A Mysterious Job Called Oda Nobunaga, Vol. 2

By Kisetsu Morita and Kaito Shibano. Released in Japan as “Oda Nobunaga to Iu Nazo no Shokugyou ga Mahou Kenshi Yori Cheat Datta Node, Oukoku o Tsukuru Koto ni Shimashita” by GA Novels. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Alex Wetnight.

I feel like this review should be very short. It should essentially be “everything I said last time, but EVEN MANLIER”. I’ve said this about a few light novels in the past, but the Job Called Oda Nobunaga series really does feel like it’s written for a very specific type of fan. They hang out on internet forums, wondering why the male leads in these books are all such weak-ass wimps. They read harem manga and ask themselves why he doesn’t just bang everyone. They want a hero who kicks ass, takes names, makes love… I have very good news for them. Aside from cutting away before actual sex scenes, this book is basically exactly what they’ve been yearning for all this time. Alsrod, over the course of the 6-7 years or so this book takes place in, ends up as Regent to the King that he’s basically helped install, while finding time for some more wives and lovers.

Last time I mentioned that Alsrod had finally met someone who also had a famous Japanese warrior as their profession, and wondered if they might actually force him to fail or do badly at something. I feel embarrassed for even mentioning it, because by Page 7 or so he’s already won her to his side and bedded her. Over the course of the book he also takes as a lover his werewolf spy, weds the King’s younger sister (who, thankfully, has to wait for the loving – apparently 15 is old enough but 13 is not), is enchanted by a dragonewt tea merchant who he also beds and proposes to (she says no), and towards the end we get a meek and self-deprecating young woman, the daughter of another of his vassals, who simply wants to be a good mother to strong children. Given all these women (remember, he still has his childhood friend, the strong-willed daughter of another Lord, and another concubine from a northern area), it’s a wonder he finds the time to keep conquering. However, no fear, there’s plenty of that as well.

Again, this falls into the “this sounds absolutely vile but is strangely readable” category. It helps that most of the women he ends up with are also in major positions of power – indeed, his childhood friend and the Akechi Mitsuhide general both don’t want to be an official wife because they want to fight at his side. Oda Nobunaga is there as well, of course, in the back of Alsrod’s head, but he is getting strangely less and less relevant, and as the book goes on his advice is getting heeded less and less. Possibly the most interesting part of this book is that we meet three more “occupations” along the same lines – Kunitomo Shuu, Sen no Rikyuu, and Takeda Shingen – and it seems that this land is essentially an afterlife for these famous folks. As for the battles… well, they’re OK. They’re sword fights. You know how it goes.

The end of the book has another rival appear, Takeda Shingen, but given Alsrod has already captured the girl with that “job” by the end of this book, I suspect she will simply be added to the pile of wives. That said, I’m not entirely certain this book will end with Alsrod triumphant. It continues to mirror somewhat events in Nobunaga’s life… which did not have him winning the day in the end. The third book is the final one – will it actually kill Alsrod off to teach readers a lesson about hubris? Or will he stand victorious with his many, many women at his wide? If this were a long-runner I’d be dropping it, but three volumes seems just about right.

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