Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World, Vol. 5

By Kei Sazane and Ao Nekonabe. Released in Japan as “Kimi to Boku no Saigo no Senjou, Aruiwa Sekai ga Hajimaru Seisen” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jan Cash.

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. After three straight volumes where I was ready to drop the series as being “ok but not good enough to read more” and then getting blindsided by a cliffhanger that made me want to see what happened next, we’ve finally hit a volume where the cliffhanger isn’t quite good enough, so I’ll be taking my leave of the series after this. It’s still not that bad – its action scenes are fun, its overarching plotline is at least interesting, the betrayals aren’t impossible to explain like a lot of series. No, where Our Last Crusade falls down is when it’s trying to be a romantic comedy. Its heroine is supposed to be a feared combatant and the most powerful Ice Witch around, but when love gets involved she acts like a petulant six-year-old. Her sister is not much better, and the addition of a love triangle does not add to the fun. It should stick to being serious.

This picks up right where the last book left off. Sisbell is now hiring our four heroes to be her bodyguards so that she can safely return to the kingdom. This is easier said than done. Back home, the queen is worried that Elletear, the oldest princess, is an imposter and a traitor. One of these things is wrong. Honestly, the queen herself is also somewhat sus. There’s an assassination attempt, which is set up to look like the most obvious person. And, yes, lots of people are indeed trying to kill Sisbell, and they will be perfectly happy to do massive property damage to see this happen. Fortunately, Iska is still ludicrously overpowered… as is Alice. Unfortunately, as noted above, Alice is currently super jealous of Sisbell but unable to actually articulate this, leading to an incredibly long and petulant pout.

There are a few bad habits that ar3e not in this volume. Mismis gets far less to do… well, OK, she hasn’t done much before this, but she’s definitely kept in the background except for one egregious fanservice scene to remind us she’s still a ditz. The palace intrigue is genuinely interesting, and almost made me get the 6th volume till I decided it just wasn’t quite enough. The third ‘faction’ in the Witch Nation is named Hydra, which is funny for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with the book and everything to do with Marvel Comics. One of the villains controls gravity to the point of making black holes, which forces Iska to try a bit harder. It’s just… whenever the book focuses on Alice, her unacknowledged crush on Iska, and her unacknowledged jealousy of Sisbell it’s so immature I want to stop reading immediately.

Obviously, YMMV. If you’re enjoying the “playful back and forth” between Alice and Iska, then you should definitely keep reading, there’s at least five more volumes after this. But a series that runs on Romeo and Juliet had better reach a bare minimum of making me care about the love affair. Sorry.

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