Infinite Dendrogram Volume 10 Review

Cover of volume 10

Last time on Infinite Dendrogram, Ray fought a lot of people (like he always does). This time, he uses the pent-up powers of his Miasmaflame Bracers to summon the true form of Gardranda, the first boss he ever defeated (which is a cute girl, of course), and she helps him defeat Hell General Logan Goddhart (who lost because he’s a whiny brat who doesn’t actually know how to play the game). But it’s not over yet, for the ancient weapon Arca-Vesta has rebooted itself and is about to destroy Quartierlatin! The strange Tom Cat guy he met before heads down into the ruins to fight it. Turns out, he’s actually Chesire, the A.I., and the Incarnations that the ancient weapons were created to destroy are actually the A.I.’s of Dendro itself. Cheshire uses his power to make infinite clones of itself to fight, but it doesn’t do crap because Arca-Vesta is comprised of two machines: A ground-based one which constantly gets healed by the other, flying machine. Arca-Vesta sets out to destroy the town, but Ray and Azurite try to fight it. The obvious solution is to destroy both parts at once, but how? It doesn’t help that the flying one has an ability to distort space and expand the distance between itself and the ground so it’s much further than it appears. But fortunately, Ray has the Shining Despair he got from Monochrome, which travels at the speed of light. So, with the help of Azurite (and his horse, Silver, using one of its hidden skills for the first time), they’re able to defeat Arca-Vesta. Oh, and fun fact: Azurite is actually the Princess of Altair. OH MY GOD I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING (sarcasm).

So, this volume… I knew that this was inevitable, but here it is: the first volume to contain nothing but side stories. Normally, in something like SAO or Overlord, this feels like the author saying, “Hi, I don’t actually know what the plot moving forward is going to be, so here’s some crap to tide you over,” and it ends up being equatable to the filler arcs of anime of old. But Dendro has proven its side stories to be not just wholly entertaining, but also essential for the overarching plot.

This volume has two types of chapters, episodes and side stories, and both are important. Ray begins his juggling performance, with college and Dendro as the balls. We also get to see Gerbera’s character arc progress down in the gaol with Sechs Wurfel, the King of Crime. Plus, this volume introduces two new and incredibly rare types of Embryos.

There are several chapters, but I need to focus on the one that isn’t like the others: Pallid Pages Part One. In it, we get some Hugo action for the first time since Franklin’s Game IIRC. He ends up getting caught up in a MacGuffin fetch quest, with a strange lady named AR-I-CA, that appears to be a setup for possibly the next big arc. AR-I-CA is some wild bi lady who has what is perhaps the most broken Embryo thus far, and she’s a real hoot.

The one issue with this volume is that we get to see at least a taste of every region in Dendro, except for the one that they’ve been teasing since volume 1: Legendaria. To add salt to the wound, we still don’t get to meet Ray and Shu’s superhuman sister.

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Verdict: 8.5/10

Like DanMachi, Dendro knows how to make really enjoyable side stories that are actually plot relevant. While I’m so ready for what happens next, the author stated in the afterword that volume 11 is just gonna be Shu’s fight with Gloria. Sure, it’ll be really cool to see the battle that everyone keeps talking about ad nauseam since volume 1, but man… I rrrrrreally wanna know what happens next!

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Anime Reaction Prediction: Heavily Criticized, but Popular

You know that the SAO critics are gonna hit the Dendro anime like trucks, and there’s no stopping them, especially if it airs on Crunchyroll, where the shows that cause the major hubbub normally end up. Also, LN fans, like myself, will notice everything wrong with it (which looks to be a lot), and characters like Gouz-Maise will likely be marred by bad CG. However, since Dendro is one of the better of its ilk out there, SAO fans will probably eat it like Nemesis eats, period, regardless of the production issues it inevitably will have and the criticism it will inevitably receive. Of course, since there will be stuff like the new season of Haikyuu!! and Quintuplets airing during the same season, it might not get that much recognition (which, to preserve the sanctity of the source material, would be good).

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Overview (Volumes 1-11)

Cover of volume 1

What happens when you read a story that cares more about its characters than its narrative, but YOU end up caring more for its narrative than its characters? Well, for me, that’s how I feel with the immensely popular and subversive Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, published in English by Yen Press. Even after eleven volumes, I am just at odds with this.

