By Kenya Atsui and Saori Toyota. Released in Japan as “Kimi Kara Uketsugu Brave Chronicle” by Overlap, Inc. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Dan Luffey.
As regular readers of my site may have noticed, I tend mostly to review things that I enjoy in some way. It’s easier to write about things I like for the most part, and with titles that I don’t like I have a tendency not to finish them, which makes things easier. But I do tend to give a lot of first volumes a try, which inevitably means running into some clinkers. And this is a new publisher, so I wanted to give them an honest shot. And I did positively review one of their other titles, so don’t have to feel too guilty. All this is a preamble for what you’ve likely suspected: Brave Chronicle is terrible.
With a title like Brave Chronicle, I was expecting something a bit more fantasy oriented, but it actually takes place at a school for students adept at magic. Our heroine is the top student at the Academy and one of the most magically gifted students in the world, to the point where she’s not only a student, she’s also the headmaster. Our hero is her childhood friend and the number two in the school, who has minimal magic power but manages to kick ass in almost every fight anyway – except, of course, for her, who he has never beaten in 999 tries. Our hero is also a pervert who enjoys going on about his little sister, who has large breasts and a petite body, something he will remind you about endlessly. That said, his little sister is also a massive superweapon that can decide wars – and now an opposing world has come to take it.
The first third of this book is the worst, as it tries to do a daily slice-of-life, which means that we get the hero going on and on about his sister’s breasts, sometimes for pages at a time – note to authors, you’re only allowed to do that if you write as well as Nisioisin, and this guy does not. Despite all the seeming incest fetishism, it is never not clear that he’s in love with the heroine (whose name is Yukihime, just in case you wanted to see something else completely unoriginal. Did I mentioned she uses ice powers? Oh, you guessed, huh?). After a while, the book settles into serious mode and we are treated to a series of endless fights, which is actually a step up as I was merely bored and not disgusted. Oh yes, and I should mention that, unlike most light novels these days, this is complete in one volume. That did allow it to pull off an ending that I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting, which should technically be praised if it didn’t leave such a bad taste in my mouth due to being carried out in the most cliched manner possible – I was genuinely disappointed the hero did not scream “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” at the sky, which would have completed the bingo card.
I try to be nice to cliched series, and I do enjoy quite a few of them. But this series was so derivative, and offered so few genuine good points, that it was a struggle to get through it, and the reward at the end was bittersweet. J-Novel Club does have some other interesting series on their site for you to try, so try them, and don’t feel too bad by giving this a miss. Absolutely dire.