Story: Yuu Miyazaki
Translation: Melissa Tanaka
What They Say
Hilda, the infamous Magnum Opus, contacts Ayato and asks for his help in exchange for treating his sister, Haruka. When he refuses, she gives him an ominous warning…Meanwhile, at Seidoukan Academy, our heroes begin training for the upcoming Gryps, and Claudia pulls back the curtain on the Pan-Dora and her own intentions. With the arrival of spring, Ayato and the others advance into their second year and start preparing for the school fair-when Sylvia calls Ayato to demand he make good on his promise and take her on a date…!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
For anyone hoping for anything interesting to come of this volume, well, at least your hopes are dashed right at the very start by the simple setup that this entry is going to be about a school fair. Fortunately, things don’t start off TOO terrible, though. Like, for the intro we get Ayato being approached by the mysterious Magnum Opus, which seems like it could eventually lead somewhere. And we also get the setup for the next big arc, learning a bit about Claudia’s goal and her character in the process. Oh, and there’s some decent enough teamwork training that also gives Julis a nice little upgrade, so that’s something.
After that, though, we get the actual school fair miniarc, which sadly takes up the bulk of the book. The idea here is largely that Ayato is taking Sylvia around to see the events at the various schools, and it seems like a fair enough setup, as it gives you a chance to both develop Sylvia as a character while also smoothly introducing the opponents for the upcoming tournament. And I guess the book is trying to do that, in theory… but in its usual incompetent way, we just kind of get one big old jumble of names and terms and basic ideas, but nothing of substance. I seriously don’t even feel like I got to know Sylvia any better, outside of the basic goal she has, and in theory this whole section is focused on her! Oh, and naturally there’s some real shoddy comedy mixed in too, along with awkwardly inserted pinup images, so that’s… great.
And then we end on a sort of tournament thing, but it’s once again incredibly half baked, to such a degree that it didn’t really get much across to me aside from saying one of the student council presidents is real strong. We don’t even really get proper fights out of it, as it’s more just the book going “and then the characters that matter hit things real hard/fast and won with minimal effort,” until the finals where they face… things that are really resilient and need to be hit REALLY hard. So, not exactly thrilling stuff. But hey, at least we get a tease as to a big shadowy evil villain! They don’t exactly do much except go “ooh, I’m eeeeevil and mysterious!” and seem to be introducing awkward magic-feeling junk to the series, which is kind of dumb, but… it’s something, I guess?
Well, at least this volume starts off okay, giving us some decent little bits of development for the plot and one nice upgrade for a main cast member. It’s nothing mindblowing at all, but it’s at least functional and inoffensive. Sadly, though, I can’t say that about the rest of the book, which takes up the majority of the page count. There’s not really much new to say there as its pratfalls are the same ones the series has always hit, ruining solid setup by over-introducing characters and terms left and right and then under developing EVERYTHING. I guess I can at least say it’s not actively offending me with its stupidity or creepiness like past volumes, but it’s still just… not at all good or interesting. I’ve pretty much given up hope for this series at this point as despite some little bits that shine through, the author just doesn’t seem to be learning, and keeps on putting out crappy volume after crappy volume, this one most certainly included.
Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: N/A
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: B-
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 21st, 2018