Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest Volume 3 Light Novel Review

Arifureta Volume 3 Cover

Another volume and another girl and if I thought Shea the Bunny Girl was annoying, wait until we meet this one.

You know, I’m going to take back every mean thing I said about Shea in volume 2. Yes, she felt like an unnecessary additional character who existed just to create a harem, but at least she had a clear goal of her own and while she might sulk a bit she mostly worked hard. All of those traits are clearly on display in volume 3 and despite the clear harem established with Yue, Shea and Hajime, they’ve actually managed to make the dynamic between the trio work. And yet, in the process of making me actually accept the previous additional member to the harem, volume 3 throws yet another girl into the mix. This time its a dragon.

Arifureta Volume 3 - Hajime and Yue

But backing off that point a bit, because criticising a harem fantasy for having a harem in it is kind of on the pointless side, volume 3 is a really exciting read. Hajime racing to rescue someone from a mountain that has rumours of monsters and in the process running across his teacher and a handful of his classmates. This is the first reunion since Hajime fell and his incredibly different appearance and mannerism become a key plot point for really the first time since volume 1.

In volume 2, despite encountering many characters, none of them knew Hajime or had any frame of reference. So his hostile, Yue and me against the world, attitude was just seen as his default. But running into the teacher who knew the Hajime before his life was pushed to the breaking point brings a new and fairly exciting character development that I really hope gets followed up on.

Arifureta Volume 3 - Hajime meets Aiko.

We’ve got some great action sequences in this book with Hajime’s ability to make weapons and vehicles based off his memory of one’s on earth adding a bit of a different flavour to battles in what would otherwise be fairly traditional fantasy settings. Pulling a Gatling gun on a dragon is certainly a novelty. Throw in some solid magical efforts and the team work between Hajime, Shea and Yue and all and all it makes for a very satisfying read that continues the story, injects some excitement, and sets up future plot developments.

I’d continue to sing the book’s praises except for Tio. And I’d love to detail just why Tio is so horrible but unfortunately that would step majorly into spoilers so I’ll keep in general.

You know, I get that sometimes characters are annoying on purpose and when even the other characters in the story can’t stand them I assume it is supposed to be on purpose. However, there are almost no words to explain how annoying she is. Fortunately you only have to really put up with her in the latter stages of the book, but literally everything she says made me want to stop reading. She’s like the most intrusive fan-service character ever invented.

Arifureta Volume 3 - Tio

I walked away from this volume thinking how one character managed to sour the entire experience. Because outside of her, I really had fun with this story, but I had to think really hard about that because her presence becomes such an issue. If I hadn’t had the next volume already I may have thought twice about continuing on.

I will admit though, that your tolerance of her antics may vary and if a girl asking to have her butt violated doesn’t completely turn your stomach then you might have a great deal more fun here in general.

So on that note, while I still really see a lot of potential in this overall narrative and I really like the majority of the characters, there’s definitely a sticking point at volume 3 so I can’t completely recommend it.

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So I’m A Spider So What Volume 3 Light Novel Review

More levelling up and beating monsters than ever before!

This volume is definitely dividing its time between the spider in the labyrinth and the prince in peril. Honestly, it is hard to know who has it tougher in this book. While the spider has been levelling themselves up, they still face threat after threat and every day is a fight to live, fortunately they’ve got enough tricks and skills now to make a good showing of it. You wouldn’t think the prince’s life would be that hard except for the part where his older brother died and he suddenly found himself lumped with the ‘hero’ title that only one person can get. Not only dealing with the death of someone but also given a position that will probably get you kills isn’t exactly easy.

So the plot continues to bubble along in So I’m a Spider So What? and I’m getting more and more suspicions that they are deliberately blurring the timeline in this story. It will be interesting to see if I’m right or not when I finally get on to the next book

That aside, it is the characters who are driving this story. Mostly because events in the novel mostly consist of characters getting attacked by monsters or political conspiracies and escape attempts so while it works it honestly gets a little repetitive. However, some fairly solid first person narration with different characters narrating appropriate parts keeps this whole thing rolling along and largely keeps it pretty amusing and entertaining. There’s also enough twists and weird moments thrown in to keep the plot from ever becoming stale.

What has gotten stale, and I mentioned this in my review of volume 2, are the pages of stats. This book isn’t as bad as the second volume but it doesn’t take much page flicking to find an entire page covered in stat listings and levels. Why on earth would anyone want to read that? Just tell us the levels we need to know to understand why the character is freaking out because they are about to die and leave it at that. This is just padding and incredibly dull padding that gets a little bit more dull every time we see it.

