A Late-Start Tamer’s Laid-Back Life, Vol. 1

By Yuu Tanaka and Nardack. Released in Japan as “Deokure Tamer no Sono Higurashi” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Yuko C. Shimomoto.

The author of this series is the same one who writes Reincarnated As a Sword, and I was therefore inclined to give it a little more rope, given that I bounced hard off that title after an extremely slow start. This one has an extremely slow start as well, and while I’m tempted to say that it has a slow middle and a slow end as well, that’s not quite true. Stuff does happen. But this book is not kidding about the laid-back part, as you will watch our hero plant a garden, wash dishes, pick up trash, and weed for a good long time. And, of course, because it’s one of those light novels, there is constant stat-talking. At least in this case it’s justified because this is an actual game, rather than a game-like fantasy world or a trapped scenario. That said, for all my whining, there is a certain charm to this title. If Maple from Bofuri were actually a seasoned gamer, it feels like this is the sort of thing she would do.

Our hero is a nameless salaryman who takes a two-week vacation in order to devote himself to a brand new virtual reality game. Naming his character Yuto, he quickly spends a LOT of money customizing things just right… but is rather shocked to find that in fact his choice of class and options didn’t really work out for fighting much of anything. He does have a tamed monster, a gnome named Olto, but their specialty is in the soil, not in battle. Should he give up and create a new character? Heck no. He’ll just have to deal and figure out what he CAN do. As it turns out, he can do quite a lot, as he manages to rack up impressive titles, unlock areas no one has ever gone before, win incredibly rare items, and gain two more tamed creatures. He doesn’t seem to think he’s doing anything special, really, and his narration certainly makes that clear.

This is from GC Novels, and like most titles from that publisher it’s a bit of a brick, coming in at 357 pages on my digital edition. As such, you will need to get used to Yuto’s narrative style and general attitude, which is along the lines of “I am just a potato protagonist, I don’t know why anyone would be interested in the normal things I do”. Of course, most of these normal things lead to amazing events, because he’s the protagonists. The rest of the cast is fun, though none of the tamed creatures actually speak beyond grunts and sounds, so Yuto spends most of the book talking to himself. I do love the tamed squirrel he gets near the end of the book, which is named Rick, and who I will be calling Rocky the Flying Squirrel from now on. Also, unlike Bofuri, there actually ARE bad gamers in this world – they may not be able to PK you, but we see Yuto dealing with harassment, which is funny and also disturbing.

If you like reading game logs, this is a must buy. For everyone else, it depends on your tolerance of “aw, shucks” protagonists who have everything good happen to them. I’ll at least be reading the 2nd volume.

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