Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight, Vol. 9

By Hyougetsu and Nishi(E)da. Released in Japan by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.

While we’ve had a lot of fun watching Veight do a lot of really cool things while claiming to be just a humble vice-commander (and we get that here as well, to the point where he uses it as a tag line, Bruce Willis style), there has been a certain “harem manga” element to the title since it began. There were already a couple of his werewolf subordinates in love with him, we know that Eleora also fell for him, etc. That said, there’s really been no doubt since the series began that if Veight was going to finally clue in to romance, it would be Airia that is the choice. The main problem is that, due to her job and Veight having to save the nation so much, she’s gotten very little to do in the books. As a result, this book not only had to sell the romance finally starting but also remove the power imbalance between the two. In succeeds quite well, provided you don’t mind ridiculously overpowered hero and heroines. Which, hi, light novels?

As you can see by the cover, the book is not exactly concealing what it’s about this time. One of the fleeing senators from the north hid in a mine and then died with a hideously powerful magical artifact in his hands. Now Veight and the Southern Continent have to deal with a massive attack of undead skeletons. Unfortunately, the artifact is sentient, looking for its next occupant, and decides that Airia fits the bill. Can Veight figure out that she’s no longer who she seems to be in time to stop its plan? Does he actually want to stop the artifact’s plan? And will all of this finally manage to get it through his thick skull that he loves Airia and she loves him? (The last, trust me, will be the most difficult. Everyone breathes a huge sign of relief when Veight finally confesses.)

As you can guess from my synopsis, the romance here is not really a big surprise to anyone. There’s a ‘mindscape’ scene, a mutual confession, and a wedding. (We don’t see the wedding night – this series is as pure as its leads – but there is discussion on whether a werewolf can get a human pregnant.) The bigger surprise is the way that the artifact’s plot to bring a hero into this world forcibly is taken care of. Veight’s solution makes sense, but is also something only he could come up with. (Veight’s past does come up here, and he actually admits to Airia he’s a reincarnation from another world, but we still know next to nothing about it – by design, the author admits). It also allows Airia to take a much stronger role in the series… though I admit I’m doubtful that actually happens. I suspect we’ll still mostly be seeing Veight traveling.

So overall an excellent volume, with lots of awesome, lots of heartwarming, and a bit of fanservice (Airia’s large breasts feature heavily in much of the art). Fans who enjoy this series should find much to love. Now, the question is where it goes from here.

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