As much as I enjoy the story, I must preface this by vehemently saying that this is NO Steins;Gate. Steins;Gate was- and still is- a brilliant sci-fi thriller with weird characters, fascinating mechanics and powerful tension building. Why did I mention Steins;Gate? Well, that’s because our protagonist, Subaru Natsuki, is sent to an alternate world. But instead of being overpowered, all he can do is repeat events within a set time frame by dying and respawning, with a power called Return by Death. His incentive to actually use it is to help a cute waifu named Emilia (Oh Emilia…). Hence, the Steins;Gate comparison that I’m pretty sure EVERYONE’S made.

Anyhow, with a premise like this, there is plenty of time for the amazing and mature (and not at all try-hard) sensations of torture and despair, since- after all- our boy Subaru must retry the same events several times. Back when I had started this series, a year before I got into the superior Steins;Gate, I thought that this was a brilliant idea.

In execution, there is a rather big flaw. It’s not so much at the beginning, but the Return by Death premise has more and more come off as a devious plot to pad out the narrative to me. Not that there aren’t arcs where we gain valuable information about the world (such as the agonizingly long one that spans volumes 5-9), but a lot of times, the deaths of Subaru are really cheap. Oh, you didn’t know about this serial killer running around town? Sorry, die and try again. At least in Steins;Gate, it was  obvious what points in the story caused the conflict to fester, but here it’s basically like playing an old-time videogame: Keep dying over and over again until you have the whole thing memorized.

I guess I’m not being fair because the two series’ have vastly different plot structure, but it’s just that Re:ZERO does seriously drag on. The worst example so far is having an entire mid-boss fight across ALL of volume 7, then when you think everything is resolved in volume 8, suddenly it throws in an extra wrench just to kill Subaru again and drag the arc a whole extra volume. 

But when Re:ZERO actually feels like firing on all cylinders, it is a real pleasure to read. Well, at least in terms of the overarching plot. The first nine volumes are very psychological, and cover a theme that’s very unconventional for isekai. After that… well, I’ve only read two volumes of what I call the “season 2 material”, but it’s definitely a LOT different (but still really slow).

But as great as a plot can be, the cast ends up having a more lasting impression in most cases, especially in a character study like this. The characters of Re:ZERO are often a subject of very long and very heated debates. For me, I’m either in the middle with them or I don’t care about them whatsoever. 

Subaru is okay. Sometimes. He has great character development (though it’s slow, like everything else), and there are times when he exudes some genuine badassery. But for the most part, he’s naive and annoying. The others don’t fare much better. Emilia is the textbook “perfect girl”, and like the textbook “perfect girl”, she has the fatal flaw of no substance whatsoever. She SOMETIMES has interesting interactions with Subaru, but those are few and far between. 

Besterestereresteresteresterest Girl Rem is… well… not the best. She is the best, relatively speaking (within Re:ZERO itself), but I feel like she gets too much credit. To make another Steins;Gate comparison, she’s basically an inferior Kurisu but with a morning star.

The others aren’t  worth discussing in depth. Ram only exists to mispronounce Subaru’s name, at least for the first couple of arcs, which stops being funny after a while. Roswall is cool, but he goes out of his way to contribute as little to the plot as possible, and even consistently manages to mar its progress. There are many other characters, but I won’t mention them due to spoilers. I will say that the antagonists have been interesting so far, though. In fact, I’ve basically been continuing this series just to behold the main antagonist whom they’ve been building up to since volume 1. But in all honesty, it’s a BIG problem when a primarily character-driven story has such forgettable characters. It’s one thing if you can give all their motivations the proper context so that it actually makes sense in some way, but if your reader is so bored that they won’t be able to appreciate it because they’ll probably have drifted off to sleep, then it kind ends up preaching to the choir. I even have notes that I always use for reference in any non-manga material I read, and I’ve rarely had to refer back to them as often as I had to for Re:ZERO. You gotta be REALLY sensitive in order to grow as attached to them as you’re expected to.

