The Magic in This Other World Is Too Far Behind!, Vol. 7

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

Well, clearly someone did have a talk with the illustrator since my last review, as there is now a new illustrator, and there are lots of interstitial art pieces, which is good, as I’d honestly forgotten that Lefille wears that hat. That hat is not something that should be easily forgotten. On the prose side, this is perhaps a book that is overbalanced towards the back half. The start of the book features a lot of magic lectures, even for this series that seems to be almost entirely magic lectures. The middle third deals with our heroes having to prove themselves to the Elite Guard who will be fighting with them, and needless to say by the end of it the Elite Guard is not so elite. Even Mizuki’s alter ego hands them their asses (actually, her final power move may be the funniest moment in the book). Things end on a more serious note, though,l as the “this is somehow connected with Suimei’s home world” plotline that’s been suggested comes into full flower.

There is a sense in this volume that the author is starting to settle in for the long haul, and thus starting to do something about the supporting cast. I’ve mentioned before that I appreciate that Reiji, the nominal hero, is not written out of the book or made jealous of Suimei, but that does mean that he’s been a bit bland. That doesn’t change here, but he does try to double down on his heroic qualities, realizing that he has to get stronger in order to keep up with everyone else – “rely on others” only feels like good advice if you can rely on yourself sometimes too. Likewise, Felmenia is starting to feel left out, being the defense expert among a group of attackers, and wants to learn how to have a mana furnace like Suimei does – and if that means becoming “inhuman”, so be it. Unfortunately, the actual scenes of her doing this aren’t in the book itself, but we do at least see the results, and she kicks much ass.

Though the author is trying to think ahead and develop characters, there are still a few problems. While this book *is* meant to have a cliffhanger – the mastermind helping the demons and what their relation to Suimei is – I don’t think it’s meant to feel quite as open-ended as it does. For one thing, the Lefille fight with the demon who cursed her is completely abandoned, and I’m not even sure if she made it back to be with the others. Speaking of that fight and the others like it, seeing our dragonewt antagonist and his party show up and announce “we’re helping you, don’t ask why” begs to be followed by “because the author couldn’t think of a good reason”. Oh well, at least the fights are decently written, particularly the duels midway through, and Lefille is no longer a little girl size, though I’m sure that won’t last. As for where we go from here… who knows? The next volume is the last one in Japan to date.

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