To Be a Power in the Shadows! (WN)


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Just like how everyone adores heroes in their childhood, a certain boy adored those who hid in the shadows. One day, after living the mediocre life of a side character while undergoing frenzied training by night, he reincarnates in a different world and gains ultimate power. The young man who is only playing at being a secretive powerhouse, his misunderstanding subordinates, and a struggling, giant, shadowy organization…

This is the story of a boy who adored shadowy manipulations who might possibly reign over the dark side of another world.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute!
The Eminence in Shadow
Related Series
To Be a Power in the Shadows! (LN) (Light Novel)
I’m the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire! (20)
My Death Flags Show No Sign of Ending (14)
Tilea’s Worries (14)
There Was No Secret Organization to Fight with the World’s Darkness so I Made One (In Exasperation) (10)
Overlord (LN) (8)
I Got Reincarnated And Mistaken As A Genius? (8)
Recommendation Lists
  1. I can't stop reading
  2. A bit cliche, but still like them for some reason
  3. Top Tier
  4. Hiatus or dropped
  5. I have read

Latest Release

Date Group Release
10/05/22 Placeholder c205
10/05/22 Soafp c205
03/09/21 Placeholder c204
10/08/19 WangMama c203
09/17/19 WangMama c202
08/27/19 WangMama c201
08/23/19 WangMama c200
08/21/19 WangMama c199
08/16/19 WangMama c198
08/13/19 WangMama c197
08/05/19 WangMama c196
08/02/19 WangMama c195
07/17/19 WangMama c194
07/13/19 WangMama c193
07/10/19 WangMama c192
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225 Reviews sorted by

New yoyotam3
October 3, 2022
Status: c150
I got to c150 and the humor was funny at the start, but it just doesn't change at all. This story is just the same joke for 150 chapters-Absurdly strong MC does something that helps other people but doesn't realise it. It's funny at the start, but it stops being funny when it's done for the 20th time and nothing has changed. The MC doesn't realise his strength or what he is doing, which is fine because that's the nature of the story. For example, One Punch Man don't constantly... more>> introduce super strong enemies which the MC can't beat or have the MC change significantly because Saitama being able to kill things with one punch is the core of the story, but it DOES have a bunch of interesting side characters that develop over time. This story doesn't do that- It's like if one punch man had 0 interesting supporting characters, villains, or anything like that, just repeated finding an enemy and punching them to instantly kill them and everyone being surprised at how strong he is. I really don't understand why this novel and other misunderstanding novels like I'm the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire are so highly rated when they really aren't funny at all. <<less
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KanadeTenshi rated it
March 23, 2018
Status: c41
Hi, I'm Tenshi, the translator.

I picked up this series cus I found the comedy really funny.

You know how the whole concept of chuunibyou is that the character is convinced he's involved in some great conspiracy and there's powers and all that, but then everyone around knows that it's all not real?

Well, this story is the exact opposite. The main character thinks he's just playing at being chuunibyou, but actually it's all real, and everyone else around knows it's real, but only he doesn't know that it's real. And because he's... more>> pretending like it's real, nobody knows that he doesn't know that it's real so nobody tells him that it's real.

Seem convoluted? Yep, that's what makes this series great.

It's a comedy series based on misunderstanding and coincidence, and there is lots of kick-ass action (cus the MC did reincarnate into another world with magic). But be forewarned, there is A LOT OF cringe, cus the MC is playing at being chuunibyou.

So yea, if that kind of comedy is up your alley, then please check it out! <<less
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Gin_Hindew rated it
March 30, 2018
Status: c195
An awesome meta comedy

The MC just rolls with his delusions but the world seems to be very willing to roll with him, he has his whole "regular guy at day, power in the shadows at night" plus a humour that recognizes the tropes of all the situations he encounters so he can do jokes on it, he is mostly a deadpan snarker who acknowledges his chuunibyo as a choice but also self aware enough to understand the tropes on other characteres

Is a good story and there are misunderstandings... more>> but they are part of the plot instead of excuses for contrived developments as the MC puts a lot of planning and effort on his goals and the concidences land in the same direction

As an example here is a line of a regular LN said after the MC has filtered it by his personality


She has shoulder-length silvery white hair, and her red eyes are enchantingly..... arg anyways she has pretty eyes too, and..... her brows are, um..... screw this, I give up, she is pretty


Both being a mob character and being a power in the shadows are his personas so he can be very amusing under both scenarions


"Heeh~, do I look like a guy who would wag his tail for money?"

