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For those wondering is this novel is different, here's the deal:

-The protagonist is level 1 with F in everything but has a legend status in drops.
-Said legend status lets him get stat boosting items.
-For some god forsaken reason these valuable stat boosting items aren't limited drops like in any normal game, but they're drops from weak skeletons and zombies that any old mook can kill.
-Being Level 1 obviously doesn't prevent him from consuming stat boosting items.
-Guess what happens next.

Also worth noting:
-There is literally no set... more>> up or backstory, and there are literally no descriptive details of the locations, or the world, or anything. Enjoy reading a story in a setting the author can't even be arsed to describe in a few words, if at all.
-Writing is plain and amateurish, translator puts annoying TLNs every few sentences. (TLN: Stop doing this please)
-Up to C8 and only girls have appeared. All seem to gravitate towards our MC for some reason. It's not exactly as gratuitous or blatant as say, World Teacher, but it's still incredibly obvious what's happening here.
-Protagonist has no character or personality to speak of. Neither do any of the characters. Why should I give a sh*t about any of these people?
-It's really boring. Nothing interesting happens.

If you want me to say it any more clearly: it's boring and it's not creative or different either. Don't bother. At least read some shitty isekai that has a world to get invested or interested in. Here there is nothing.

P.S. About the translator notes, trying to get immersed in a story while someone else comments on everything happening constantly is difficult. I'm not sure if anyone else has issues with this, but I certainly do. It's disruptive. I appreciate the work translators do, but this stuff really peeves me. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
November 7, 2016
Status: c82
The title is literally Kuma in Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, and then the borrowed word "bear" from the English language. The novel is literally titled "Bear Bear Bear Bear, " and yet somehow I'd argue the author has a much better naming sense than most light novel authors. That aside, a brief summary of what I think: it lacks depth, but it's cute, feel-good, and easy to read.

The thing I feel most preeminently about this novel is "it's okay, " or perhaps more appropriately, "it's bearable." That's what I think every... more>> chapter I read. The writing is simple and contains nothing particularly interesting, and the plot has no direction. The author constantly admits to writing on an improvisational basis, and even writes in the notes, at several points, "I carelessly wrote this thing in and now I have to write it out." Going into this novel expecting nothing great is the proper way to go about it. Maybe read in short chunks.

The reason alone I'd recommend this is because it has an overall cutesy, slice of life feel. The protagonist is overpowered, yes, but she only is while wearing a full body bear suit. Think bear pajamas for kids. She has powerful magic, summons, attacks, and skills, but all of them have a bear motif. Her magic is in the form of bears. Her summons are large bears. She creates a house with magic and the house is bear shaped, with a bath that's shaped like a bear. She opens a shop later has bear figurines and decorations everywhere. All conflicts end with no deaths, and happy endings, and our protagonist does nothing but spread positivity for the most part.

The protagonist herself isn't really anything to talk about. She isn't naive, and she stands up for herself properly when necessary. Her attitude is such that she just kinda does what she wants to, and her desires/motivations more or less amount to improving her quality of life so she can be more lazy, and as a result, though she inevitably gets involved with more and more people, those situations happen to occur as a result of her saving or helping people on a whim while she's out doing something else. She's not terribly generic, but she suffices as a decent protagonist.

As long as you don't expect anything Shakespearean and keep your expectations appropriately low, it's a cute read if you have some time to spare or nothing else to read. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
Yuusha Yori Saikyouna Kuro Kishi
September 4, 2017
Status: c28
Meanders a bit too much. Half of the synopsis, regarding the "harem king childhood friend" hasn't even been relevant since the first two chapters which were just explaining the set-up.

Basically, the guy alone was intended to be summoned but he dragged the girl in, and she died because she was an unintended summon. God as compensation let her reincarnate 2 years prior to his summoning, and the story up until now has been covering the events between her friend's summoning and when she first appeared in this world. I guess... more>> on an off-topicish note, you could bring up the obvious questions that would arise, like "what would happen if she creates enough of an influence to prevent the events that lead to her childhood friend's summoning in the first place? Isn't that a paradox?, " but it's not likely that it'll ever be examined in detail, considering the prologue has her hearing the details of said hero summoning.

But anyways, this aspect of exploring the journey of two years prior to the main event happening is fine on its own, but why even include that bit of her backstory if it's not going to be relevant for such a long time? Might as well have not existed. Not much of importance has really happened and currently the novel is really dragging with long tournament arc that isn't the least bit interesting or important. The author seems to be in no rush whatsoever to get to the story the synopsis actually teased.

The sad thing is, contrary to what I expected from reading the synopsis, I'm actually far, far more interested in the childhood harem king "sub-plot" (it's basically a sub-plot already) than I am with overpowered black knight adventures. It wasn't as obnoxious or played for laughs as I thought, and I actually felt for both of them in their own ways. The harem guy was an idiot, but it's clear that he loves the protagonist, but isn't reciprocated. Meanwhile, I understand why she despises him. It's kinda like a tragedy in a sense. "What if you were in love with your childhood friend but God decided to make you a literal dense, retarded harem protagonist and the result was the distance between the two of you became a rift miles wide?"

