Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 4

By Takehaya and Poco. Released in Japan as “Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Warnis.

I’m not certain if this is deliberate or accidental, but so far in Rokujouma each starring heroine has been the one featured on the PREVIOUS cover. Sanae features on the cover of Book 2, and gets most of her development in 3. Theia features on the cover of 3, and gains the most development (and a rival) in this book. And, judging by the cliffhanger ending, the next volume will focus primarily on Yurika, who’s on the cover of this volume. Of course, given this is a harem comedy with a large cast, everyone gets something or other to do in this book. But there’s no doubt the main thrust is the play that Theia writes using her own planet’s history, and how much it resonates with some of the cast. And, as I noted above, we get another candidate for the throne as well, who seems to be the mad scientist type, and is perfectly OK with killing others if she can get away with it. Fortunately, this is a comedy.

The other beneficiary of this school play is Harumi, who is a knitting club member rather than a drama club member, but everyone agrees that she has the look and feel of the princess that Theia has “creates”. The gag, of course, being that she only turns into a good actor – only identifies with how the princess is feeling about being separated from her knight – when it’s Koutarou who’s playing opposite her. In fact, it feels like a bit more of a gag, and there are hints that there may be some serious reincarnation or something similar going on here. Of course, this makes for a great excuse to have Koutarou, also not a Drama Club member, play the Blue Knight, which allows Theia to give him rigorous knightly training with a suit of armor that fits him abnormally well. I;ve often said that Vol. 4s tends to be the ones where the plot is greatly expanded as the publisher tells the author it won’t be cancelled immediately, and that seems to be the case here.

The others don’t get as much to do – though I noted that Yurika saved the day without anyone realizing it again, a running gag that suits her misfortune. We do see that after the events of the previous volume, everyone is getting along much better – aside from the occasional abuse of Yurika because, well, that’s what happens to her – there’s little jealousy or typical harem antics going on here. I suspect the ship here may end up being a poly one (in fact, many of J-Novel’s current licenses have legal or implied polygamy – coincidence?), but it’s handled well enough, and poly ships also help to avoid all that “who is best girl?” nonsense. Rokujouma is never going to win any awards for originality or good writing, but it’s like a good beef stew, a meat and potatoes sort of book you can read anytime. Recommended to fans of the genre.

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