Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, Vol. 7

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 have a bit of a shameful confession to make. I don’t really care that much about the plot of Make My Abilities Average. Well, that’s not true. The girls’ ongoing adventures interest me, and I definitely want to read the 8th book to see Mile going home to where Adele came from. But all the stuff with Gods and millennia-old ancestors and the like kind of put me to sleep. It’s nice that the author wants to show there’s a genuine reason behind Mile getting reincarnated this way, but I feel it’s a bit unnecessary. It doesn’t matter what the religious cultists who kidnap Mile’s favorite catgirl are after, what matters is that they do it and Mile now has to stop them. It also doesn’t help that Mile goes to interrogate the cultists – and thus find out bits of the aforementioned plot – while wearing a school swimsuit, something so mind-bogglingly stupid even the rest of the Crimson Vow ignore it out of pity and just go back to bed.

The book is still funny, though most of the humor can be divided into two parts. The first is funny characters and situati0ons, as you want and expect. The second are scenes that all end with someone saying or doing something overpowered and the rest of the cast saying the equivalent of “Nandeyanen?!”. Boke and tsukkomi humor is clearly very important to the author, and it helps that any of the Vow, not just Mile, can be the boke at times. It does feel a little tiring after a while, though. Mile is also filling her observations with otaku humor as always, including references to Thunderbirds and The Rocky Horror Picture Show that I suspect may have been adapted away from some really, really obscure Japanese thing. We’ve also gotten so used to the cast that some of the funniest moments come when they don’t act as you’d expect, such as Reina becoming all soppy.

It’s not hard to see why Reina does this, though. Hot-tempered and stubborn as she is, she’s also the most “normal” of the Crimson Vow, and it’s wonderful seeing her boggle at the teamwork of the Servants of the Goddess, who are also all women and the same rank as the Vow but get through battles using their meager skills and perfect teamwork, as opposed to our four overpowered idiots just smashing through any obstacle. It’s exactly the kind of hunting party Reina dreamed of before she met Mile, and thus it’s no surprise that she starts to see the leader of the other party as a big sister figure (well, no surprise to us, it certainly surprises the rest of the Vow). The Vow also helps to fend off a very dangerous enemy: Mavis’ family, who want to marry her off. This problem is solved through the simple but hilarious plan of talking up Mile, who is even MORE awesome than Mavis and has even MORE of a noble background. Mavis isn’t too happy about that, though…

The humor might not be as top-tier as it once was, but this is still a lot of fun, and I definitely want to see what comes next.

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