is the only one able to fully think and react like a human, while the others are two dimensional. This is made worse by the fact that the MC is supposed to be a child yet frequently thinks and acts like an adult. Even worse, a huge part of this novel rests on the unshakable fact that all women are obsessed with their own appearance. It gets obnoxious reading about these various women being moved to tears or driven to suicide over there appearances, and the author's commentary only makes it worse. The worst part is: the author is clearly obsessed with this perceived obsession.

The first few chapters made me genuinely angry at the MC's father.

The MC's arrival at school introduced a very powerful pet and an upcoming tournament.

Yet all the author delivers is nonsense about beauty. Dozens of chapters about using water magic for weight loss and skin restoration. Why? The title is "Close Combat Mage" so why do I need to keep reading about this beauty nonsense? This could have been wrapped up in ten chapters, but the author keeps dragging it out for no reason. And to add insult to injury, he drags it out by constantly describing how fat and ugly some characters are. Or how nobody can bear to look at a fat woman. Or how women need to look beautiful if they want their husbands to love them. I'm not a feminist, and I have no problem reading novels where women are treated as less than men because the author is s*xist; but when the author keeps delaying the combat and adventure he had promised in order to stuff his views on women down my throat, I can't help but get angry. There is an interesting concept here and some parts are enjoyable, but my patience has limits. I can put up with bad pacing, flawed logic, or bigotry. But I refuse to slog through all three. <<less
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