In the Land of Leadale, Vol. 5

By Ceez and Tenmaso. Released in Japan as “Leadale no Daichi nite” by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jessica Lange.

We’ve introduced most of the main cast at this point, but there’s one other major player (and indeed Major Player) whose absence from this has felt like a plot point: Opus, Cayna’s rival and partner in crime. She knows he’s there, as the presence of L’il Fairy has demonstrated, but he has not really shown up in front of her and we haven’t gotten a good sense of his character. Well, despite the fact that he only appears in the last few pages of this volume, we have a much better idea now. He’s a troll. A massive troll. And while Cayna, who is also incredibly eccentric in her own right, proved to be OK with that when she was helping him do the trolling, being on the receiving end of it for once pushes her to a righteous fury we haven’t really seen from her that much. For all that Cayna tends to use fists to solve arguments, she’s a relatively mellow person. Well, OK, she’s not. But her own “persona” pretends she is.

Cayna is still going around being a force of nature, but she can’t be everywhere, particularly if something needs to be solved the hard way rather than the Cayna way. So Exis and Quolkeh team up with another ex-player to take on a massive Guardian Tower that is a mobile turtle… heading for the royal palace. (This is solved by a typical Japanese quiz game.) As for Cayna, she suddenly finds that L’il Fairy needs a name, So she goes with Kuu, because it sounds like Kee, because Cayna is still pretty childish most of the time. She then goes on to do what she does best: There Is No Kill Like Overkill, as she takes on a huge pile of monsters led by a goblin master who is somewhat stunned to see how easily she carves them up. She then takes Cloffe and Clofia (remember them? The anime cut them?) on a dungeon crawl to find Opus. A very annoying dungeon crawl.

Since our last review the anime ran, and it seems to be a case where fans of the light novels enjoyed it (despite the cuts) but those who had not read the books were deeply turned off by Cayna’s temper and the series’ lack of a plot. To be honest, they’re good points. The author really enjoys showing Cayna lose it and hit people with her fists or big-ass weapons, usually whether they deserve it or not. Fortunately, in this case, Opus definitely does deserve it. As for the lack of anything happening… that’s true as well. This is at heart a slow life series, it’s just Cayna doesn’t run a drugstore or a library, she goes around trying to discover the secrets of this post-game world. It’s a hard vibe to get into, and I don’t think the anime got far along enough to show it off.

Still, this volume is pleasant enough, and thankfully had less of the body horror of Book 4. Now that Opus is here, will he help shed some light on things? Or will he just be a dick? We’ll find out soon.

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