I want to see the story about them reconciling and understanding each other better. The reason he even dragged her into the summoning circle in the first place was because he didn't want to be without her. Why did the story have to become something completely different? I'm waiting desperately now for a time skip. I hope we get one soon. Worst case scenario, the story will end at that point and there will be no such relationship. <<less
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Her Royal Highness Seems to be Angry
May 9, 2019
Status: v1c4.5
Just going to write this as a counter-argument to what Bizmatech was writing, because it's pretty clear that there's some lack of reading comprehension there and there's no "downvote" or "bad review" button here. It's a bit too early for me to give a rating on this, so I'm leaving no rating on the review.

... more>>

1: "Instead of grieving for her husband, family, and kingdom, she goes of to school and acts bored."

Literally what? One of the things she does the most is read books. She f*cking spends hours in the library and on her free time reading about shit, and it's pretty clear that she still thinks about her former love and is interested in what happened for society to get to this point. She just has other things pre-occupying her at the moment. Just seeing someone who slightly resembles her husband caused her to start crying, you think she isn't grieving?

2: "When the MC wakes up, her first thought is that she's being held hostage, so she tries to kill herself with a broken bottle. Her butler and maids stop her, and then simply pretend that nothing happened.

Nobody tells her family. Nobody asks her why she attempted suicide. It's just, "Okay. We got the glass away from her. Put a bandaid on her quickly or she'll be late for breakfast!""

Ah, so you haven't read the story at all. Or you need it to be stated in plain text to understand. Drossel is ostracized by everyone around her. Her peers, her family, even her fiance, to the point that it's not a stretch to say that it might have driven her to suicide. Her family and peers also very clearly view her as so repulsive or evil that they probably would be glad if she dropped dead the next day. C4.5 even literally states that since birth she was an unwanted child, and all of her servants look at her in contempt and disgust.

3: "Most of the characters start off hating the MC because... she has no magic power. Despite this, for some reason she's also somehow the fiance of the prince... who also hates her."

Political marriage. Degradation of understanding of magic resulted in people with no magic power being ostracized and looked down upon. Stated in plain text. Next.

4: "The civilization of the MC's previous life is presented as such a grimdark hellscape of total war that I have to question how they were even able to maintain any level of civilization in the first place."

Not sure what kind of point is trying to be made here. It's not like society began this barbaric and hellish. A seemingly normal and peaceful world can be turned to hell in an instant by a world power suddenly being under control of a power-hungry imperialist. It's not outright stated or established in detail, but it doesn't take much of a leap of logic to understand how the world became this way.

Anyways, I concede on a lot of other points, like how convenient a lot of the writing is, e.g. first person she meets is a magic powerless, she teaches her easily, they become best friends, stumbles upon obvious love interest, etc. etc.


5: The point on the degradation of magic/technology/etc. over centuries because of "peace" and "there not being a need to further it" I agree is also a stupid trope that just doesn't make any sense, but I'm willing to give the novel the benefit of the doubt that this will be further elaborated upon. With how close to complete anarchy and chaos the world was before, it's not unimaginable that someone might take that opportunity to sculpt the world into a form that would suit themselves better. Whatever country ended up winning the world war would be in a position to flip the narrative however they pleased, and in an era where people kept knowledge in their heads with memorization magic instead of recorded in books, the complete erasure and re-writing of history isn't beyond comprehension.

This is all conjecture, of course, but it's just one way for all of this sh*t to make sense, and as of now, it's still a mystery why society degraded to the point it did over time. Give it some time. Complaining about mysteries that have yet to be solved in... *checks notes* 4 chapters plus the prologue is silly.

Not all the answers are going to be there immediately. It seems like we're currently in the stage of the story where Leticiel is just taking the opportunity to experience things she didn't before. She had a fixation/hobby in reading, so in a literature-rich age she's understandably ecstatic, among other minor things like the improvement in food quality over time. In a society as different as this in general, there are a lot of things for her to do, research, and learn about for there to be plenty of room for potential future plot developments. I can understand reading through like, maybe two volumes and there being no semblance of whatever intrigue there is being developed, but again, four chapters.

But sure, I guess. If you don't have the ability to suspend disbelief or the patience to read beyond 4 chapters for everything to make sense, then this really is a sh*t novel. Don't even waste your time. Pepega


I suppose I'll also point out that I haven't read ahead in the novel or anything, so I only know what's been translated thus far. For all I know I could be wrong and it's just slice of life bullsh*t and there's not much substance to it, but let's hold off on making hasty judgments now, shall we? Cross that bridge when we get there. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
Isekai Shoukan ni Makikomareta Obaachan
February 22, 2017
Status: c17
Simplistic, plain writing, uneventful, and no character or charm to speak of. It's your standard fluffy slice of life type novel but the author didn't make any attempt to make it interesting or unique.

In Slice of Life, especially in novels, you can't just let cute girls or visual humor carry you, the dialogue has to make up for the lack of eventfulness. A lot of authors seem to forget that slice of life is an inherently boring genre that's lifted up by dialogue and visual humor, and without it, it... more>> is excessively boring and lifeless.

