Fushi no Kami: Rebuilding Civilization Starts with a Village, Vol. 2

By Mizuumi Amakawa and Mai Okuma. Released in Japan as “Fushi no Kami: Henkyou kara Hajimeru Bunmei Saiseiki” by Overlap. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Maurice Alesch.

Not to spoil or anything, but around 4/5 of the way through this second volume, a demon monster shows up. It startled me, as the entire book before this had essentially been ‘let’s learn how to make fertilizer’ and ‘tomatoes are awesome!’. What I said when reviewing the first book goes double for this one: it’s a slow life book where the slow life is running at top speed. Indeed, the inability of anyone to stop Ash and his ideas becomes a running gag. But then ‘rebuilding civilization’ is in the title, and it can’t be denied that Ash’s ideas are very good. So the demon monster, just like the bear from the first book, is there to give Ash a chance to be a more typical hero, one that can fight against huge antagonists rather than simply be an intellectual. It’s a good fight, too. That said, I think I like Ash casually tipping over all preconceptions of what society is like a bit better than stabbing a creature through the eye.

Ash and Maika have arrived at the nearest city to continue their educations. It’s not the grandest city in the world… Ash is unimpressed. But it’s certainly got more books than his village had, and maybe here he can learn to make better fertilizer. His roommate is Arthur, a noble who is actually a girl disguising herself as a boy. Ash, sensing tragic backstory, doesn’t let on he’s guessed this and merely gives Arthur space every morning and evening. They’re theoretically there to learn reading adn writing, but both know how already, so instead Maika works on her martial arts and swordsmanship, and Ash works on overthrowing all common sense. He makes liquid soap… which turns out to be illegal, but eh. Semantics. He grows delicious tomatoes… which everyone thinks are poisonous, and he has to research why. Can he drag this city kicking and screaming into the modern world? And can Maika ever get through to Ash that she’s in love with him?

As with the first volume, the POV here alternates between Ash and various other characters to show both things happening when he’s not around/unconscious, or to show how others react to his eccentricities. Maika is the most interesting of these, as it’s become clear that her love for Ash is burgeoning on obsession, as she talks about making sure she’s worthy to stand at his side. Honestly, there’s a very messianic quality about Ash in general, not helped by the author’s afterwords supposedly being written years later showing us Fushi no Kami as a “history textbook”. The other main character introduced here is Arthur, and I was rather surprised that we only got a few hints of their rather unhappy life to date, and don’t get into the reason for the disguise. Arthur is mostly miserable, meaning their fake smiles piss Maika off, and seeing the three of them bond is the heartwarming part of the book.

Ash may not have magic swords or fireballs, but in his own way he’s just as OP as other isekai heroes. How much you enjoy this book might depend on how much you can tolerate everyone worshiping the ground he walks on. That said, it’s a very readable book, and you never feel bored, even when discussing things like “I need seaweed in order to take the next step in my plan”.

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  1. This review has actually helped me decide to give this novel a shot.

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