Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town, Vol. 3

By Toshio Satou and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shonen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

This book continues to get the little things right. The humor is still very solid, and the main reason to read the series. The characterization is not really deep but it is fun, and it was nice to see the one main character I dislike get buried upside down in the dirt by the end of the book. The individual; situations, scenes, etc. are well-handled, and I really like the way that the action scenes are not just “Lloyd does everything” but have the rest of the cast all taking turns to take down the monster. That said, I have concerns about the main plot of the series… does it have one? There are more dark hints of future badness, as we meet another of Lloyd’s hometown friends who seems to be working for a Big Bad, but… look, this is a book where our hero is sent to a hotel in the country to be a bellboy. And it’s only Vol. 3.

An acquaintance of Chrome’s who is an ex-military man who now owns a hotel is desperate for staff, and so Lloyd is loaned out for their holiday season. Naturally, Lloyd is a one-man staff just by himself, instantly doing everything. Also naturally, all the rest of the cast separately make their way there as well. Riho wins at the horse races and treats herself to a luxury hotel; Selen is attending an arranged marriage meeting, much to her irritation; Allan is ALSO attending an arranged marriage meeting, and the dots can be fairly easily connected; and there’s a mysterious being draining the life force of people in the area, so Mena and Phyllo get sent to investigate. As it turns out, lots of people are investigating this. Good thing that Marie arrives to be a master detective. Which she totally is, uh huh. She’s not just here to see Lloyd or anything.

So there is a plot of sorts to this book – investigating who is behind the tree monsters that are draining life forces. Sadly, the culprit is not hard to guess. More importantly, aside from occasional hints that bad things will happen in a later book, I’m not sure where this series is headed. The second book added in a fighting tournament, and the third book took us on the road, so clearly “life at military academy” is not the goal here. Of course, the goal is Lloyd and his unique combination of total overpoweredness and ridiculous self-deprecation. And I do appreciate that the other characters are allowed to do their own thing and are not just a harem (though there’s aspects of that as well). It just sometimes feels like the fastest paced “slow life” series around. I wish it had more at its core than “be silly”.

Which is an odd thing to say about a broad comedy, and it’s possible I’m just being too grumpy. For most people, this is a fun and goofy comedy with lots of cute girls. Oh yes, and Lloyd too. Who, for this volume only, I like to imagine is voiced by Keith Moon.

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