It's not so egregiously bad, nor is it even remotely good. It's just... it exists I guess? Frankly this novel left me with no impressions at all. <<less
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Your typical power fantasy Isekai story. From reading the synopsis you can more or less guess how things usually go down: the protagonist is overpowered and can basically have the ability to do anything if the plot demands it. "Why? Because he's a god--" is an explanation used a lot and I know it's supposed to be a joke but it's not funny. Merely pointing out that something that shouldn't be, is, doesn't excuse its lack of a reason to exist. There's no sense of tension either because of how... more>> astronomically powerful the main character is and it's not even done in an entertaining or unique way.

None of the characters have any depth or individuality to speak of. The main girl, Celica, has basically done nothing but fawn over the protagonist and constantly get saved by him. Villains are one-dimensional. They have no names and backstories, exist solely as obstacles for the hero to overcome and come out on top on. You can find them in any other by-the-numbers story. Common plot threads you see in Isekai are there, like the bandits in a bar making a scene so our righteous protagonist can solve the problem and come out a hero. People will cheer and praise the protagonist in the cringiest way. Reminds me of those stories of things that totally happened where people call out a racist on a bus and the everyone in the bus stands up and cheers while the racist guy who was ugly by the way, walks out in shame and the storyteller gets showered in pussy. That kind of thing. It's supposed to make the reader feel amazing but it's just so f*cking cringe especially in the one of the most recent chapters.

The protagonist is a god that has a long history of doing god-things yet acts like and seems to ever only reference Otaku culture like games and manga. Makes you wonder what type of audience this is aimed at, huh? This all probably sounds familiar doesn't it?

There's nothing unique or original here. Just a cut by the numbers power fantasy harem Isekai with an overpowered protagonist. If you're looking for something unique that doesn't tow the line, look elsewhere. If you don't mind cliches or are actually looking for exactly the same thing you've already read before, then go right for it. <<less
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I read the latest raws mostly because of what Nermie posted below out of concern. I'm just going to refer to Alice by female pronouns for convenience's sake. If you want to know a bit more about what kind of story this ends up becoming, read away.

... more>>

What Nermie said seems to essentially be correct. End of the story is probably going to be Alice getting with the guy and having Alicia as her child, given her response to the guy's question at the end of one of the chapters. "Do you want to have Alicia alone, or with me, " to which Alice replies "with you." Which is weird enough as is. She's in love with Alicia and wants her to live but she'll be reborn as her biological child, and at the end of the day she's been in a relationship with someone completely different. It just reeeeaally rubs me the wrong way that her deciding to settle down with a man was never really her decision. It's her only choice if she wants Alice to live, so she begrudgingly agrees to the plan. To have a lot of unprotected s*x with a man in an attempt to become pregnant.

This entire set-up is just borderline NTR. I honestly only just realized that's why it's got me so miffed about this whole thing. That, and Ikuto will never truly end up with Alicia. Sure, there's a chance she'll be reborn as Alice's child, but that's not exactly the same as them becoming romantic partners, now is it? That's never going to be an ending or a possibility, though I suppose we've all known that since the beginning. I suppose if you're reading this spoiler, you ought to only continue reading if you want to see Ikuto's steady progression into becoming a woman, completely, in mind and sexuality as well as body. No apparent Shoujo-Ai to be found here.

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Shiraori_ rated it
Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka?
November 3, 2016
Status: c283
Honestly, the medium of Light Novels is littered with a sea of garbage, especially when it comes to the Isekai genre. Perhaps it's because this is one of the first I've picked up by reading the manga, and then binging the novel after running out of material to read.

I don't think I have to waste my time explaining the premise, nor would you want me to waste your time re-explaining it, so I'll get to the point. I'm going to list a bunch of points, list-style, since it's the easiest... more>> way to write this review.

1) I highly recommend reading the manga first. The 13-something translated chapters cover about 40 chapters of the web novel, and the manga is excellent. It's what I'd expect an animated version of it to be like -- the Web Novel writing tends to be a bit subdued and simplistic, lacking energy, whereas the manga is bursting with visual humor and personality. Read the manga, and if you're hooked, pick up the novel from there. I'm sure even one chapter should give you an idea of what to expect.

2) Chapters are short and easy to read, and the author updates the web novel every few days or so. Translator is fast, good, and consistent.

3) Side Stories are important to read in the order they come out. Every 10 chapters or so there'll be a chapter from the perspective of some of the other students that reincarnated. Don't skip them.

4) One of the things that makes Kumo a bit unique I'd say is that everything in the Universe has a reason for existing. Game elements, like skills, text boxes, leveling up, status bars, magic, "the voice of the world" that announces game messages like level ups and such, and even the setting itself exist for a reason.

5) The plot changes significantly about 150 chapters in. Keeping it brief, the first half is Kumoko surviving in the labyrinth, learning various things, and gaining strength. The second half almost entirely ditches that set up for something more akin to information warfare. Some light politics here and there, negotiations, manipulating others, developing connections, and expanding influence. Basically, things Kumoko couldn't do until she

gained a human form

, now that she's actually gotten out of the labyrinth. Some might be vexed at this shift in story, but I thought it was great. It's a logical progression after Kumoko obtains the knowledge she does.

