Reincarnated As the Last of My Kind, Vol. 3

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.

(Some spoilers in here for important events in the book, so be warned, in case anyone doesn’t know how much I normally spoil everything anyway.)

This is a fairly straightforward volume in the series, which unfortunately makes it a bit hard to write about. It’s the third of a supposed five, which means it’s the very definition of a transitional volume. Tina wants to be able to live the slow life with her family and friends, but now that we know that she is the chosen one (and indeed is called the Saint many times in this book, much to her annoyance) we know that the scope of things is only going to get larger. And of course she’s far too nice to blow off saving the world because she doesn’t want to, especially when she thinks about everyone she’s grown so close to. Fortunately, her ability to cleanse the zombie monsters is proving to be a big help. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to deal with one of Western fandom’s least favorite things before we go: the book is setting up romance between Tina and Renge, the nigh-immortal who rescued her.

Tina is thirteen, as the chapter titles don’t hesitate to remind us. Of course, she isn’t really – the word ‘reincarnated’ is in the title, and we are occasionally reminded of the Japanese woman who ended up becoming Tina in this world. But she’s still about, say, her mid-40s in terms of actual age. And Renge, of course, is well-nigh immortal. He’s also well-nigh all-powerful as well, as we see towards the end of the book when he gets mildly annoyed and proceeds to destroy an entire army by himself in about ten seconds. And so the fact that the book appears to be shipping them discomfits me in a “Tale of Genji is not my jam” sort of way. To be fair, the book went out of its way to NOT have Renge be the parental figure in Tina’s life, but there’s still a power imbalance here that is going to have to be dealt with in the next two books. Hopefully Tina will continue to be awesome.

This book was good, and I’m not dropping the series or anything, but there were one or two things in it that just rubbed me the wrong way. In addition to Tina’s mild crush on Renge, we also get her meeting her predecessor, the previous savior of the world Akari – also implied to be a reincarnation – and I was hoping they’d have a cute and sweet scene. It’s sweet enough on Akari’s end, but Tina’s jealousy just made me grump. Also, given how much attention was paid to Marcus’ loss of his arm and how he’s managed to life his best life still without it, Tina’s healing of it here also sat wrong with me. It also sat wrong with Marcus, who spends most of the book, like me, wishing he could still be running an inn with his cute, non-savior daughter and, like me, finding that he can’t really stop the progress. Ah well.

There is still the occasional cute scene of recipe/potion making, and a very funny “this is why I hate elves” gag, but for the most part this is the book you read between the second and fourth books. It’s necessary, but it won’t be your favorite.

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