Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight, Vol. 14

By Hyougetsu and Nari Teshima. Released in Japan by SQEX Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Ningen.

A new publisher for Der Werwolf made fans of the series briefly panic, as we’ve seen manga titles cancelled in the past when they jumped from one publisher to another. Fortunately, after a brief delay, the series is back with its 14th volume. Nothing has really changed now that it’s with Square Enix – cast is the same, artist is the same, it has the same “the entire book is one long chapter” style to it. And it still stars Veight’s daughter, although (as the author admits in the afterword) the balance between her own adventures and that of her dad is struggling a bit. This is The Annals of Veight, not The Annals of Friede, and I think a lot of fans would rather we stuck with the vice-commander. That said, they may be disappointed – there’s some setup here for Airia retiring, which means she and Veight might do more traveling and leave governing in the hands of the future generation. As for Friede herself, well, she’s a lot like her dad, and that includes getting young women to fall in love with her.

After tearing up Rolmund in the last book, this time Friede and company are invited to Wa, partly as a goodwill visit but mostly so the leaders there can see what sort of person she is. Veight is fine with this, ready to give her more slack to do what she wants, and she heads out with her best friends/harem. While there she’s given a minder, Iori, a serious-minded teenage girl who at first regards Friede as soft and riding on her dad’s reputation, a first impression that changes very, very rapidly after seeing her fight and seeing her steamroll any possible obstacles with her cheerful, straightforward attitude. Heck, she even charms the local cat people Grimalkin so much that they reveal to her a secret dance that might reveals a hidden treasure…

I mentioned on Twitter that I was not expecting this book to be yuri, and I suppose it’s not TECHNICALLY yuri, but it is true that Iori falls for Friede so hard and fast that it might as well be, and most of the latter half of the book is made up of what should absolutely be scenes of flirting romance. She’s an orphan girl who has struggled to prove herself, and (like half the cast in this series, including its two leads) tends to put herself down constantly. That said, I think she’ll be a fun addition to the series, because she definitely invites herself to go back with Friede and the others at the end of the book. I also loved her and Friede discussing Veight’s habit of downplaying all his own achievements, which I’ve mocked him for since the series began – “I’m just a simple vice-commander”, etc. It’s called “toxic humility” here, and I could not agree more. That said, I doubt it will go away anytime soon.

I agree with the author, I’m not sure where the series goes from here, but be it Veight or Friede’s book, I’m looking forward to finding out.

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