6) The writing is concise and to the point. No wasted words. Author shows clear planning in her writing, foreshadowing various reveals from the very beginning, and occasionally she'll drop some tidbits of intrigue here and there that are a bit unsettling, like something is slightly off. Don't expect a lot of pseudo-science or exposition dumps.

That's all I really have to say. I'm not too good at writing reviews, but I hope this helps give you an idea of what to expect. <<less
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I've enjoyed what I've read, but I know deep down that it's complete garbage. That's the gist of what I feel about this. When it comes to conflict, the protagonist is quite literally overpowered to the extent that nothing is a threat and there are no stakes. You just know that literally nothing bad can happen as long as she's around in the general vicinity. Backstories/arcs are gone over quickly and in rapid succession, and lack any sort of real depth. Nothing is fleshed out, after she moves to the... more>> next setting she'll meet a character and solve their problems in like 3 or 4 chapters. This isn't good writing.

Even despite all that, it's unashamedly a power fantasy and has a lot of cute girls with no annoying male MC, and at the end of the day, I personally liked it, even if it has all the makings of an awful story. It's a fun read if you just turn off the critical analysis part of your brain and just enjoy the journey of a cute vampire girl (male) for what it is.

One thing I'd like to say is that the translation past Chapter 7 is questionable. It varies from perfectly fine to a jumbled mess filled with typos and bad sentence structure. Some chapters have edited versions but not all of them are because the releaser keeps sending out chapters rapid-fire, probably without proofreading. Look at that release frequency, that's two chapters a day. Continue past 7 with caution. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
I Said Make My Abilities Average!
November 1, 2016
Status: c26
This review is mostly my thoughts on the MC and the general plot as of 26 chapters in.

Firstly, if you're wondering about the "Overpowered Protagonist" tag despite the Synopsis and want a brief rundown of what the deal is...

... more>>

The God who reincarnates our protagonist, whether willingly or not willingly, chooses to use an unconventional scale for "average." Rather than taking the mean, he takes the median, which obviously would skew her power levels. Her magic level is in the middle of the most powerful magic user in the Universe and someone with no magic. Whereas the average magic user is probably in the lower 5%, she's plainly on a completely different level from the average populace. She reincarnates into a noble household because the median in the class system happens to not be "commoner, " but a lower rank of noble instead. So on and so forth.

So technically she is average? I guess? It's not like Evil God Average where the protagonist asked one thing and God just said "f*ck it" and ruined everything for shits and giggles. This God's just lazy. Really though, this is another story with an overpowered protagonist, and if you thought it was about someone with average skills in an underdog story or doing some other interesting stuff with that premise, then I'm sorry for your loss.


Well, moving on, let me get some of my gripes with her character first. I can't help but feel that the author is a bit fickle about how he characterizes the MC. One minute she's socially awkward and can't hold a conversation without tripping over herself and the next she's giving grand motivational speeches to her classmates. She notices she can't act, so she "practices off-screen, " and now she's capable of convincingly improvising an act in front of royalty. She's smart and quick-thinking one minute and full ret*rd the next. She's just whatever the author needs her to be at the current moment.

That being said, I'd say that somehow beyond all that she remains likable. She tries earnestly in most of her tasks and really at the end of the day is just happy to survive. Her motivations are purely to not stand out, which she manages to fail at at every turn, in spectacular fashion -- she is incredibly naive, in an oddly endearing way. Observing her actions without knowing her thoughts would easily lead you to the impression she had the mental thought processes of someone actually her age.

The novel has been mostly her moving from one setting to another, trying to not stand out despite it being evident to everyone she's overpowered. There are some plot threads going around in the background but nothing significant yet. The plot hasn't really ramped up yet, and I doubt it will soon, if possibly at all. Your enjoyment of this novel will mostly hinge on whether you like or dislike our protagonist. I suggest reading up to chapter 9 or 10 or so. Chapters aren't too long and if you're bored with her or the plot, or dislike her outright I'd recommend dropping it. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
I’ll Live My Second Life!
September 4, 2017
Status: c85
This is one of those rare cases of a female protagonist that's actually very good, and I'd recommend it perhaps solely for that reason alone. The writing itself is strong enough, but what I like the most is the protagonist Fii.

She's a strong, independent woman that don't need no man. Uh, memes aside, she is actually a determined, proactive, and smart protagonist. She's also not needlessly overpowered or anything stupid, and there's no unnecessary isekai plot elements or random, unrealistic power-ups, or game stats, or levels either -- it's a... more>> straight fantasy featuring a girl with average strength trying to work in the military despite her limitations. Her strength lies in mostly in her agility and willingness to use unconventional methods in combat, considering she has a small figure, but lacks strength as you'd expect from someone who hasn't trained in combat and spent most of her time as a sheltered noble for her life, and of course, she's also need to use dirty tactics to win just due to the difference in physical strength alone. She doesn't let sh*t get to her and stands up for herself properly without needing to be protected, and she doesn't fall in love with anyone either (at least not yet). She doesn't always win, in fact she often loses, but she gains from each experience and always gives it her all.

