The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy, Vol. 3

By Yu Shimizu and Asagi Tosaka. Released in Japan as “Seiken Gakuin no Maken Tsukai” by MF Bunko J. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Roman Lampert.

It’s always the same, isn’t it? You get a thousand-year-old powerful being with a desire to take over the world resurrected, and all of a sudden the bus arrives with ten more. Still, it keeps you busy. this series continues to feel like someone wrote a Shonen Jump manga and, instead of getting it published in Jump, decided to novelize it. Well, OK, this would fit Shonen Magazine better than Jump, especially given the large number of kickass women who like to take baths with our hero. (It’s OK, he’s 10! Right? It is somewhat odd to see the “she looks 8 years old but she’s really 600” cliche used to justify underage fanservice seen in the opposite direction… again, also to help with fanservice.) Fortunately, aside from said bath scenes, this third volume is much like the first two. It will never be anyone’s favorite, but I’m probably going to be reading the next book in the series. And it is starting to show off its plot, though that relies on Leonis being dim.

We’re briefly back in actual classes at the start of the book, as Riselia and Leonis are doing team battles against a top-standing rival. This mostly serves to show the school that Riselia is not “that girl with no holy Sword” anymore, and she can kick ass and take names. She’s also a vampire queen, but that’s still pretty much a secret. The main plot, however, starts when the Third Assault Garden, Riselia’s birthplace and last seen being totally destroyed by monsters, has now floated back into vision… and there’s a distress signal. As such, our team is sent out to see what’s happened. Will Riselia be OK with digging up her past? Who’s behind the distress signal? Can we really work an elf AND an evil priest into the same book and not smack our foreheads? And gosh, who is Roselia reincarnated as, anyway? It’s a mystery…

Again, this is a good book. The girls are likeable and also take on a majority of the combat. The combat scenes are well done, and the villains are also good at being villains. There are some things I was annoyed by. After a second book where a confrontation I was waiting for didn’t happen, the same thing happens here, as Riselia is definitely set up to have a big showdown… that does not actually occur. Instead, she grabs an ancient book. Secondly, it’s gone from amusing to vexing to really really annoying that Leonis is unable to understand, as everyone else who sees her manages to do, including anyone who might see their two names side by side, that Riselia is Roselia’s reincarnation. One of the villains literally dies of happiness on seeing this, but Leonis remains clinically thick about it. As a running gag, it drives me nuts, especially as I expect it’s only going to be drawn out more. (It has been pointed out to be the two don’t look alike, and OK, I can kind of accept that.)

Still, as with previous volumes, this was good enough to warrant my reading more. If you want a great light novel, look elsewhere. If you want a book for an afternoon’s read on the beach, this would be fine.

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