Translation/Adaptation: Linda Liu
What They Say
Hana held up her end of the deal and is ready to follow through with the plan: get married, repair the barrier, get divorced, and cash in on a big payday! However, Saku has caught feelings for Hana, and he deviously changed the terms of their contract. He’s not letting her divorce him that easily, as he’s on a mission to persuade her to reciprocate his feelings. While Hana is trying to dodge his steamy advances, trouble rears its ugly head. Twins from the Nijouin clan turn up and make it incredibly hard for Hana to lay low at school. Things with her own twin, Hazuki, are as tense as ever. And to top it all off, terrorists are wreaking absolute havoc, and Hana may have to reveal her power in order to stop them!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While Volume 2 begins with a prologue that insinuates the advent of a terrifyingly powerful enemy, this installment of Bride of the Barrier Master is mostly about Hana’s relationships with Saku, her schoolmates, her sister, and two transfer students. In other words, teenage drama.
Chapter 1 is primarily a rom-com as our main couple spend time in the oceanside villa Saku gives Hana as a reward. However, the picturesque estate is apparently overrun with shades – effectively a haunted mansion. The shades are no match for Hana, but she has to exterminate the pests and keep Saku – who takes any opportunity he can to get handsy – at bay. Add their quibbling shikigami to the mix, and you get a silly romp against a scenic backdrop.
But then it’s back to work for Saku when they learn the Association Headquarters has been robbed of several SS-ranked talismans. In the meantime, Hana’s school life gets disrupted by two transfer students, fraternal twins from the Nijouin clan. Their family is as illustrious as Saku’s, and the sister Kikiyo in particular wants to know why a (perceived) weakling like Hana is Saku’s wife.
It’s a continuation of the disbelief and disdain regarding Saku’s choice of bride. But rather than have it dispersed across several women, it’s all condensed into one girl. And Kikiyo is very persistent. While her harassment of Hana is entertaining, this new character doesn’t have a particularly likable personality. In particular, her crybaby tendencies and lack of self-awareness are off-putting. But it does make it that much more satisfying when she realizes just how powerful Hana is.
It gets even more satisfying when the stolen talismans are used to attack Hana’s school. The faculty and students are instantly overwhelmed, but once Hana decides to blow her cover to save their skins, she stops the assault in its tracks. The enemy almost seems cartoonish in how easily she disposes of them. In every confrontation, there’s no doubt whether she’ll prevail; you simply know she will. So the meat of these chapters is the myriad reactions to Hana’s newly revealed powers.
For Hana’s part, her dream of a quiet life goes up in smoke, but now she gets to tell off everyone who mocked her. Plus, she gets the leverage to help her sister Hazuki, who, as it turns out, isn’t so awful after all.
If you want a fun light novel with a happy ending, this is it. There’s a shadowy organization out to destroy the Association of Practitioners, but even though they give Hana a reason to reveal her powers, the story’s really about Hana silencing the critics to her marriage and getting back at the people who’ve snubbed her her entire life. The romance aspect doesn’t really advance much, however, so you’ll have to come back to see if Saku can make any progress on that front in the next volume.
Content Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 22nd, 2023