Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 6

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.

First off, going back to my worries from the last review, I am delighted to see that Yurika’s character development from the previous book is not only kept but noticed by others. Yes, she is still sometimes the butt of the joke – this is a comedy, after all – but she’s far more content with her lot in life now, talking easily with Koutarou and realizing that using her abilities secretly so that no one knows about it may actually be the best thing she can do right now. The other cast members are also keeping their growth – Koutarou is noticeably less formal with Harumi here, and the cast is all starting to realize they’re in love with Koutarou without having it become their defining trait, always a worry in harem titles. Rokujouma may be light as air at times, but there’s more depth here than I was expecting.

Of course, sticking with the ‘heroine is the cover girl of the previous book’ rule, the main focus here is on Kiriha, the last of the ‘main girls’ in the room to be fleshed out, provided you’re not counting Harumi, who’s sort of the plus one in this situation. (I’m not sure if Shizuka is going to do anything but be the landlord who knows lots of martial arts – she certainly gets more do do in this book than usual, but her feelings for Koutarou are not brought up.) Kiriha has been the teasing older woman sort in the series, but naturally we discover that this is mostly a front to disguise her true motives, which are actually pretty pure and noble given she was supposed to be a vanguard for a race trying to invade the Earth’s surface. In reality, what she has in mind is more like immigration than anything else, and Koutarou is relieved to discover this.

She also has a childhood dream she wants to fulfill, as when she was a kid she ran away to the surface and met a young man who she immediately fell in love with. Now, I have been saying how much I enjoy Rokujouma here, but it does have a few downsides, and the biggest one is that it’s about as subtle as a brick to the head. Time travel has not really come up yet in the series, though given the amount of weird tech we’ve seen so far it would be no surprise. Also no surprise is the fact that the boy Kiriha fell for all those years ago is clearly ‘our’ Koutarou, who no doubt will find a way to slip back in time in some future book. Then again, I’m not sure that subtlety and mysteries are what the author is going for here. I think we’re meant to be winking along with the narrative.

Of all the ‘light, fluffy romance series with no real point’ I’ve been reading in light novel form, Rokujouma is probably my favorite. It’s always a relaxed, easy read, and some of its jokes made me laugh out loud this time (particularly Koutarou’s reaction to the five-team sentai squad when they first show up). If you don’t mind harems, it’s an excellent light novel starting point.

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