Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 34

By Takehaya and Poco. Released in Japan as “Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Warnis.

This is a plot-heavy volume of Rokujouma!?, so no ‘what if this girl won?’ side stories, and apparently 35 won’t have one either. Instead we are reminded that the series did not end with the 29th volume after all, and that there’s a lot still going on. In particular, this series is very good about avoiding “bwahaha!” cartoon evil villains, and when it does have them it shows them to be easily manipulated by other, better villains. There’s actually a lot of double crossing going on at the moment, both between the Forthorthe villains and the People of the Earth radicals, and between their forces and our heroes, as both end up winning in some ways but losing in others. With Earth still dealing with the revelations of Theia’s planet, and everyone and their brother trying to get their hands on new technology to make them rich and powerful, it’s going to be a while till Koutarou can settle down, though the other girls are certainly taking every chance they can to be around him anyway.

For once the cover doesn’t lie, as Ruth actually does have a significant role in this book. She and Koutarou are waylaid on a shopping trip and she’s almost killed, then the former bad guy of the Radical Faction of the People of the Earth, now captured, reveals that the remains of his faction are allied with Ralgwin, the nephew of Vandarion who plans to keep on carrying out his legacy. They’re also being set up to be patsies for Ralgwin’s faction, which is why Raiga tells our heroes about them. Now it’s time for infiltration something that, for once, is not done by Koutarou but instead Ruth and Harumi, who are led to a suspicious sake brewery that turns out… well, to be a trap, and the real attack is happening elsewhere. Fortunately, the rest of our merry band are there, and each of them gets a chance to show off their stuff as the last quarter of the book descends into a firefight.

Much of this volume is taken up with the fact that Koutarou, while a wonderful man that they all love, cannot protect everyone all the time. He needs to accept this, which is why he backs down after suggesting he go with Ruth and Harumi on their espionage. They’re both powerful enough now that they don’t need him to protect their fragile selves. The same goes for Theia and company in the final battle, where Koutarou gives “fight at your discretion” as the basic order, allowing the others to prioritize what needs doing rather than just following orders. He’s trusting everyone to save themselves, in other words. This definitely works out well for Yurika, who is touched by Koutarou giving her agency, and proceeds to lay waste to a good deal of the enemy forces by a combination of poison gas and turning the area into a murky swamp. (This also leads to the standard making fun of Yurika, as Koutarou calls her a “dirty girl”, much to her displeasure.)

If you’re still reading Rokujouma, you know what to expect, and this won’t disappoint. Still one of the better harem series out there.

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