The art is very visually pleasing. The girls are all drawn in this cutesy-wutesy style, with very unique eyes and facial proportions compared to most anime girls, that likely serves to lure readers into a false sense of security before the sh** hits the fan (kinda doesn’t work anymore now that the series has gotten so notorious). The illustrations convey a lot of emotion in each given scene, whether it’s just a girl being cute or someone (namely Subaru) breaking down in despair.

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Verdict: 8/10

Overall, Re:ZERO is nonetheless a great LN. Better than most on the market, at least. It’s slow in terms of plot progress, but it’s at least THERE as opposed to something like Overlord. I’ll definitely try to finish Re:ZERO for now. As far as recommendations go, while there are still a number of superior isekai series, Re:ZERO is still a great psychological drama with plenty of waifus.

No Game No Life Volume 9 and Cautious Hero Volume 2 Reviews

Cover of each book

Last time on No Game No Life, Sora and Shiro- through a series of events so complicated that even the author had trouble describing it well- manage to bring their impossible game against Jibril to a draw, and defeat the Old Deus. The Old Deus is christened by Sora as Holou, and she joins his harem. However, the volume ends with some very robot-y dialogue… Hm, I wonder who that could be? *cough* Ex Machina *cough*

This volume starts with Sora struggling to exploi- I mean- turn Holou into a pop idol that’ll make the people love them. Holou’s medieval dialogue combined with her third-person perspective and philosophical-speak make her a fun and adorable new character. She’s no Izuna or Jibril, but I still love her.

However, she doesn’t get the spotlight in this volume. As previously foreshadowed, a surviving unit of Ex Machina show up, and Sora is pushed to his limits as he must defend his most prized possession: HIS VIRGINITY. That’s right. These robots show up to straight up have sex with Sora. He doesn’t want that, so he must fight for his own sexual rights! (Thank goodness he isn’t female, or else this would make a lot of people absolutely LIVID)

This group of Ex Machina is technically one person, but two of the twelve are given individual names: a homosexual butler robot named Einzig, and a cute maid robot named Emir-Eins. Both are hilarious and make this volume just as fun as the previous ones.

But of course, as per usual, the game they play is absurdly convoluted and the multi-layered mind games once again go beyond suspension of disbelief. In Layman’s Terms: The events in this volume’s battle make no sense. While not as grandiose, or as long, as Holou’s fight, it’s still absurd. I love absurd, but the message boards of Dr. Stone and basically any battle shounen series show that absurd is not for everyone.

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Verdict: 9.3/10

This volume is perfectly good, however I am concerned with the future of this series. Wikipedia only lists one volume after this, published last year, while MAL lists the series as still ongoing. I know that series getting delayed isn’t uncommon, but I haven’t really heard any news about NGNL in particular. This is currently my favorite LN series of all time, but if I can’t actually finish it, that title will go to something else. Also, the mean cliffhanger ending of this volume, which seems to explicitly imply an endgame development, might never get resolved. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!


Last time on Cautious Hero, a goddess named Rista, is tasked with saving the S-Ranked world, Gaeabrande, from a Demon Lord McGee. She summons Seiya Ryuuguuin from the real world. He’s got great stats, but he’s too damn cautious. He immediately causes problems as he uses top-tier attacks on slimes (causing collateral damage in the process), crafting equipment out of Rista’s hair (without her permission), and pouring holy water on everyone (in case they’re undead enemies). And after every accomplishment, he goes back to the gods’ realm to train (and push other gods to the brink of exhaustion). But hey, he’s already defeated TWO of the Final Boss’ direct subordinates. Afterwards, two dragon kids, named Mash and Elulu, join his party. Naturally, they’re useless. But when the dragon people try to sacrifice Elulu to form some Super-Holy-Dragon-Sword, Seiya puts a stop to it, not because he wants Elulu as a waifu, but because he needs her to carry his massive inventory of stuff that he might need. However, doing this supposedly costs him the ability to defeat the Final Boss, but I got a feeling that he’ll get by as is.

This volume introduces a number of new faces, including Rosalie, the daughter of an allegedly-super-powerful warrior who is also the emperor. She is the exact opposite of Seiya, i.e. a dumb, reckless brat. This creates some interesting interactions between her and Seiya.

