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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Gourmet Food Supplier
April 11, 2017
Status: c434
Let me pre-face this review by saying this : It is not a bad experience to read through this story. Being a light-hearted novel does not make it inherently bad.

This has a good concept, but fails in the traditional chinese ways. Speaking as an ABC raised in China, we chinese are... unoriginal. Uninspired. Too reliant on Templates.

There is no human depth to this story. It's the traditional face-smacking story but set with fantastical elements set in modern day. It's not new. It's a simplified, less interesting take on... more>> like the cooking sub-plots found in many other stories, like Omni-Genius (which for sure was published before this one, as this one started its publication in July of 2016. Oh yes, I checked.)

As a face-smacking, Protag-is-a-god-but-beholden-to-the-whims-of-the-system story it's not even as fun as something as vapid as I am Really A Superstar (which can be contrasted with Perfect Superstar for both failing to be a great story for failing in two different reasons, but are passable because they basically complement each other).

Look online and you can find a multitude of stories with the exact same cooking system. I suspect there is an Ur-example of this system somewhere, and judging by how this story doesn't integrate well with the system, this isn't it. This is some sort of re-telling. A re-using of the system, simplified and with a sheen of comedy to distract.

If you are reading this, why not try Gourmet in Another World? Also available on Qidian International, it has the same exact system with the same exact setup with a dog, and a ****ty hole in the wall restaurant, and with Egg Fried Rice as the first dish, and also "missions" and special sauces... Set in a Xuanhuan world with other elements like a ****ty otaku robo-maid. Huh... interesting no? Same system...

Read it and think about how innovative this kind of story is. There is no human depth to it, no real character development, no real plot development either. There are no setups for overarching

It fails by relying so much on the "System" that it is just a study in that. It's a system. A system for generating money for the author. Small arcs that end in face-smacking so that people pay more to get little bits of catharsis. The kind of story that only works when you update it serially on the web - because reading it all at once su**s. It just feels like nothing. No real emotion, no real development, no real plot.

It's just the soulless Gaming Grind put into the form of Fiction.

But hey, that's what some people want. That's what _I_ want sometimes.

The soap-opera of the Webnovel world. The wind-down game. The popcorn flick you don't pay much attention to. The K-drama that has no substance.

It's like a slice of life anime with no life lessons or morals. And ****tier chinese characters that are inherent ****heads. (Sorry, I'm sure every Chinese person knows - person that hates the Chinese the most are other Chinese)

This novel works the best when you're craving that next chapter or two, when you're basically staring at a cake behind the glass, drooling and wondering what will happen, but limited in what you can do to get it. But like eating cake all day, it gets old, and the once-wonderful taste of cake soon becomes bland and tasteless.

There is not enough "spice" in this novel to binge-read it. I cannot say there is no "spice" that adds dimension to the events. And as a story, it is hopelessly padded out. But it's good cake. It's a good read. I'm serious. It's enjoyable reading the reactions and the new twists when they come in.

The most apt comparison I can give is to God of Cooking, another set-in-modern-day Gourmet Cooking cheat novel but written by a Korean. And it has reaction shots. It has a reliance on the System. But there is so much character depth and development. There are so many actual Characters. Not just cardboard cutouts that spew one-liners and reactions to massage the ego of the MC. Actual Characters and Struggle. Actual resolution of plot. Actual motivations deeper than "You're my dealer. I want my drugs [Food]." And that's the most accurate thing I can say. This story is part of a story. If you like only reading the vapid veneer of actual stories, if you like imagining a story in your head more than you like reading a crafted story that challenges you. If you don't like being pushed to feel things outside of your own control. This kind of story is good for you.

It's hard to explain outside of going into "What is literature" and "Is 'Literature' better than any other kinds of written work". But it can be summed up in words I have said before...

"Art Makes you Feel". It's meant to push you to places you haven't been, to places where you've avoided. It's meant to change how you look at things. It's meant to develop you as a person.

This is not Art. This is popcorn fic. This is Tumblr-and-facebook-post style self gratification. This is something written to boost someone's ego. This is written as a fantasy that doesn't do anything.

