I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse, Vol. 16

By Namekojirushi and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Ore ga Heroine o Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Mokushiroku!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Mana Z.

The final volume of Little Apocalypse, and I’ll try to keep my general thoughts above the picture and then get into actual spoilers below it. It’s a good final volume, I was pleased. The series knows what it does best and does it. Big ol’ melee fights, lots of humor, lots of self-doubt, Rekka being Rekka – indeed, you could argue the plot of this book is Rekka being Rekka. Including Rekka being dense, which he confirms here is sometimes deliberate, but also confirms here that sometimes he really is just that dense. Also, to my relief, despite appearing on the cover at last, R does not become a “heroine” in the romantic sense. There’s explanations for previous major plot points, each of the girls gets to do at least something, even if it’s sit on the sidelines and write/direct (you can guess who I’m talking about there). Fans of the series should not really have any issues with it at all… well, OK, except maybe for one thing.

Yes, if you wanted romantic resolution, first of all, you were deluding yourself, but second of all, you will be disappointed as Rekka does not, in fact, choose anyone. Indeed, the villain of the piece, if you can call him that, is Rekka from the future, and he makes it clear that he’s saved hundreds of heroines and loves all of them. The trouble, of course, is that Rekka loves all these heroines in the earnest, hero sense of love. There is no romantic or sexual love here, and indeed beyond getting flustered occasionally when confronted with boobs, Rekka is a decidedly uninterested hero. This applies to him, to his female self (and one big drawback of the book is that we never met any of the heroes that she saved – or did she save heroines? Her sexuality is just as absent as Rekka’s). As for future Rekka, he may be an immortal vampire with cyborg arms, but at heart he’s still the same guy, which means he has the same self-doubts.

The goddesses who are the cause of all this are perhaps the least interesting part of the book – I joked that one reminded me of Aqua, but that was more the way she was initially introduced. There is an interesting idea here in that the gods literally CANNOT stop making and destroying worlds as that is their function, it’s what they do. This is what led to the surprisingly bloodless War of All, whose sole casualty that we know about (Iris’ father) is undone by the ending fight presumably making it so the war never happens. It also felt right that the one who helped our Rekka to finally defeat his future self was R, and that she did it not through caustic words and innuendo – her weapons so far – but just by giving him a big push. If only getting him to pick a girl was that easy.

And so the series is over, everything is back to where it was, and Rekka will no doubt keep saving heroines, though hopefully on a slightly smaller scale. This started out as a parody of the harem genre, but by the end it had embraced what it mocked, and I feel it’s the better for it.

I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse, Vol. 15

By Namekojirushi and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Ore ga Heroine o Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Mokushiroku!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Mana Z.

Honestly, I think this would have been a much stronger book if combined with the equally short Vol. 14. I get that this series has never really had long volumes, but as with the previous one, by the time you get into the meat of this book it’s over. Fortunately the meat of the book is pretty good. Rekka, L, and the Doctor (no, still not that one) arrive in the future to try to track down the missing heroines. Unfortunately, Rekka’s mere presence causes war to break out. Speaking of which, we finally find out what caused the big war in the first place – no prizes for guessing who got the ball rolling – and hear a little bit about future Rekka, though he remains resolutely absent. (Given the series’ tendency towards parody at times – that’s what it started as, after all – I would not be surprised if Future Rekka is the Big Bad.) Fortunately, Rekka also has some future heroines who will listen to him, even if he’s not their Rekka.

While there are various things done to try to mess up Rekka’s sense of how far this is into the future, most of the girls look to be about 7-10 years older than they were in the main series. Some are almost exactly the same (Satsuki, staying on brand with the childhood friend type, and Lea, who has literally hidden herself away to avoid all this). Some are All Grown Up, in the trope sense of the word, as Harissa has gained confidence and Fam is now a Pirate Queen. The majority don’t show up at all, and the afterword has the author lamenting the fact that he wants the final book to have all the heroines get a role but has no idea how to do this. And then there’s Iris, who in her grief and anger started all this (raise your hand, who’s surprised? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) Fortunately, like almost all the future heroines, a hug from Rekka is all it takes to dispell most of the incipient problems. They are in love with him, after all.

As for the actual heroines that were kidnapped, we catch up with them at the end – well, some of them. The enemy has brainwashed those with the most combat power to take out our heroes. The enemy is on the cover there, and at first I wondered if it was Hibiki, but no, the answer is in fact even more obvious than that. The enemy also has managed to brainwash R, which leads to what would be an epic confrontation if it didn’t last all of half a page. I suspect the artist drew the cool color page but the author ran out of time, and so the solution is “a punch in the face fixes everything!”, which feels like a big disappointment. That said, the majority of the book is pretty fun, keeping things moving and taking Rekka back to his roots, as he has to think up clever schemes constantly in order to advance.

Now that we’ve revealed the supposed mastermind behind this – and found they may not be as mastermindy as we thought – what’s going to happen in the 16th and final volume? Will Rekka save the day? (Likely.) Will Rekka choose a girl? (Unlikely.) I look forward to finding out.

I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse, Vol. 14

By Namekojirushi and Nao Watanuki. Released in Japan as “Ore ga Heroine o Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Mokushiroku!?” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Mana Z.

There is a plot twist about 2/3 of the way through this volume that pretty much manages to make me drop my main complaint about the book, which is that it’s simply too short. Even by the standards of Little Apocalypse, not one for large page counts, this is ridiculously short. It’s also got a cliffhanger, making me wonder if it might originally have been combined with the volume after it. The first third is relatively sedate… for Rekka, not the reader. We know there’s a problem because the huge cast list of heroines we see at the start of each book has almost all of them scribbled out – including R. Only seven heroines make the cut for this book, leading us to wonder what it is about them that makes them important… or rather, unimportant, as it seems they’re what’s left over after most of Rekka’s memories of the last six months have been wiped.

Technically not a new heroine on the cover, nor is she played by Jodie Whitaker, but The Doctor is the creator of both L and R, and is interested in their welfare – as well as that of Rekka. Sadly, events in the future are reaching a turning point, with the extremists deciding now is the time to kill Rekka in the past, even if they have to use giant robots to destroy the town. And that’s what we get, as a baffled Rekka and his remaining heroines try to evacuate and figure out what’s going on. Fortunately, Rekka eventually gets his memory back, and we find out what happened to R, but the other missing heroines remain missing for the entire book, nor do we know where they are. (My guess is the future, where Rekka ends up heading at the end of the book.) Even his parents, who show up in this book for the first time since the start of Chapter 1 or Book 1, aren’t able to do much but slow the enemy down.

As I noted earlier, I really liked the twist we get here, which is that Rekka should NOT be having to deal with all these heroines at once. The gimmick of the series – that he uses one heroine’s problems to solve another’s problem – was never meant to happen. The seven heroines who aren’t mindwiped/kidnapped are there because they’re the heroines he was SUPPOSED to originally save. They’re the “easy mode” heroines. (Notably, this does NOT include his childhood friend, removed even from her parents’ memories.) They’re heroines that Rekka could save using only his own human abilities and those of the heroine herself – I mean, we do still have a shrine priestess and nun with very lethal weapons around. If nothing else this helps us to be impressed with what Rekka’s achieved. The question is, though, what changed everything? Does it have to do with Rekka’s “helper” being R, not L?

Again, readers need to prepare for being able to finish off this book in only an hour. But if you don’t mind the length, this is a suitably fun and interesting volume as we head towards the series’ climax.