Speaking of Seiya, he gets even more training in this volume, this time from the archery goddess, Mitis. While that goes in… a direction, Mash and Elulu end up training, and obtain more abilities that might actually allow them to contribute to battle. However, I still find their personalities to be pretty boring. Valkyrie also gets some screentime, and further cements herself as the Best Girl of the series, but alas, her time spent is pretty short despite her presence on the volume’s cover. Cerceus and Adenela, the gods Seiya trained under last time, have changed a LOT in this volume; with the former being reduced to making cakes for a living and the latter becoming a crazy yandere.

But man oh man… that climax. We get to see Seiya’s backstory here, and I honestly feel kind of mixed about it. It makes him very reminiscent of generic isekai protagonists… but like I said in my previous review, Cautious Hero isn’t about subverting isekai tropes, but following them exrtra-stupid-hardcore. Although the volume ends on a good note, establishing the premise of the second arc, this development will greatly affect your outlook on the entire series as a whole.

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Verdict: 9.25/10

Although I didn’t enjoy this volume of Cautious Hero as much as the previous one due to the more serious tone, the series is still proving to be a helluva lot better than most isekai on the market. But seriously, if you didn’t like Seiya in the first volume, then just give up, because he only gets more paranoid from here.

The Thickety Full Series Review

Covers of all four books

Have you ever read a YA novel, like… Daughter of Smoke and Bone, for instance, that promised to be super dark and angsty with a badass, proactive protagonist, and then suddenly broke that promise like Link smashing an urn in somebody’s house? Well, I had that experience with the aforementioned novel and many others. Astonishingly enough, The Thickety, a children’s book series published by Harper Collins and written by J.A. White, is angstier than most YA authors could dream of writing. And here, I’ll detail why.

In the series’ opener, The Thickety: A Path Begins, Kara Westfall’s mother gets burnt alive for allegedly being a witch. Good ol’ Disney formula. However, village chief Fen’de Stone made a good call, for Kara’s mom actually WAS a witch. And one day, Kara finds her mom’s old grimoire, and it enables her to manipulate creatures from the forbidden forest known as the Thickety, which is the home of Sordyr, who is some tree demon man. The catch is that not only does she have to keep it a secret from everyone, but it also eats away at her soul for every spell she uses. Lovely.

While this sounds like a generic YA power fantasy, The Thickety is executed exceptionally well. The big thing is how the premise of the grimoire system is handled. Throughout the first book, you see firsthand what happens when you cast a grimoire’s Last Spell (which, spoilers, is something you don’t want to do). To compare The Thickety to Amulet, a similarly angsty book series which I didn’t like, that graphic novel- at least the portion that I read- never showed any visible consequences of Emily’s using the Amulet besides one other guy turning into a big monster thing. However, the scene was very unceremonious and the Amulet itself was never contextualized well enough to define any prerequisites for when it “takes you over” or whatever. Furthermore, Emily- like the Mary Sue that she was- seemed able to fend off the temptations ridiculously easily. Even if Emily might get taken over by the Amulet further down the road, Kara really struggles against the grimoire right out of the gate, and White’s writing talent shows that in full force. 

The start of A Path Begins is rather slow, as is with most book series. Fortunately, once things escalate with the grimoire, it gets really intense and really scary. I was impressed by how disturbing some of the imagery is given the target demographic. And it only gets crazier in book two, The Whispering Trees, which is spent inside the titular Thickety itself.

The cast of The Thickety is its weakest aspect, but it’s by no means bad. Kara is a pretty generic YA protagonist, but fortunately, she’s not quite a Mary Sue. She actually has to deal with the consequences of the grimoire and her decisions. She’s an intentionally flawed heroine, but done right. And unlike most YA protags, she is actually able to kill in cold blood (gore warning, kids).

Taff, her younger brother, is my least favorite character by far. He’s the generic, rash and reckless adolescent male who goes through an underdog phase throughout the story. However, the aspect of him that I love- and probably the most important writing decision in the entire series- is simply him being Kara’s brother. With the male and female leads as siblings, there’s no romance! Her sisterly love for him feels more real than what most YA protagonists feel for their significant others, and without the cringey dialogues of those protagonists. There is Lucas, the designated childhood friend,  but White seems to have gone out of his way so that he and Kara never get to spend much time together. Depending on your tastes, that’s either a godlike breath of fresh air or the worst news ever.

