The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy, Vol. 5

By Yu Shimizu and Asagi Tosaka. Released in Japan as “Seiken Gakuin no Maken Tsukai” by MF Bunko J. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Roman Lampert.

Before The Asterisk War went on hiatus here due to no new volumes in Japan (the artist has been sick), I was frequently asked by fans why I kept reading it given how generic and cliched it was. And granted, it absolutely is that. But my answer was, simply, “It hasn’t done enough wrong for me to stop reading it”. And The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy feels a lot like that. There’s really nothing here you can’t get in other magical academy series, and they likely don’t have “lol, he’s in the body of a 10-year-old” dragging down the harem premise. But I dunno, it all feels so harmless. There’s goofy fun, there’s cool battles, there’s the occasional dribble of plot, and the girls are all beautiful. It is a series that you can read and immediately forget about, but when the next volume rolls around you’ll grab it and read it because it’s there. Plus, pool battle!

After the events of the last book, Leo now has to deal with the fact that a Dark Lord has been resurrected… albeit, like Leo, with only a fraction of her power. Also like Leo, that’s mostly irrelevant, because Veira is hella powerful even muted, and the first half of the book is mostly her getting a tour of the modern world and running our heroes ragged. That said, the second half gets more serious, as the Mysterious Organization that is behind all this has decided that the deadliest Dark Lord is the next one they want to bring back… the Undead King, Leonis. I, um, have some bad news for them about their timing. More seriously, there is also a problem of Holy Knights getting corrupted by a mysterious “voice of the goddess” and having their Holy Swords turn into Demon Swords. Which, unfortunately, also seems to send them into a rage.

Not gonna lie, I was startled to see the minor villain from the first novel come back to be a minor villain in this one as well. Arrogant jerkass shows he’s even worse is good only in small doses, so it’s absolutely fine that he gets taken down immediately. If there is a “focus heroine” beyond Riselia here it’s Elfine, who is suffering from PTSD from prior battles causing her sword to lose some of its power, and decides to go on the front lines with our team this time to do something about it. Good thing, too, as the other teams they’re paired up with to explore Leonis’ old underground tomb are being led by demon sword users. Elfine is able to get over her trauma and emerge victorious, but there’s a lot of others who also try hard but either get turned into demon sword users or lose their swords to said users, and unfortunately I don’t see a really good reason why Elfine is different from them other than “main character syndrome”. I wonder if we’ll ever see any of them again.

So yeah, if you like this series, this is a decent volume of it, and if you don’t, you dropped it ages ago. It’s still not doing enough wrong for me to stop.

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