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Ohems
Ohems rated it
Release that Witch
May 16, 2018
Status: c938
The label "Made in China" tends to be a bit of a joke these days. Cheap copycats as Chinese products tend to be. The novels coming from China haven't impressed me much either due to the heavy influence of the local culture which usually makes them seem very outlandish and foreign for me. But somehow, for some reason, Release that Witch manages to overcome its roots and really, really impress me.

The writer is from China, the plot is an isekai story from Japan and the world is from medieval Europe.... more>> And it works. It works so damn well. The story loans its story structure from Japanese novels without being embarrassing or completely over the top like actual Japanese isekai stories usually tend to be. The main cast is a healthy mix of males and females in leading roles even though the whole point of the story are the female witches. Most of the characters are adults and behave as such, calmly and with some well defined and deep reason. Even many of the children have been given great backstories and fitting emotional depth to their character. All in all, the cast is very varied and very deep, a pleasure to observe.

Overall the author really seems to know how to build a world. Things are introduced bit by bit and the struggle for the throne in a medieval world with which the story begins quickly turns into magic, monster and gunpowder filled apocalyptic mayhem without losing any of its internal logic or cohesion. Sometimes the author introduces some really weird events which would be completely out of place in any other novel but strangely fit in this one. The apocalypse I mentioned earlier doesn't creep in too slowly nor does it appear too fast either. The story manages to maintain a good war-on-the-front-peace-at-home feeling where the conflicts around the nation contrast to the internal politics and technological advancement of the nation itself. From time to time the war comes knocking on the door though and we get to see the peace endangered in exciting manners.

If there is something to complain, the main character knows a bit too much. A person, even a qualified engineer, coming from the internet age should not have this much knowledge in their head. There are also some "convenient" things happening in the story. But then again, go and find me an isekai story that wouldn't commit these sins. Release that Witch also manages to save itself by being very thorough with explaining all of the technical details every time some modern invention is introduced. You get the feeling that the author really researched a lot of stuff for the story and therefore the scenes don't appear completely cheap.

I'd recommend reading this novel on the webnovel. Com site and start collecting spirit stones (the currency of that page) before you reach the paywall. Webnovel has a very reasonable payment model where you can pay for the newest chapters but all of the chapters eventually get released for free and there are also ways to gain spirit stones through activity. In exchange for this, you get chapters translated with pretty much professional quality. And that just makes this even more awesome. <<less
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Ohems
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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku (WN)
January 11, 2018
Status: v16c30
I have very mixed feelings regarding this novel. I could've given it anything between two and five stars and found reasonable excuses for it, but I'll settle on 4 now. Right from the get go I'll say that if you're seeking for a serious novel with an artistic plot, you're very, very lost. Death March is a very laid back humorous OP harem adventure which kind of hits all of the isekai tropes, sometimes in rather annoying ways.

The author does have some admirable skill in driving the plot. The MC... more>> has an OP level from the beginning, but lacks skills and tools he needs to defeat his opponents. Kind of like a main battle tank without ammunition. Over the course of the plot he eventually gains those skills and gradually enters the true OP territory. All of this is done in a fluid manner and the author knows when to prevent the MC from gaining a certain skill and when to finally hand it over to him without trying to forcibly keep the story from escalating.

The plot is also reasonably complex and the world feels like a well thought out whole instead of a series of random encounters and endless sub plots. Seemingly small plot lines tie into each other and keep on growing along with the strength of the MC until stuff boils over in a truly grand way. What starts off as a visit to a small town eventually escalates into massive conflicts and interwoven objectives of powerful individuals.

But then the cons... Oh, the cons... Here we go.

Cooking. This story could very well be called Cooking March. I know that cooking is important for isekai stories, but when a critical plotline in v1XcXX is interrupted by yet another hamburger festival, it seriously starts eating your sanity. I don't think I'm even all that much off when I claim that half of this novel is cooking or eating without serious plot (or even character) development related to it. Also, cooking is used way too extensively to define the characters following the MC. Every time some character development happens, it's immediately offset by the fact that everything the characters talk about or do is related to food. Pochi, Tama and Liza start off the story with an obsession to meat and several hundred chapters later that still remains as their most defining factor, seriously hindering their character development.