The biggest problem with The Thickety is that it kind of falls apart at the end. No… that’s too harsh. It really kind of fractures a bit. As much as I praised Kara’s struggle with the grimoire, that issue ends up being resolved rather conveniently at the halfway point. And after that point, Kara ends up devolving into a more YA-like, Mary Sue brat, while Taff- of all people- ends up becoming the voice of reason (wow, after saying how much better than Amulet this is, it suddenly BECOMES Amulet). Also, due to the pacing of the books, a lot of the setpieces in the latter half of the story kind of get glossed over. It also falls for the typical modern fantasy trap of “Yeah, I can put in this thing that hadn’t been contextualized before because magic!” in the fourth and final book (including a decently inventive but nonetheless existent use of time travel).

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Final Verdict: 9/10

The Thickety, overall, is freaking incredible. Horrifying scenarios, tight pacing, and powerful prose bring an otherwise cardboard cutout fantasy series to life in full throttle. Although the author arguably cops out at the end, it’s nowhere near long enough for that portion to feel like a drag. At the very least, all plot threads get resolved in some way, which is something. I highly recommend it for someone who’s looking for fun, suspenseful, gritty fantasies.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Overview (Volumes 1-11)

How did this seemingly stupid series- titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (published in English by Yen Press)- utterly sweep me off my feet and win my heart?! It’s a silly ecchi series with an overpowered, self-insert protagonist has no grounds through which to actually be taken SERIOUSLY. Yet here we are, after eleven volumes, and DanMachi has become one of my favorite light novel series of all time.

DanMachi‘s premise is dirt simple. Bell Cranell, the self-insert boy, has moved to the Dungeon City of Orario to become an adventurer for the sole purpose of picking up girls. This little fart of an idea would somehow spread into a massive cloud that covers the light novel market and never goes away no matter how much you wash it.

The backbone that forms DanMachi is its worldbuilding, or rather, citybuilding. But hey, Orario alone has more engaging worldbuilding than most entire WORLDS in modern fantasy. This city is built on top of the Dungeon, a sprawling labyrinth full of monsters that are constantly birthed from inside its walls. It’s dangerous as heck. Prep work is everything when going into that place, and it shows in the series’ opener when Bell almost gets gutted by a Minotaur. 

Fortunately, people have the gods on their side. There are a myriad of gods who run little clubs called Familias, and they use a special power to record markings, called Falna, on their members’ backs. DanMachi runs on JRPG physics, and this is literally how they explain the existence of stats. The important thing to note is that characters can only gain stats by reporting to their god after gaining all the experience. There is a lot of depth to this system- including the rules and regulations regarding Familia themselves- and not letting you experience it all for yourself organically would be a disservice to DanMachi. Just note that it’s very intuitive and explained in a very engaging way compared to most other fantasy novels.

The city of Orario itself is insanely fascinating. The city has a lot of setpieces that help make it memorable. The best part is that it’s all introduced gradually; just when you think you’re familiar with the Orario, it throws you a curveball that hits you square in the bottom jaw.

But like in any city, the most important aspect of it is its people, which is my segue into discussing the large and amazing cast of DanMachi. Bell, as previously mentioned, is kind of a generic, “gotta-save-the-waifus” guy who has plot armor. However, due to the fantastic prose of the author, his nakama power actually feels like genuine accomplishments and moments of utter catharsis.

Meanwhile, we have Hestia. She’s one of the gods of Orario, and one of the worst in terms of social class. In fact, at the start of the series, Bell is the only member of her Familia! But not that far behind are Lily and Welf. Lily starts off as kind of damsel in distress, but her analytical nature makes her very resourceful when it comes to dungeon crawling. Welf is a blacksmith whose family is stained with tragedy. Naturally, both of these people enter spiritual awakenings when they meet up with Bell.

Outside of the main cast is a whole slew of important side characters. Notable characters include Eina, an elf who is charged with looking after Bell and making sure he doesn’t get killed. There is also Aiz Wallenstein, one of the strongest adventurers in Orario and Bell’s idol, as well as Freya, the goddess of beauty who is Bell’s stalker. The reason why someone like her is obsessed with Bell is actually contextualized as the narrative progresses. There are a ton of other characters but I won’t spoil them for you.

