Because Janitor-san Is Not a Hero


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A certain girl genius with more power than knowledge accidentally summoned dozens of students and teachers into a dangerous world filled with beasts and magic, but the protagonist isn’t a student or the homeroom teacher… it’s the janitor.

At the time of their summoning, the students and teachers each gained a power formed from their soul, but not the janitor. As the janitor was about to be bestowed with a power that would protect him, his power was forcibly taken from him by an arrogant student. Having gone three years without a contract extension, he failed to get a job after having graduated from a third-rate university. Somehow he is still a contractor at 25 years old and was a janitor for 2 years, with a take-home monthly salary of less than ¥120,000. From a society that rejected him, he was thrust into a world that rejected him. And what janitor-san wished from the Goddess who took pity on him was…

Associated Names
One entry per line
Yomuin-san wa Yuusha ja Arimasenno de
Related Series
Kamigoroshi no Eiyuu to Nanatsu no Seiyaku (2)
The Spear User that Couldn’t Become the Hero 《Protagonist》 (1)
Yuusha-sama no Oshishou-sama (1)
Kujonin (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Strong male lead little to no bull
  2. Interested
  3. The Definitive Isekai List II
  4. Summoning by accident
  5. Spirit's recommendations.

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/27/20 Isekai Soul-Cyborg... c52
10/13/18 Isekai Soul-Cyborg... c51
08/24/18 Isekai Soul-Cyborg... c50
12/19/16 Another World... c49
12/07/16 Another World... c48
09/20/16 Another World... c47
09/13/16 Another World... c46
09/07/16 Another World... c45
08/30/16 Another World... c44
08/23/16 Another World... c43
08/16/16 Another World... c42
08/10/16 Another World... c41
08/04/16 Another World... c40
08/02/16 Another World... c39
07/26/16 Another World... c38
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20 Reviews sorted by

JerryHatrick rated it
February 15, 2016
Status: --
Can't bring myself to read past the Prologue. It was just ridiculous.

While the following is a spoiler, it only brings up the contents of Prologue 1.
... more>>

The Goddess of the world the 70+ of them are being summoned to, gives them knowledge of the world, a body that can adapt to the world, and a sword. In each sword, part of their soul is imbued within. The Janitor's sword gets stolen from him. So. Some random kid now has part of his soul. What's more, the sword could only be stolen while in the place between worlds where the Goddess talks to them. F*cking derp.

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Dream Seeker rated it
May 20, 2016
Status: c20
Honestly, I am quite fond of this series quite a bit, and think the original ratings of this series were premature.

This a story about underdog with beaten dog mentality who is bested even more as he goes to another world. Given one last chance by the goddess to survive on this new world, he is to learn to make do with his life, before his food runs out. It's not easy to gain courage nor resolve oneself to better ones life, nor should it be less to belittle the effort... more>> that must be made to make it happen by such a character. Taking his first steps outside his cave wasn't easy, but neither was making friends with tiger like demon beast who the readers along with hero grow attached to until he is reminded in the cruelest of ways that's he's not the only hero in this world. Succumbing to events that unfold, he no longer can be dependent as he has someone who depends on him for survival. Readying himself for the day when their food runs out, he begins to step outside mountain range of his cave. At last though, he might be reminded once again why he had forsaken humanity, but the question is does that lead him astray once more or take him on path of becoming a true hero which the world ideals had forsaken.

P.S It's not a simple nor easy read not because isn't written poorly, but more so cause it's written differently compare to most on the site. Also, the translator did an excellent job executing something so complex. It's only unfortunate that this isn't a light novel as it would of done better in such a media. <<less
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makochi rated it
June 8, 2016
Status: c30
NOT to my liking, sorry!

The story progression is awful. It's not very detailed. Usually, you can imagine the scenes while reading as if you're actually there, but this one, there's not much to imagine. Sentence structures are very basic and constructed very simply. Not much description and creativity in writing. It feels like reading a draft of collective ideas pieced together that eventually became a paragraph. It gives off that kind of feeling.

