The Hero Is Overpowered But Overly Cautious, Vol. 2

By Light Tuchihi and Saori Toyota. Released in Japan as “Kono Yuusha Ga Ore TUEEE Kuse Ni Shinchou Sugiru” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Matt Rutsohn.

This is very much a book of two halves. The first half is very much like the first book. They’re still trying to fight demon generals, Seiya is still rude and appalling, Rista is still screaming at him (and also lusting at him), etc. It’s funny, though not as funny as the first book, and I am reminded why I thought it would be hard to sustain over a long series. Then halfway through Rista realizes, as they head towards a major battle, that Seiya did NOT say “I’m perfectly prepared”, and everything turns very dark very fast. Normally that would be a disaster in a series like this, which is supposedly a lighthearted comedy. But in this case it’s so well-handled and emotionally draining that I have to applaud. We also get Seiya’s backstory, which I had suspected earlier, and it makes sense. And we also get Rista’s backstory, which was far more of a surprise. You will forgive the lack of humor.

This is not to say that the front half of the book is not funny. It might actually be better animated – the anime is airing as I write this, and there’s something about Seiya throwing Rista around like a rag doll that cries out to be seen and not read. We meet Rosalie, and if I said “daughter of the emperor and swordswoman” you can probably guess her entire personality from there. She and Seiya clash immediately, and he’s far more obnoxious towards her than even those who know Seiya are expecting (the reason for that comes later). Seiya needs to learn some more new tricks, and so gets bow and arrow training from a very thirsty goddess (making Rista jealous) and additional training from the goddess of Destruction, which involves being naked in bed together (and leaves Rista infuriated).

But then comes the second half, and I will try not to spoil everything but do have to talk about some things. You know that things are taking a turn for the dark when you see an old man cheerfully holding his wife and child’s severed heads in a bag, and it has to be said that Seiya is undone more by humans turning bad than demons. He then tricks Rista and the others into staying behind while he fights the Demon Lord by himself – because (as I’d guessed), this is not his first isekai, and in a previous world he was far more typically charge ahead and get things done so as to save the most people. The horrifying result of this means that he tells his future summoned self (who does not have memories of this) to be super, super cautious about everything. Fortunately, Rista finds out about this, and the ending, while relatively tragic, is also inspirational – the “I’m perfectly prepared” line will leave a lump in your throat this time.

This book feels like it could have ended here very nicely. The world is saved, but Seiya is “dead” and Rista needs to be punished for using her goddess powers on full blast to help him, a forbidden act. They are thus sent back to Seiya’s first world, now a hellish nightmare run by the Demon Lord. The series does go on, of course, though I’m now less concerned with whether the author can keep up the madcap humor as to what happens when he returns to it. Still, props to this excellent second book, which is not nearly as funny but very emotionally satisfying.

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