However, I’ve had far too much fun with the dungeon roaming spider at this point to give up the story, and the new hero is actually kind of interesting and I’d love to see how his character progresses (assuming someone doesn’t kill him). Also, the fight scene at the end of this book was pretty impressive to read (I’d love to see it animated actually) so I’m on board for another volume of this series. It isn’t the best, but it has enough quirky ideas and personality to keep me going.

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Goblin Slayer Volume 3 Light Novel Review: It’s A Date, And Goblins

The Harvest Festival is on its way and all the female adventurers and friends suddenly have one thing on their mind. Too bad Goblin Slayer only ever has one thing on his mind – killing goblins.

Review:

Of the three volumes I’ve read so far, this one is probably the weakest. And that’s because instead of feeling like we were on some epic adventure (albeit to fight goblins), this one genuinely felt like we were reading a harem based light novel with a wishy-washy protagonist, girls who have no purpose outside of their pursuit of him, and ultimately a conflict that felt like it was thrown in at the end for the sake of having a final fight. And while none of that makes this a terrible read, it certainly wasn’t as compelling as previous entries.

However, the positive would be that Goblin Slayer is given more time to become a bit more humanised in this volume. He’s still the enigma and still has complete tunnel vision for goblin killing, but his interactions with the rest of the cast help to paint a broader picture of his overall personality when removed from blowing up goblin nests. Priestess also comes out of this volume looking reasonably good with her being able to showcase how far she’s grown since the opening of volume 1 where she was the scared little girl in need of rescue.

Goblin Slayer Vol3b

Unfortunately, the rest of the cast, whether it is Guild Girl, Female Knight, Cow Girl, High Elf Archer or Witch, they all just come off looking pretty vapid and silly as they scurry about trying to attract this or that guy’s interest at the festival. Then again, it isn’t as though Dwarf Shaman or Lizard Priest come off any better. While they aren’t trying to attract a partner they seem to spend almost two thirds of the book doing nothing but taking part in various eating and drinking activities.

And that’s more or less the whole problem. Even though Goblin Slayer is preparing for something from the beginning, it is easily dismissed as his usual eccentric paranoia and doesn’t really count as foreshadowing. The disgruntled adventurer is an obvious flag early on, but it doesn’t amount to very much. So by the time things start happening and the much needed goblins arrive (needed because how can he be Goblin Slayer if there are no goblins), the reader is more or less suffering from festival fatigue and it is almost a relief to see the town plunged into danger.

The danger itself though never feels all that real. Unlike in the previous volumes where the Goblins attacked either a farm that was pretty remote or were underground, here they attack a town. There’s very little reason why our plucky adventurers seem to be fighting without back-up given how many adventurers are in the town (and I don’t care how drunk they claim they might be after the festival), and yet the book insists on having the core group take on much larger numbers by themselves. While it is an excellent showcase of their abilities, it kind of pushes plausibility and after a fairly dull set-up it isn’t really much of a payoff.

So I left this volume with mixed feelings because there are some great character moments here for Goblin Slayer and Priestess and the final fight is actually kind of exciting even if it makes little sense in context, but there’s just too much down time here and too many female characters being too cliche female character from a light novel. I’m hoping the next volume picks back up because if this is an ongoing trend with this series I may very well let this one go and that would be a shame. It has been a lot of fun up until this point.

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If you’re interested in reading Goblin Slayer Volume 3 it is available on the Book Depository.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Volume 3 Light Novel Review: And My Journey May End Here

Review:

It seems a shame given this series has now been adapted into an anime (though so far not well) and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, but the second book kind of felt plotless to an extent and now this third book has jettisoned the idea of a plot altogether.

Individual moments in the book are still interesting. Learning how to make vials for potions, the witches and the whole subplot about Satou helping them fulfill their contract (which was used as the climax of the book but isn’t exactly a main storyline), and even just the different villages and cities they visit are nice and all. However there’s no central drive. There is still the whole suspicious infusion of Japanese culture and the possibility of other people trapped in this parallel world from our world, but to be honest Satou as the protagonist isn’t doing much about that and it doesn’t really seem like the reader should care either.

So what we get instead are endless descriptions of food preparation and random magical experiments, snippets of conversation and lots and lots of Satou comforting his various slaves and travel companions as they all vie for his attention (nothing lewd mind you given Satou continuously reminds us of the age of most of them and he genuinely does seem to be looking out for them).

Part of me is still curious as to where this story might go given there are literally endless possibilities, and the other part of me realises that this volume took me the better part of a week to actually finish reading because I would get to the end of a chapter, realise nothing had happened and would put the book down. That’s really not exactly what I look for in a book.

I’m not ruling out trying the next book in the series but for now at least it’s on hold while I check out some other books that have been in my reading list.

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If you’re interested in reading Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Volume 3 it is available on the Book Depository.