The most interesting part of this story is the Cooking system and trying to find out what comes next from it. But when that is not really an original thing to this story... what is left? Muted reaction shots that pale in comparison to other "Reaction Novels" (i.e. the Face Smacking ones like I'm Really a Superstar) ? Characters that are not really characters because they lack all agency?

I don't know how to describe it.

It's mechanically sound, yet artistically bankrupt. But I still Like it.

I think you will too. And right now, when it's slowly being updated every day, this is the best time to experience it. Though the chapters may be light on development, each one is a good length. To get more enjoyment, probably read every other update or every three updates so you get more plot development and are less likely to feel gypped by only having reactions when you want to see more System interaction.

Edit:

To those complaining about comparisons to Gourmet of Another World or claiming this story is good because of "Filial piety" or "providing a different taste" or "different genre" - It's not even the best "Modern Times Culinary System Cheat cooking" story. The Urban Successor of God of Gluttony - read it. This story fails as a story! It is too focused on Face-smacking and not enough on character development. It outright disrespects the culinary arts. It's basically self-masturbatory gratification by the author, especially as we get into the middle 100's of chapters.

Especially as I get closer to the end, I want to take away more stars. Usually writers mature, get more depth, or get better in general as time goes on. It feels like the story ran out of ideas early on and basically just started... being bad. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Heavenly Star
June 9, 2016
Status: c556
[General Summary for prospective readers: It's a great story, however the first 100-200 chapters are groundwork. You don't see anything outside of "improved" versions of generic tropes and 'templates' until the main struggle starts. Because of that, anything prior to chapter 100 isn't actually representative of the story as a whole, it's just LOTS of foreshadowing]

This MC is one of the most palatable and heroic chinese protags out there. He tries to be fair, realistic, and kind. The world is a little "too convenient" and it follows the old Xuanhuan... more>> trope of "Basically God in the Shape of a Mortal schooling all the mortals", but it's done so well and enjoyably that it doesn't really matter.

This is probably the most even-handed and righteous incarnation of that formula. Add to that lovable characters that actually struggle and have depth, female characters that don't think about **** and can be considered "in control" of the relationship, and a propensity for everyone else to have rational reactions instead of straight "Kill rape steal" makes this the best Novel to get started with Xuanhaun and chinese tropes.

Plus, the translation is done very well in a way that doesn't lean on jargon, so people with no background in chinese can get a better picture. I'd prefer if the Translator took more asides/made a glossary explaining simple terms like "Nan" and "Bei" (South and north, respectively) so that the completely-new-to-chinese readers can see the foreshadowing and wordplay, but he does a very good job nevertheless.

Edit: the above review was done at chapter 46. Below is added comments for the full series.

Hot. Damn.

Well, consider the "Actual 3 Dimensional Female Character test" the gold standard, because Damn does this series Git. Gud.

This is payoff. This is true catharsis. This is actual struggles and triumph. Not the empty wanking of other Chinese novels, this series foreshadows all of the struggles EARLY on in the arcs, and while there's quite a bit of Grandstanding and the MC is OP as **** most of the time, seeing him get smashed into the ground with his face ground into the dirt every now and then is great.

Seeing him struggle and fail multiple times is frankly amazing.

Seeing him lose things he cares about, and actually finding that he lacks the power to help those close to him at times? And having him react like a human character and not a god deigning to visit the mortals?

There are going to be some slow parts. There will be some times where it feels like he's on top of the world and nothing really is a threat.

But this is by far one of the best constructed stories with the most human and well rounded characters out there. <<less
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Felix3D
Floaty.

That is the one word that comes to mind when I read this series. A combination of less nuanced translation and the formatting do not help this hackjob of a work. The source material is disappointing, with terrible writing plastered all over.

There is no drive, no conflict, no moment of actual awe, substance, or meaning.

... more>> Let me be clear.

If this was a mindless action novel with no stakes akin to bad Xuanhuan, I wouldn't say this.

