Reincarnated As the Last of My Kind, Vol. 2

By Kiri Komori and Yamigo. Released in Japan as “Tensei Shitara Zetsumetsu Sunzen no Kishou Shuzokudeshita” on the Shōsetsuka ni Narō website. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Roman Lempert.

It’s always fun to see a cute, slow life sort of tale fight against its own narrative, which is trying to make sure that the slow life speeds up in a hurry. This second volume sees Tina and her family continuing to try to make improvements to the inn, better food, and better quality potions over the course of about four years. Indeed, when the call comes to invite her to a school where she can learn to be a better alchemist… she declines, as she’d rather stay where she is right now. Unfortunately, these are Troubled Times, and it’s going to be very hard to escape the pull of the incoming war, especially when you’re a prodigy with mad skills that no one has ever seen in their life. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s also a combination religious/ecological crisis going on, which could mean the literal end of the world unless it finds a savior. Two guesses who that’s supposed to be.

The first chapter in this book is unique to the book, i.e. was not pat of the webnovel, as Tina and her family play host to a scholar with a preference for very hot food, which involves making udon. After this we get two larger chapters, featuring Tina at age 10 and 12 respectively. In the first, Lico and the other knights arrive at the inn searching for a group of demihumans that got lost in the forest. This is a fantasy series, so naturally you get one elf, one dwarf, and one kobold, though the angel is a surprise, to both Tina and the reader. They have to fight off a nasty monster attack that almost kills off Lico – again. The second story sees Tina and her family head into the big city to attend the funeral of Marcus’ former commanding officer. Unfortunately, on their way back they meet some twins under attack by a very nasty zombie. In fact… there have been a LOT more monsters and zombies lately…

A lot of this is very fun. I liked Shida, the elf, who is an arrogant SOB in the elf tradition but also strangely likeable, and I appreciated that he and Tina did not remotely hit it off. Marcus’ pathetic attempts at romance, combined with his daughter Nakona’s sheer obliviousness to the many men in love with her is amusing, and we, as read3ers, empathize with Tina’s frustration, especially when Marcus and Lico are trying to out-selfless each other. (Lico wins, by virtue of being near death.) That said, a lot of this book is pretty ominous and scary. Both the text description and the illustration of the zombie attacking Tina and company is harrowing, and you start to wonder if this really will be the sort of series to kill off its regulars. Then there’s the subplot regarding human religion and prayer literally killing the world, which might upset some readers, but is pretty well done in universe.

So the question at the end of this 2nd volume is, will the 3rd book involve Tina heading off to save the world, or will Tina try to save the world while still doing things like making honey and trying to create supreme potions? Regardless, if you enjoyed the first book in the series (and are perhaps not evangelical Christian), this one is definitely worth your time.

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