The Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent, Vol. 9

By Yuka Tachibana and Yasuyuki Syuri. Released in Japan as “Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou desu” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Airship. Translated by Julie Goniwich. Adapted by E.M. Candon.

This ninth volume in the series comes out just in time, as the second season of the anime is currently airing and looks like it will adapt till the end of Book 8. So if you want to continue onward, you can pick right up where it leaves off. Of course, I will warn you in advance that you’re only getting 3/4 of a book. The manga version of this title runs in Flos Comic, but it would fit right at home in LaLa, because, like many LaLa manga, it’s packed with filler to pad out the volume. Now, this is not always a bad thing. The short stories that bookend each Bookworm volume are just as important as Rozemyne’s POV, and some of the side stories are fun. But what we get instead here are scripts for audio dramas starring the voice actor for Albert… talking to himself, as I guess “situational audio drama” means that the reader invents Sei’s half of the dialogue? Not sure, but it’s not worth it.

Sei and Albert are now engaged, and this is officially announced at a ball. Much to Sei’s surprise, there’s a second engagement being announced – Elizabeth is now engaged to the second Prince, Rayne. That said, their wedding will be a year from now, as there’s just that much pre-preparation involved. Sei is content to go back to the research labs, but then the palace gets an urgent missive from Prince Kyle’s delegation in Zaidera, saying one of the most important members was deathly ill, and help was urgently needed. Everyone suspects this is a ploy, but they can’t just ignore it, so Yuri decides to go there and take one of Sei’s panaceas, the one that healed Prince Ten’yuu’s mother. The problem is… Sei wants to go too! She’s so curious! So of course Albert goes along as well. This becomes a problem when the thing they thought was a plot turns out to indeed be a ploy.

So yes, we get the return of Prince Kyle here. Much to my surprise, very little is made of his past by the main cast. He gets a side story near the end, which shows that while to Sei and company he looked calm and collected, inside he was panicking that she was going to start getting furious with him. Setting off abroad seems to have done him a world of good, and I think he agrees. As for the story itself, it’s OK, not great. It’s mostly an excuse to delay the inevitable wedding a bit longer and take a look at this world’s version of China, complete with a few recipes a la foodie manga. The actual plot won’t really get going till Book 10, so instead we get things like Yuri being a giant magical nerd and… more of Yuri being a giant magical nerd. At least Sei has more female friends besides Liz and Aira now.

This is not one of the best in the series, but as a setup for a new arc it’s OK, and it will satisfy anime-onlies wanting to see what happens next.

The Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent, Vol. 8

By Yuka Tachibana and Yasuyuki Syuri. Released in Japan as “Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou desu” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Airship. Translated by Julie Goniwich.

This may sound like a comparison only I would make (because it is), but a lot of Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent is starting to feel like Der Werwolf to me. Specifically, our saint tends to regard herself as just an ordinary researcher who can use ingredients really well, whereas in reality everyone else in the world knows that she’s a… well, a SAINT. Literally, as we see here, as a gift that she gives to a colleague ends up healing permanent burn scars that another woman had on her face. It’s as biblical as they come, frankly, lacking only Sei literally laying hands on her. That said… no one actually mentions this happened to Sei, because I think they realize quickly that telling her “you did a miracle that saved by friend, I would die for you” would just make Sei feel uncomfortable. And she’s got enough trouble as it is, because a simple visit to the opera might torpedo her first love!

Sei has wrapped up all the monster hunting in Albert’s hometown, and is free to do things like sampling the local dried sausages and giving recommendations on how to turn a hot spring into a hot spring village. After that, she’s back home, trying to figure out how to get more land for her herbs and plants when everyone else in the research department also wants land. Thankfully, the King comes to the rescue by giving her and Johan an estate just outside the city which can house, essentially, top secret stuff – including most of what Sei deals with. And then there’s that trip to the opera I mentioned before. She goes with Yuri, and everything seems fine, but all of a sudden the rumor goes around that she and Yuri are getting engaged! Has Albert heard this rumor?

I really do love that this series is basically bereft of children (especially now that the prince has been exiled) and everyone has normal, sensible reactions. Albert hears the rumor, and his reaction is not “wow, it must be true, time to panic”, but to immediately understand what happened. Indeed, Sei may be the most immature one here, and the reason Albert has been courting her at a snail’s pace is for that very reason – he can tell she’s not ready for love yet. But she’s more ready than he might think, and what’s more, events have made it so that he HAS to take action. What follows is what I usually describe as “the payoff”, and it’s absolutely sweet and heartwarming. I could do without that ominous cliffhanger, though…

I would have liked to have seen more of Aria aside from the stories at the end (which are, like Bofuri, store exclusives from past volumes), but since she has her own spinoff I suppose it makes sense not to involve her. Fans of Sei and Albert will eat this up, though.

The Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent, Vol. 7

By Yuka Tachibana and Yasuyuki Syuri. Released in Japan as “Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou desu” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Julie Goniwich.

Let’s face it, as much as we love the slow burn romance between Sei and Albert as a fictional couple, in real life things are not that simple. Sei is a hot commodity, and her age does not seem to be holding people back. As such, we are starting to see her have to deal with the world outside of her little research and monster hunting bubble, and make contacts with important families while fending off families who might merely want to use her fame and power to advance their own position. This is a problem with Sei, who has a certain amount of social anxiety, something that we may have forgotten about given how good the kingdom is about keeping her surrounded by people she trusts. That said, if you DO like Sei and Albert, the last quarter of the book has some tasty romance for you. And if you’re reading this book but hate the romance (???), I feel I should inform you that there is a giant zombie dragon.

The ball starts rolling with Liz telling us something that I’ve been expecting to happen since Volume 1: her engagement to Prince Kyle has been called off. Because this was due to his own issues (he’s being exiled to China), she does not suffer the reputation hit that you might expect from a villainess novel, and in fact will soon have suitors beating down her door. And so will Sei, who doesn’t have to get married but does actually have to poke her head out and wave on occasion. She manages to get past the first tea party, with Liz’s mother and other “safe” noble women, and from that comes up with the idea of showing off the regional foods of all the noble territories by having what amounts to a food festival. Which ends up being a much bigger deal than she was expecting…

First of all, in case you are wondering about Ten’yuu from the previous volume, there is an extended interstitial story here giving his backstory and also reassuring us that Sei’s medicine saved the day. The bulk of the book is dedicated to Sei having to try hard to be outgoing and friendly despite the fact that public events exhaust her, and she ends up doing a pretty good job of it. She also goes on an expedition with the First Corps of Royal Knights, the only ones not to go monster hunting with her, though this ends up being an excuse for them to fawn over her. Honestly, the best reward in the book (which hasn’t happened yet) is the discovery that in the domain of Albert’s family, which is Switzerland in all but name, they have… hot springs! Which can even have healing properties, something that startles the family when she mentions this. And, of course, there is Sei and Albert. Who get their cutest moment when Sei pulls a Katarina and falls through the wall of a cave.

This is never going to be exciting and heart-pounding, but it’s always going to be relaxing and nice. I enjoy it.