The gods and what MC thinks of them. I seriously call it bullsh*t here.
Spoiler

The gods have wiped out several nations simply because they had some convenient inventions and as their latest whim completely wiped out the weaselkin empire in a gigantic explosion. The MC then goes to meet one of these gods to ask why they did it, basically acting as the representative of all humankind. When the MC asks for the reason, the gods say it's a secret and basically just flip the bird to the MC, sending him off to some stupid and pointless journey like a travelling circus. Seriously, if your reason to wiping out an entire country is a "secret", it practically doesn't exist and you're a homicidal maniac that needs to be eliminated ASAP before any more damage is caused. I don't care if knowing the secret leads to the destruction of the world, perhaps the humankind might be able to do something to it if they knew the reasons. The gods are idiots with completely stupid morals and the MC is even more stupid for obediently going according to their whim. It's nothing more than a convenient excuse to extend the story a bit since now the MC has to travel around doing quests for the same beings that caused one of his friends have her family murdered in front of her and enter slavery.

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The denseness of the MC. Seriously, if the MC ever ascends into divinity in the story, he might very well be called the god of stupidity, marriage evasion and infertility. The MC has never even looked at the tons of marriage requests he's getting, laughs every time somebody declares they'll marry him because he thinks it's a good joke and tells his underaged companions to reconsider marrying him when they're older because he thinks they'll drop the idea until that comes. In other words, the MC is constantly dodging all marriage related matters in the most irritating of ways, constantly ignoring obvious hints and leaving stuff hanging in the air. A girl breaks down crying in front of him due to his rejection and his thought is something along the lines of "Oh, I guess she was actually serious with it". You could say that the interests of the MC (big breast lover) just don't match up with the offering (loli companions) and the author uses this for some great comedic effect, but by the time Karina is introduced that reasoning goes out of the window as well.

The love interest of the MC.
Spoiler

The love interest of the MC, the high elf Aze, appears out nowhere and suddenly somehow manages to do the impossible and win over the dense MC for no reason whatsoever. Seriously, the elven forest storyline was so confusing. People go in, MC is invited to some random place, some illusion stuff, some random awkward kiss happens as a result of a misunderstanding, someone blacks out, some conversations with a teacup with random content, some training happens and they're out. And somehow the only person the MC loves from then on despite being constantly surrounded by beauties is Aze. What the f**k happened? Did I just not read it properly? It's so creepy when the MC throws in some random "The only person I love is Aze" comments every now and then and I have no idea how the fck the MC could even be in love with the person. Why not with any other person in the story?

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Ohems
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The New Gate
December 22, 2017
Status: v9c2 part4
Traditional "japanese person ends up in a game world and is OP" story in both good and bad. However, what sets this one apart from the rest in my opinion is its much more mature tone. Almost every notable person in the story is an adult and, with the exception of a bit of light-hearted comedy, behave like it. Most of the characters act rather rationally and the story flows in a natural way instead of being a forced power fantasy like most isekai stories are. Several important people are... more>> patiently held back to be introduced at a later date, female party members actually have proper reasons for sticking with the MC and the character roster is well balanced between males and females. Plus the MC doesn't pick up a new girl to his party in every damn book.

Many people have complained how the MC holds back his powers and tries his best not to stand out. However, I personally find the reasoning very adequate. This is an adventure story first, OP isekai tale second. And that shows in the attitude of the MC. He's little more than a player who got OP through hard effort and just wants to enjoy the world without causing too much of a fuss. However, when he finds himself or someone close to him in trouble, he doesn't hesitate to step in in a very level headed manner. The OP overkills that eventually happen here and there contrast wonderfully with the mature tone of the plot and allow a more subtle tone of humor compared to the constant onslaught of embarrassing stuff that takes place in many other stories of its kind.

As a sidenote, the thing that annoys me the most is the constant spamming of skill names in fights. The game system has a lot of techniques and skills with ridiculous names and about 10% of all fights is just skill names one after another, which I couldn't care less of. But perhaps due to the low density of serious action in the series, I do not find this to be a big problem.

TL;DR this is a rather mature adventure story which sacrifices action for travel and plot development. Everything in this story is more subtle than in many of its peers, but the story telling methods are delicate and impressive. Some people may find it a bit boring, I found it very enjoyable. <<less
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Ohems
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The Death Mage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time
December 18, 2017
Status: c116
One of the most depressing openings I've ever read to a story. The MC has it hard and the story and writing style makes sure you understand it well. First dozen chapters or so feel like a drag and are rather emotionally consuming, almost prompting me to abandon the series.

