Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, Vol. 3

By FUNA and Itsuki Akata. Released in Japan as “Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!” by Earth Star Entertainment. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Diana Taylor. Adapted by Maggie Cooper.

I don’t think I’ve read a series that’s as consistently funny as Make My Abilities Average. The author simply knows how to write humor and write it well (she also apparently makes a lot of tortured puns and wordplay jokes, which the translators make a valiant effort at adapting). The book starts off relatively sedately, but the entire battle with the Wyvern in the final third is comedy cold from beginning to end. You would think that “Mile suggests something incredibly off the wall” would get old fast, but she’s simply a walking font of ridiculous, and it helps greatly that she has three types of tsukkomis traveling with her. There is the occasional moment of seriousness, mostly involving the background for Pauline’s family, but for the most part Make My Abilities Average knows what the audience wants: laughs.

Mavis and Pauline share the third cover, which is appropriate as their backstories come back to haunt them at the same time. Pauline’s is more serious, involving the murder of her father and loss of her family business. Mavis’ family is still intact, but she is the only daughter of a Count, and as such they would rather she not be training to be the best knight she can be and get back to being a marriage prospect. And so the Crimson Vow heads off (unofficially this time) to deal with the problems and ensure that they can carry on as before. There’s some lampshading of obvious tropes here, which is where the humor is really mined. Mile shows up as Mavis’ teacher, Evening Gown Mask (yes, really) in order to take on the Count in swordfighting. Her disguise is… an eye mask. That’s it. Despite this, and without the use of magic, Mavis’ entire family fails to recognize that it’s Mile.

Then there’s the Wyvern fight, which ends up being a series of toppers. I had assumed that the high point would be the scene that is illustrated (quite well, I might add), but no, it gets better. And then gets better again. The absolute highlight may be the mastermind explaining his plans to (and for) Mile, which involves plans so deeply silly that Mile is forced to play the tsukkomi herself. I’m trying not to spoil because it was simply that funny to me. This isn’t a perfect book – as with a lot of light novels that need to pad out the word count, one of the short stories falls amazingly short, as we see Adele (yes, it’s a flashback to school #1) going on a date with a classmate, where the humor involves a) said classmate being a “nice guy” with extra quote marks, and b) the class rep being a wacky comedy lesbian. I hate wacky comedy lesbians. On the bright side, this does suggest that the series is determined not to have romance invade its fun. which is fine by me.

Last time I mentioned that the lack of a “main plot” was also a flaw, and you can say the same thing about this book – it still feels more like a short story collection that happens to be sequential. That said, the author seems to realize this, and is implying she will add more plot in the next book. In the meantime, if you want a laugh, or want to see a great all-girl fighting team, I highly recommend this series.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind