Bluesteel Blasphemer, Vol. 1

By Ichirou Sakaki and Tera Akai. Released in Japan by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by James Rushton and Kevin Steinbach.

If you’ve grown tired of novels where our hero is either transported to another world or dies and is reincarnated in another world, well, this is another one of those. There’s so many that you really need to figure out what it is about this particular one that makes it worth reading over the other 87,326 series released this year alone. In the case of Bluesteel Blasphemer, the answer may be its pedigree. This is not a case of a newbie writer who was putting his fiction on the web and got discovered by a publisher. Ichirou Sakaki has written such things as Scrapped Princess, Chaika the Coffin Princess, and Outbreak Company, which does feature a princess. And now we have one of his newer series, Bluesteel Blasphemer, which does not have princesses – at least not yet – but has a mayor’s daughter, a sacrificial victim, and a Rei Ayanami expy, because god knows we don’t have enough of those.

Our hero is Yukinari, a young man who is rescued from modern-day Japan, where he was dying in a fire that killed his older sister, and reincarnated in a cool body (with a few tricks up its sleeve) by a young alchemist who seems very similar to his older sister, and Dasa, her younger sister and the Rei clone I mentioned above. After stuff happens, he and Dasa are on the run through the backwaters of the country, and run across Berta, a beautiful young orphan about to be sacrificed to appease the local erdgod, which is a nasty piece of work. It’s not clear whether the sacrifices work or not, and the mayor’s daughter Fiona, who’s in charge while her father is in ill health, has her doubts as well, but hey: it’s tradition. Unfortunately, Yukinari and Dasa proceed to massacre tradition, and now have to deal with his being the assumed local erdgod replacement – as well as the unfortunate arrival of the local Inquisition, here to enslave the village into their religion.

There are pluses and minuses to this series. The pluses are the plot and the writing, which are both excellent. You can tell the author is far more experienced, as there’s no long introductory sequence like most isekai. Instead, we get the feeling we’re starting with Book 2, which gets a bit confusing but pays off in the long run. The action sequences, of which there are many, work fine, and the plot twists happen at just the right moment. On the down side, well, the characters are not nearly as good as the book being written around them. Yuknari is fairly faceless, Dara is, as I said, another in a long line of snarky deadpan barely legals, and Berta’s desire to serve Yukinari as the new replacement erdgod is rather disturbing, as she seems to be confusing love and worship in her head. Fiona was probably the best character of the lot. (Honestly, as the author himself admits in the afterword, the harem aspect seems totally tacked on and uninspired). Also, the two older sisters who both die to inspire the heroes… bleah. I bet they both had that dead mom sidetail, didn’t they?

So it’s a decent, but not stellar, debut for this series. I’m willing to give it another volume to draw me in more. That said, I’m rather glad it’s only 4 volumes total.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind