The Asterisk War: Awakening of Silver Beauty

By Yuu Miyazaki and okiura. Released in Japan by Media Factory. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Melissa Tanaka.

In general, I try to give light novels full reviews on my site, as I’m sure regular readers have noticed. In fact, it’s almost become a light novel review site with manga interruptions. Most of the time this is very easy, as the average light novel has about 3-4 manga volumes worth of content, and so it’s easy to find things to say. Sometimes, though, you need to reach. Not because a title is poor – believe me, I have things to say about titles I don’t like. But sometimes there’s just not a lot of “there” there, if you know what I mean. I enjoyed the second volume of Asterisk War just as much as the first. It’s an easy read with likeable characters and cool action. And it is setting up future plotlines and investing in depth of backstory. Despite all this, however, the series FEELS very slight.

There’s a new cast member as well, and she gets the cover. She is, of course, a very obvious “harem manga” type, as are all the girls in this so far. This is the shy, polite girl who’s to repressed and reserved to really stand on her own but is finally able to do so with the help of our hero. And it also helps that Kirin is absolutely deadly with a sword – in fact, she’s so good she doesn’t even use a lightsaber… erm, excuse me, Orga Lux… but instead uses a katana. And she still manages to mop the floor with everyone, including our hero. Unfortunately, she’s also from an abusive family AND has a tragic past. Needless to say, she fits right in here. Oh yes, and in case you were worried, he manages to beat her by the end of the book. No fears, the guy is still the best in the series.

We also meet several other characters who are introduced in order to use as antagonists in future volumes. We get the childlike yet manipulative mad scientist girl and her more stoic partner. We also see the class presidents of almost all the other schools (one is out touring her new album and can’t join them), which helps to show off how each of the schools differ from each other, and also to emphasize why, if you’re interesting in following a standard light novel protagonist, Claudia’s school is clearly the one to choose. Claudia continues to be one of the best parts of the book – I always enjoy manipulative ojou-types who don’t bother to hide they’re doing it, and I’m sure if this series ever crossed over with Irregular at Magic High School that she and Mayumi would be polite at each other in the best way.

So it’s a good series. You’ll enjoy reading it. It just lacks that certain oomph that puts it over the top that other light novel series have. But I’d certainly recommend it as a read – probably on a beach for vacation, it’s about that type of a series.

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