What I mean that it has no action. It has no actual hook to keep the reader outside of its premise which is utterly generic.

This series is like air. It is utterly insubstantial.

You have the classic "Overpowered hero" and the classic japanese "Don't bother anybody" trope, but then you mix in the "easy at everything" and "Misunderstood" tropes but then dial everything, instead of up to 11, back down to 1.

The protag's personality and Laura as a character are the only semi-redeeming features of this series, but they are wasted on cheap jokes and overlooked most of the time.

Let me summarize this in a simple way

This series has:

Cheap jokes, but no actual laughs.
Cheat abilities, but no actual uses you care about.
Barely interesting characters, but no situations or dialogue that allow them to shine.

It is not abjectly terrible or some sort of utterly filth-encrusted author-wank written by someone's who morals I utterly oppose.

Unfortunately, I am a "Mechanical" reviewer. I don't give a f*ck if a work is advocating rape, misandry, or whatever. I review things on 3 criteria -

1) Enrapture/enjoyment (how easily one can get into/lost into the work, both target audience and myself),
2) Literary mechanics (how well put together the ideas, sentences, and other concepts are, with allowances made for translational errors/incompetence)
3) How well a story does what it sets out to do (i.e. How well this concept/story could be both as a story and within the confines of the genre.)

This story fails on all 3 points. And while some would say "That's a 2 or a 3 because it's a meh" I don't have that scale. Because if you are utterly repulsed by something you're diametrically opposed to, that's a reaction. That's feeling. That's art.

Art makes you feel.

Art elicits a reaction.

Literature is art. It's meant to be at least.

And the worst thing it could be is something without passion. Without feeling. Without meaning.

Without anything else to describe it other than "Meh".

Therefore, 1 Star.

Because even if you like the genre, reading this series is pointless. It is a waste of time. It is negative time to enjoy other better exemplars of the same plot, the same story, the same idea.

Edit: Ch 70 -

It. Gets. Worse. : ( <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Surviving a Harsh Fantasy with Cheat Items
May 12, 2016
Status: c58
The premise is very interesting. It's a slower-developing "build items" kind of story, like Ascendence of Bookworm, and so on. However, it is marred by illogical developments and a forced sense of "Maturity" and "Darkness" that are neither justified nor earned, leading to mood whiplash. Truly, as an earlier reviewer noted, "Too Convenient" can be applied to the novel as a whole. But more accurately "Societal Idiot Ball" - somehow prerequisite tech has been ignored for centuries when analogous developments have flourished. The characters are two-dimensional, and the situations come... more>> off as extremely contrived.

Nobody really has agency, not even the MC, as the Author excessively railroads things in order to get things done. Very little character development happens at all, and even "Situation development", (i.e. like the reaction shots in I Am a Superstar or the "effects on the surroundings summaries" that we get in other novels, like DeathMarch's interludes/intermissions/sidestories) tend to not happen at all.

The premise is still interesting, and the protag isn't some sort of giant **** and is inherently portrayed as fallible.

It is a refreshing take that is not that ecchi or gore-focused, but unfortunately the author's naivete, ignorance, and general lack of experience shine through...

It's not good. The idea behind it is though. And maybe it'll get stronger as we go on... but at the same time, the inherent japanese-ness of the writing is getting in the way of a good story.

This story is basically just author fantasy perversion realization. It's just a p*** fic masquerading as an R-15 story. The author's goal with this story is not to tell a story but to make situations for Ecchi.

No longer relevant -
Spoiler

And this is all before we get to the Translator, ukel2x - DO NOT READ THIS ON HIS SITE. He has clearly decided to milk his translations with malware installing ads! Multiple PAGELOADS with multiple ads, including 3 phishing style ones, 1 drive by download, and a few pop ups (in window pop ups too) to top it all off.

Oh yeah he also as "Block Adblock" on, so you'll have to slug through this hazardous mire.

DO NOT VISIT ON MOBILE. Your browser may crash and it is very likely that things will be downloaded without your permission, leading to serious problems if your phone is Rooted or flashed with custom ROMS.

