Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town, Vol. 8

By Toshio Satou and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shonen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

Because this series is such a broad comedy, I sometimes forget that it is actually trying to have a plot too. There’s more plot in this book than in any of the previous others, as we get a lot more information… well, OK, a little more information… about the Japanese research group that apparently kickstarted whatever this world is, and where they are now. Unsurprisingly, there’s mostly a bunch of loud awkward guys, even if here they’re powerful demon lords. On a more disturbing note, Alka continues to be the gift that keeps on giving even when we don’t want her to. The revelation of her past with the hero was fine. Even hearing that Lloyd is essentially a replacement for the man she once loved, I mean, at least that explains the obsession. But in a series filled with thirsty women, Alka remains the thirstiest, with a line here that made my jaw drop. It’s not welcome.

Despite the cliffhanger from the last book, this volume has the least amount of Lloyd to date, as until the very end he’s reduced to simply standing around and reacting to others. The volume essentially consists of two things: 1) Allan muddling his way through life despite everyone misunderstanding him, and 2) the actual competition to see which clan gets to be the leader. The first part is amusing inasmuch as Allan is a schlub – if you like schlubs trying to blurt something out but failing, you’ll enjoy it. He does gain a demon lord. And a wife. Meanwhile, the competition is where most of the volume’s broad comedy comes out, as we manage to work in swimsuits, cavalry battles, loincloths and farming. The final battle is Allan vs. Lloyd, which Allan is pretty sure he will not survive, but it’s OK, as it’s interrupted by – I’m not making this up – a GIANT CRAB BATTLE where you must hit its weak point for massive damage.

Most of the forward movement in this book happens away from our main cast, who pretty much all act as you would expect them to. The supporting cast, though, are more interesting. Half of them are still recovering their memories, or simply getting used to being impossibly powerful. Alka and Eug are still on opposite sides, though it’s now being made clear that there’s someone trying to play both sides against each other. And we also meet a new player in the game at the very end, who (as with damn near everyone in the cast) is accidentally awoken by Lloyd, who just wants to use the bathroom. Despite all this, there’s a lot going on but the book feels fairly light. The setup comes out in odd bits and bobs, and the main plot is so “wacky” that a lot of it bounced off me.

Oh well, at least this arc is over, though given Allan is married now I suspect we’ll be seeing the newly introduced cast stick around for the next arc. In the meantime, this works best if you don’t think about it.

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