The Magic in This Other World Is Too Far Behind!, Vol. 3

By Gamei Hitsuji and himesuz. Released in Japan by Overlap. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Hikoki.

I didn’t mention it in my review of the previous volume, but a large chunk of that book was taken up with the journey of the actual hero, Reiji, and his adventures trying to destroy the demons. Given that the basic premise of this book is that we leave the hero by the wayside and follow his secretly more powerful best friend, it’s impressive that the author it not only coming back to the hero occasionally but also treating him seriously. Reiji wants to help this world, despite the fact that he’s not from it and that everyone not in his party seems to be a cynical bastard of some sort. Admittedly, the more I see of Mizuki, his wannabe girlfriend and the third member of the “from another world” party, the more I think that she’s going to be turned to evil pretty easily, but hey. That said, the bulk of this book still follows Suimei as he arrives at a new city, buys a house, and meets yet another young girl.

If you look at the girl on the cover, you might be thinking that the author is starting to come up with heroines by ticking a fetish box. And, based on the afterword, you might not be too wrong. Liliana is a young girl with many dark secrets who works for the city’s military police and is a bit shunned by the general populace, who are terrified of a) her magic and b) her general demeanor. Neither of those bother Suimei, and he also sees her playing with cute kittens, so he knows she’s good at heart. But it may take more than one book to help her, as the city has more problems than just a goth-loli with a bad rep. Nobles around the city are being attacked and falling into a coma – though oddly, all the nobles attacked seem to be stereotypical “evil noble” types. And worse, there’s a different summoned hero in this town, and the oracle has told Lefille to join him… and he also wants to add Felmenia, the heroine from the first book who has caught up with Suimei. Is he a hero? Or just amassing a harem?

There are a few more things in this volume that I wasn’t too fond of compared to previous ones. As I noted, Felmenia has caught up, which means we have three heroines in one book. That means the standard jealousy ensues, though it’s low-key for now. The reason it’s low-key is that Lefille is still in her little girl body, which is mostly mined for comedy, but even the author admits readers are asking for him to fix her soon. And sadly the author’s worldbuilding discussions of magic tend to come out at the worst possible times – in this particular case at the climax of the book, which leaves a reader wanting to skip to the point where they can read something other than magic history. That said, we’re only halfway through what I expect is a two-book arc, so things may turn around. Too Far Behind! is adding a few more generic harem fantasy tropes, but is still good enough that you should enjoy it.

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