I Saved Too Many Girls And Caused the Apocalypse, Vol. 5

By Namekojirushi and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Ore ga Heroine o Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Mokushiroku!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Adam Lensenmayer.

After a couple of books where I was fairly dissatisfied with the series, this is a much stronger volume of Little Apocalypse. It still has its cliches that it falls into, and has pretty much given up being a parody, but that also means the plot gets much more serious and thrilling. Rekka actually manages to achieve cool things, and his wishy-washyness about the heroines is a bit less frustrating. Also R has a lot more to do, and has become the reader stand-in, admiring the girls and tweaking Rekka. We also get a second book in a row where one of the heroines turns out to be not what they seem, but this one actually comes as a bit of a surprise, one of quite a few genuine surprises I had reading this book. There are still a few major problems with it (more on that below), but rating it against other books in the series, it’s the best since the first.

The plot kicks off when Iris invites Rekka to a water planet for the weekend to do some swimming. By now Iris has gotten used to the fact that she can’t have Rekka all to herself as much as she wants, so she even goes as far as to invite the others as well. (The revolving heroine door revolves again this time – Lea can’t make it, but instead Tetra gets a much larger role, to make up for being absent in the prior book.) Upon arrival, they find the planet, in order to survive, has basically become a resort, with the mermaid palace a glorified hotel. Unfortunately, the palace is soon attacked by pirates, whose motive is murky but who seem prepared to kill. Rekka teams up with his usual crew, along with Rain, the princess of the mermaid planet; Shirley, a scientist who seemingly was simply there on holiday as well; and Fam, one of the pirates who’s noticed that the captain has not been himself lately. Interestingly, only the last two are identified as ‘heroines’ by R; I wasn’t sure why Rain wasn’t, but in the end she ends up being one anyway.

As I said, for the most part I enjoyed this. The first at the end was quite good, and the villain’s broken motivation was treated with sensitivity by Rekka when almost any other hero would have simply taken them out. That said, I had two big problems. The first is Raul, a Lupin wannabe who seems to be there to do all the things that the author realized would be impossible for Rekka to achieve, which is nice except that seeing how Rekka achieves impossible things is the main reason to read the series. He’s a deus ex machina character. The other is the ending, which I knew was coming but still cringed at. If you’re going to have a villain threaten an entire planet with death and be well advanced in actually achieving this, even if the motivations do turn out to be “I have never had friends and am desperately lonely”, I’m pretty sure you still have to serve time. The Get Out Of Jail Free Because I’m A Heroine card works far less well here than it does for Rosalind.

But oh well. Little Apocalypse is never going to be perfect, particularly as it keeps advancing its ridiculous premise. Most of the book works pretty well, some neglected heroines get things to do (and no doubt will be neglected again while others rotate in), Rekka gets to be cool and yet still unaware that people are attracted to him, and R is snarky. We’re almost a third of the way through the series, and I’m starting to be curious as to how the author can keep this up without it collapsing.

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