Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen, Vol. 6

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.

(This is one of those “I spoil the ending” reviews.)

Let’s face it, the biggest flaw in this book comes after the afterword, where gives us a preview of the next volume, which introduces new antagonists to take the place of our protagonists. The flaw here is that this book was pretty much a picture perfect finale in every way, and the author admits that straight up. They say that the story of Elisabeth is not over, and that they still have more stories to tell, which is all fine and dandy, but it’s gonna be very hard to top Book6 next time, so it had better be good. As for this volume itself, well, it’s a War Against Heaven and Hell, with everyone (mostly) joining forces, and Kaito serving as a one-man army of his own. The question is whether they can pull off what needs to be done – killing Jeanne and Elisabeth. Izabella has already said straight up she won’t be able to kill Jeanne. Will Kaito be able to make the ultimate sacrifice?

No, of course not. Anyone who’s ready even fifty pages of this series knows the answer to that one. Indeed, the least surprising thing in the book (although Jeanne and Elisabeth both manage to be surprised, with Jeanne pulling off the best use of ‘motherfucker’ in a light novel ever) is Kaito’s plan. The bulk of the book is the lead up to that, where he first manages to convince the humans, demi-humans and beastmen to team up by either terrifying them or proving strong enough to equal them in combat (thankfully the first princess does not have a Red Sonja clause in her character), and then spends the bulk of the book walking around the various battle zones, watching the saints and soldiers fighting against horrific monstrosities from beyond our ken, and occasionally destroying them all with a ‘la’ when he feels he has to. Oh yes, and have one last picnic date with Hina, which honestly I think the readers care about more than the war itself.

Hina remains that very rare example of a yandere whose feelings are returned, and she’s finally risen above “she’s Rem from Re: Zero” status, though it is ironic that they both end their roles in the series in eternal sleeps. I was also surprised to see the relationship between Jeanne and Izabella be as romantic as it ended up being, despite Jeanne spending 90% of the book trapped in God’s Iron Maiden and Izabella walking around in a body that’s 3/4 artificial. There’s lots of cool fighting here, and a nice final confrontation between Kaito and Elisabeth, but the best moments from the book are the smaller ones – I loved Kaito and Izabella discussing the frailty of human beliefs, and how it drives them to commit atrocities against anyone who can fit the definition of “expendable”. And yes, in the end Kaito and Hina remove themselves from the series, leaving Elisabeth to live on, alone. Well, except for a lot of the cast, also alive. She doesn’t count them.

Still, we get the arrival of a new sneering smug villain at the end, as well as a girl who seems to be based off of Alice Carroll/Alice in Wonderland, something that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in a single piece of Japanese media. After a satisfying climax to this book, I admit reluctance to see it continue, but I’ll read the next one to see if the author can pull it off.

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