She keeps the fact that she's female a secret too, so you don't get any of that patronizing "girls can't do anything" comments that you'd expect from this kind of story. Usually that kind of stuff is pretty easy fodder for giving a female protagonist motivation to become strong. There isn't any window for that kind of treatment due to gender barriers to really exist, and the result it she competes on equal grounds as the rest of her squadmates.

Anyways, I really like Fii as a main character. I hope you'll like her too. This has concluded my Fii review. I didn't even review the story, I just liked Fii and wanted to talk about her. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
The Death Mage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time
February 25, 2018
Status: c118
Death Mage is something of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's one of my favorite novels at the moment even if I feel it has a lot of rough spots. As it's incomplete at the moment I feel it's difficult for me to craft a proper review, so a lot of this will be stream of consciousness writing, and might be a little unstructured.

The main appeal of this novel, to me at least, is Van's aesthetic and powers. He is precisely what the novel's title implies, a death mage. Perhaps... more>> more familiar a term would be something like "Necromancer." He's commonly described as a small, pale white child with red eyes and white hair and no facial expressions, as well as being described as doll-like. A half Dark Elf, half Vampire child with an emotionless, monotone way of speaking and low presence. He's the embodiment of the whole "creepy vampire child" aesthetic. A thing worth noting is that while he is in fact overpowered, he's overpowered not in the sense of "he instantly is good at everything because he's perfect, like a Mary Sue, " but more that he has a specialty in a type of magic not seen before and the specific specs to use them to their full potential. Death Magic and Golem Control (which later extends to basically anything inanimate, which is incredibly overpowered because he can basically terraform anything and command fields to walk where he wants them to, for instance, and that's just a fraction of what he can do) generally require a high amount of Mana, making what are really powerful abilities generally impractical to use by normal people. One of Van's only cheats happens to be a ridiculously high Mana count and regeneration rate. He's overpowered in the sense that he's just the best in the world at doing those two specific things. Animating objects and materials, death magic, and control of the undead. Physical combat and durability is something he lacks, meaning if people get close and he doesn't have a barrier up he's as vulnerable as a small child would typically be. I, personally, and this is a bias, I'll be the first to admit, really love dark magic/necromancy/hexing type classes in RPGs and if I were to create an Isekai around a necromancer type character this might be pretty close to what I'd think up. "You have three curses and two perks to pick up to create your character." Kinda like that.

With talking about Van out of the way, this novel previously had a Tragedy tag attached to it but recently I've opted along with others to remove it because it doesn't quite fit, in spite of the very dark and f*cked up prologue and set-up Van's backstory consists of. Tragedy is something generally associated with a constant feeling of dread or melancholy, tragic events, and the like. The depressing kind of read you go to to get f*cked up. The meat of Death Mage's story is mostly Van building his army and a nation of monsters and trying to obtain the happiness that he didn't have in his prior two lives. It's pretty casual a lot of the times and there's little pressure nor any sense of dread to speak of. In a sense it kind of developed somewhat into what Tensei Slime did, with the whole nation of monsters and building it up, except what they seek is not necessarily co-existence with everyone, but with those who choose to ally with them. They are the natural enemy of humanity at this point in the story, and Van shows no indications whatsoever of wanting to get along with humankind on a universal level. Van is very much like a Demon King building up his nation and protecting themselves from humanity, rather than waging a war. The first few chapters will cover Van's backstory, and I feel it's kind of a waste of space to discuss this here. It's self-explanatory when you read it, and I feel a plausible backstory that doesn't feel too outlandish in how it shaped an ordinary, yet unfortunate High Schooler into the emotionless child he's become.

Now, on to some negatives. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I have some major gripes with the story. Specifically the writing. A major problem the author has is he explains way too much sh*t and never leaves anything up to reader interpretation. It's like he has no confidence in his writing getting across everything he wants it to, and he wants to get out every plot point and twist as soon as he can. There's no real usage of foreshadowing and if there ever is a question of what's going on in two character's minds, the author will without hesitation explain EXACTLY what they are thinking. I can't speculate anything or discuss what conspiracies may be going on behind the scenes because the author seems intent on destroying any mystery the moment it rears its face. It's incredibly frustrating.

Another thing I have somewhat of an issue with, although this is subjective on my part, it's that Van has an always active Death Attribute Charm which applies to his companions and suboordinates at all times. I can't help but stop and think sometimes about how heavily the people surrounding him might have been influenced by the skill. It's debatable how much the skill affects the thought process of the people around him -- it seems like it just affects people's perception of Van and making it generally positive, and it's not as strong as hypnotism or the like, but I can't feel perfectly fine with these interactions just because of the existence of this skill.

Overall this is actually a pretty nice read. I personally love it, and read new chapters whenever they come out. I hope it gets good adaptations and the treatment I feel it deserves, and if you don't mind the overpowered Isekai protagonist type of deal, and want to see one revolving around not a "good at everything" type of protagonist, but a necromancy/alchemy-focused protagonist, then give this a shot. It's what has me so enamored for the most part. Perhaps it'll scratch that itch for you. <<less
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Contrary to what you might assume by seeing the title and how little imagination or thought was put into it, the author certainly puts more effort into world-building and details that you might think. It's not ground-breaking stuff or amazing or anything, but it certainly hits the baseline for what you'd expect out of a novel. Skill explanations and fight descriptions don't drag on excessively long and are coherent and world-building is sufficient. The translation for the novel is good as well, so that definitely goes a long way towards... more>> making the reading experience actually tolerable.

