A Wild Last Boss Appeared!, Vol. 1

By Firehead and YahaKo. Released in Japan by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Kevin Chen.

Sometimes you get books where the concept is drab and you’ve seen it before, but the execution is excellent, and sometimes you get novels with a great concept that can’t quite pull it off. This comes closer to the second type, which may surprise readers given that it’s another “Japanese gamer is pulled into his game world” sort of book. But there are intriguing things going on here. It’s sort of reminiscent of Overlord, in that we have a gamer who arrives in his game world as the villain he created, complete with minions (most of whom have to be tracked down, admittedly) and whose self of self is being somewhat overlaid with the character. That said, this book does not seem to be nearly as dark as Overlord gets. It’s just Lufas getting used to being back in the world (which is 200 years later), getting used to being a woman (the gamer who created her was male), and getting used to being far, far more powerful than everyone else. Does it work? Somewhat.

As noted, our hero is a gamer who played a fun MMORPG (she’s the blonde on the cover, not the blue-haired girl), taking on a character who ended up playing the role of the villain. She was taken down by seven heroes in a massive battle (which the gamer was totally in on, this was a controlled event) and killed off. Suddenly the gamer finds himself in what appears to be that world, two hundred years later, summoned as part of a botched spell to summon a hero. Lufus has no interest in dealing with the folks who summoned her (the character is a woman, something that actually has a lot less relevance than you’d expect) and so goes back to her old Dark Tower, which she finds is rather decrepit but still standing. It also has her minion and expodump girl Dina, who Lufas created as an NPC and then forgot about, but who can helpfully explain what’s happened since Lufas’ death. She decides to round up her twelve monster companions, which first involves talking one of them down from his roaring rampage of revenge.

There are interesting things going on here. The gamer’s memories and Lufas’ have sort of melded together, and as the book goes on the relevance of “this is a game I played in Japan” lessens, which is interesting. To my surprise, the book also has virtually no fanservice at all, and in fact Lufas notes that she doesn’t really feel any desires for women anymore – or men, for that matter. This does, admittedly, make you wonder why the gender bender was conceived of to begin with, except that Lufas looks really beautiful. There’s also some foreshadowing that one of the characters is not what they seem, and it’s handled very deftly. I am rather relieved that the book slowly starts to drop the gamer stuff as it goes along, as the gamer sometimes uses vocab and ideas that make me suspect he was one of those basic sexist Japanese guys. More to the point, while I appreciate that it has a long game in mind, the book meanders. It’s not meant to be a slow life title, but sure feels like one at times, especially when Lufas is doing things like making Golem Winnebagos.

So I’d say that the series has not quite gelled yet. That said, it’s interesting enough that I’ll read more, and folks who (have I said this a lot in my reviews lately?) don’t mind overpowered heroes will find something to enjoy here.

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  1. I’ve only read the manga, but I really found the larger plot to be very interesting. I will definitely be picking up this volume.

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