The Magic in This Other World Is Too Far Behind!, Vol. 5

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

It stands to reason that, given this fantasy world is looking for strong heroes, and they’ve gathered three of them from Suimei’s “home” universe (albeit two of them by accident), that there would be other heroes here who hail from Japan. That said, having the hero be Suimei’s childhood friend is asking a bit much of the reader’s suspension of disbelief, methinks. She also has amnesia, which ends up helping the book to pad out its length, because a great deal of time is spent with Suimei trying to get her to trust him and also fending off attacks from her allies, who think that he’s some sort of villain. She is… an OK character, I suppose, but I have to be honest, an overly earnest swordswoman is not really something we need to add to Suimei’s party given that we already have Lefille. Given Hatsumi has her own party, much like Reiji, I’m hoping that when this arc ends she will head off on her own.

We also get a bit more information on our villains, if not their purpose just yet, and honestly I’m wondering if they’re more antagonists than villains. There is a sense that the religion in this world may be what’s actually holding it back, and while Suimei doesn’t dwell on it too much, given that he has some highly religious people in his party, I suspect it’s not something that will go away. This is also not too surprising for a Japanese fantasy light novel, where the Church has a tendency to be evil by default, but given this author’s habit of going deeply into magical theory, I’ll be interested to see if he also goes deeply into this in a way that’s not just “God bad. Grr!”. We also get a whole cadre of demons introduced, and they seem far more villainous – the one behind the battle at the end is a typical smug jerk who needs to get what’s coming to him. (Speaking of which, once again Suimei saves the girl multiple times but the author allows Hatsumi to get in the final blow. I’ll take what I can get, I suppose.)

I mentioned last time that Liliana’s depth suffered as she was essentially the victim in her introductory books. She does much better here, adding to Suimei’s party of white mage and swordswoman by being a top class spy. The scene where everyone comes up with no information whatsoever and she mentions she found “a little bit” and then rattles off every secret in the town is almost hilarious, and as Suimei notes speaks very well of her. Admittedly, you still get the sense that the girls are all doing this to get him to like them more, but given the nature of the genre I can’t really avoid that. This book ends with a cliffhanger, so it looks like another two-parter is in the works. I do wonder if Hatsumi will get her memory back in the next book or not – there’s good plot reasons why it may be best for her to stay amnesiac. Also, will Reiji and company (who have an unwanted addition now in the form of Evil Olivier Armstrong) find the ultimate weapon they’re seeking? Too Far Behind continues to stay just on the good side of “overpowered guy with harem” titles.

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