So I say while crawling on the ground and carefully picking up the gold coins piece by piece.

"Yes you do."

"You've got a good eye."


I really like honest stories and here the author is very honest about getting himself loose for fun and asking us to go along with his idea, just roll with it and it will be awesome <<less
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Syntax_Error rated it
May 19, 2018
Status: c60
This novel is taking coincidence way to far. It's in a whole of level that nobody could comprehend anymore. The Plot felt like it was forced as if the world was literally rolling for the MC.

Trust me, your brain cells will commit suicide one by one per chapter... that is unless you read this novel under the pretext that its a COMEDY/HAREM NOVEL.

I did it and surprisingly despite my strict preference I came to like it in its own way.

If you're gonna criticize this novel strictly based from a... more>> profound criteria while saying that 'this novel is s*upid', sorry to tell you but you are just making yourself look more s*upid than the novel itself. There's no need to indicate the clear fact that this novel is s*upid because if you look it thoroughly, it's easy to tell that being s*upid is all within the novel's intention for the sake of comedy.

If you fully grasp that logic, then like me, you'll enjoy the novel.

In the end of the day, just don't treat this novel way too serious since it was designed just for laughs. <<less
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Kevadu rated it
April 4, 2018
Status: c18
I liked it at first but it's kind of a one-trick pony. The premise is genuinely funny at first, but any joke will get old if you repeat it too many times. And repeat this novel does.

It becomes increasingly hard to swallow how every single random BS rationalization the MC pulls out of his ass just happens to be 100% completely true. Yet of course he never actually realizes it because that would involve character development.

It's also pretty hard to understand why the MC is so obsessed with staying hidden... more>> in the shadows in the first place. Yeah, I get it, he's a chuunibyou. But you the reason chuunibyous fantasize about having hidden secret powers is that every knows--including themselves deep down--that they don't have any real power. But here we have an MC who is positively brimming with power. He's completely OP. Yet he's obsessed with keeping it hidden and behaving like a mob character all because of what's basically a game to him seeing how he hasn't even realized that the evil forces he's fighting against are real. Even as web novel rationalizations for a MC hiding his power go that's some pretty flimsy reasoning.

Of course everything always works out for the MC in the end even if the course he takes to get there makes absolutely no sense. Which just lowers my investment in the story even further since there's never any tension.

Maybe I'm being too harsh. It's honestly a pretty original take on a genre (OP isekai reincarnation) that has been so overdone in recent years it feels like there are no original ideas left. And it is actually quite funny at first even if the premise gets old. But I see all these people raving about this novel and giving it fives... and it's no five. Actually if it had been written more as a short story or novella I think it could have worked fine. The problem is the longer the author makes the story the more stale its jokes become and the more strained the reader's suspension of disbelief. <<less
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hawlol rated it
June 16, 2018
Status: c86
Supreme Chuunibyou should be the name of this novel. Overpowered but boring MC that keeps doing things just because he thinks it's cool like a kid.
He dreams to be some kind of ruler in the darkness but does everything in a flashy hero-like way delivering cliche punch lines.

He's obtuse and dumb but does everything right by accident (throwing knife at map and discovering kidnappers hideout, always doing something random that saves the day), except when he's fighting, because then he is god incarnated and no one can hold a... more>> candle to him with no explanation but 'because he's strong'.

Was a little funny at first time but got boring quick. Really overrated series.

Edit: I just wanted to add that my biggest problem with this novel is the fact that midst everything I've said above, there is a serious plot. If this was a pure slapstick comedy it would be fine, but the fact that the author joined the absurd with a serious plot (expecting us to care about it) broke everything apart. <<less
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laneofmagic rated it
May 17, 2019
Status: c107
MC the only thing that absolutely ruins this novel. The concept is cliche but not uninteresting, most characters are fairly likable, the world setting is interesting. Unfortunately all of of it is ruined by how dumb and dense the MC is, because obviously we see the world through his eyes. I used to think that Ichika Orimura from Infinite Stratos is the densest object in the universe, but this novel's MC takes it to a whole new level, which utterly ruined the novel for me. He's overpowered, but he is... more>> an utter douchebag.

Quite a few reviews mentions that there's a 'Comedy' tag for a reason. Honestly, I fail to see where exactly is the comedy reading about an immature piece of tr*sh, to whom people's lives are mere toys to play out his wild delusions. Sure there are some comedic moments but it gets stale quite fast. Also half the jokes are repeated again and again and again, till you are fed up of them.


There's even that part where his elder sister is actually in mortal peril, and he's trying to show off his douche-ness to one of his comrades. Even during the vampire arc, he's off to his own fun walk around the town while his poor sister is desperately worried about him.


Long story short, a good story line ruined by a terrible terrible MC. Easily one of the worst MCs I've ever witnessed. <<less
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FlareZVector rated it
May 23, 2018
Status: c64

This story is a gag story.

I absolutely like this. Think of the MC as a very childish Saitama with Rikka levels of Chuunibyo and has more luck than Kazuma. The misunderstandings in this story beats Gamers and the coincidences happening are more coincidental than cheap rip-offs of games. The plot moves forward at a steady pace with a few jabs and hooks to your face. I like how the MC uses a Taepodong (North Korean ICBM) as a standard for strength.

This story is chaotic in a good way. I... more>> recommend it.

On the other side of the coin, the MC has a severe level of chuunibyo. It's f*cked up because he's playing make believe while killing. One of the aspects I like about the story. <<less
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falloutexile3 rated it
April 9, 2018
Status: c4
Any MC that plays around with his own loving family member's life deserves to be shot.... more>>

In chapter 4 after his older sister is kidnapped, the MC pretends to skim over "ancient documents" he admits in his mind he can't really read, throws a dagger at a random place on a map and says "she's there". It would be one thing if MC has a special ability he keeps hidden, or is clever enough to put a tracker of some sort on his sister, but neither seem to be true.

MC just Bull-$#!ts things and they just inexplicably happen to be true. I can't see how anyone can accept this as a story.

Don't get me wrong, comedy and parody has its place but playing with your family's lives? That's where I draw the line with any "story". <<less
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Kennylatale rated it
April 21, 2018
Status: c34
This is a parody. If you read it seriously, it makes no sense. So don't. The main character acts ret*rded because he is. If you dont get the first few chapters, the rest of the story is not for you. The comedy fits my tastes so I enjoyed it.
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berdanka rated it
August 7, 2019
Status: c112
This novel wins in the "Biggest disappointment" contest nomination. It brought me so much frustration that I've put it on hold to think about it, just to drop it a few months later without returning.

Why so? Because it started great. Though the protagonist's moral is questionable, it's a matter of preferences, would you follow this story or not. For me, it's just hilarious how lucky the protagonist is. He seemingly playing dumb and cause big waves in the world, it's a fantastic concept.

But soon, you will understand. MC isn't playing... more>> dumb. He IS dumb, very much so. So many people and stuff revolving around him, but the author is reusing, again and again, the same joke about being unaware of his influence.

When you'll start to be angry, you will understand that something is horribly wrong with this novel. You will notice how two different stories are going right now. One is a comedy about utterly s*upid and overpowered chunibyo kid, and the other is a tragedy about bitter life and deeply hurt and fanatical people. These stories would never merge, and this farce will bring you immeasurable suffering. <<less
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GabeZhul rated it
September 18, 2018
Status: c138
This is probably the best misunderstanding-comedy I have read in years.


The protagonist used to be a modern Japanese kid who was fascinated by "powers in the shadows". To unpack this term: it is an amalgamation of being an anti-hero leading a secret society, hiding one's power and identity while living a normal life, and being absolutely over-powering and showing up at the nick of time when the "heroes" are in trouble. This kid grew up to be a spirited, if ret*rded, adult obsessed with obtaining power, but without magic,... more>> all he could do was to train his body to the pinnacle of human limits. He then began searching for magic anyway, which lead to him getting a concussion during a training session and the having a fateful meeting with Truck-kun. Afterwards he wakes up as the newborn second child of a baron in a fantasy world, where he decides to live out his fantasies, adopting the alter-ego of Shadow and forming a secret society while also maintaining a meticulously crafted public identity of an average, not particularly talented noble youth. However, due to the unwritten laws of misunderstanding comedies, it turns out all the chuuni scenarios he was feeding to his loyal followers turned out to be 100% on the mark, which put them in collision course with a millennia old secret society.


    • A very good misunderstanding comedy, where the MC is just dense and ridiculously lucky enough to get things rolling, but sensible enough to play his role as Shadow perfectly to fix the situations.
    • This is also a really good power-fantasy. We know that the MC is overpowered, but he knows it too, and it is just a lot of fun seeing him act out his childhood dreams of being the OP expert that shows up in the nick of time.
    • The female characters are actually decently written, with each of them having a distinct personality and aspirations beyond their archetype.
    • The writing is surprisingly tight, with way more twists, turns and epic moments than one would expect from the genre.

