Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension: The Turbulent Underwater Baths

By Nagaharu Hibihana and Masakage Hagiya. Released in Japan as “Isekai Konyoku Monogatari” by Overlap. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Sophie Guo.

I have to hand it to this volume of Mixed Bathing, it may have the most synonyms for “breasts” that I’ve seen in any light novel to date. I’m not sure whether to put this down to the original Japanese or the translation, but in any case, kudos to whoever made it so that I can read the word ‘bazongas’ in the midst of this. That said, the truly interesting thing about this volume is despite the fact that it ups the fanservice considerably, to the point where the middle third of the book is almost entirely the cast bathing naked and trying to show themselves off to Touya, it STILL all feels rather innocent. Touya is a teenage boy who likes girl’s bodies, but he’s still a really nice kid despite that, and Haruno, who has reunited with him, is exactly the same. In fact, that may be the most frustrating thing for fans of harem titles – despite reuniting for Haruno’s group, and thus adding a few more females, things are still super, super chaste. Not even a welcome back kiss.

The plot, such as it is, is that Touya’s group take their submarine to the Water Kingdom to a) find out what’s happened to Haruno, and b) get another blessing, as Haruno is now filling in for the Wind Goddess, whose corporeal body was destroyed in the current battle that’s gearing up. After meeting up and bathing for about 70-80 pages, we then get a bunch of things happening at once, as they’re attacked by the demon forces and have to fight back. They also learn more about what really happened 500 years ago, and I must admit I was very impressed with this. It’s always interesting seeing how history can be rewritten or changed over the course of a few centuries, and seeing that the kingdom of Ares destroying all the other countries may have been merely a metaphor for something else was great.

The downside is, of course, that the pace of this series is crawling. To some extent that’s its charm, but when you make even In Another World with My Smartphone look fast-paced and frenetic, you may be doing your job a little too well. And, of course, there’s the complete lack of conflict among the good guys. There’s a brief scene where Haruno and Clena meet and “have a chat”… and we don’t get to see it at all! The POV stays with Touya as he proceeds to show all the girls the seductive value of washing hair. Intensely frustrating. Whatever the chat was, it seems to have been peacefully settled, though, and once again you realize this is going to be a relatively conflict-free harem once the whole war against the demons gets taken care of. It’s refreshing, in a kind of boring sort of way.

All that said, I’m still enjoying this series, and I do like that, unlike a lot of other isekais that I know, the cast is made up of a bunch of sweetie-pies. And if nothing else, the reader will improve their vocabulary when it comes to the female bosom. We’re caught up with Japan, so it may be a bit before the 6th book, though.

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