The art is the weakest aspect. It’s kind of bland and the character designs lack detail. When it comes to light novel art, I want more detail, mainly because they’re much more sparse, thus the illustrator has the time to make it stellar. But due to that sparseness, it’s not really an issue.

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Verdict: 9.25/10

DanMachi is a series that’s meant to ease you in and let your guard down before it goes for the jugular. It begins as a decent, light-hearted comedy fantasy, but starting from around volume 5, it becomes so much bigger and more intense than ever before. If you love fun fantasies that also have great worldbuilding, then I HIGHLY recommend DanMachi, provided that you can get used to some of its tropes.

WDW 2019 Highlights

Walt Disney World is my favorite place in the world. I’ve been going there with my family every year since 2013, and I’m still not tired of it. By this point, I’m pretty darn confident in knowing what’s what in the World. So, I figured that I’d have an annual blog series- off-schedule from the animu crap- where I post ten highlights, including pro-tips, on different aspects of each trip. All pictures in this blog were taken by me.

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1: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour

First on the list is an unforgettable guided tour of the Magic Kingdom. I always ignored tours because at this point, we we’re pretty darn good at knowing our way around the parks. However, this tour is all about Walt Disney and some of the OG Imagineers, plus tidbits and trivia about various attractions.

On this tour, we got a free ride on the Haunted Mansion (my first time on it. It was scary, but freaking lit), Small World, and the Carousel of Progress (which your group gets its own room). We also got to see the secret backside of the former (will not disclose contents, obviously). Marceline to Magic Kingdom is a fantastic tour that I highly recommend to Disney buffs. Just make sure it’s not your first time ever doing the Carousel, for it is almost impossible to pay attention to the show and the tour guide’s dialogue at the same time. Also, getting to go on rides with Cast Members is a great bonus.

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2: Fantasmic Dinner Package

This actually looked a lot better in person.

Fantasmic is a popular show at Walt Disney World, and one of the few reasons I go to my least favorite of the four parks, Hollywood Studios. While I don’t think the show is the greatest that they have to offer, the dinner package is an essential deal.

You get to eat at one of three restaurants in Studios, and obtain VIP tickets to the best seats in the stadium for Fantasmic. We went to Mama Melrose, one of my favorite restaurants on property. The spaghetti and meatballs is godlike, and honestly something I look forward to more than the show.

Every year I keep forgetting about these secret back-back-back row seats, right near the bathrooms and- most notably- the exit. I will probably elect to sit there in the future, even with the package. Hopefully, it actually is allowed, since they want to fill all 6,000 seats in the theater, and a package person sitting outside of the package area would screw things up….

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3: Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue

Walt Disney World is constantly evolving. With the new stuff coming to EPCOT, I’m willing to bet that most of next year’s entry will cover that area. However, some Disney experiences are timeless, and Fort Wilderness’ Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (which ended up inspiring my username) has, according to my dad, not changed much since 1981.

I already saw it last year, but it was so awesome that I had to see it again. The show is an hour of unrelenting chaos and comedy that you will never forget. The waiters slam buckets of delicious chicken and ribs onto your table like American footballs, and even get to dance onstage. 

The performers are some of the best on property, especially the crazy blonde girl. Be forewarned, though; there is a lot of audience interaction, especially the front. Fortunately, they know how to deal with shy guests, but I thankfully wasn’t chosen for anything all the same. 

Overall, Hoop-Dee-Doo is a dining experience that surpasses some of the best that the parks have to offer. I personally prefer dinner at Ohana, which is more low-key and has BEEF SKEWERS, but Hoop-Dee-Doo is still a must-see at least once in your lifetime (if you got the cash).

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4: The Edison

This is a restaurant in Disney Springs that I didn’t know about until planning for this trip (in my defense, that place opens like fifty new restaurants a day). We had basically reserved it because the actor who plays as our boy Eric in the Frozen Sing-Along at Hollywood Studios is sometimes works at the Edison. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there that day, but with food so damn good, I didn’t give a crap!

The Edison is a steampunk-styled restaurant on the West Side of Disney Springs. The interior is full of rotating gears and televisions playing clips of old Disney shorts and flat-out strange silent-era films from days of Yore.

