Dragon Daddy Diaries: A Girl Grows to Greatness, Vol. 3

By Ameko Kaeruda and Sencha. Released in Japan as “Totsuzen Papa ni Natta Saikyou Dragon no Kosodate Nikki: Kawaii Musume, Honobono to Ningenkai Saikyou ni Sodatsu ” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Nathan Macklem.

This series, and really all series that star protagonists who start out as the strongest in the land and stay that way, has a basic problem: there’s really not a lot of places for their growth to occur. The titular dragon daddy has an advantage here over his daughter as he’s still learning about how humans (and indeed demons) react to things and what their value systems are. But Olivia… sigh. I love this series, but if it has a weak point it’s Olivia, who is the best kid and the most powerful kid and not much else. She can’t really start the drama. She can’t make mistakes. The most she can do here is to suggest that their quest for magical items amount to a summer visit to her friend’s houses, because no one has any idea where these items are. Fortunately, we do have a character in this book who screws up all the time and it a bit of a mess. She shines here.

School’s out for summer, but the Queen has a project for Olivia and her father. There are several magic artifacts that need to be drained every 30 years or so, with the added bonus of granting a wish. Unfortunately, almost all of them have been missing for about a thousand years. They need to be found, despite no one knowing anything about them. So Olivia visits all her friends, and one by one she and her father see different sorts of miscommunication between parents and their children and teaching them a valuable lesson. It’s actually pretty heartwarming. Meanwhile, our resident Dark Queen is… sulking in her castle, wanting to hang out with everyone but also wanting to be a lazy shut-in. That said, she also has an idea where one of the magical googaws is… but it would involve returning to the demon realm and facing her comeuppance.

I’ve said before that I enjoy the wacky antics of Maredia and Clowria, but I enjoyed them even more here when things got more serious. OK, only a tiny bit more serious – we meet the rest of Maredia’s family, and it turns out they’re all chuuni NEET shut-ins just like her. But a lot of the behavior that she’s been trapped in a vicious cycle for was brought on by crushing expectations from the demon world, and she blames herself for failing them all. The trial that the ruler of the demon world must pass is in two stages, and the first is easy, as she elects to take it with her friends, two of whom are well-nigh indestructible. But the final test is her on her own, facing her worst fears. It can drive a person mad. Fortunately, Maredia is an old hand at screaming at herself in her own head.

As with the previous books, there’s no explicit yuri here, but I mean, Maredia and Clowria give each other rings, with Maredia even going down on one knee to do it. That’s near as dammit. I’m not sure when the next book in the series is coming out, but it’s likely the final one. I liked this a lot.

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