An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Vol. 6

By Fuminori Teshima and COMTA. Released in Japan by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Hikoki.

Come on, you weren’t really expecting a normal volume where Zagan and Nephy go on a cute little date, right? Especially after seeing that cover. No, here we get the inverse of two volumes ago. Foll wants to grow up faster (so that she can be more powerful and protect Zagan), so Gremory suggests using a spell much like the one she uses to swap ages. The trouble is, as Foll’s a dragon and thus magic resistant, Zagan has to help by pouring mana into it. This causes… bad things to happen. Now Foll’s a busty 18-year-old, Zagan’s a little kid, and Nephy is pissed… when she’s not snuggling her now adorable l’il fiance. Fortunately, unlike when this happened to Nephy, Zagan is still of sound mind and with the proper memories. Unfortunately, no one knows how to fix this. Maybe the inter-species conference under the sea will be able to help? And does this mean they really have to rely on airheaded Selphy?

There’s a lot of good stuff in here about having more than one side to a person. It’s not clear if the spell/curse on Foll and Zagan actually affects them mentally, but certainly Zagan is a lot more petulant in this body, possibly because everyone is trying to snuggle him as he’s such a cute kid. The lesson learned here, though, is that just because he can do everything himself doesn’t mean he should – and that his loved ones want to stand on equal footing with him, not stand behind him while he protects them. This applies to Foll, who pretty much knew that there are no quick and easy ways to grow up but gets the valuable lesson drilled into her anyway, as well as to Nephy, who is still attempting to figure out her place in this world when it’s not just her and Zagan. Amusing as it was to see her calm fury several times during the book, the most significant scene may have been her reuniting with Nephteros and figuring out how they’re going to speak to each other going forward.

It’s possible that I’m making this book seem more serious than it is. My mistake – it may be the funniest book in the series. With Zagan as a kid, he has to get a new outfit, and you know what that means – it’s dress-up doll time with Manuela. Zagan’s horrified reaction when he realizes that Manuela and Gremory have met and are friends already is hysterical… actually, as usual, any scene with Manuela is great, leaving aside her sexual harassment. Also, those scenes with angry Nephy really are great, as she has the standard “smiling calmly while the top half of her face is shadowed’ ojou-sama style anger. It fits her well. I also really liked Selphy here, who is normally very much the ditz, but also shows signs of understanding the other cast members and getting them to open up.

Slave chokers and molesting sales clerks aside, this remains an excellent and fun light novel read. And it’s not an isekai, for those that try to keep track of such things.

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