Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, Vol. 17

By FUNA and Itsuki Akata. Released in Japan as “Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!” by SQEX Novels. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Diana Taylor. Adapted by Maggie Cooper.

This one is really doing its best to trick you into thinking it’s the final volume. Hell, look at the cover, which screams “and the adventures continue…” And to be fair, that is how it ends, it’s just we go along with everyone when they continue their adventures. But what this amounts to, honestly, is a soft reboot of the series, which had grown fat and placid on its regular cast, sci-fi backstory, and ended the last book with Mile having finally visited the final “non-human” race she wanted to see, and announcing to the world that the invasion of monsters from another dimension is imminent. There’s nothing left to do but have the final battle, which takes up the first 40% of the book. But after that? What do you do when you’ve won? Worse, what do you do when you revealed all because you were planning on dying, but then DON’T die?

We pick up right where we left off, with Mile imitating the MGM lion as she broadcasts herself to everyone in the continent. She then explains that the invasion is coming in the next few days, that most of the armies who have to deal with it won’t make it in time, but that’s OK, because the Crimson Vow will take on all 100,000 monsters for them. She also reveals that she’s Adele von Ascham. And “Miami Satodele”, for that matter. From there, the four of them go off to certain death… and are very surprised to find that the ENTIRE cast has come to help them in the final battle. Really, everyone who can fight shows up here, including the elves, the demons, and the dragons. Hell, I was expecting Lenny to show up (she did not, but we do see her later on). The battle is indeed tough – they absolutely would have lost without the help of everyone – but they prevail. And… um… the battle was also accidentally broadcast to the continent via Mile’s MGM widescreen. Whoops.

So yeah, now they’ve all achieved their goals. They’re all nobility. Pauline has a successful business. Mavis is an S-rank hunter and is Mile’s holy knight. Reina is also an S-rank hunter, and can publish her memoir. And Mile… has been captured by everyone who’s been trying to catch her since Book 1, and is now being forced to be The Holy Saint. Needless to say, after six months of this they’re all bored out of their gourds. So it’s time for that soft reboot – they all run away and go to a completely different continent. (the Wonder Trio, as well as the Princess, follow them, because we can’t leave EVERYONE behind.) This will allow the author to start over with slightly different baselines – for one thing, the monsters in this new continent are a LOT smarter than the ones we’re familiar with. That said, Mile is still Mile. I’m sure it will be fine.

If you were looking for an excuse to stop reading the series, this is basically the perfect volume to do so. If you want more Mile and company, good news, that’s coming. This was a fun “finale” that wasn’t.

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