A Late-Start Tamer’s Laid-Back Life, Vol. 3

By Yuu Tanaka and Nardack. Released in Japan as “Deokure Tamer no Sono Higurashi” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Yuko C. Shimomoto.

At long last, this series has a big event that threatens the lives (well, the virtual lives) of its players. There’s missing kids. There’s killer bears. There’s dying magic trees. There’s two demon lord minions and the demon lord himself. Everyone will have to band together in order to find a way to defeat this horrible disaster. As for Yuto, he’s really excited about making pizza. Yuto will never really change who he is, and thus while all the other folks are going around finding quests and figuring out where the hell to sleep, Yuto immediately befriends a local NPC farmer and starts odd-jobbing his way to success. Which is good, because this event was designed with Yuto’s skill set in mind, and honestly the main problem may be getting Yuto to actually want to help them in battle against the boss. Why would he do that? He’s a terrible fighter. Much better to try to fish and grab some really nice pears. (No, not like that.)

While all the actual fighters are off having their tournament (which we never even hear the result of), Yuto and the other non-combatant players get an event to themselves. they arrive in a village of NPCs and have to figure out what’s going on. Yuto, as is his modus operandi, does not really bother and just sets about meeting all the NPCs, helping them out, getting useful bits of advice, and getting cool ingredients and recipes to cook with. That said, when the boy that he was fishing with vanishes, Yuto’s investigation ends up uncovering that they need to stop trying to kill the Shardik that’s trying to destroy them but instead find out why he’s doing that – as it turns out he’s meant to be a Guardian Bear who protects the village. Could it be demons? And if so, will Yuto just die like the terrible fighter he is?

Again, a lot of this series runs on Yuto underestimating his own playing style – he doesn’t see what he’s doing as great or unusual, but the other players don’t even THINK of it. That’s why he’s a pioneer. He also gets a coup;le new monsters by the end of the book – one, a treant he tamed that turned into a plant, will wait till next time, but Sakura and Olto’s egg turns out to have a singing fairy inside – though the singing is as wordless as all his other monsters. Unfortunately, he also suffers from his monsters being adorable – meaning they attract “fans”. The other players manage to stand on the edge of being creepty stalkers without ever quite going over it, but it’s a close thing, and I agree with his discomfort. That said, I fear this is the book’s running gag.

This was a stronger volume than the first two. If you can put up with Yuto’s narrative modesty and the long length of each volume, it’s a must for slow-life fans.

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