My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 5

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.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again: I greatly appreciate that the publisher has let us know that the books are done in Japan and that this is not one of THOSE Daddy/Adopted Daughter series. Mostly because I can thoroughly enjoy the angst that both daddy and daughter are going through right now without having to worry about a future trap door. Belgrieve is worrying about the fact that his daughter has grown up, and he doesn’t know the right way to balance out being her dad vs. letting her go off on her own. It’s extremely identifiable. As for Angeline, well, she’s just starting to worry about the whole “I probably have some demon in my parentage” thing, which is less relatable, but as an adopted daughter curious about her parents while also not really wanting to know because she loves her dad, that resonates a lot. They’re a great parent-child couple.

Everything is smiles and happiness at the start. Angeline and Belgrieve are once again in the same place at the same time, and are reveling in it, even if it means having to find a new house because they just have too many houseguests now. The whole group then, once spring comes, returns to Turnera in one big group… joined by two extra women, who are tagging along as they say they have business where they’re going. Unfortunately, the business turns out to be them, as Charlotte is once again suffering the consequences of her own actions, as well as her own background as royalty. Now Belgrieve and Angeline have to figure out a way to make everyone happy and smooth things over… and this isn’t even getting into the overarching plot of the demons, or finding Belgrieve’s old party.

I really liked the two adventurers we met in this volume, and I am relieved that things could be taken care of without turning them into enemies. In particular, one of them speaks in an odd combination of normal speech and lyrics from Western rock songs (I wondered if it was a localization thing, but no, the afterword says it’s Western rock songs), and its noted to be because the beastmen in her country are treated much worse, and they use that speech as a form of coded language. This is the sort of world building I can absolutely get behind. I also liked reminding Charlotte that sometimes apologies, even when meant in earnest, won’t solve everything that she did before, and sometimes it’s best NOT to apologize in person as the wounds are still fresh. It’s literally mentioned by Angeline’s companions that Belgrieve collects daughters rather than love interests, and Charlotte is one of the best examples.

Some hinting at the end of this book suggests we’ll be tracking down the rest of Belgrieve’s old party soon, and I expect that will probably mean he and Angeline are separated again. it’s fine. I’m sure they’ll work out the right distance while staying a loving family.

My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 4

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.

Easily the best in the series to date, despite the fact that we’re now at the second round of “I have gotten everything planned out to see my dad again but something comes along to screw it up at the last minute”. Angeline is still a big-time Daddy’s Girl, but she’s put into a situation where that’s mostly irrelevant, and when it is relevant she actually manages to use it as a force for good. Belgrieve is finally forced to admit to himself that he may actually be as good at fighting as Angeline says he is, after going toe-to-toe with a top-ranked adventurer and … not winning, but lasting far longer than a 40-year-old with one leg should really be lasting. And the overall plot is finally coming into focus, giving us more ongoing bad guys, as well as an idea of what they’re going to do. Which I suspect is “kill Belgrieve and then watch Angeline destroy the world”. Best to stop that.

Angeline and company are ready to take Charlotte and Byaku back to her hometown. Unfortunately, the nobles have finally gotten around to noticing her, and have called her to the capital to come get an award… which means she’ll get back too late to make the trip before winter sets in. She is… unhappy. Meanwhile, Belgrieve has settled in with his new mini-family back in Turnera, but some of them are leaving as well, mostly as they have the adventure lust in their blood. It’s also reminding him of his past, which we get brief glimpses of here, and we see how even as a younger man he was cautious and careful. As for Angeline, when she arrives at the capital she not only finds a pile of nobles but also a mysterious guy in a dungeon… who may be more connected to her than she thinks.

This is not really a big fighting volume. Belgrieve gets into a couple of spars, but that’s not the same thing. As for Angeline, as I noted above, the best part of the book is the fight she doesn’t get into, especially as it’s supposed to be used as the excuse for a coup. It’s actually the second time she avoids this, the first being in the middle of her awards ceremony, where a noble attempts to taunt her into fighting and she responds by pointing out exactly what battling monsters and demons should be for, and it’s not “to show off my strength against some noble jackasses”. That said, they aren’t all bad here, and I really liked the young spunky noble girl, who I hope we see again. Plus Angeline gets her reward at the end – her dad came to see her rather than the other way around, and he’ll be there all winter.

Despite once again keeping its two leads separated most of the book, this time it did it in exactly the right way. This is a solid fantasy series.

My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer, Vol. 3

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.

This third volume returns to the same structure we saw in the first, moving back and forth between Angelica’s life in the big city and her father’s life back in the sticks. Of course, neither one of them lack for things to do. On Angelica’s end, she runs into Charlotte and Byaku, the child villains from the previous book, who are trying to repent but perhaps going about it the wrong way. On Belgrieve’s end, the forest next to his little village is getting increasingly dangerous, to the point where there has to be something behind it. He goes investigating with the help of Duncan, his battle-hungry new friend, Graham, a legendary elf warrior, and Marguerite, a not-so-legendary elf who’s more of a hothead than anything else. Their paths don’t intersect this book, but rest assured Belgrieve is always on Angelica’s mind: she’s trying to find him a wife!

I compared Charlotte to Ilya from Fate last time, and it’s pretty clear that this is the Ilya from the first route. Not that Charlotte is dying from being a homunculus anytime soon (though hold on to that thought) but more that she needs a stable family life in order to be able to recover from her tragic past and her present misdeeds. Angelica provides that for now, and is a pretty decent big sister, but it’s clear that she’s going to need Belgrieve to step in, as Angelica just can’t be doing this AND taking down the strongest enemies at the same time. I also enjoyed the discussion of how Charlotte is trying to apologize for her past religious scams – giving everyone their money back and saying the amulets are phony – and the others taking the time to explain to her why that’s not working and why people are angry with her, as well as what she can do to actually become a better person.

Now, back to the homunculuses. There is a plot to this book beyond cute daddy-daughter antics, and the villains seem to be creating supervillains, though how villainous they are is a matter for future books. Certainly Byaku is one of them, and they seem to be able to remove his super powers at will, leaving him mostly just a grumpy teen. That said, he can also see what we’ve suspected since the start of the series – Angelica is no normal kid, but more like him. She, of course, doesn’t want to believe this, because her being a foundling doesn’t really matter as all her strength comes from her father. Now, it may be true that her TRAINING comes from her father, but her strength certainly seems to be something more. This should be a very interesting plot going forward.

All this and a cute elf girl, though not the cute elf girl that Belgrieve has been pining for from his past. (Sorry, Angelica, your dad has a lost love that likely needs to be resolved before you can hook him up with anyone.) This remains a very enjoyable fantasy series, with a fun and slightly airheaded lead.