Edit: He has removed "block adblock" and has dialed back on the redirects and ads, though bad ones are still there. I no longer consider it hazardous to normal browsing

Edit (referring to Ukel2x) : This series has been dropped, because, "I just saw in Novelupdate that RE:trans are translating this series and they already posted the prolouge. Since they are more accurate in translation I think I have to give up this one and also there are 6 people working on that project, so maybe they can update faster.

So to show respect to their Work I decided dropping Kokugensou. below is the link to their TL-site." (sic)

[collapse]

Edit: Update for Ch 58

Um... it's just in like a literary holding pattern, sort of like how slice of life series seems to be at times. There's no real conflict, no real driving force anymore. The Protagonist is almost completely passive and even when people/the author says he does something it's... so hollow. It's like "press F to win at game" but in written form. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
I Said Make My Abilities Average!
May 30, 2016
Status: c29
This is not exactly like Evil God Average. It is, instead, basically a reskin of the jokes of Tilea's Worries with a protag that acts like Satou from Death March. [This review is based off of the Japanese RAWS]

Basically it's sole purpose and point is to derive dramatic and comedic irony from the MC

1) Wanting to stay low profile and "Average"
2) Being extremely powerful and cheaty because "average" is defined differently than what she thinks.
3) People looking on in awe of her
4) The MC not noticing that... more>> her actions cause the awe (or when she does, anything she does to downplay her own abilities is just basically humblebragging)
5) Nanomachines*

It is a lot more competently paced than Tilea, but it suffers from similar pitfalls as High-spec girl, where there really isn't much interesting "Stuff", just tons of exposition that basically means nothing in the end because the setting constantly changes.

It's not bad, it's enjoyable even, but it clearly is not written by a mature writer. There's a definite hint of teenage rebellion "You don't know how good I am until I'm gone!" kind of undertone to all of this.

*I have no idea why they are a part of the story because they randomly show up out of nowhere, Kojima style. They really don't do anything for the plot, even if they are "magical" and tied to magic yet... There hasn't been any point to them. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Tensei Shoujo no Rirekisho
May 30, 2016
Status: c71
It starts out so promisingly.

Unfortunately, most of what the previous reviews highlighted are abandoned soon (around chapter 15 ish), and this becomes more of a Shojo-y interpersonal relations kind of story... that not only does not take time to develop the characters and relationships, but also moves from place to place often.

Did you notice how in ch11/"Recollections" the setting changes massively and basically "drops" the previous area? Sort of like an MMO character moving from a starting zone to the next zone while leaving all the extra questlines unfinished?

Get used... more>> to that. There's a lot more coming just like that. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Heavenly Jewel Change
June 4, 2016
Status: c283
I don't know what you think about HJC. I don't know what you think about the related works SYWZ and DD.

But it gets better.

A lot better.

... more>> And it has much of the good parts of this author's other works without showing too much of the bad, thanks to the more heavy comedy/irony focus.

Furthermore, the various conflicts, while somewhat derivative/repetitive, actually changes over time. Which is nice. There is a bunch of "And then my boss's boss!" or "The faction above this level of faction!" going on, which is very stupid and plot-holey at times, but at the same time it's kind of acceptable the way he goes about it.

The worst thing about HJC (So far) is how everything seems to be "happily ever after" and tied up with a nice bow. There really isn't much organic villany.

But hey, we like marvel movies, no?

Basically, the most palatable Tang Jia San Shao novel. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Godly Thief Incarnation
June 9, 2016
Status: c76
Terribly constructed, just a load of wank.

The warning signs are all there. Calling it a "slight perversion" story just shows how blatantly it tries to use the lowered standards fanservice inherently accrues, and structurally this is a terrible story.

It is wank to the Nth degree, worse than Perfect Lionheart or 50 shades, it's ****ing terrible.

... more>> Granted, you could be looking for a wankfest, as many Xaunhuan readers look for.

