A Late-Start Tamer’s Laid-Back Life, Vol. 7

By Yuu Tanaka and Nardack. Released in Japan as “Deokure Tamer no Sono Higurashi” by GC Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by A.M. Cola.

I will admit that disbelief is starting to be a bit TOO suspended in this series. The whole plot is that Yuto does stunningly amazing things without actually realizing it, is a huge celebrity without knowing it at all, and exudes this “aw shucks, I’m just a dull weak gamer” aura that puts even the most modest of Japanese protagonists to shame. But his ignorance to the actual gaming world is getting to be ridiculous. We know he reads forums. We know he tries to look for solutions, and he’s aware of upcoming events. So the idea that not only is he unaware of a new video channel for the game where players can get money by posting popular videos, but that *he* is the #1 videos thanks to his cute monsters weaponizing radio calisthenics… I mean, there’s innocent young boy who we must protect, and there’s deliberately thick. Especially given that Yuto is, in real life, an office worker. He’s not really a teenage boy! Sheesh.

Most of the book is the usual stuff: Yuto goes on adventures with his monsters where they fight things and almost die but eventually win; Yuto experiments with various types of weird things and usually has failures but sometimes comes up with something really interesting; and, of course, standing around while people gawp at him. The most important things he does in the book are a) buy another property, this one a Japanese-style house that comes with monsters that fit the mood… something that seems unavailable to other players. And he also finally makes it to Zone 5, which means he can try to achieve things he can’t do by hanging out at the starter’s line. This includes a huge underwater battle… which comes about as a result of realizing that the salmon tastes different depending on which color it is.

The series runs a great deal on “it’s OK because they’re so cute”, which is mostly fine (especially once the new “you can’t sexually harass the monsters” rule comes into play), and sometimes less fine (I’ve complained before about the “no homo” aspect of this series when it comes to guys who look feminine unnerving our hero, and will again, as I doubt it’s going away). Like Bofuri, though, this is a real game, not a “trapped in a game” or “isekai but it’s stats” world, so you get things like moderators actually doing their jobs and logging people out when their arguments get too heated. This is meant to be a world for people like Yuto, a relaaxing stroll through cool things, and anyone getting too upset about not getting the first doodad on the shelf should really be playing some other game. Besides, it’s far too late. Yuto gets all the first doodads. He even has a “first doodad boy” title.

This won’t win new fans, but old fans will like it. A slow life series that works.

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