A Late-Start Tamer’s Laid-Back Life, Vol. 4

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, Yuto and his tamed monsters are finally starting to get good at the sort of combat that everyone else figured out three days into the game. Sure, later in the book he runs into two top-tier players who remind him that he’s still really weak by comparison, but there’s more here of him and the others actually defeating a lot of monsters. That said, fear not, because the main reason to read the book is still here, by which I mean Yuto telling Alyssa about everything he’s done recently and watching her reaction. I’m not kidding, this has become the highlight of the series, and I love it every time. He simply cannot accept that he is breaking the game in ways no one would ever think of before… but that also allows other players to do things the normal way, so everyone benefits. Indeed, another running gag, which has Yuto casually giving away powerful intel and items because he wants to, is all present and correct.

At long last, after three books hanging around the starter town like Lloyd Belladonna, our heroes finally move on to the next set of towns (though they maintain their farm back at the start as well). This allows Yuto to accidentally figure out how to access two powerful areas, where he can tame an undine (who is, of course, incredibly cute), gain odd new skills that will work out down the line, and have his monsters level up and evolve by the secret method of being nice to them and treating them like equals. We also meet the rest of Alyssa’s intel group, and they’re all as fired up about him as you’d imagine. And he runs into the game’s other top tamer, Amimin, and her summoner friend Mattsun, who both happen to fill the ‘shy girl and her aloof tomboy friend’ stereotype this series has desperately needed. Yuto’s circle of friends is opening up!

We do see the occasional sign that reminds us that Yuto is actually a middle-aged salaryman, and that it’s probably a good thing he’s unlocking so many things, as soon he will have to go back to the grind. For now, though, he’s essentially walking around this game like Maple from Bofuri, accomplishing things the development team had made ludicrously impossible by accident. The devs, at least, seem far more sanguine about it than Maple’s do – especially about Sakura’s evolution, which was supposed to be super incredibly rare and which (as we see in a battle near the end) proves to definitely be life saving. And… yeah, sorry. This is still a slow life book about a game, so I don’t really have much to analyse here. He makes lots of fish dishes. The treant from the last book evolves, but is a stay-at-home treant, so we don’t learn much about it. The undine seems nice, but the fact that none of the monsters speak makes character development more obscure.

Still, this is another volume of the series that does whatever the hell it wants, and does it in a way that I want to read more of it. For fans who would like to play this game themselves.

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