When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, Vol. 3

By Kota Nozomi and 029. Released in Japan as “Inou Battle wa Nichijoukei no Nakade” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Tristan K. Hill.

Imagine that you are an Olympic sprinter. It’s the final race. All eyes of the world are on you. You’re feeling great. Your fiancee is cheering from the stands. The starter pistol goes off, and you take off, quickly putting all the other runners in the shade. It’s smooth sailing till the end of the race. You smile, confident and proud. Then you trip on absolutely nothing and fall flat on your face. All the other runners trample over you as they fly towards victory. You have humiliated yourself and your country. The medics don’t even want to treat you. Your fiancee leaves you, sobbing. The team bus leaves without you, as does the team plane. And so there you are, broke and starving, wondering where it all went wrong. If it wasn’t for that one horrid misstep right at the finish! If you can imagine that, then you can pretty much imagine how I felt on getting to the climax of the third volume of When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace.

As has become the norm with this series, the first half is basically a bunch of fooling around, goofy gags, and Andou being incredibly irritating. The club plays tennis, and has a cosplay roulette tournament, which gets everyone into embarrassing outfits. That said, as you may have guessed by the cover art, Chifuyu is the featured girl of this volume. She seems to be having difficulty at school, which Andou drops her off at one morning, and trouble dealing with her best friend Madoka Kuki, aka “Cookie”. Well, best friend is probably the wrong word. Partly because Chifuyu is so helpless at doing anything that Kuki ends up acting more like a mom than anything else. And partly as, well, Chifuyu has the club, and talks about the club all the time. Which, naturally, makes Kuki mad.

For the most part, this was a lot of fun. Andou has become tolerable for the most part, especially when we contrast him with his loathsome “friend” Sagami. He and Tomoyo go on what is, to all intents and purposes, a date midway through this book, and it’s cute as hell. There’s some ominous foreshadowing of a character from Andou’s past (who might be trans?), but that’s for a future book. And Chifuyu’s problem thankfully has nothing whatsoever to do with the superpowers or the other evil organization – it’s just typical elementary school stuff, and reminds you that she really is ten years old. Which makes Andou’s “solution” to the problem really head-slappingly terrible. Even Hachiman would not quite be this self-sacrificing. It’s creepy. And it also reminds you that Chifuyu probably *is* a love interest for Andou despite being ten, because the whole club is – that’s the point of the book, ti’s a harem series. Which, whatever. But there’s no need to underline it with all this lolicon stuff.

So, 85% of a good book. Just stop before the final chapter and assume there was a sensible solution. …right, this is When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace, there is nothing sensible here. Never mind. Carry on.

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