However, the story picks itself up rather quickly. The MC skyrockets rather quickly from very weak to very powerful, but without becoming completely OP. There are many factions and people that are stronger than the MC, constantly creating some tension and... more>> weight to the plot. The story evolves rapidly into a rather generic and light hearted OP isekai story, but maintains several serious aspects and even occasional setbacks and tragedies so that the emotional rollercoaster keeps rolling nicely.

A story which begins with tragedy and maintains the balance between light hearted harem OP stuff and serious, sometimes even tragic, stuff. Unique and interesting plot, well built and rather complicated world and well fleshed out characters. Might not be one of the finest novels I've ever read, but definitely one of the most interesting ones.

Also, the translation job is superb. The amount of effort, care and skill put into it is obvious and something I never thought I'd see in online translations. <<less
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World Teacher – Other World Style Education & Agent (WN)
December 22, 2017
Status: c107
This story has been rather interesting and fun for me to read. However, I have to say that there are a lot of points to criticize as well. This is one of those stories where the MC is supposed to be some very experienced and old super soldier who dodges bullets and can achieve anything if he wants to. Then, on top of that, he gains some OP magic skills and stomps over everything. All of this is just so that this MC could then gain ladies (more accurately, little... more>> girls and an elf) like some teenage wet dream version of James Bond, hoarding them like I hoard my Nekopara figu... I mean... wait...

Either the target audience for this story is young teenagers or the author is one. The plot is well developed, characters are somewhat unique and interesting and overall writing style isn't terrible so I guess the author has some skills, but I can't imagine this being aimed at young teenagers either due to the excessive love making scenes which come when the harem has been established. Then again, those scenes are so childish as well that I can't really tell...

Can be rather fun to read, but definitely isn't a quality reading experience. <<less
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Ohems
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At the Northern Fort
December 22, 2017
Status: c13
"The stories of a fox, as told by a human." That could very well be the title of this novel. The MC is basically a long lived spirit fox cub and has all of the instincts and actions of a normal fox cub. However, since the MC is a reincarnated human, she can narrate the actions from a familiar viewpoint.

There are complaints about how the MC doesn't act like an adult despite mentally being one, but the whole point of the novel seems to be to narrate the life of... more>> a fox cub, and the MC is a reincarnated human only to make this possible in a reasonable way. So the decision to make the MC act like a small animal is very deliberate and coincidentally also very well done.

Very cute, fluffy and light-hearted. I'm just as curious to see where this story goes as the MC was when she found a bottle of ink and some important documents. I hope the story doesn't go like that scene did. <<less
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The Guild’s Cheat Receptionist
December 18, 2017
Status: v2c3 part3
Damn this story is boring. There are secret plots going on, dragons appearing to threaten the people, elementals going wild, mysterious people coming and going, cat girls, rather well written foe-to-friend drama, even gods visiting the MC... yet it's so damn boring. The story feels like it goes nowhere. Maybe because the MC quite literally goes nowhere.

The gender-bender stuff gets very little attention and so does the past of the MC where all her (his?) legendary deeds and friendships are. People just appear like the author randomly invented them yesterday... more>> and a seemingly random explanation is given like "Hey, the MC did this some dozen years ago and that's why I totally love her". All issues the MC has are resolved by some random characters who appear randomly, tell how much they adore the MC for... some reason, then the MC sends them to deal with the issue. Cue small side story with completely different characters and repeat. As a reader I kind of feel left out of the stuff, since all those things that happened in the past sound way more interesting than the present does.

Also, I have no idea how the MC can deal with her work. The guild feels understaffed at all times and there are also idiots of various kind constantly bothering her. I have no idea how this counts as the peaceful retirement she seems to be after. <<less
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Ore to Kawazu-san no Isekai Hourouki
December 22, 2017
Status: c57
A rather silly comedy story which mashes many weird plot developments into a story that barely remains coherent but stays interesting and fun to read nonetheless. Definitely not a literature masterpiece, but still enjoying to read. The characters aren't very well fleshed out, most of them being caricatures with very strong personalities and clearly defining characteristics. However, there is very little embarrassment and the comedy is in most parts well executed.

If I have to name one thing where this story shines, it's in the fact that most of the people... more>> in the story sense the OP strength of the MC and avoid hostilities. Encounters with new parties often end up with someone else than the MC fighting, but the MC himself just focuses on driving the plot forward. In other words, this story is a traditional OP isekai story in a slightly different sense, as the MC doesn't actually use his powers in combat but rather to do other kinds of plot stuff. <<less
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Kujonin
December 18, 2017
Status: c22
A good example of a story where the MC ends up in a harem heaven, but quite literally just wants to do his work and live a nice life. You might think of this as a boring setup, but this story manages to make really good use of the typically absurd isekai side characters and the MC seems like a rather smart guy who goes with the flow without getting absorbed by it.

