Dahlia in Bloom: Crafting a Fresh Start with Magical Tools, Vol. 8

By Hisaya Amagishi and Kei. Released in Japan as “Madougushi Dahlia wa Utsumukanai” by MF Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Osman Wong.

It’s bad enough when Dahlia deliberately invents something that will revolutionize the world (no, not like that), but it’s even worse when Dahlia does it accidentally. The theme to this book is “Dahlia invents ______ but doesn’t immediately see the commercial application for it”, and while we’ve seen that plot before it’s never been hammered home quite as much as it is here. Dahlia invents memory foam. Dahlia invents beanbag chairs. Dahlia invents better breast pads. Dahlia invents… well, no one is quite sure what it’s good for, but we’ll think of something later. It’s that last one that gets her in trouble, as “what it’s good for” is magical fodder for magical horses, meaning that expeditions need far less room for hay/etc. Dahlia and Volf both think this is really cool. Guido thinks this is really terrifying, as the nation next door who hates them has a LOT of magical horses, and would kill to have this new invention. Or, more accurately, kidnap. Dahlia needs better protection.

I pretty much summed up the bulk of the plot above, though we do get one other major arc. Dahlia goes on an expedition with Volf and company to watch them take down Giant Monster Crabs (they hit its weak point for massive damage, trust me), and while there she meets the old vice-captain of the group, now retired. Bernigi is rather grumpy at first, as he’s unsatisfied with how “soft” the unit is with all Dahlia’s new inventions. As we learn more about him we see that he’s also still grieving for his son, who had the standard “I will get into a fight with my dad and then go fight monsters and get killed and so leave everything unresolved” plot. He also has a wooden prosthesis as he lost a leg in battle, and it’s not a great one. Fortunately, it breaks in front of Dahlia, and she (for once) deliberately invents something fantastic. Oh yes, and it turns out Bernigi’s got a grandson who’s very familiar to the readers.

Fans of the Dahlia/Volf relationship will once again be pleased but also frustrated. Dahlia is told that loved ones frequently embroider designs onto a man’s undershirt to give some blessing and protection. She decides to do this for Volf, and ends up embroidering a design that is a flower (dahlia) and a wolf (Volf) intertwined. It’s so good she ends up using it as the Emblem of her company. But she remains 100% oblivious to the meaning of this, even when told point blank. They’re pals! As for Volf, Guido tells him point blank to marry Dahlia in order to protect her from foreign infiltrators kidnapping her and forcing her to invent, and his first thought is “what else could we do?”. They’re buddies! Volf remains SLIGHTLY ahead of Dahlia in terms of self-awareness, as when Guido suggests adopting Dahlia instead, making her and Volf siblings, he feels vaguely uncomfortable but is not sure why. They’re so cute. I want to strangle them.

The 9th volume just came out in Japan (with a new artist), so we should see that soon. I’m 100% sure it won’t end with Dahlia and Volf hooking up, though,. The slowest of slow burns.

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