Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 5

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’ve mentioned before that I enjoy Yurika’s role in the novels, being the constantly mocked and abused girl whose suffering is absolutely hilarious. That said, it’s not the sort of thing that you’re going to be able to drag out over 26+ volumes, not if you want to actually develop the characters enough to have people read 26+ volumes. So I was not particularly surprised that this volume of Rokujouma was going to try to give Yurika a bit more gravitas, or at least show us that as a magical girl she isn’t, in fact, as completely incompetent as her personality may imply. I wasn’t expecting this to turn into the best volume of the series to date, though, as Yurika’s frustrations in the first half of the book give way to a battle royale with her evil counterpart, and she finally gets her wish: her friends believe her.

And yes, I can see you raising an eyebrow at me. “Magical reset at the end?”, you say cynically. Yes, yes, magical reset at the end. But that’s not the point, the point is that Yurika is NOT affected by the magical reset, which means that the development she gets in this book will (hopefully, crosses fingers) remain going forward. A lot of Yurika’s issues are self-confidence related, which makes sense given her background which we get a bit more of here – she was an “ordinary girl” attacked for the large amount of manga she had, and her magical girl sempai pretty much sacrificed herself so that Yurika could continue to defend the world, etc. As a magical girl, Yurika is actually pretty damn powerful. It’s just the constant ridicule and denial by her friends that wear her down. But now she’s aware that, memory loss or no, in the end when her friends discover the truth they do support and defend her.

As for the harem, it’s interesting that Yurika does not particularly moon over Koutarou the way that the other girls do. There are a few hints she likes him, but for the most part she’s content to set up Harumi with him. Her attempts at helping that relationship along work much better than her attempts to get people to believe she’s a magical girl, honestly. As for Koutarou, his main issue is that he’s surrounded by a ghost, two aliens, and an “underground priestess”, and Yurika the “cosplayer” is the one normal girl in his life. Once he accepts that his harem are not going to abandon him, I think things can move forward. (As for Harumi, her main issue is that Koutarou puts distance between them that he doesn’t do with the others, and this is relatively straightforwardly fixed.) The other haremettes don’t get much to do, though the ending implies that the next book will feature Kiriha – which makes sense, she’s on the cover of this book. Gotta keep things consistent.

Rokujouma is never going to break any originality records, but it’s settled nicely into doing its thing, and the characters are growing with each book. Well worth a read for fans of battle harems.

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