Of course, a restaurant isn’t worth anything if it’s food is crap, and fortunately, the food at the Edison is on a higher plane of existence. I had an Edison Burger with most of the toppings on the side, and it immediately became my new favorite burger of all time. The meat in the burger is a fine blend of several meats, and it’s normally supposed to be rare, sought out, and expensive. However, our meal here was one of the cheapest on property (relatively speaking), once again proving that Disney’s stuff is NOT overpriced. The Edison is a must-eat for those who want fantastic food at a modest price.

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5: The Wonderful World of Animation

This is the new projection show that serves as a pre-show to Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular in Hollywood Studios. Unpopular opinion: I think it’s better than the Star Wars one. I only watched Star Wars because we got the VIP passes for the show.

The Wonderful World of Animation begins with the intro to the classic Mickey Short, Mickey’s Gala Premiere, and goes on a massive montage of EVERY Disney animated film. That includes the cult classics, like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, and- a whole section dedicated to- The Emperor’s Motherf***ing New Groove. Yep. You’re already booking your trip right now, aren’t you? 

This show has clips all over the Chinese theater and the two walls on either side, so multiple viewings are a must. I at least managed to snag a number of photos so I can actually see what was actually shown at the time.

Overall, it’s a phenomenal new show that I recommend going to Studios for the sole purpose of seeing. I suggest buying a Park Hopper for that day at least.

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6: The EPCOT Experience

This entry is not really a highlight, however I still want to write about it because the EPCOT Experience is a circle-vision showcase of attractions coming to EPCOT within the next two years. So, I want to speculate about each one of them here.

The first section I walked into was for an attraction called the Journey of Water. This one- be it a ride or a whole new section of the park- looks like it will use assets from Moana to educate guests on the history and importance of water in human civilization. I almost cried listening to the voice of Best Mom Gramma Tala narrating the whole thing, so I can only imagine what the actual attraction will be like.

Next was Digital City. Based on the design, it seems to be based off of the setting of Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet, but it wasn’t explicit. Almost no information about this area is actually presented, other than it being a city of play areas. Hopefully it’ll have more than that (but if it doesn’t, adults better be allowed to play, too).

The new Marvel attraction has been known for a while now. This section at the exhibit starts with a message from some Romulon ambassador before getting hijacked by someone’s Sonic the Hedgehog OC (sorry if I offended you, but as stated I my 5 Worlds review, I have no knowledge nor interest in the MCU). No other information about the Marvel thing is given, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a thrill ride of some sort. Regardless of how good it ends up being, I will probably ignore it entirely. I feel like it’s something that will be good to the diehard fans of Marvel, but will alienate casual visitors, similar to how Galaxy’s Edge does IMO. But you know what, it’s too soon to know for sure.

Next was the new version of the golf ball ride, called Spaceship Earth: Our Shared Story. This one merely shows photos of various people from different ethnicities before ending with the title dropping onto the screen. I have no idea if it’s going to completely remove the original story of human civilization or not, but I’ll have faith in this attraction.

Three new additions care coming to World Showcase, the first of which is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in France. This one has also been known for a while, and it looks really fun but scary. It seems that riders will be in rat-themed cars that will make numerous sharp turns as they dodge obstacles and attacks from Chef Mini-Me in the kitchen of Jacques Cousteau. In the UK will be a Mary Poppins ride. I have no idea which Mary Poppins will be used, but it should be pretty lit. Also known for a while is a new, circle-vision China show. For all intents and purposes, it’ll probably be better than its predecessor. But due to my jealousy of C-pop and K-pop getting so easily accepted by Western culture over J-pop, I will be abstaining from this one out of spite.

The EPCOT Experience ends with a bang by showing a preview of the new night show to replace Illuminations (the EPCOT Forever event is merely a temporary show, similar to the Jungle Book show for Rivers of Light). All that this part of the exhibit does is simply full blast iconic tracks from several Disney animated features, somehow perfectly mixed so that it doesn’t sound jarring, before ending with a simple title drop of EPCOT’s name in a nebulous void of outer space. Immediately, this worried me, as the new Rivers of Light: We Are One was the first outright disappointment I felt in Disney, and actually preferred an older show over the new one, specifically for adding assets from Disney animated features to it. The timing and order of each section destroyed Joe Rohde’s simple and profound message, and hopefully they’ll update it to better incorporate the Lion King and Brother Bear stuff in the future. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that this new show in EPCOT will be made completely from scratch, and actually be designed to incorporate the Disney movie elements from the outset.

