Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, Vol. 10

By FUNA and Itsuki Akata. Released in Japan as “Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Diana Taylor. Adapted by Maggie Cooper.

I sort of shot myself in the foot in my last review by talking about how the author has been making Mavis more and more the co-star of these books along with Mile, and that’s a shame because it’s even more true in this book. I was expecting that she’d feature in the start, given the last book ended with a cliffhanger featuring her, but she also has a big role in the middle of the book. More to the point, while the author does say that Reina and Pauline’s magic is better than most, and we see that to a degree, Mavis is the one heading deep into Mile-only territory here. Sometimes this isn’t a good thing – we’ve given up on chiding her for her abuse of magical steroids – but sometimes it can also combine moments of tragic horror with utter silliness, such as when Mavis has her left arm completely destroyed by an elder dragon… and becomes, as Mile pastiches, the Six Million Dollar Woman.

We pick up where we left off, with Mavis making a Last Stand against the evil nobles trying to kill the princess… erm, the noble lady who is not a princess at all, ha ha ha. Naturally, despite Mavis thinking she did this on her own, the rest of the Crimson Vow are not far behind, and things are quickly settled, though not before a few more “a girl is crushing on me and this makes me uncomfortable” jokes. After that, as noted, they get challenged by three elder dragons, because their new leader is a young punk who wants to make a name for themselves. Naturally, the three dragons are taken out by the Crimson Vow, though not before Mavis loses her left arm defending Pauline, something that briefly causes Pauline to be devastated before it’s revealed Mile is a walking plot device. Finally, they meet up with the team that fought them for their academy exams, and for once get along with everyone, which is good as they have to face ANOTHER dragon.

Make no mistake about it, FUNA knows what we are here for, and it’s not drama or character development – possibly why Mavis’ addition to magical steroids is dropped here. The high point of this book, sorry to spoil, is everything about Mavis’ new bionic arm, which Mile whips up in an emergency so that she can continue to fight, and then leaves on because Mavis thinks that it’s cooler than regrowing her old, ordinary arm (which Mile can do as well). Again, this beggars belief were it not for the previous nine volumes of this series, and reminds you that there are other isekai OP protagonists, there is a big gap, and then there is Mile. That said, even Mile is not perfect, and I liked the end story showing that her “sure, let’s let the kids from the village trail along quietly” attitude can be deadly. Fortunately, well, Mavis has a bionic arm now.

As I said, this has, to an extent, come at the expense of Reina and Pauline, and I do hear that Vol. 11 focuses on the latter more. That said, this time around please enjoy the fact that, when they’re on the same wavelength, Mavis and Mile can be utterly bonkers and also complete powerhouses.

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