There seems to be a sort of sub-plot featuring a young adventurer that the protagonist saves who goes through his own positive development, along with some other inexperienced adventurers. It's a nice contrast to have in case it gets tiring or starts suffering the Tensei Slime effect where everyone starts getting so high on the power scale and it keeps escalating that fights later on barely resemble what was present early on, where action and combat was more grounded instead of incomprehensible. There is a nice portion pretty early on wherein the adventurer that Shirley saves takes on a subjugation mission alone (while very clearly having PTSD over the situation) and it was just a really nice segment in general that fleshed out what people lower on the power scale tackling less dangerous situations is like. Moreover, there's character development! Wow, character development exists for once! Incredible!

The monsters and creatures that exist in the world consist of common fantasy fare like goblins and dragons as well as other unique creatures that have their own behaviors and habits that adventurers take advantage of to come out on top. It avoids boring descriptions and fights like "I moved forward and slashed the enemy and then dodged and then attacked again and then they died" or unimaginative shit. More focus on stuff like "in this cave, if I use a strong light source I'll be noticed more easily, and by being attentive you can discern the location of enemies around the corners through shadows on the wall, I should take out/isolate the mage/healer first" etc. Etc, stuff like that, at least when it comes to stuff lower on the power scale. Ignore the guy below saying it's a rip-off of Goblin Slayer just because the adventurer at the beginning goes through a similar situation. Slaying goblins isn't the only thing low-ranked adventurers do and there's potential for future encounters to be interesting, but I suppose you could take the route he did and read 8 chapters before prematurely declaring it a rip-off.

Overall the story is more about the adventuring side of the synopsis rather than wholesome mother-doting-on-daughters slice of life stuff. That kind of stuff is still there, but not as much as it could be. I imagine there'll be more of it to come sooner or later. This story does feature an overpowered protagonist but the daughtercon shtick (at least so far, to me,) hasn't been tired to death and the author doesn't neglect to shine a spotlight on some more grounded combat and adventures. It's a pretty solid read so far and there are still some solid hooks like, as far as I know, almost nobody in her former kingdom really being aware of where Shirley is or what she's doing, so I'm looking forward to her meeting some of the people from her former life as a noble. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
Katahane no Riku
August 14, 2017
Status: c100
Revenge plots can often be very hit or miss. They take hold of and use, sometimes cheaply and ineffectively, humans' very visceral emotion of wanting to do unto others what has been done to them, and more. While they can easily be done badly through lazy writing and a general lack of focus on developing characters with varying views on morality and motivations, they can also be done rather well, even without such complexity, by just having a solid foundation and relying on the strength of its main characters.

Vague, general... more>> spoilers on the main character (s). If you want to know what kind of characters they are ahead of time, feel free to read this part of the review.


Katahane no Riku focuses essentially on two protagonists, rather than a villain and a protagonist. Or perhaps, you could say that the positions are reversed in this scenario, to an extent. Riku, the titular character, having been discarded and putting herself through hell to get revenge on those who cast her away becomes essentially a psychopathic murderer who only ever had on her mind trying to appeal to her benefactor, who is blatantly throughout the story trying to use her. She kills without remorse and tortures the people who have wronged her. While Riku is the person who is seeking revenge, she also isn't someone you're supposed to entirely sympathize with. She's a robotic killing machine that doesn't really develop at all throughout the story. Apart from her obviously having the makings and personality of any villain, she's otherwise an intelligent, strong, driven individual that while often driven by rage, is capable of not flying into uncontrollable rage.

The only person who really goes through any character development is Rook, Riku's sister and the protagonist of the game the world is based on, whom also possesses memories of said game world. Basically, while he is the villain of Riku's story, he is the protagonist of every other game reincarnation Isekai story in existence. The difference however is that Rook doesn't solve everything magically with his knowledge of the game, and instead constantly ends up f*cking up the lives of everyone around him, suffering failure after failure. He goes through all the stages of grief. From denial, putting blame on others, to seeking revenge, and eventually, determination to fix his wrongs. He starts idealistic and even sticks to his ideals to the end, and suffers many hardships throughout the story. He has literally all the makings of any standard heroic tale, yet is not the main protagonist. Hence, why I said there are two main protagonists, or perhaps the situation is reversed, as Riku having killed everyone and taking everything Rook knows from him, is his story's villain.

In a way, Riku and Rook are polar opposites. Riku is someone who won't hesitate to kill anyone necessary, and she won't let anything resembling ideals cloud her judgment. She's always on her guard and has long since abandoned her naivety. On the other side of spectrum, you have Rook, who sticks to his ideals, hesitates to kill anyone, even his enemies that are trying to kill him, and is naive to an almost infuriating extent. Riku has strong enough discipline to not step out of line when provoked, most of the time, whereas Rook has no such disposition.


