In the Land of Leadale, Vol. 6

By Ceez and Tenmaso. Released in Japan as “Leadale no Daichi nite” by Famitsu Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jessica Lange.

Last time I wondered whether Opus’ introduction would lead to him explaining the plot a bit more, or just to him being a dick. As it turns out, it’s both. Indeed, the explanations come fast and furious, which is a bit of a surprise. We’ve occasionally thought back to Keina lying in her hospital bed, and how Leadale was created essentially for her. But this volume shows that goes MUCH deeper than we’d expected , and that Cayna is tied to Leadale in a far more significant way than I think she’d really like to be. I don’t want to get too much into spoilers, but suffice to say that Opus’ real-life identity was the least surprising part of it. That said, the real world is not an option for Cayna anymore, so best make the most of it and do what she does best – be a terrifyingly powerful mage who you never, ever want to see get angry. Sadlty, in this volume, Opus is at her side most of the time, so no luck there.

After recovering from her MP-draining rage attack on Opus from the last volume, Opus actually deigns to answers a lot of her questions about the true nature of this world. From there, she goes back to the village she’s now calling home, trailed by Opus and his Maid/Bodyguard/Tsukkomi Siren, who has definite opinions on what servants should be like but also is well aware of how much of an asshole her boss is. She then returns to the capital, where her granddaughter asks her to deal with a loose end… the player/bandit leader she put a punishment collar on several books ago, who has basically learned his lesson. As for Opus, he’s just starting to walk around and get back into the swing of things, but he certainly enjoys putting the fear of God into anyone he interacts with. This won’t change.

There’s a prologue where we see Keina at the hospital, interacting with her family and the programmer who’s there to tell her about Leadale, and it helps to hammer home how mentally exhausted she was in there, and also how truly immature she still is. I’d mentioned the reaction against her violence last time, and I think that’s because we’re told (as everyone else thinks) to see her as a 200-year-old all-powerful grandma rather than a teenage girl who get really, really excited simply by the fact that she can run around. As for her and Opus, leaving aside the various reveals, I am pleased to see that they have exactly zero romantic chemistry together… though admittedly that’s not what the rest of the cast thinks. It’s OK, sometimes you can just have a relationship be two antagonistic friends who have the power to destroy a continent. Cayna yells, Opus smugs, punches ensue, rinse and repeat. It’s fun.

Leadale is not for everyone, and if you didn’t like the anime I don’t think this adds enough value to recommend, but for those already invested, there’s a lot of payoff here you weren’t expecting.

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