This story contains an OP main character to keep it funny and light-hearted, enough fantasy material to keep... more>> your imagination running, enough women and suggestive material to keep your imagination running in a different way, enough action to make the world seem active and enough travelling to make it seem like the story goes somewhere. Yet none of these things are exaggerated and the author knows how to cut a joke that's getting too old. Also, most of the characters (with a few comical relief exceptions) are rather mature and the typical "oh I'm 30 or so years but I act like the 14 y/o kid I am" isekai plague is avoided.

The story hasn't gone very far yet and I can't really say this is the best thing I've ever read, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the author can come up with in the future. <<less
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Ohems
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I Was a Sword When I Reincarnated (WN)
December 18, 2017
Status: c142
A nice, fun and somewhat enjoyable adventure story which I can't really blame nor praise much. The events happening in the story are well planned and executed, but feel ultimately a bit pointless and uninteresting. The main characters just happen to be where trouble takes place and kind of just solve it. Their personal goals are rather whimsical and unimportant, often getting buried under all the random encounters and endless side plots. Also, the extended cooking competition side story kind of added to this and made me rather bored.

In other... more>> words, a well written story that has struggled to keep my interest in itself. <<less
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A Certain Middle-Aged Man’s VRMMO Activity Log
December 22, 2017
Status: c63
Go and read the manga version. This is one of those stories that don't really do well as a novel, due to how slow it is to read it. The story starts off with a huge amount of exposition and game mechanic explanations. Even after the core mechanics of the game are in place, a game update comes and there's even more explanations. The MC takes forever to build his arsenal of skills and equipment and most of the plot points are there just to lay a foundation for the... more>> future adventures.

That being said, once the story picks up the pace, you're in for quite a nice ride. The plot seems weird and light-hearted, but has quite a bit of depth because the game which the MC is in isn't any normal game that just tries to lure in customers. I'm positively surprised to see that a good isekai story can be made without actually ending up in another world for real.

Then again, all of that praise regarding the plot really only applies to the manga. I guess the novel will pick up the pace eventually as well, but I can't really imagine myself following it that far. <<less
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Ascendance of a Bookworm
December 22, 2017
Status: c58
While most isekai stories are fantasy stories in a historical fantasy world, this story is a fantasy story in a historical fantasy world. The depiction of an European style town in the Middle Ages is the best I've seen in any novel so far and it's depicted from the viewpoint of a poor commoner. Of course there are twists and fantasy elements to it, but the general lifestyle and conditions are rather well depicted.

As most people have pointed out, the MC is more of a book fetishist than... more>> a book worm and indeed doesn't quite act reasonably at all times. However, I found that to be secondary as the overall plot development is still pretty much on point, at least after the MC stops crying after the books and actually starts doing stuff.

A rather serious tale that has more akin to traditional novels than it does to Japanese web novels. Starts off kind of weak, but picks itself up and barely manages to earn 5 stars from me. <<less
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Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (WN)
September 30, 2017
Status: c262
The thing I like the most in this story is the fact that even though all of his classmates got cheat powers "for free", the MC basically earns them by surviving some really terrible experiences. Later on those same school kids become jealous of him because they don't understand the cost he paid for obtaining what he has. The MC displays a realistic and (not so) slightly negative view towards the world while the story ridicules the stereotypical image of a noble hero.

There are some clear low points though. I... more>> like how the MC evolves into a balanced and well defined character towards the end, but there are some places where the story tries to forcibly make him do things no sane person would ever do, even considering the situation he's in. I can name a few exact points when I almost quit reading the entire thing because the actions of the MC made zero sense and it felt like the entire story had gone downhill in an instant. Some of the classmates also display behavior which is far beyond reason, but the story does somehow find believable excuses for these, although they are somewhat extreme. However, the story eventually recovers itself from the occasional downfalls and the overall image I have of the series is positive.

Also, the extras are almost as long as the main series. Their quality is very random but there are some very hilarious and well written stories in the mix. It's very nice that the characters are actually taken beyond the main story and their "happy ever after" is explored much more. Some of the side characters also get great spotlights during these extras.

Also, I have to say that I hate the character of Tio very, very much. I'd beat that character to a pulp but she'd most likely just like it. Fck that character. <<less
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