The problem is that it is still terribly constructed, so you don't really feel the payoff, the catharsis most readers want from such a genre. It is vapid, with a veneer of interesting things that instantly flakes off to just infodumps and wank.

I probably would have given it a 2 or a 3, but it manages to come off worse than Shadow Rogue, and somehow always makes me confused with an actual good "thief" story, "Rebirth of the Thief Who Roamed The World" so it gets negative points just for dirtying the name by proxy. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Realms In The Firmament
June 3, 2016
Status: c1427
First off: The translation is subpar.

If that doesn't bother you, this is a gem of a Xuanhuan. Unlike most exemplars, the MC is flawed, and he (along with the author) acknowledges it in their own ways. Furthermore, there is actual Character Development for near everyone in the series, with the MC's own stance showing the first signs of change/broadening very early on in the series.

But that's not all. This follows ISSTH and not WDKQ or Desolate Era in the good sense: It's not just reskinned conflicts, it's actual plot arcs... more>> and plot points that differ from each other from book to book, with various things reappearing organically.

Mechanically, it's not as gripping or as inherently cathartic as something like DE or WDKQ, where the payoffs are cheap and plenty. You'll have to wait hundreds of chapters for certain "revenges" to happen, and even then it's not for the sake of revenge: it furthers along the plot or becomes connected to something greater along the way.

If you want instant gratification, or for every chapter to have you on edge/throws you a bone, this isn't the novel for you. It's a slow build up, but it's good.

Highly recommended.

Also: the females have actual agency and motivations outside of the MC. My god. In a Chinese Novel? I mean it even passes the Bechdel test!

Edit: Now that I've read "Heavenly Star" I see some similarities between the two, and often mix the Protags up. It's nothing bad, it's just something I've noticed. The progression in this is far more linear and standard, echoing TTNH, and is definitely a "cheap harem". Machismo is far stronger in this one than in Heavenly Star, and there are less struggles and tribulations here.

Basically Heavenly Star and this series exemplify what is the difference between 5 and 4 stars for me, when it comes to similar plots and executions. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Hisshou Dungeon Unei Houhou
November 29, 2017
Status: c62
This story literally insults the intelligence of those who read it.

From pointless multiple Point of View shifts, to treating the reader like an absolute idiot, this novel has all the hallmarks of **** writing.

Flat cardboard characters that are worse than normal Cardboard characters - they're literal strawmen wearing idiot hats for the author to use to fuel his ideological wanking and inherent sexism.

... more>> This literally insults me as a girl more than ****ty rape novels and the p*** novels on this site.

There are some redeeming qualities to the story, such as some slice of life moments and comedic beats, but they are all bookended by what feels like text-based lobotomization.

It starts off promisingly, but that's only because of how heavily it relies on Cliches. "Template" for all of us weebs.''

It is only the Templates, the patterns, the genre tropes that bring any sort of enjoyment to the reader. Everything else, everything that the Author adds to make this story his own instead of a rehash of the same story someone else told detracts from

It's a story about how the world works, and how it should work, written by a person who doesn't know how the world works and only knows the world from the 2Chan posts he reads while being a Hikki-neet, and thinking that he's so smart and that everyone else is a drooling braindead idiot.

In other words: this is Japanese "M'lady" neckbeard levels of writing.

If you hate women having agency; find social nuances and situations that have gravity to be too complex and need things spelled out explicitly for you; cannot see girls as anything but s*x toys and s*x objects; believe that filling your "nice guy card" entitles you to sex; and/or feel that Mankind has yet to recognize your genius and that everyone else in the world has Autism while you're an underappreciated Savant... This is the novel for you. And only you. And the author who clearly falls into these categories.

And other ones that I won't list because it is so reprehensible.

It is a story that is barely "stomach-able" chapter by chapter, one where Rereading the series or binge-reading the series is an exercise in horror and crushing all hopes and faith in humanity. Specifically Humanity's future of getting anything other than a Darwin Award.

P.S. The Translator's update memes were the only reason I managed to get so far. I highly recommend using the "Next" button at the bottom of each chapter, as that takes you to the update notification page of the next chapter with the memes. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Tilea’s Worries
May 30, 2016
Status: v3c1
The jokes get old fast.

