Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, Vol. 18

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 Tara Quinn. Adapted by Maggie Cooper.

So if the last volume was a soft reboot, then this volume is a return to basics. That’s good news for the newbie reader, who may be unfamiliar with our cast of characters, but it’s very bad news for ongoing readers who really don’t need Mile’s Greatest Hits Vol. 18. To make matters worse, when we switch to the Wonder Trio they do the exact same thing that the Crimson Vow did in the previous book, meaning we’re repeating stuff that we saw Mile and company literally doing last time. Things do pick up towards the end, when we meet a new character who manages to be slightly different from everything we’ve seen before… but the main cast think she’s annoying (to be fair, she is) and are trying to get rid of her as quickly as possible. Again, this has the feel of a series where the author has run out of things to say, but can’t end it because it’s too popular.

The Crimson Vow have started over as lowly F-rankers… which doesn’t even last ten pages before they are promoted to C-rank so they do not immediately destroy the town, guild, and everything else by being themselves. They immediately take an inactive mission that’s been sitting there, going to a village to try to kill the wolves that have been murdering their livestock. Except the wolves are basically puppies. And the livestock isn’t eaten or dragged into the forest. Yeah, something suspicious is going on here. Meanwhile, the Wonder Trio are also in this new land, and discovering the exact same things Mile did last time – the monsters are much smarter here. Finally, the Crimson Vow meet a merchant Girl who is desperate to make her name, and will be incredibly annoying till they help her.

So yes, Arli the merchant girl was who interested me most in this book, though it appears most of what’s interesting about her will be left to the 19th volume. She’s refreshingly rude and blunt, but it turns out that this is just a front, and that she’s far more depressed and exhausted than she makes herself out to be. I’m intrigued. I am less intrigued by Mile absuing the elder dragons to solve problems – again – or the Crimson Vow utterly destroying a group of village elders who wanted to take advantage of them – again. As for the Wonder Trio, they’re more irritating here, as they’re going over old ground almost to the point of saying the same lines, and they’re being unthinkingly arrogant in a way that’s not funny to the reader. On the bright side, the Crimson Vow taking a group of old fisherman on one last sea hunt was pretty heartwarming.

So yeah, another FUNA book down, and it didn’t even have the decency to have atrocities committed, like I can get from Potion Girl. Disappointing.

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