The contents of each chapter is dissatisfying. More like a plot summary instead of a "real chapter". Not... more>> very enjoyable to read but I finished all 30 chapters in hopes that it will improve but sadly, it did not so I'm leaving a review before dropping this. <<less
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admira rated it
April 11, 2016
Status: --
Honestly speaking, the beginning of the webnovel is poorly written. The translation isn't the highest quality that I've seen, but I can't blame them too much because I've read the raws. It jumps around a lot and is confusing. But the author improves considerably as the story continues. I'm guessing that the light novel would be a much more pleasant read (for the first volume, at least). As for the story content: Once you manage to get past the beginning, I think it's pretty interesting. There shouldn't be any real plot spoilers in the following, but it was getting long so I'm adding a tag:


I like Kurando (Janitor-san) 's character, although it's a little hard to get a handle on it before other characters are introduced. He has a good grasp of his own weaknesses and has the mental maturity to look out for himself instead of blundering around like a naive brat. He places a lot of value in promises, even if he is realistic enough to realize that not everyone will keep their promises.

Time passes fairly easily; it isn't one of those stories where there's a ton of action and only a week has passed. The time passing doesn't have the sudden feel of a timeskip, either, and it's not as if he's suddenly super OP after a few months of closed-door training. I like it, at least.

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badiyee rated it
May 28, 2016
Status: c28
I'm liking this because: (as of chapter 28)

a) despite being deprived of a typical "since you're transferred into this world let me give you a super big power up cheat ability", (which will basically alter the story, anyways don't wanna talk about it since it'll spoil the story), the MC is behaving exactly of what a typical "i'll watch the world burn, I don't care because the world forsake me so even if I die let it be" kind of a MC (circumstances forced upon him).

b) no ridiculous... more>> plot armor yet (though its subtle).

c) a very believable dog-eat-dog universe, gritty, and nothing comes in a plate for free. <<less
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VerticalVectors rated it
February 15, 2021
Status: c52
It's a shame the translation for the story wasn't continued. This story is one of the very few Japanese light novels that have carved out a place in my heart by virtue of its quality. If you’ve ever studied influential, and timeless literature, there’s always something about them that captivates you and hits you to the core. And often times, the authors of great stories go about storytelling, and the portrayal with a strange touch. Think along the lines of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, or Miguel... more>> de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. The aforementioned stories are ones that require intelligent readers to focus, interpret, think and reflect. Quite frankly, there’s no room for slobbering ret*rds who have little experience beyond a combination of harems, exhibitionistic isekai women and conceited immature protagonists on their mind, to comment on a story like this. In Janitor-san, the information has been given to the readers, and by the end of the 50 chapters we are left with a complete picture, our character is faced with a bitter reality, and the author’s intents are quite clear.

Personally, I would not put this story in the same league as canonical world literature, simply because it has a critical deficit in certain qualities to qualify. But I'd say for the isekai fantasy genre, if the quality and originality remained beyond the 50 chapters we have, then Janitor-san is easily a canonical piece for isekai light novels. This story easily ticks all the boxes for an original piece of fantasy entertainment. It’s a benchmark for quality and an original, emotional, thought provoking rollercoaster. If we compare this story to another one like Re:Zero, then we can see certain similarities... yes, a surprisingly large number of unqualified individuals writing extremely negative reviews for all the wrong reasons. Well that’s true, but that’s not my actual point.

At their very core, the great novels are ones which explore the ‘human experience’ and the search for deeper meaning, and the authors of such works are, rightfully, uncompromising when deciding on the actions of their character. After all, every action the characters take in their stories ultimately serve to convey a greater message, and the best writers do so indirectly. It’s rare for great authors to directly tell readers the final message, and/or what to think. Instead, at the end of great books, the readers are left feeling and thinking a specific way, almost as an inevitable consequence of the author's choices (and sometimes we're left wondering WHY?).

It’s a great shame and rather disappointing to find so many reviewers dissing the protagonist or doing, what is essentially, conceited backseat gaming (with many of the most ret*rded instructions I’ve ever read). In Janitor-san is Not a Hero, the writer has created a character with humanity, his own hopes, dreams and anguish. As readers, we’re positioned to question the trendy isekai genre and what we’re actually buying.