The translation is excellent, explaining the jokes/allusions well.

But the problem is that you have a clueless idiot protagonist, and the whole world is also holding an idiot ball.

... more>> Remember "Comedy of Errors"? Take a similar premise of "misunderstand everything" and then run that joke into the ground.

It's fine for cheap laughs and in moderation. Don't read this all in one sitting - it really makes the experience worse. Comedic fatigue sets in quick.

There are great comedic set pieces and situations take individually, but there isn't enough contrast or "Downtime" for you to appreciate it at all.

You know kind of like how Shakespeare masterfully uses comedy to cut tension and give breathing/development room for his dramas (such as in Macbeth) ? Well Tilea's worries doesn't do that at all, showing a complete lack of understanding in pacing and comedic timing.

Turn off your brain, and it's somewhat enjoyable if you also wipe your memory after every chapter.

Look, it's a good fun laugh a chapter at a time. But A comedy that stops being comedic if you read multiple chapters at once? 3/5.

Spoiler

For those of you who don't know, I rate novels on not how much I personally enjoy them, but rather on how well they do what they set out to do.

[collapse]
<<less
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Felix3D rated it
Cultural Invasion In Different World
November 19, 2017
Status: c770
This is an understated protagonist that wants to find the "Third option". If you liked Maouyuu, Gourmet of Another World, or are looking for a Chinese Novel that doesn't focus on ****head protagonists or the incessant "Leveling up" of what's common right now, this would be for you.

Think of this as I am a Superstar if the protagonist wasn't a human piece of garbage, if the protagonist wanted to change the world and the lives of those around him for the better, while never losing sight of the fact that... more>> everyone in the world can screw you over (unlike how Japanese novels handle it).

Think of this like True Star, but with the Protag not claiming credit for the masterpieces outside of what is somewhat understandable and reasonable. Of a Protagonist in a "Plagiarism genre" story actually saying "I'm not the writer of [This work]. It was something I've imported from a faraway land" when talking to buyers and investors. Of a protagonist actually having the brain to adapt and modify works like a real translator/localizer so that they can be sold better in the target audience.

Until it is actually fully translated, I can't say much more (Spoilers!). But it's basically sort of like Outbreak Company but without the bull**** and in an Isekai style.

Edit: At ch 770 now - holy ****. Fluff/worldbuilding I thought I could ignore is actually foreshadowing for later arcs, serious arcs. There are so many callbacks and payoffs for people who realize what's going on. And once again the author and MC respects credit and precedent, those that come before... and it actually makes sense in context once you get there in the story, as this leads to other developments, to a bigger picture. He's actually starting to play a bit loose with the concept of Credit and Copyright right now... and we can see the problems as well as benefits from both sides of the story. (In a sense. None of this is explicitly stated to be "Bad" or "Good", but as readers we can see causality, no?)

One clear thing is that this story is a bit naive and idealistic. But it's filled with hope and love in ways other chinese webnovels fail to deliver.

At this point, I'd make the argument that the MC is not the MC. He's merely a side character, a guide, sort of like Count D in Petshop of Horrors, or the Chef in Isekai Shokudou (restaurant of another world), or the Nobu Store from Isekai Izakaya Nobu. The MC and the adaptation of familiar media of Earth becomes the platform to explore new cultures/realities and other interesting characters' lives as we see this cultural exchange and almost parody of what we live in. Some things are played for laughs in order to hide the darker undertones, but for such an idealistic story to even address or acknowledge things like media addiction or the realities of making it big like a star (and how a star can stay big), as well as problems associated with fame makes me very happy.

