Combatants Will Be Dispatched!, Vol. 6

By Natsume Akimoto and Kakao Lanthanum. Released in Japan as “Sentouin, Hakenshimasu!” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Noboru Akimoto.

Given this is a series about an evil organization, it’s not a surprise that there haven’t been very many heroes seen so far – at least not by the standard definition – and those we have seen have been quietly shuffled away as quickly as possible. Six and company are not battling against a heroic organization, they’re battling against the Demon Lord in order to gain control of this planet. And even that battle was taken care of last time. So it’s no surprise that we need something to fill the void, and it comes in the form of Adelie, a self-proclaimed Hero of Justice who has all of Amelia’s vim and vigor but none of her political savvy. She’s here to stir things up and set the table for the next arc, and she does a great job of it. Plus, for the second new character in a row, she doesn’t remind me immediately of someone from KonoSuba. The two series are gradually separating from each other.

The Demon Lord and her people have settled rather nicely into Six’s organization, as you can probably see by her presence on the cover. She continues to be the one person in the entire series that is sweet as pie and always means well. Even when she tries to remind herself she has to be evil now. Actually, Six’s group has sort of turned into a combination refugee camp and soup kitchen, and there’s not really a lot of evil points being acquired as we start the book. That said, though, there is someone who is going around causing chaos and ruining everything… and no, believe it or not, it’s not Snow either, as even Snow gets to have one or two moments of triumph in this book. No, it’s Adelheid Kruger, the Umbral Savior! She’s here to see how evil everyone in this Kingdom is, and she finds, well, Snow, who is happily taking bribe after bribe; Six and Alice, who are happy to throw anyone to the wolves for their own gain; and even Princess Tillis, who may seem to be trying to hold the kingdom together (she’s even doing her best to say Dick Festival now), but who may have the blackest heart of all…

This book is a lot of fun, even the ending battles. Everyone gets a chance to be cool and a chance to be incredibly dumb, which is the best reason to be reading this author. Rose shows that she cannot read the emotions of even the simplest minds; Grimm’s jealousy leads to more deaths and more curses,, and Snow is of course horrible all around. That said, Snow briefly turns into a real military soldier here when her entire life is on the line, and I loved the epilogue where it pointed out that, despite the bribery, she actually was being a very good governor and making sure everything ran smoothly. Combatants likes to look at the definition of what Good and Evil are and make people think harder about it.

That said, this is the last volume to date – despite the anime coming and going, there’s no sign of Vol. 7 over there. So it may be a while. Till then, this is a strong entry in a series where everyone is pretty scuzzy – but not TOO scuzzy.

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