Fushi no Kami: Rebuilding Civilization Starts with a Village, Vol. 6

By Mizuumi Amakawa and Mai Okuma. Released in Japan as “Fushi no Kami: Henkyou kara Hajimeru Bunmei Saiseiki” by Overlap. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Maurice Alesch.

The last volume of Fushi no Kami finally resolved the burgeoning romance that’s been in this series since the first volume, as Ash and Maika are now old enough, at least in Ash’s opinion, so that he can’t get away with “she’s too young for me to be attracted to”. As such, they are now engaged, though not yet married, and apparently haven’t really consummated anything, despite Maika’s murmurings about wanting a baby. That said, fear not, romance is still in the air, as beta couple Reina and Hermes are still working on it… mostly because they’re essentially carbon copies of Maika and Ash, which is amusing but also lazy writing to an extent. And of course there is “foreign spymaster” Seire, who is clearly still very interested in Ash, not to mention Princess Alicia, aka Arthur. That said, everyone had better get on Maika’s good side if they want to get anywhere, and even so, I’m pretty sure this is not a polycule sort of book.

Ask and Maika may be engaged, but that’s not the plot of the series, the Industrial Revolution is. As such, we see the attempts at making a gas-powered engine (which sadly blow up), a steam engine (more successful), and other instances. Unfortunately, their little city has gone up in the world a bit too much, and the nearby areas have leaders who are Very Unhappy. Thus they’re seeing more bandits than usual, more refugees than usual, and, when all else fails, a full-blown invasion, supported by a few very familiar traitors who have always been jerks in previous books so it’s no surprise to see them being the bad guys here. That said, our good guys have Ash and Maika, who between them are good enough to stop any human plotting. Unfortunately, towards the end of the book, we get what every city fears – a demon invasion. We’ve seen Ash beat a werewolf beast before, can he beat over 200?

This remains a good series provided you accept all of its faults. Ash’s narration is always trying its hardest to pretend that he is just this ordinary dull normal guy, and sometimes it succeeds more than the author intends. Maika’s attachment to Ash and desire to protect him is funny much of the time, but when she has to be reminded not to murder people it’s a bit less fun. And, as noted, Reina and Hermes’ not-relationship is less interesting to me precisely because we’ve seen this sort of thing before. An attempt is made to give them a rival to draw them closer together, but he’s such a horrible person in every way that the big surprise at the end of the book was that he was NOT in fact a spy working for the bad guys… and I’m still not 100% convinced. On the bright side, the worldbuilding and fight scenes are still fun, and the humor can be very good.

This will probably always fall under the definition of “solid” rather than “good”, but sometimes solid is all you need.

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