It also has one of the more realistic slow-burning romances (not torrid Shojou/josei tramptacular romances XD) in chinese webnovels, and we see a relationship built on respect and mutual interests and close proximity. <<less
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Felix3D rated it
Gourmet of Another World
April 11, 2017
Status: c680
Literally a Xuanhuan-set version of Gourmet Food Supplier. Same system, same first dish, same basic formula. Plus some more ridiculous otaku-bait aspects like the robot "assistant" (read: basically just robo-trope-meido). Seems it seems to do more with the setting, yet has less likeable characters and definitely worse pacing than the other series, the tentative rating for this fic is 3/5, just like the other one.
Edit: Due to reading some of the RAWs, I have increased the score to 4/5

Not to say this is a bad story. It's just... more>> that at 10 chapters it feels as generic as all hell and just like those copy-paste-change-a-detail fanfics that litter the web. I'm currently starting to read the raw, but there's still nothing that sets this series apart. Edit:
Observations from the RAW: The author keeps things episodic, but actually started emulating Other World Dining Hall where each new dish is some sort of mini-arc, and are tools to explore different characters. This is by far more interesting than the plain old face-smacking, and there is actual conflict you can invest in, even if it's nothing major.

Things open up, and it gets better in many ways, but the central flaw of the "system" basically being god-mode and an omniscient Troll-GM (Game Master) becomes more of a weakness. However, I believe the story does enough things to add to the formula and make it great. <<less
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Felix3D rated it
Demon Noble Girl ~Story of a Careless Demon~
May 22, 2016
Status: v1c9
This... is classical Japanese writing. The words have multiple meanings, and allusions, while the whole setup is more of a poem than prose.

Because of this, it is hard to read. You can't translate it properly, much like Dante's Inferno. The wording and the subtext will always be a bit off. While it is a good job, the translation could be improved.

But the story, and what it accomplishes still is very strong.

Do not read this if you do not like artsy stories, or if you prefer clear and concise actions. This... more>> work is very "japanese" in the sense that it revels in implied information and incomplete thoughts. You will often feel lost while reading this story. This is normal, that's how this kind of literature works.

Beyond the cute and fluffy exterior, you can call this story "horror" almost, as it takes a very interesting niche and expands on it. It's a shockingly simple premise that is elevated and explored in ways you don't expect. <<less
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Felix3D rated it
Ascendance of a Bookworm
June 14, 2016
Status: v4c20
A reincarnation story where the MC fails. Constantly. Like they should.

The first arc will be quite interesting, and it's sort of like Deathmarch's progression/tone but in a more realistic setting. It was compelling enough to get me to translate it for myself up until the 4th volume, and that's saying something.

However, be prepared for slow plots, long-burning fuse stories, and a whole lot of political/religious intrigue and backsies.
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi
May 22, 2016
Status: c9
It is... pretty rough. The language is stilted, which while a function of the translation, is also largely because of the original work. (BTW, the yAmi translation is superior) The phrasing and flow are terrible - it starts and stops, leaps and lurches. This was written in almost a "stream of consciousness" style, (like Kuma Kuma Bear) but I can only describe this as akin to "mental Diarrhea". To compare this to Wordmaster is frankly an insult to Wordmaster, as this is a Mary Sue (Brainy, sees-the-truth-of-the-world, and utterly... more>> Hax Powered) in every sense with no inkling of struggle or development. Furthermore, it's clear that the setting and the characters are only there as window dressing - they serve as scenery for the MC to shine against. There is no sense of agency, no sense of individuality when it comes to characters.

If you want cooking magical animals, look for something else. It really isn't that kind of work IMHO. It's much like how in Shield Hero there was a merchant era that quickly was developed out of, this feels like a transition stage.

Basically if you like the "Modern Conveniences stomp over generic fantasy world" and "Protagonist can do no wrong" genres, and either have enough brain damage, or more likely the "Bad (fan) fic induced Brain Damage Resistance" trait leveled up to 4/10, you should be fine.

I'll wait until the arcs fully form before putting a true rating down, but for now, it's a provisional 2/5. <<less
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Felix3D
The story itself is so vapid and the characters truly have no depth. It's the classic stereotype story of "reincarnated lovers find out their past 'falling out' was a misunderstanding" and then just constant "face-slapping" style reveals that happen on the Main Character's behalf with no effort, agency, or action whatsoever on the part of the Female Lead.

