Reign of the Seven Spellblades, Vol. 7

By Bokuto Uno and Miyuki Ruria. Released in Japan as “Nanatsu no Maken ga Shihai suru” by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

This is not, in general, a light and fluffy series in the least. However, with the exception of the start and final pages of this volume, this is definitely one that is on the lighter side. For one thing, our main group of six are now in their third year, and we’re long past their finding out how this school works – they know it well by now. Everyone (except Chela, who is sadly ignored for almost this entire volume, and who I hope gets some nice plot bits in 8 to make up for it) gets a chance to show off, especially Pete, Guy and Katie, who each get a nice bit at the start that allows them to be the elder student advising the newbies. This is especially welcome for Guy, who has honestly the least character development of the six. As for Oliver and Nanao, well, they get the bulk of the book to themselves, as always. Everyone is a protagonist, but some are more protagonist than others.

This book is the start of what amounts to a Tournament Arc, as there’s a Combat League competition coming up, and since there’s so no real stand-out winner in the election yet, it’s going to be a factional battle. Fortunately, the initial stages are grouped by year, meaning Oliver and company don’t have to fight Seventh-Years. That said, he and Nanao will need a third, as Chela’s dad clearly designed this year’s complicated rules, so she wants to keep a low profile. Fortunately, they have everyone’s favorite ball of sunshine, Yuri, to be on their team. (Guy, Katie and Pete also form a team, and get a chunk of the book to show off as well.) Their team will be up against three others that they’re unfamiliar with, which is a pain. Oh yes, and a seventh-year student is stealing other student’s bones.

That last bit is what forms the serious part of this book, and it is quite creepy, though it remains unclear how much permanent damage it actually does… or what the end goal is. It does show off Yuri’s worrying tendency to go after mysteries the way that the Scooby Doo gang do, and Oliver has to be the voice of reason multiple times throughout trying to keep him from haring off and getting himself killed. Other than that, this book is mostly here to show off everyone’s cool magic fighting. It does a very good job, and there are lots of interesting applications, but Oliver and Nanao are leagues above everyone else in their year, and that fact does not change with anything that we see in this volume. We also get to see the 4th/5th year and 6th/7th year fights, the latter of which is most interesting as it shows off Vanessa Aldiss, who loves to fight and who clearly is not above killing people if there aren’t rules in place. It’s clearly meant to show readers that the next Oliver v. teacher battle will be even harder and more vicious.

So yes, good volume. Needs More Chela. Not much to say.

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