Characters aside, let's talk about the general story, what to expect, and the pros and cons of it all.
    • Expect an emphasis on large scale war and tactics in skirmishes. While battles between individuals are indeed present, many of the major arcs and events are large scale wars lead by commanders.
    • Riku is indeed a very powerful soldier, one capable of fighting large groups of spiritualists without breaking a sweat, but she's not so overpowered that there is no tension whatsoever. While she can mow through hordes of enemies, since the majority of battles are large wars, she has a limit to her stamina just like anyone else and will eventually collapse or start getting weaker the longer she's in action. Characters will die rather unceremoniously throughout the story and also suffer permanent injuries. There is no convenient instant healing magic in this world. There is also never the feeling that Riku is so unmatched that she can defeat anyone. She can't.
    • While the story is indeed based on the game, there aren't any game elements to speak of at all. The only reason it being a game is relevant is it ties into Rook's story and he uses it as a reference for how he lives his life. Otherwise, this seems like a fantasy world and not literally just a game.
    • The tone of the story in general is very dark, though, at least to me, it never quite drifts into edgy territory. To me, just being grimdark and dealing with death and war doesn't make something "edgy, " things become edgy when it becomes unnecessarily, gratuitously gruesome to the point that it's excessive, unrealistic, or inadvertently hilarious. Katahane no Riku is a dark story with a lot of death and suffering, but it (to me) it never overextended. Some specific examples:

        • Spoiler

          Riku is someone that will readily torture someone brutally and laugh maniacally like a crazy person but it's already been established that she's f*cking insane and everyone in the army fears her accordingly. Some other stories like to act like the protagonist seeking revenge is some paragon of morality that's just doing the right thing, or even just someone who you as the audience is supposed to root for because "the enemy is just more awful than the protagonist is, so they had it coming, " and that to me just makes things really hammy and difficult to take seriously. Usually it's like that, but here, Riku is just an insane, murderous psychopath. The story and characters itself acknowledge it, and so //should// the readers.

        • Spoiler

          Riku may be a murderous maniac that lost her sanity and humanity long ago, but she never does anything truly, completely edgy. She'll use her position and power to keep people in line and essentially rules those below her with fear, but she never kills allies or innocents unnecessarily, and at the end of the day, the actions she takes are her responsibility as a soldier in an army. A belief that she holds that will often be brought up by her is: "If you step on the battlefield, you should be prepared to die, " hence, she kills without hesitation. She isn't "evil for evil's sake."

    • The demon and human side are constantly conducting espionage and spying on one another, to an extent that every time a new character comes in you can't really trust them. This creates a sort of constant feeling of tension, not knowing whether someone has been with a certain faction the entire time or if they joined at some point, or what have you. There's a lot of betrayal and foul play.
    • Morality is albeit incredibly black and white, yet it's not entirely hamfisted with its execution either.
And now, some cons:

    • As I've stated previously, the only one who really goes through any character development is Rook. Everyone else just kind of remains the same.
    • The discrimination between demons and humans is believable, considering humankind has basically been indoctrinated over centuries to do so, but at times it can be a bit excessive. People are so blinded by hatred for demons that it feels almost forced at times. This is the one thing that makes things get close to edgy territory.
    • To add to the above, since this is sort of on a similar note, literally everyone in this story is a shitty person to some varying degree. It's kind of ridiculous and gets close to breaking my suspension of disbelief with how shitty everyone in this entire story is. There is maybe one person that I thought was a consistently decent person, but even they have had little screentime and ended up wronging someone at some point.
    • Death flags for some characters are a bit too blatantly obvious almost every time. Sometimes death comes unexpectedly, but most of the times it's telegraphed pretty well.
    • I've mentioned prior that deaths come suddenly and unceremoniously oftentimes. While I think this approach can be good to an extent, I'd also consider it a con. Not everyone has to have an extravagant, long, heavily monologued death scene, but at the same time having someone's death just glossed over in a few sentences or paragraphs can be really annoying at times, even if that's usually because it's in the middle of a war so they can't stop to do something like that, but especially if it's someone who's had a lot of screentime or has been an important character until then, it's frustrating. The result is that while the tension of death of characters is omnipresent, the impact of most of these deaths tends to be a bit subdued.
    • The Shinigami character is awful and shouldn't be in the story.
Overall, I think this is a pretty well-written revenge story. I've read a lot of revenge stories but this is the first one I've actually genuinely enjoyed unironically. Usually I read stuff like this as guilty pleasures or to laugh at them, but I much enjoyed following this story to the very end. It perfectly skirted the line between just the right amount of edginess and too much. Two of the main characters are very good, the descriptions have the right amount of detail, the translation quality is above adequacy, and the pacing is solid. A very solid read all the way through. <<less
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I don't really think calling Katarina, the protagonist "dense" really does her justice. She's not necessarily just dense to advances or love, she's actually literally a complete f*cking idiot and it's hilarious. She eats sh*t off the floor all the time, interprets a magic book literally and takes up agriculture, and her response to her brother locking himself into his room was to take an axe to the door and break it down The Shining style, only after which she considers she could have just used a wire to pick... more>> the lock inconspicuously. She climbs trees all the time and constantly spaces out missing important details.