The Female Lead is so passive it's not even funny, it's like she's on one of those storytelling cart rides, despite how she claims she wants to take her life into her own... more>> hands with her own decisions in this life.

Any happiness she has is unearned, likewise, any sadness she experiences feels trite and without any meaningful impact whatsoever. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
February 13, 2017
Status: c204
For some reason, what started out as a more mechanically-inclined, more in-depth vapid "All Women are b***hes (Japanese "b***h" aka sl**), all Men are bastards" fantasy world story... has turned into something that seriously discusses discrimination, [i]Reverse discrimination[/i], how even when someone says "I'm not discriminating. They have emotional biases due to experiences, and how people's lives affect one another.

I mean, it's still very vapid in most points and frankly the action is skin deep and bombastic, along the lines of a Michael bay movie, but get past like... more>> chapter 50 and... I'm shocked at how much better of a storyteller the original author is becoming. He's actually incorporating aspects of literature into his writing, from using key "focalizers" and POV chapters, to really making irony and callbacks a signature of his.

It's still... very "uncivilized" in some aspects, but this story is one I highly recommend if you're into things like shield hero and wanted more description and development. Or if you felt that Re:Monster was just too sex-focused and written by a 15year old.

This is what I call "adaptation bait". This kind of story would be great to be adapted to a borderline Seinen Anime or a manga. Of course, it already is a manga, and that's pretty good too.

I will say that the characters are kind of... forgettable and blend into one another. Another reason an adaptation would be better. The author seems to switch up the cast and doesn't include enough descriptions or actions for certain names to actually be remembered, and so a character list/wiki kind of is needed for most audiences to get into this if you're reading it chapter by chapter. On a binge, though, it should be fine. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D rated it
Semi Datte Tensei Sureba Ryuu Ni Naru
May 30, 2016
Status: Epilogue
I've talked about traditional Japanese poetry-like prose before in my reviews, and this work exemplifies that.

For those who are confused, you can look at the "First Exemplars" of literature. For most of the Western World, that exemplar is the Bible (as it is the most formative work). For Japan? It is actually the Kojiki. It is a record of traditional poems, stories, and songs that contain the myths of Japan from before written language was a thing.

Japan didn't have a written language for a very long time, they had to... more>> import Chinese (a very unsuited writing system for Japanese, mind you) from the Buddhist missionaries. This meant that stories, myths, legends... they were remembered not as written tales like our own Fairy tales or Stories... but as songs, poems, and symbols.

This close link with poetry, and the heavy use of implied actions, symbolic meanings, and obtuse allusions pervades Japanese literature. And it is this duality that this Novel experiments with and exemplifies.

Semi Datte Tensei Sureba Ryuu ni Naru is, frankly, a love poem. One that has been very well translated for us to obtain much of the meaning, more than enough for us to see the brilliance within.

It is a poem in the shape of a novel, with stanzas in the shape of stories, and symbols in the shape of characters.

It is a beautiful meeting of language and meaning, that is meant to be experienced like a painting.

What you get out of this Novel is not more important than what you bring to it.

It is at heart a simplistic love story with fantastical elements and some lighthearted jokes and a wonderful build-up.

And if you read it quickly, that's all it will be.

But slow down for a moment before you start. Let the words pervade you, and let yourself bring more to the table. <<less
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Felix3D
Felix3D
Kokugensou wo Item Cheat de Ikinuku (LN)
May 27, 2016
Status: prologue
I don't know how much more different the LN will be to the WN, but I've read ahead on the WN and also read the translation of the WN...

If it retreads the plot like the prologue is suggesting, you'll find that this is a "too convenient" and "fantasy world holding collective idiot ball" kind of story.

Basically it's history as told by a person that 1) doesn't know history, 2) thinks "Modern world F*ck Yeah, curb stomp those savages!", and 3) Has no critical thinking skills outside of wanking their favorite... more>> fandom.

The protagonist is just on this side of likable, but that's only because of his earnest effort.

More detailed review to come as it is updated. <<less
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