Isekai (and any other story, for that matter) isn’t all rosy-lenses! Isekai can be a great, meaningful journey, but often times readers are positioned to support arrogant, irresponsible fu*kbois who never truly face the consequences of their actions or confront the gravity of the lives they’ve ruined (if not taken). Look, if our protagonist was the s**tbag male student, I bet most braindead readers would be laughing, and saying “hahaha, serves that dorky loser of a janitor right”, absolving the protagonist of his crimes before switching their 2 second attention span to the rotten Princess who’d literally caused this mess (and probably has nothing going for her besides her face, body and other 'wish-fulfilment' qualities. None of which are relevant to a truly well constructed story). I mean, what does this say about the overall standard of the industry and, what appears to be, the majority of readers? Quite frankly, those stories are the truly cheap and lazy ones... yet they garner the most attention and praise. Just like the Avengers...

This story really reminds me of Isekai Rebuilding Project (a book I came across many years after Janitor-san). It is a story about undoing the destruction left behind by a person who got transported to another world. There’s simply not enough content like this, which covers the realities and BS which comes with Isekai.

In the face of an endless torrent of sub-par and unoriginal stories, Because Janitor-san Is Not a Hero, as a story, its world and character stands out. The decision to make a marginalised character the protagonist is unoriginal of the author, but hey... even masterpieces have a certain formula. If you wanted to create a proper story of a king, then it better be one akin to Siddartha Gautama's, because those stories were the one that have a lasting legacy. Stories about European kings are filled with scumbags, selfishness and all round losers who make up for their pathetic shortcomings with violence and destruction.

Anyway, I’ll address my jab at the Avengers and the broader Isekai genre. I once read a person who wrote that (paraphrasing) “The Avengers is to cinematography what McDonalds is like to food. It’s great occasionally, but too much is bad and in the long run it’s terrible.” That’s what I believe the industry has become. I’m not a snob who never eats McDonalds but I know better, and only eat ‘WcDonalds’ (had to do that) on rare occasions. But if people were to review McDonalds, who in their right mind thought it was acceptable to give them a 5 star rating? They’re low quality, unhealthy and honestly not that cheap when you think about it. I ask that people who have read my review (in its entirety) and disagree with it to ponder this matter. Because right now, you’re not at McDonalds... you’re in a f**king Michelin 3 star restaurant.

I don’t know how other people decide to review on this site, but you can’t review the story only after 10 to 20 chapters! For this story, 50 chapters (or was it 51?) is the length of the first volume. I think one of the greatest flaws about NovelUpdates is the fact that users are allowed to comment and review while they read. Look people, reviewing a story isn’t “XXX Got Talent!” It’s not a freakin’ red buzzer! Professional critics don’t review a movie, song, or book without finishing it entirely! I hope more readers would actually keep that in mind and read a volume's worth of content, BEFORE posting a rating and review. <<less
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FallensWrath rated it
February 26, 2018
Status: c49

Ok the author tries to explain this as a "matter of fact" during not so random chapters. I can see why so many readers get confused so easily. During the first 30 chapters the author tries to explain things by randomly adding them in the middle of a conversation between two characters. This mostly happens during the first few chapters.

That way of explaining things requires people to understand and comprehend who is speaking (the translations are a bit rough needs some TLC).

... more>> THE GOOD:

The plot is damn good.

The way the MC struggles to live day after day you can see his growth. Kurando has now become one of my favorite MCs ever. The way that he makes choices are grounded in reality like: "do I recklessly gave up on my life knowing I would die in 1 second?" "why do I have to help or trust someone I don't know?" or "where does my loyalty lie?".

The way the MC acts upon those moral questions seems reasonable so sensible so much that at some chapters I was pissed off at the MC but then on I sort of understood why he took such action. <<less
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SilenceDS rated it
August 10, 2016
Status: c48
Hard Starter. Partly Author, partly translator shuffling, partly translation quality, partly translation speed. Once past this Speed Bump it becomes addictive.

The author has manage to avoid extremes common in other Popular fiction WN/LN. (Hyper-Harem, Hyper-Tragedy-AntiHero, Hyper-Hero), and the Protagonist doesn't feel Mary Sue/Gary Sue. SuperPlusGood.

