Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 14

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 have found that a series like Rokujouma is at its best when the cast it set up against a strong enemy. Be it Theia’s home planet’s military or the dark magical girls, this allows Koutarou and the girls to be able to use their strong bonds to maximum effect. It also makes it heartwarming whenever they go on and on about said strong bonds. Unfortunately, that does lead to an annoying side effect, which is that when you have a book where there ISN’T a strong conflict, the series can sometimes turn a bit smug. When Koutarou was asked to grade all the girls he liked on a scale of 1-100 (100 being “would marry her in a flash), and even Yurika, considered the “weakest” of the lot, still gets over 300… the tendency to roll the eyes can be very strong. We know where the author is going with this, but sadly Koutarou’s nature means that we’re a ways away from him knowing it, I expect.

This book essentially consists of three short stories. The second is the one I was telling you about above, which involves Koutarou realizing how important all the girls are to him, Ruth suggesting that he start a cadre of Knights he can command (with her as second in command, natch), and Yurika getting comedically tortured, because honestly that’s still pretty funny. It’s a pretty slight story, though, and the other two do better. The longest involves Shizuka, whose past we finally hear about. I’m going to be honest here, the moment I heart of the fate of her parents I knew where the climax of this story was going to end up, and it sure did. But I like her as a character, and she now no longer has to be kept in the dark, and can officially be added to the “harem”. Basically, it’s the Shizuka depth we’d been waiting for.

The last story follows up on Vol. 13, where it was made clear that Koutarou and Clan had met Theia’s mother before in their apparently endless time travel. Here we see that meeting happen. It’s fun if a bit predictable – Ellie is a strong princess who nevertheless falls hard for Koutarou like everyone else, and since she’s not going to be part of the harem, Koutarou is allowed to realize that. And we see that even back twenty years prior, the military was a bit out of control – essentially, the planet’s history has reached the crisis point that Koutarou’s presence can solve once more. I wish a bit more had been done with the fact that Koutarou was still in love with Alaia at this point, but it’s given short shrift in favor of time travel “do I have the right?” stuff.

So this is not the strongest book in the series, and might seem self-satisfied to a casual reader. But I’m sure that more conflict will come along soon, and it’s good to see Shizuka officially be part of the main group at last.

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