    • There is a harem shaping up around our unsuspecting donkan protagonist, which might turn some off. It also doesn't help that, while the possible love interest are all decently fleshed out, there are like fifteen of them already.
    • The contrived coincidences that are a staple of the genre can sometimes clash with the overall fairly down-to-earth and, dare I say, dark plot.

    • The worldbuilding is pretty weak, mainly because most of the story is told from the POV of the MC, and he is too focused on his "living out my childhood dreams" adventures to pay attention to the larger world.
    • The pacing is that of a gag-series, while the overall story is closer to a low-fantasy epic told from an unusual perspective, which makes the story feel rushed at times.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this work. It takes a couple of chapters to get rolling, but once it does, it is a joy to read,

Edit: Unfortunately the novel was hit by the one-two-punch of sub-par translation by the new TL group (if you can call it that) and the usual fate of misunderstanding comedies, where the misunderstandings get dragged out for so long they began to crack the reader's willing suspension of disbelief. The point where my patience ran out happened when the MC willfully tried to ruin the hard work of his harem/minions literally just for the lulz, but then some unseens side characters not only "decoded" a string of gibberish the MC wrote before, using random words from Earth languages, but they translated it into full sentences that completely explained the situation and told them exactly what to do so that they ended up adoring him even more, thus completely negating the need for him to maybe reflect on the fact that he almost completely screwed over and traumatized his closest friends and confidantes for the sake of nothing more than a whim. This was the point where a the wheat was separated from the chaff, and unfortunately the novel ended up on the chaff side of thing. Sad and disappointing. <<less
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Raneday rated it
March 22, 2018
Status: c47
The novel was a series of MC doing coincidental things and the people around him/his subordinates would misunderstand it and would lead to them worshiping him more. The story has a good pacing, no extra filler chapters and a novel that's worth to read it one sitting, and in all honesty I was just planning to skim read till chapter 10 but I did end up to read it till the latest chapter as of now.

Well regarding the relationship with people, MC has a lot of loyal followers mainly his... more>> seven main ones; Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and so on... and the things that MC do which he thought was just inconsequential was actually in fact a big thing in the whole picture.

I wish I could write more things but I'm bad at expressing on what I want to tell, soooo I'll just say that if you liked a good pace action novel you might like this one <<less
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Konstantin rated it
March 2, 2019
Status: c117
This one reminded me One Punch Man more than anything else. Fun comedy based on misunderstandings with OP MC who have a peculiar personality. IDK why people compare it to Overlord, there are hardly any similarities between novels other than the names of certain subordinates.

But don't get it wrong - MC isn't a happy-go-lucky guy, the story isn't fluffy, rather - both characters and world are somehow dark and cruel. MC is borderline crazy, he is psychopath who kills people as "game" (even though they are bad people, but still),... more>> basically he lives with only one purpose - To Be a Power in the Shadows, and there is nothing more important to him, he is abnormal on level of MC from Dungeon Defense. The difference is MC here is clueless in intrigues and whatnot, he just solves any problems with his power even when he doesn't even understand wtf is happening. Like "IDK what is going on, but I will just kick enemy's ass and be cool power in the shadows".

If you like fast-paced OP MC comedy with some dark elements in it then it is definitely for you.

As for "bad writing" comments. This novel just doesn't have any unnecessary description of each little thing, like original OPM manga has bad art without anything unnecessary. It just tells you the story the author wants to tell with all little details removed. In the first 10 chapters of this novel happened more things than in 100 chapters of some "good written slow-paced" ones. It isn't "good or bad", it is just completely different genres of writing. <<less
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CrowFX rated it
May 11, 2018
Status: c54
This novel is a gem.

Expect a Shounen archetype story, but with the shounen elements perverted into oblivion.

Don't read this for the fights, but read this for the theatrical actions that is done often because of s*upid reasons or the 'WTF' reaction from the antagonists and the casts outside of MC's harem-but-too-chuuni-to-realize circle.

Expect common Shounen tropes like waiting for enemies to ready their final form, talking when fighting, etc, but don't let this hinder you. The novel uses these tropes to bring more hilarious situations.