Update: Still good, Leaves you wanting more without rubbing it in. Very Interested in the future.
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bushwhacker2k rated it
March 12, 2016
Status: --
Where in the world is the awesome art cover for this from? Even if I have complaints about poor translations- the opening story itself is such a vague mess with no characterization or ANYTHING happening that it becomes extremely difficult to read on. Not much has been translated of this thus far, but from the few chapters I've read I can at least say with confidence that this has an amazingly empty, slow beginning.
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lonewolf93 rated it
October 12, 2016
Status: --
I read this LN because I heard it was bad, and to my surprise it turned out to be real bad. The s*it is all over the place like you've never seen before. I'm starting to think that finding a good LN is like trying to find a unicorn. The only way to either find one is go to another world (ironically).

A mixed bag of good and bad (mostly bad). I won't be complaining about how unoriginal the premise is or how the world isn't fleshed out, the first few... more>> chapters made it very clear that those things aren't the focus. However, the rest isn't worth praising either.

The janitor set up isn't that much utilized (such a waste it could have been a book with many janitor type jokes AKA a gold mine), it's just extra baggage. The MC feels more like a teen than an adult, but it could get more interesting as things progress. However, I wont be reading it cuz like the words of a famous man of letters I'm dropping this LN like its hot. <<less
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UnknownSaint171 rated it
February 2, 2020
Status: c52
I hesitated to read this at first but this is actually better then I expected!

Unexpectedly there's a good built up and I like the MC, it's not that type of cliche' revenge story. He understands it partly his fault as well. The goddess was also more interesting then I thought.

    • I really love the World Building. I'm impressed that it has a "Ranking-like" System. Though it's small, it has its own way of doing things which most isekais are just "normal magic"
    • I'm amazed the chapters keep coming as if the author isn't running out of ideas. As a WN it's pretty decent JP. But yes there are some things that forced (But might be different in LN?)
What I absolutely hate: The Author made the "Hero" to that cliche good-guy/naive that most JPs have nowadays. That infuriated me. Author should have just kept the Hero as normal villain.

I'm sure anyone would be infuriated about this. Because of this the MC is kind to him and does things by the book. There is no real hatred between them. Though I'm glad the Author keeping it civilized, the Author shouldn't have made the Hero a good honest guy. [He's just a guy with issues] It just doesn't fit with the characteristic that destroyed the MC future. I also hate how MC keeps saying he'll ran away but somehow keeps getting caught by people. (But it can't be helped I guess as his existence was known.)

Romance:? It's really weird. I have mix feelings about it. I like it but at the same time, I don't. It's just that I don't like the huge age gap. Though her character development is wonderful, at times Akira feels abrupt.

When the MC faced off against Hayato Assasins. Like why the f*ck did she come here for? It's not really explained. I thought it was because she sensed the Hero go after MC, but that wasn't it because she was actually surprised the MC was there in the first place.


I'm willing to forgive these flaws as it's a WN, things like this happen. But I hope it's better written in the LN. I still can't forgive the fact the author made the Hero like that...

I do hope this gains a bit of recognition as one can't truly judge this till the LN translated. I do see the potential. It's actually not bad.
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stevezke rated it
August 21, 2016
Status: c42
Heads up the story does progress slowly but its a good read from all your normal over powered MC im gonna smash the world for justice with my sword of truthiness then harem it up

That being said good read for those that stick with it might not be to everybody's tastes but for me it gets a 4 at this point in time
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N0r rated it
April 21, 2019
Status: --
The plot is pretty interesting, but that just makes it all the more disappointing of an experience. The story is written badly and it went through less than fluent translation. As much as I want to know what happens next, it’s too difficult to bear the writing.
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Ughzug rated it
July 31, 2017
Status: c49
Haa, the translation quality of the releases from "another world" were fairly decent. The story quality starts like any other world transfer web novel but strangely enough improves as you go. The author does a good job of keeping the MC and other cast in character, which is a rarity for the genre. It has a slow start and the MC doesn't snowball power gains. Also while there's quiet a few flowers, it really doesn't feel like a harem yet. Sadly no group has picked this up for over a... more>> year. <<less
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slay_mithos rated it
July 10, 2016
Status: c13
Machine translation, added to a writing style that jumps everywhere: random explanations of things that have nothing to do with the situation, jump between viewpoints, jumps back and forth in time...

It makes for a messy story that's not so easy to grasp, despite not being complex.