A bit of an unorthodox MC, usually with stuff of this nature, the protagonist is at least averagely intelligent and decent at acting the part of a noble. She constantly gets taught on etiquette yet it's obvious she can't even pretend to be a well-mannered noble for longer than half a minute. Part of me while reading is always thinking that she should have just been a regular commoner in this universe and she'd be so much happier, without being bound by the responsibilities of acting the part of someone she's not. Well, she has a mega-harem of men and women alike, one of which is her reincarnated former best friend that's also a girl, so what else could she ask for? ¯\ (ツ) /¯ <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
Amaku Yasashii Sekai de Ikiru ni wa
September 2, 2017
Status: c22
Spends too much time going over character thoughts and world-building that's uninteresting and doesn't matter. It's way too long-winded at times and most of the time I'm just reading sh*t and thinking "none of this is interesting, can we get back to the story?" Alternate PoVs of scenes exist not to give new information to the reader, but basically to just jerk itself off even more over how positive everyone is over Doyle's apparent growth and atonement by showing in detail how affected characters were by his demonstration.

Doyle, the protagonist,... more>> has no flaws. He is more or less, to me at least, a Mary Sue. Everything goes his way and nothing ever goes awry. He has the unconditional, undying love of a princess for no apparent reason, to the point that she would literally commit suicide if she had her engagement annulled, and he's basically a master in 90% of the world's magic and weapon skills. You'd think that someone who had been conducting mischief and delinquency, abusing his power and rebelling, wouldn't be so easily and quickly forgiven, but everyone in this story does, incredibly easily. Even if he were forgiven, there should be a lot of time that need be taken to re-gain the trust of others, but he seems to re-gain the trust of everyone through just one or two actions or scenes.

Atoning for one's past deeds and regaining lost trust isn't something nearly as easy as this story makes it out to be. Instead of writing characters that might be conflicted or hold a large amount of resentment towards him, and justifiably so, creating an obstacle for the protagonist to overcome on his journey for self-atonement, instead everybody is just incredibly, infuriatingly wishy-washy. There's no conflict or resistance, no wall to overcome like you'd expect in such a story. I'm 22 chapters in and it's basically like his entire negative image from the past 5 years has already vanished from his surroundings. It's honestly stupid.

Most of the fluff in this novel is from the overall positive atmosphere in the story, and most of that is rooted in all the sh*t above that I had issues with, so most of it just makes me want to vomit.

I don't think this is a well-written story at all. It certainly has its merits, at least for people who don't really see anything wrong with, nor are bothered by the things I am, but to me it failed on all fronts. Perhaps others might see something different, or not see what I did and just enjoy it for what it is. I'll recommend this for people who aren't peeved by anything I've mentioned above and just want a story that exudes constant positivity. If you want a story about atoning for the past in a realistic way, then look far away. <<less
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Shiraori_ rated it
Kakei Senki Wo Kakageyo!
February 15, 2017
Status: c9
I know that reincarnation and transmigration is popular thing with novels, but try not to expect something amateurishly written. The novel is written in a very archaic, poetic style that's often difficult to understand and follow, and it reads like the telling of a legend -- the translation, which is very good, reflects this very well on top of that. It's an oddly old-fashioned style of writing that's difficult to read at times and can tend to be confusing (for a mongoloid like me.)

The novel takes place primarily from... more>> the viewpoint of the people the protagonist, Marko, meets, or in some cases re-unites with. Most chapters are usually self-contained stories of each individual person meeting with him. It's also very important to note that we never see the perspective of Marko himself, and that is probably something that will likely not change for perhaps the rest of the novel. That in itself is something interesting but also is where my problem in the novel lies. The problem is that the story is told in fragments, each a fairly significant time apart, from the perspective of an entirely new person. As a result things tend to get confusing when various events happen between each meeting and we aren't even shown the perspective of the main person tying everything together. I feel like there's too much happening outside of the perspectives of the new characters that I'm so left in the dark I can't be invested in anything that's happening.

I've talked a lot about the writing being confusing and fragmented, but that's the largest impression this novel has had on me thus far. Its unconventional writing style with multiple perspectives on top of difficult material to begin with makes it hard to follow, but I do believe purely because it has such an unorthodox writing style it's worth at least checking out. Personally, it's not the type of thing for me, but I appreciate what's being attempted here. <<less
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First impressions are pretty good so far. Reads like an actual novel, no tacked-on Isekai elements, although it does have the pretty common swords+magic+adventurer's guild setting, and it explains enough about the world that it's engaging without giving out so much useless or uninteresting information that it gets boring and I get the urge to start skimming paragraphs. Takes a pretty realistic approach to most scenarios. Translation is good.

There's no incessant focus on raising skills by accomplishing vague goals (swing sword or fight a long time and you get better),... more>> but more focusing on honing instincts and learning through practice rather than lazy supernatural boosts and whatnot. Inherent power is still absolutely a factor in how powerful people are, but there's less using game mechanics as a narrative crutch because, well, this isn't a game-world. It's a refreshing read after all the bog-standard Isekai novels lately. <<less
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