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apsisodia rated it
September 6, 2019
Status: c170
It was fun in the beginning. But MC is just so f*cking dumb that I am starting to feel annoyed reading his POV.
If you are looking for some dumb comedy you may go for it. But if you are interested in genuine comedy pick something else.
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Juggernaut601 rated it
July 25, 2019
Status: c194
Do you like the dynamic of Ains having to pretend to know what’s going on in Overlord? Well this novel takes it to a whole new level. The MC is absolutely insane, by every meaning of the word. He cares about only one thing: becoming the cool ‘power from he shadows’ he daydreams about. In his journey, he is aided by two overpowered abilities. Firstly, being an Isekai protag means he is naturally stronger than everyone. Secondly, being a comedy protag means that every chuuni story he comes up with... more>> ends up being the absolute truth, which ends up creating an entire secret organization under his command. Seriously though, this novel is amazing. MC never gets old by switching rapidly between the overpowered leader of Shadow Garden and the clueless chuuni he is in reality. The side characters are pretty interesting and unique as well, but the best part is being able to see all the shenanigans from their perspective. Overall, I’d recommend this to practically anyone, as long as you can read this as the 5 stars comedy novel it is. <<less
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turk128 rated it
October 1, 2018
Status: c112
What if Saitama never got out of his chuuni phase, instead went at it 100%... then got isekai to a fantasy land.

This isekai very much owns much of it's humor and special brand of misunderstanding from One Punch Man but it's not a rip-off but more a very well done homage. It very much develops its own brand of storytelling and humor from the core homage thou.

Like many others point out, it's amazing how well written this novel is, it has yet to get old 100+ chapter in!
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Qrow454 rated it
April 9, 2021
Status: c204
This was a good story at first. Definitely started good. But then it became stale, then boring. Finally at over two hundred chapters is getting painful to read.

The thing is, I like almost everything of the setting. The world building and backstory is truly interesting. The characters have personalities and motivations. Even the bad guys are well written.

But, what kills this novel is really the MC. The longer the story goes the more you start to hate him. And I mean Hate him.

I mean, he has extreme eight grade syndrome.... more>> Which was well at first, it made his battles fun to read. But then you realize the extent of his mental illness and his obsession with the role play. He tries to hard not to stand out and obviously fails, because he is a ret*rd.

MC is a sociopath. He doesn't cares about anyone other than himself and his play. It may seem okay at first, but after the John Smith arc you realize he truly doesn't care even for his followers that respect him like a god.

MC is fuc***g dense. The author makes 99% of the female cast get in love with him either by his chuuni role play or his looser/mob disguise. And of course he doesn't notice, but I already explained he is a sociopath.

Everything goes his way. And by this I mean that every bullsh*t that comes from his mouth is somehow true. Any random act somehow ends up in a favorable result, to the rest, because he is too s*upid to realize what is going on around him.

I am giving 3/5 stars because I enjoyed this at first. But I can't keep reading this. Good luck and I hope my review help you. <<less
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shinidoshi rated it
March 5, 2019
Status: c31
After reading a few chapters (in the light novel, and what little chapters the manga had) I picture the MC as the love child between Kazuma and Megumin. He is kinda chuuni, but at the same time he's a schemer (common sense included). He takes a Batman approach to his "Power in the Shadows" persona, which at least doesn't make him suffer the pain of public cringe. However, some people might be itching for the MC to show off his true power. He is the protagonist of an isekai novel,... more>> after all. I don't see the MC folding to emotions easily, so I imagine he won't reveal his power level. If you read/watched One Punch Man, you would get a good idea on this whole "underestimated/hidden power level" shtick is. The plot however, is quirky in of itself: dramatic irony, self awareness, and satire. These are the three ingredients that make this misunderstanding-driven novel more easier to digest. I can forgive the MC for being dense, because it brings in a lot of entertainment value for me. However, I could imagine a few people getting annoyed. If you dislike a dense MC or fed up with them, then keep your hopes low on this one. <<less
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Krazyguy75 rated it
May 14, 2018
Status: c57
tl;dr: So absorbing that I only slept 4 hours and was intentionally late to class the week before finals.

Don't read this for anything but humor. The MC is a mary sue, the plot is generic, the other characters are one dimensional, and the world building is relatively tame. If absurd humor alone isn't your thing, this book isn't for you.

However, if it is... this is funny as hell. Everything is blown out of proportion. The MC is so oblivious he doesn't even realize that all the people he is fighting... more>> are from the same organization, despite all his followers knowing it. The MC is trying so hard to look like a unimportant character he has secret techniques to look weaker than he is, that do things like make him spiral through the air spraying out blood. His followers are leaving him secret messages in codes he can't even read, and he acts like he understands while thinking they are just playing around, despite him controlling a massive shadow organization he doesn't understand the scope of at all.

It's ludicrous, and funny. I give a hard recommendation. <<less
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