It is all over the place, and mostly up to the reader to cut it up and piece it back in a way that makes a proper story.

While it's true that when pieced together correctly, the story is far from bad, the amount of effort... more>> required just to understand the story makes it way lower quality than it could have been.

If you are willing to put up with this to enjoy the story, it's a tale about a group being summoned, given powers, but the main character got his stolen from the begining (and a goddess not really seeming to give a damn about it), and the main character ends up picking a destination that's remote in order to live alone without being discovered.

The story itself would be worth a 4 stars from me if it wasn't for the confusing writing style, but if you can get past the first few chapters without being confused on what is what, then it might be your thing. <<less
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Kuro no Maou
Kuro no Maou
June 22, 2016
Status: --
Hooly sh*t this must have the worst beginning of any novel I've read. It's like the author started grasping the basics of the Japanese language only after thirty or so chapters. But is reading those worth it? Yes. Yes it is. Kurando might be one of the most mature and realistic protagonists I've read about. Also the harem (or almost harem) isn't always following him around like moths to a flame, which is refreshing.
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minitiative rated it
July 9, 2020
Status: c52
Translation's a bit iffy, and the author sometimes goes stream of consciousness in the writing and rambles a bit, but the core is fairly solid which is notable in and of itself for JP WNs. The MC is not a teen, but a grown man in his "prime, " and he gets something truly valuable and irreplaceable stolen from him and a solid chunk of this novel is spent with him maturely coming to terms with the fact that "Yea, sometimes life sucks. Too bad, so sad, guess I'll man... more>> up and move on."

This alone sets him apart from so many young JP leads who angst repeatedly and let it debilitate them. That's not to say the MC doesn't hold a mean grudge (and rightfully so, even some of the more sane heroes agree), but he realistically understands that there literally is nothing he can do get what was stolen back, he adapts to the world circumstances around his status (that the majority of the other heroes have blacklisted him as an individual for reasons) and fully understands that there is no point in going on some grand quest for revenge, and that it's quite suicidal to even think of it. It's strange to see an MC be such an adult about perspective; he has plenty of reason to go full edgelord, but like a real person knows that that's not him and stays mentally balanced (but not enough that he isn't emotionally affected at having a life-altering gift stolen from him).

If the TL and writing were touched up a bit more and the progressions (his strengths in particular) and characters fleshed out a bit more this would be trending more toward 4 stars. <<less
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Silveryuri rated it
October 11, 2018
Status: c50
Another world translator, does the job fairly well in that it's still easy to understand. And luckily the new translator group is picking this one up, and seems to be much better in quality. Don't know if it's going to continue though, at least no signs on this site.

Plot progress relatively quickly due to the simplistic writing style, and short sentence structure. Chapters are decent length which promotes this feelings. Our MC is a pretty good antihero that contrasts well with his villain of the story and other characters. The... more>> world building has the world be a dog eats dog world, and it works. It matches the story fairly well.

To explain the plot quickly, around 70 or so people were summoned to another world and were given blessings, but our MC's blessing was stolen by the kid that would become the main hero of this new land. And so MC has to live on a icy mountain with snow leopards because the goddess has to make it up to him. This set up is nothing new, feels standard and weird.

Characters come and go when interacting with the MC and we get some character development. That makes the characters less onenote and typical.

In short it's a light novel with elements that quite some people can jive with, and like. It's not a masterpiece or perfect, but it's good. <<less
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A_Passing_Wanderer rated it
September 4, 2016
Status: c20
I've read up till chapter 20 and, I gotta say, I've absolutely no idea what the author's on about half the time.

Dunno if the raw's like that or it's the fault of the machin translation but the sentences, dialogs, and time lines are all over the place. And then there's some chains of logic that's not clearly explained and that makes the confusion even worse.

The underlying story itself seems promising enough, so I'll endure and check it out a bit more, before deciding whether it's worth the trouble or not.
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July 9, 2016
Status: c34
Tsundere janitor that accepts everything bad happening to him. Well not everything. He lashes off-screen I guess. The author really needs to keep him consistent. In the beginning he's quite mature and quite ingenious. Then at ch 34 he becomes the "I accept slight betrayals from guests and i'll still help you" MC -like wtf man. Oh story was not bad but not good either translator really needs an editor or grammarly.
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