Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 28

By Takehaya and Poco. Released in Japan as “Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Warnis.

The author admits that this was supposed to be the last book but it got too big, so it’s split into a two-parter with a cliffhanger ending. It also gives some extra attention to Clan and Maki, two of the last to join in the Koutarou sweepstakes, and therefore the ones with the least development with him. That said, Clan going with Koutarou to the past gave her a leg up on the others, and Maki got a book of her own as well. The plot machinations involved mean we get a “greatest hits” compilation with those two, which is sweet and reminds you of why you like them, and also writes them out… at least for now. Because the girls are disappearing, starting with those two, and no doubt that feeds into the final book of the “main” series. Fortunately for the reader, they seem to know what’s going on, even if Koutarou doesn’t. It’s probably connected to the ancient ruins he fell into in the first book.

The main thrust of the book is not the disappearances, though, but Forthothe going public. After spending so much time trying to cover up the existence of alien worlds, and parallel magical worlds, and underground dwellers, they’re all coming out at once, and Earth is trying to deal with the fallout. And I do mean all of Earth – the fact that all this cool stuff is centered on Japan means that other countries are upset, and are not going to simply smile and nod. As a result, we have spies following our heroes around trying to prove their connections to everyone. Mostly this happens because, well, Theia used Forthothe’s own past as part of her drama club show, so it has everything written down. Koutarou, Maki and Clan’s job is to make the spies think the girls – particularly Kiriha and Yurika – are normal. They do a good job.

Though the book has not explicitly made this a “everybody wins” sort of series, that’s clearly the way that it’s heading, and the books have set this up very well, emphasizing the close bond everyone has with each other. That said, I do also appreciate that everyone is not magically OK with everything – when, in the classroom, Koutarou and Maki have a telepathic conversation, we see the other girls jealous of their closeness. One of the running themes of the series is that each of the girls desires what the other one has – Harumi wants to be roughhoused with, Clan wants to be cared for, everyone wants the closeness that Koutarou and Yurika or Theia have… they’re not a hive mind. Or at least not yet… if the disappearances and the “globes” that we see at the very end are anything to go by, Koutarou may have to handle this final crisis by himself.

The 29th volume (31st in the series – remember the .5s!) has the original “main” cast on the cover, as befits an ending volume. Of course, it’s not ending. But this is a good setup for a sort of finale. Fans of the series should enjoy it. Also, it’s quite short.

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