Peddler in Another World: I Can Go Back To My World Whenever I Want!, Vol. 3

By Hiiro Shimotsuki and Takashi Iwasaki. Released in Japan as “Itsudemo Jitaku ni Kaereru Ore wa, Isekai de Gyōshōnin o Hajimemashita” by HJ Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Berenice Vourdon.

If you’re looking at the archived reviews of this series, you may note that I did not review the second volume. This is because it left so little of an impression on me that I had absolutely nothing to say. It wasn’t bad. I clearly was interested enough to read the third book. But there was nothing to hang my hat on, nothing where I thought “here is something I can talk about for 500 words”. Honestly, I should be having this problem more often than I am, and I’m not sure if that says something good or bad about me. But this third volume has a couple of good things and a couple of bad things that I wanted to discuss, so let’s pick up where we left off, with this very relaxed, slow-life “Kosaku Shima isekai”. Though unlike the Kosaku Shima series, Shiro will not be having lots of great sex anytime soon. It’s a light novel for teens, not seinen manga.

Things to know from Book 2: Shiro has a fairy companion now, and his grandmother has come back, looking about 20 years old. That’s it. The third book starts with her returning with Shiro to Japan, giving a bit of backstory, and preparing to continue to hide from most of her family the fact that she’s not dead and from another world. As for that other world, Shiro is invited by the mayor, Karen, to go with her to the big city, where she has to drop off the town’s taxes and go to a ball, where she is traditionally mocked for being a hick. As for Shiro, he tries to join a merchant’s guild in the big city, but is mocked and belittled. Can he manage to solve both his problems and Karen’s at the same time?

Everyone loves watching an arrogant noble get what’s coming to him, and though the noble is a merchant here, we get that, in a major scene showing Shiro at his most ruthless. That said, the best scenes in the book were near the end, as Aina, who came with Shiro to the big city, returns with a present for her mother, one that triggers the grief for her missing presumed dead husband she had been burying, and now she and her daughter are crying and thinking they’re terrible. The way Shiro handles THIS, rather than fending off nobility with awesome shampoo, is what makes him attractive as a protagonist. On the down side, I really dislike Shiro’s grandmother here. I’d be OK with her deciding to let the rest of the family believe she had died if she was going to stay in the fantasy world, but having her hang out with Shiro in Japan and pretend to be his childhood friend in front of his younger sisters is creepy and also a level of lying too much for me.

That said, the cliffhanger ending may need to let the cat out of the bag anyway. Till then, good job, Peddler in Another World, you rose above being faceless to only somewhat faceless.

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