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A Returner’s Magic Should be Special Vol. #02 Manga Review

3 min read

Creative Staff
Original Story: Usonan
Art: Wookjakga
Translation/Adaptation: Micah Kim
Lettering: Chi Bui

What They Say
After receiving a miraculous second chance, Desir is determined to save the world this time around…but first things first—he must lead his party to victory in the upcoming promotion battle! Having seen Romantica’s future prowess firsthand, he knows just the special regimen to take her magic to the next level. But when it comes to Pram…things get complicated. With the nimble swordsman refusing to take up the weapon he’s meant to wield, Desir must scramble to solve the mystery of the heirloom blade. Can this ragtag trio of misfits get their act together in time for the showdown against Alpha Class?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The beginning took a lot of wind out of the story than I would expect. Romantica is getting training to become better by using Desir’s strategy. The problem with this is that her training gets pushed quickly to off-scene. She gets abandoned for an important event for Pram. If this kind of thing were going to happen, it would have been better to save her training sequence for the future, where it can have a greater effect on the story. Some scenes dwell on her character but most of them fall short of making her stand out. Future volumes can use this to deliver a greater part of her story and explain her strength. At this time, it feels rather crude to touch upon her subject.

Things start to get better as we jump into Pram’s history with a few caveats. His training arc evolves to the next stage as he discovers one truth about his family. Pram sold what he thought was a useless heirloom weapon and represents the bad side of his family to a pawn shop. Desir realizes his mistake and the truth behind the heirloom and goes to buy it back. Desir reveals the truth behind the heirloom in the pawn shop, which is a high-grade sword, and makes the owner mad that he didn’t sell it for all its worth. Pram shows his true worth as he fights back and uses his sword at its full potential. It’s a great fighting sequence with eloquent swordplay. It feels stupid that Desir didn’t know the truth since he came back from the future. This whole scenario could have done better if he acted on that knowledge sooner. Time travel stories like this work better when you incorporate the knowledge that you gained from your previous life to make even bigger strides.

Tournaments are always a spectacle to watch and this one hits all the right notes. All of the students have a chance to be promoted by surviving this battle royale along with a few surprises. The Nobles have a bone to pick with the trio. The weak-minded let their arrogance get in the way and make easy targets for the trio. A person can be their own worst enemy, it’s a tale old as time itself. With the weak people out of the way, the best fun begins. Make the stronger even stronger by adding strong beasts into the equation.

In Summary:
Beginnings can hit rock bottom from the gecko, but the positive side of that is that you can have a great climb afterward. It’s not hitting all the right notes with how some characters are explored. Time travel stories where a person experiences a horrific timeline should have a protagonist taking things a bit more seriously and being aware of everything that will happen. It can’t just be selective about some things and ignore other things.

Content Grade: C
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: Older Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: April 18, 2023
MSRP: $20.00 US/ $ 29.00 CAN