Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen, Vol. 5

By Keishi Ayasato and Saki Ukai. Released in Japan as “Isekai Goumon Hime” by MF Bunko J. Released in North America Yen On. Translated by Nathaniel Hiroshi Thrasher.

I have been preparing myself since the start of the first book for the fact that this series, which has an awful lot of gore, death, and icky things happening to everyone in the world, is going to have characters I care about die in horrible ways. That said, the author knows how to keep us coming back, and while Hina may have spent one of the volumes on ice, for the most part the main cast has made it though with a lot of pain and maiming but with their essential selves intact. That changes big time in this volume, in ways both surprising and not so surprising. No one is going to gasp at the idea that Izabella, the one noble Paladin in a corrupt church, is not going to have a fun time, and that turns out to be the case. Far more surprising it the fates of our two Torture Princesses themselves, as we get a book that sounds like it’s the penultimate volume (it’s not).

This volume picks up right where the last left off, with the reveal of the church’s big secret. After escaping thanks to Izabella making a noble sacrifice of herself, the rest of the cast go off to let the Butcher out of the gibbet Elisabeth left him in. Anyone surprised he isn’t there doesn’t know either the Butcher or books like these. Instead he leaves them a clue that takes them over the ocean to this world’s equivalent of the South Pole, where they might find the Saint – who everyone agrees they need to kill if they are to stop the world being completely annihilated. Fortunately, they have some allies here, as the Beastmen (mainly Lute) have also been led here. Unfortunately, the Church is here too, with yet another creepy child who essentially gives Kaito a Trolley Problem that he proves unable to solve. Then of course, we see what the Butcher has really been doing, and finally meet the Saint… which is not good news for our title character. Either of them.

I have to admit, Jeanne went from villain to ally awfully fast, and the book lampshades that it’s mostly due to Izabella. I’d been expecting Very Bad Things to happen to her for a while, so my only surprise here is that it wasn’t as bad as I expected. It did give Jeanne some nice character development that might have gone somewhere were it not for the end of the book. There’s also some lovely imagery regarding the Suffering Saint, who is less the Lamb of God taking on the sins of the world and more simply tired and worn. She wants a change, which Jeanne and Elisabeth are here to provide. Fortunately, Elisabeth and Kaito are very clever, so our heroes do find some way to carry on – it causes Kaito monumental pain, but let’s face it, that’s become almost a gag for humor purposes by this time. Now all he and the others have to do is stop the rest of the world going to war.

The first three books were an arc, and I suspect the same is true of the second three, so I’m pretty sure we’ll get an even more grandiose climax in the next volume. Till then, enjoy this dark, pitiless world and the creepy yet strangely awesome cast that walk through it. (Also, does anyone else get Jimi Hendrix in their head when they see Izabella?)

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