Reincarnated as the Piggy Duke: This Time I’m Gonna Tell Her How I Feel!, Vol. 8

By Rhythm Aida and nauribon. Released in Japan as “Buta Koushaku ni Tensei shita kara, Kondo wa Kimi ni Suki to Iitai” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Zihan Gao.

I’m starting to give up on Charlotte doing anything, and I think the author is as well. Her function here is to a) have a comedy side plot where she tries to fatten Slowe up again because she’s worried other girls will thrown themselves at him now, and b) be a mirror to the new girl who’s on the cover, who actually is important. And then there’s the cliffhanger, which implies that Book 9 is going to be all about Slowe and Alicia rather than Slowe and Charlotte. It is annoying because, after 7 books of waiting to see these two idiots finally confess to each other, it feels like Charlotte no longer has a function in the story. They’re still keeping her status secret, and the main “plot” of the anime has wrapped itself up, so… guess she’s just there. Instead, we get a one-shot plot that feels like a placeholder.

The first half of the book, frankly, drags. The main plot is that Prince Neon is at the school in order to, supposedly, make friends – something so obviously false that it makes everyone uncomfortable, especially as the Prince is trying to act all buddy-buddy and getting too handsy with other girls. He also has a retainer, of course, named Suz, who is stoic but also seems to be incredibly obsessed with her charge. She’s also ridiculously strong, to the point that Slowe is beginning to wonder if something is up. Something *is* up, of course, but we’ll have to wait till after the world’s most annoying dungeon crawl to find out why, as for some reason the one person Prince Neon is really interested in is Shuya, who he seems to be trying to drive insane… or trying to stop it, we can’t be sure.

Fortunately, the second half of this volume is much better than the first once we actually start getting answers. Prince Neon is meant to be a very close analogue to Slowe himself, which of course makes Suz Charlotte, as she is also a retainer in love with her master and possessed of a secret no one must know. This is handled quite well, and I also liked the final fight, which sees Slowe kick ass, but not in a way that makes him seem OP. He still contrasts very well with Shuya, who is the protagonist of the anime and cannot stop acting like an anime protagonist, even as everyone around him says he’s too soft. Shuya actually gets a leg up on Slowe here, who is so busy trying to avoid whatever is going on with Prince Neon that he misses a lot of the danger signs. And while I want to leave the villains of the piece a spoiler, they’re very good “you know they’re not a recurring thing” villains.

So a middling volume of Piggy Duke this time… which I think I’ve said a few too many times before. We’ll see if focusing on Alicia rather than Charlotte helps things any next time.

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