Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 17

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.

This is essentially a series of short stories taking place right after the events of the last two volumes, and is therefore as light and fluffy as you can imagine. Everyone goes to the beach, then everyone goes to a festival, then everyone goes to an amusement park. When the group aren’t going places, we see Yurika struggle to do all the homework she completely forgot about in two days, and we also see Koutarou’s father, who hasn’t shown up since the first volume, drop by to check on his son and meet his nine new daughters. I’m kidding only slightly, as the series is starting to make the not-too-shocking chess moves to allow this to be a full-fledged harem in the future. It’s always had this somewhat implicitly, but here two of the girls agree that if one of them marries Koutarou, the other is allowed to cheat with no worries. Honestly, at this point I think fans would be angry if he DID choose only one girl.

We do seem to have capped the number of girls at nine, however. Elfaria was certainly in love with Koutarou back when he was in the past, and it’s fairly obvious that she still harbors feelings for him, but she also knows that she can provide a role for him that the other girls can’t, which is to be a mother figure. Rokujouma is never really all that subtle with its character development, and has had the other girls talk about everything being on hold till Koutarou emotionally matures enough to be able to accept and move past his mother’s death. That said, given the rest of the girls are putting ‘Koutarou’s family’ first, it makes sense that Elfaria is thinking about being a mom for him, something the others aren’t able to do (Kiriha could pull it off, I think, but likely wants Koutarou romantically too much for that to happen).

Koutarou has developed since the series began – something the series is unashamedly fond of spelling out, as his dad tells him straight up in the last story how the old him would never have allowed himself to get this close to all those other girls. That said, my favorite chapter was probably (try not to be surprised) the Yurika one, which also shows off how much she has grown and changed despite still being the author’s go-to when he needs someone to whine and be pathetic (as we can see in the beach chapter, where she proves to be a hammer). Sure, she needs some motivation, mostly from Koutarou (he does a stick, then a carrot, which works very well), but I really did admire her refusal to get “magical help” to finish the homework, or to give up. I also liked that Shizuka noted there were errors in the work, but didn’t correct them – Yurika has to improve enough to get into college with Koutarou and Harumi, and that means fixing her own mistakes.

Of course, it also means dealing with the other evil magical girls, and the ending implies that the next book will feature their return. Rokujouma continues to truck along nicely, and even this slight volume provides smiles and chuckles.

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