I Shall Survive Using Potions!, Vol. 7

By FUNA and Sukima. Released in Japan as “Potion-danomi de Ikinobimasu!” by K Lanove Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Hiroya Watanabe.

After essentially rebooting the series last volume, possibly the biggest surprise here is how little Kaoru has to survive using potions. They come up a few times, notably when some of the cast need to be healed ASAP, but they aren’t the running gag of “make me an ‘x’ that’s really a potion bottle’ that they used to be. Mostly her abilities have become similar to Mile’s Storage, which is to say she can whip out transport or food when needs must. This is not to say that she’s just sitting around and doing nothing however; she and Reiko are getting a business off the ground, using their two new ex-orphans as employees, and there’s also the occasional muttering about finding a husband, though even Kaoru seems to have realized it won’t happen as long as she looks that young. Indeed, most of the first quarter of the book is about starting the business… and Kaoru finding loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Then they go looking for more employees…

Kaoru, of course, always seems to think that she can disguise her absolutely ludicrous abilities and just be an average, everyday businesswoman, and Reiko seems to be going along with this. Both of them seem to have forgotten what happened 70-odd years ago, and how Kaoru was literally enshrined into myth and legend. The running gag for this book, which is quite amusing, is how all of the young kids working for her know who she is but try not to say anything because she’s clearly avoiding the subject… even as she once again does something that only the legendary Kaoru could do. Speaking of the kids, this is a fantasy world isekai, so I will warn there is a lot of child labor here. That said, they’re paid well, and it’s an improvement on the virtual slavery they were stuck with before. As with Kuma Bear, you’re supposed to regard it as heartwarming.

The other subplots in the book feature Leia, another goddess who has essentially come down to Kaoru’s country so she can see why Celes is so fascinated with it. For the most part, she acts like a somewhat naive ojou, but there’s a very nice scene at the end of the book where she starts to realize what living actually means, and it’s well-handled. The other big event, right at the end of the book, is Kyoko’s arrival, the third of the “KKR” trio from Japan. As far as I can tell, the rule of thumb of their lives in Japan was that, while Kaoru threatened her way out of trouble, and Reiko blackmailed her way out of trouble, Kyoko seems to have simply gotten into trouble – she’s presented so far as a bit of a fluffhead. She shows up in a UFO, as her ability is to be able to create literally any ship – sadly, she can’t create crew for these ships, so she’s reduced to crafts that can be used by one person. She promises to add even more chaos.

For those who miss the old supporting cast, there is a brief after story showing what Francette and Roland are up to… and the answer is “raising kids so powerful that no one can defeat them, along with a Red Sonja-esque desire to marry only someone who can defeat them”. Still, while this wasn’t as world-shattering as the last book, it was a good solid volume.

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