Invaders of the Rokujouma!?, Vol. 40

By Takehaya and Poco. Released in Japan as “Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Warnis.

If this is your 42nd book of Rokujouma!?, welcome back. As a hardcore fan, you’re well aware of the numbering being off due to the two .5 volumes. If this is your first volume of Rokujouma!?, my god, you’re far too late. We’ve already moved in with this series. We have so many in jokes and memes that you don’t know. You must simply be staring at the chaos from your place by the drinks table in the corner, wondering why you didn’t get Vol. 1, 2, and 3 when they came out (at the same time) in 2017. But fear not, I am here for you. I can sum up the series so you aren’t lost. Nice guy. Alien princess and her aide and her rival. Ghost girl and her real body and her alternate world self. Magical girl and her formerly evil magical girl ally and their mentor. Pellucidar girl. And her things that say “ho!”. Sempai and her soul sister. Landlord and her inner dragon. Annoying best friend. Annoying best friend’s sister. God in disguise. Together… they fight crime! See, that was easy.

OK, clearly not that easy, given the girl on the cover art is “none of the above”. In any event, this is a short story volume but also a prelude to the next arc. The first half is web stories. Koutarou, Clan, the haniwas, and Alunaya all decide to race toy cars. The second story has Maki chatting with Crimson, her former ally-turned-enemy-turned-ally, and has her try to experience things that are not “fighitng is the baddest!”, which mostly fails. Nana goes to visit her old partner Kanae and ends up in a badminton match against Sanae (chan version) and Yurika. Finally, everyone is packing to go to Forthorthe, and we’re even taking Mackenzie and his sister, so that they aren’t quietly killed while everyone is away. Snacks are bought. Underwear is bought. Training scenes occur. And Koutarou remains The Purest Young Lad out there.

Those who have read my Rokujouma!? reviews before know it’s time for the Yurika report, as I gush about my favorite once more. This is a stellar volume for Yurika, possibly as she’s barely around Koutarou at all. In the badminton scene she’s got Nana in the room, so is trying her damndest to show her that she’s a mature and deserving young protege, not even whining when getting a shuttlecock to the face. (That sounds wrong…) We also get a scene showing her training the troops, and seemingly coming to terms with the fact that her “magical girl” magic is unorthodox. Basically, with what appears to be photographic memory and a good eye for improvising on the fly, Yurika is not a magical girl as much as a chemist. And thus is it very important to keep her on the side of good and light. (I hope this is not ominous foreshadowing…)

So as a short story volume goes, this is more important than most. None of the short stories are bad, and the final one is necessary setup for what might (?) be the final (???) arc in the series. And if this IS your first volume in the series… well, you have 41 more to get now.

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