High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World!, Vol. 3

By Riku Misora and Sacraneco. Released in Japan as “Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai demo Yoyuu de Ikinuku you desu!” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Nathaniel Hiroshi Thrasher.

I’m not even sure where to begin. It’s sad that this is a book where our heroes literally fire a nuclear weapon that destroys a stronghold, and yet that isn’t even close to the most appalling thing that happens in it. I am familiar with the light novel cliche where, in order to show that your morally vague heroes are on the side of goodness and niceness, you need to show that the bad guys are evil, raping the virgins and biting the heads off kittens sort of guys so that the audience says “they had it coming” to any punishment they may get. I had thought dropping In Another World with My Smartphone would mean I might see the end of that. And yet here we are. For now, I will merely content myself with saying lobotomies are bad, were historically mostly done on women, and please do not use them as what amounts to a comedy punchline – even if I grant you the author does not want us to find it funny.

Keine’s on the cover, and also gets the biggest fanservice in the book. The plot of this volume mostly involves gearing up for the next steps – trying to get a republic started. Tsukasa does not want him and his geniuses to stay here forever, of course, and knows that a democracy band-aid is not going to cut it. And “the nobles rule, we just serve” is pretty ingrained into the people. More troubling is that they’re running out of penicillin (which Keine and Lyrule take care of, inventing sulfa drugs) and the other nations are starting to want to stop this before it goes too far. And let’s not even get into the fact that the supposed saviors the Blue Brigade are actually mostly bad guys. It’s getting so that he can’t even go out on a note date with the girl who’s crushing on him!

So yes, I could have done without the entire Keine chapter, which seems to simply show off that she’s a sociopath. And, as I noted, we get not one but TWO sets of villains who talk about raping young women. The best chapter in the book, hands down, was Ringo’s date with Tsukasa, and its general tone of “you are already losing to the girl who got the cover of Volume 1, do something or you will not be able to catch up”. The date went well considering Ringo’s extreme introversion (we also learn about her past, which is sort of what I expected) and Tsukasa’s deliberate obliviousness. She also gets the emotional climax, where it’s her turn to remind Tsukasa that he is in fact a real human being who is allowed to feel things, and this time it’s Lyrule who’s on the outside looking in.

That said, in a series about establishing a new political landscape and finding ways to defeat bad guys who seem to be unkillable, the fact that I’m focusing on the love triangle is not a good sign. The High School Prodigies may be having it easy, but they’re giving me trouble.

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