Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town, Vol. 4

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.

Clearly someone has been listening to my review, as after last volume’s weird hotel detour, this one gets back to what I expected the series to be about: Lloyd and company’s time in the academy. Not that we spend much time there, as the town’s cleaned out and empty starter dungeon is suddenly teeming with terrifying dragons and monsters and the like. There’s also the issue of a man wandering around and asking people what he looks like, and then dealing with them if the answer is wrong. And there’s the usual dose of over the top humor and goofy fun from all our regulars. Unfortunately, when you live by the silly cliche you can also die by the silly cliche, so I have to warn in advance that the main antagonist of this volume is an obsessed lesbian who ends up turning evil. Which, I get it, is also a character type to parody. It’s just not one I want to see again.

As noted, the academy has gotten word that their empty dungeon is suddenly dangerous again, and sends Lloyd and company to check on it, figuring he’s ridiculously strong enough, even if he still has crippling self-esteem issues. To no one’s surprise, there does turn out to be a top-tier monster in the dungeon – a giant snake. To everyone’s surprise, Lloyd is not able to defeat it, and gets kicked around a bit. There may be more to this monster than meets the eye. There’s also the man walking around killing people… erm, sorry, testing them and then making them disappear. He turns out to be an old foe of Alka’s, and he and the smiling friend of Lloyd we met in the previous volume are here to be the Big Bads for the series as a whole. And for this volume, it means taking one woman’s obsession with Marie and turning it into a monstrous nightmare.

There are some really good action scenes here. As noted above, Lloyd for once is not One-Punch Man, and seeing him have to actually struggle is excellent, and hopefully will show off some character development. There’s also a lot of hilarity involving the King, who has recovered from being possessed but seems to have turned into a middle manager, and whose “reward catalog” is roundly attacked, and justifiably so given one of the rewards is “marry whoever you want” without giving thought to the other person. As for Micona, she has an irrational hate-on for Lloyd, mostly as he’s living with Marie, and it turns to a massive grudge when she’s merged with a treant by the bad guys. (Who remove her at the end, so I’m sure she’ll be back down the road). And of course, when you have a tree monster who attacks using roots, well, yes, there’s Marie tentacle attacks as well, though not too explicit, thank God.

So something of a mixed bag in the end, but I’m pleased to see the book actually buckling down and getting to its long-term plot. The implication is that the next volume will bring the main cast to Lloyd’s village, which promises to be quite fun in a sadistic sort of way. Much like the rest of the series, really.

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