An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Vol. 17

By Fuminori Teshima and COMTA. Released in Japan as “Maou no Ore ga Dorei Elf wo Yome ni Shitanda ga, Dou Medereba Ii?” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Hikoki.

This series started off with very powerful characters, and it’s only been adding more and more of them as it goes on. Even the comedy relief crybaby girl is an incredibly powerful archangel, and there are all new archdemons, each of which are, when viewed apart from the story itself, utterly terrifying. As such, it’s rather refreshing that we spend a chunk of this story with Micca, the lowest-ranked archangel, who is on the team merely because the swords choose their owner, and thus still feels like a teenage boy struggling to provide for his lower-class family. He’s a nice kid, and will happily help the mysterious, robotic-sounding maid girl try to find her master despite being obviously suspicious. So of course this guy finds himself, at the climax of the book, to be the fifth person in a battle to the death between four of the most powerful people in the world. Some days you really should stay in bed.

All Zagan and Nephy want to do is have a cute ice cream sundae date, but things keep getting in the way. Well, mostly it’s Asmodeus, who wants to try to make a deal with a somewhat irritated Zagan because she knows that “throw demons at Zagan till he’s overrun” is indeed a strategy that could work. She’s also, like many villains in this series, slowly turning out to be not so bad after all. The same cannot be said for Glaysa-Labolas, who is definitely the villain this time around, as he finds the location of Forneus, an archdemon who might be able to help Zagan, as well as Shax and Kuroka, who are supposedly on their “honeymoon” but in reality are trying to gain his support. Unfortunately, Forneus also turns out to be the owner of the maid girl I mentioned above, so when she and the teenage archangel all arrive at the same tavern, everything gets very messy.

This series tends to run on “very powerful people who can destroy the world are useless dorks when it comes to love”, and no one has been a bigger dork in the past than Shax, who the reader has wanted to throttle many times. But eventually (I assume, the anime only adapted two volumes, meaning it could theoretically come back for 8 more cour) this series is going to have to end, meaning that some of these people are going to have to get their shit together at some point. And Shax and Kuroka look to be the closest to doing so, as Chastille and Barbatos are stuck in comedy relief land (I love that her “curse” is “no, you’re just that clumsy”) and Zagan and Nephy are stuck in Archie Comics-style romance. They both get several chances to be cool here, and there’s even some accidental kinky ear biting, showing, as with every other catgirl in Japan, the ears are an erogenous zone to Kuroka.

One complaint: if the text is going to describe a dead person as “diced”, don’t draw interior art showing them with a bit of blood loss. Beyond that, this was a decent Archdemon’s Dilemma, a series that really should wrap up soon, please.

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