My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 10

By MOJIKAKIYA and toi8. Released in Japan as “Boukensha ni Naritai to Miyako ni Deteitta Musume ga S-Rank ni Natteta” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.

As I write this, we’re a little under halfway through the anime version of this series, which is quite enjoyable provided you don’t mid that it has the animation budget of one peanut. It’s clearly an advertisement for the books, which just wrapped up in Japan. Unfortunately, despite my saying in my review of 9 that 10 is the last, it turns out that I am wrong, and there’s another book on the way. That said, this definitely has the feeling of an epilogue, and I think that’s fine. Yes, one of the bad guys got away, but honestly I’m OK with ignoring him for now and concentrating entirely on everyone going back to Bel’s hometown and settling into in their new huge mansion to match all the daughters that Bel has accumulated throughout this series. And, of course, his new wife. As for Ange, well, she’s had a lot of dad lately, and believe it or not does love being an adventurer more, so she’s headed back to Orphen, with one extra team member.

We’re back in Turnera! There are lots of kids to play around with and train to hunt and fish. There’s Belgrieve and Satie, who are now married but honestly seem far too comfortable and passionless for others in their group, so a secret second wedding is decided on so we get a real love confession. And then there’s Mit. His mana is still an issue, and the best way to deal with it is to build a dungeon that uses the excess mana to spawn fiends that can then be killed by adventurers. Of course, the question is where to put a freshly built dungeon? Should it be Orphen, which has the guild and is used to this sort of thing? Or Bordeaux, which has been growing rapidly but could use a dungeon to become a city unto its own. Or… should it be Turnera? Can we really turn Bel’s sleepy village into a dungeon tourism industry?

There were some moments in this I really liked. I appreciated that it took Helvetica’s crush on Belgrieve seriously, and also that it was not something that she could just give up on when seeing Bel and Satie being all mild and sedate at each other. (Satie spends a lot of this book acting like a standard housewife, but given the last twenty years of her life before this, I’d say she’s due.) They needed to overtly love each other to make it easier for her to back off. I also liked Angelica telling Maria about her own demonic heritage. She’s not only come to terms with it, but is OK with being used as a guinea pig if it will mean helping to solve the problem. Though Maria doesn’t really believe her. There’s also a great short story at the end showing us how Angeline, Anessa and Miriam first teamed up, and how incredibly awkwardly things started off. It was sweet.

This series runs on good vibes, and if we get more of those in the finale, I’m find with it.

My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 9

By MOJIKAKIYA and toi8. Released in Japan as “Boukensha ni Naritai to Miyako ni Deteitta Musume ga S-Rank ni Natteta” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.

For a while I thought that this was going to wrap up all the plots, and that the 10th volume would just be an epilogue/victory lap. Alas, one of the villains got away, so we’re going to have a final confrontation back in Belgrieve’s village. Which makes sense, as that will allow us to bring in the rest of the cast who have been absent for this arc. This arc definitely wraps up here, though, solving most of the problems by hard work and sword/magical battles. We get to see Ange using the smarts she was taught by her father, and we also get to see her and her father fighting back to back, something that fills both of them with glee even though it’s a life-or-death situation. That sort of sums up the book, really – even though there’s a lot of gore and death, you end up feeling good. Everyone’s back together.

When we left off, everyone was headed to where Ange and company is, there to try to rescue Satie. This involves splitting up, of course. Touya and Maureen handle their own subplot, taking on Hector and revealing the true reason behind Touya’s revenge. More importantly, Ange is captured by the fake Prince, getting thrown in a time space prison where escaping her cell is quite easy but escaping the prison itself proves much harder. As for Satie… well, she’s captured, because this is the sort of book where the message is “you can’t do it alone, rely on others to help you”, so her philosophy of “I have to do this all on my own” is not going to work. Will Bell be able to save Satie? And is Satie finally the woman that Ange has been looking for… someone to be Belgrieve’s wife?

There is a plot twist near the end that is so stunningly schmaltzey that I would be annoyed if it weren’t so sweet. It also helps tie in to Ange’s own birth – we’ve known for a while that she’s part demon, but it’s never really been clear just how that is going to tie into the overall story. The earlier books implied that it would slowly turn her evil, but honestly, apart from being a bit jealous of her dad’s easy way of making friends with everyone, Ange simply is not going to go that route. As for Belgrieve and Satie, their plot resolution is “blink and you’ll miss it”, but that fits the two of them. These are two people who have wanted to reunite and admit repressed feelings for years, so while it’s frustrating that we don’t get a more explicit confession, hey, at least they’re definitely married now.

That said, we have one final book to go. This one will be coming out after the anime starts, so it will be interesting to see what people who are new to the series think of it all. Honestly, I suspect we’ll be back to where we were at the start of this series: reassuring fans that this one ISN’T going to turn into incest.

My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 8

By MOJIKAKIYA and toi8. Released in Japan as “Boukensha ni Naritai to Miyako ni Deteitta Musume ga S-Rank ni Natteta” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Roy Nukia.

Given that we’re near the end of the series, it’s no surprise that we’re actually picking up a number of plot threads that have been lurking around since the start of the book, and some of those plot points are quite a bit darker than we’re used to. As an excuse for not meeting up with Bel and company for the last 20 years, “I was running around the country trying to rescue women from being used in forced breeding experiments with demons” is a good one. If I’m being honest, it’s what isn’t here that’s more of a surprise: Ange spends most of this volume brooding and in a blue funk, and I wondered the entire time whether it was going to tie in to her secret demon heritage and all that. But no, it’s just typical daddy issues, because that’s what this series runs on, really. And as Ange grows up, those issues get less fun for her.

After locating Percival, our intrepid group has only one to go before they can get the band back together. That said, all they can find of Satie are rumors… until they arrive at a city which is apparently trying to kill an elf woman. This is not good news for Marguerite and Maureen, who have to remind folks that elves are, in fact, unique persons. Fortunately, Ange has friends in high places, so things settle down. Even more fortunately, the elf being hunted is, of course, Satie, who has been doing the things I alluded to in the last paragraph. Unfortunately, the “prince” has nearly caught up with her and is really trying hard to kill her, probably because she knows that he’s not the real prince. Can Belgrieve, Percival and Kasim manage to rescue Satie, or is that going to fall to Ange?

So yeah, Ange is starting to regret her own actions a bit, mostly the fact that she was going around to every woman she knew and asking if they wanted to marry her dad. Now they’re about to reunite with Satie, who the others admit had a thing for Belgrieve, and he probably did for her, and she starts to realize that she might not be the closest person in his life anymore. Ange is old enough and mature enough to know that this is unfair to Belgrieve and that it’s just envy, but that does not make the feelings go away, and her wrestling with them is probably the best part of the book. The other good part of the book is a nice bit of light horror, as there is a spell that can be used to disguise a person as another person so well that the other person does not even know they’re a disguise, and this is used to chilling effect here.

Good stuff, and a rare cliffhanger for this series, so we’ll have to wait till the 9th volume to see if we can save the day. (I suspect the day will be saved, this is not that kind of series.)