EPCOT has become arguably my favorite of the four parks, and if the new coming attractions are all up to snuff, then EPCOT will be my absolute favorite. The guys at Disney have been evolving Walt Disney World for almost fifty years, so they got a pretty good track record for this kind of stuff.

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7: Boardwalk Resort

This is where we stayed on this trip. We had actually visited it once, on our first trip in 2013, because we went to the minigolf at the Swan and traveled through it to reach EPCOT. I was so enchanted by the resort’s quaintness, and convenient access to TWO of the parks, that I had to convince my family to book it for a future trip.

It took six years. By some miracle, we got to stay in a DVC room this year, and it was heavenly. I got a futon. But regardless, the resort itself is why the Boardwalk is on the list.

The Boardwalk is a quaint waterside town by day, and a bustling circus of funnel cakes and entertainment at night. It was at a night spent watching Coco at this resort that they were convinced to book it for this year. The performers are also great. There are at least three: a juggler, a hoop girl, and a sassy jester who has kids volunteer in fun parlor tricks (at his expense).

The Boardwalk also has- along with the usual resort gift shop- the Wyland Art Gallery. This gallery contains gorgeous (and expensive) acrylic glass sculptures of ocean creatures, plus breathtaking paintings of ocean scenes, and Disney stuff.

The place has tons of restaurants. For quick service, there are two food stands, a little window that serves great pizzas, and the convenient Boardwalk Bakery and Ample Hills Creamery. Out of the table services there, I’ve only eaten at Trattoria Al Forno, specifically the Bon Voyage Character Breakfast, and that was one of my favorite parts of last year’s trip. 

I highly recommend staying at the Boardwalk- or the nearby Yacht Club, Beach Club, Swan, or Dolphin resorts for easy access to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Be forewarned, however, that they are all Deluxe tier, and will more or less fire a shotgun, point-blank, into your wallet. 

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8: Toledo

This restaurant opened along with the new Gran Torin- I mean- Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs. With it’s massive menu, and scenic view of TWO parks, we had to get a reservation. Unfortunately, it had rained leading up to the meal, leaving the balcony unusable for us, causing us to miss the exclusive views of the fireworks from Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. 

However, that didn’t matter as the food was fantastic as usual. I split the amazing, 28 ounce Chuleton ribeye steak with a friend. The menu has a LOT of variety, so there’s no excuse to not give it a whirl (except money of course).

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9: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

I had attended one other Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party before this year’s. And it sucked. While the shows at the castle courtyard were truly beyond top tier, the crowds were so bad that it almost offset the greatness of those shows. But despite that, my party decided to attend the event again.

And it rocked. For some reason, the crowds were substantially lower. I don’t know if it’s because more people wanted to meet characters and trick-or-treat, or the fact that I didn’t attend the one on Halloween Day, but I’m not complaining.

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular is still great. I hadn’t seen the movie the previous time, so this year I took the time to see it at our resort’s Movie Under the Stars. Big mistake. Hocus Pocus itself sucks. While Bette Midler was pretty great, she didn’t have enough screentime to offset the nineties cringe. Fortunately, that didn’t change how I felt about the stage show.

The Boo-to-You Parade hasn’t changed as far as I remember. The parade isn’t really about massive and elaborate floats, like with the Festival of Fantasy Parade, but about all the absurdly rare characters that you didn’t know existed within Disney Parks. This parade includes but is not limited to: Pain and Panic, Opera Chicken, and Bowler Hat Guy.

The real reason I came to this party was for the new Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Fireworks. And boy, were they lit. As expected of Disney, they were a lot better than their predecessor, Hallowishes. This one had more of a core narrative, as it focused on Mickey and Co. wandering through a haunted house. This show also has a really well-built animatronic Jack Skellington that I did not expect to appear at all. While I’d normally see fireworks from the train station, I highly recommend getting a spot pretty close to the castle just for that Skellington goodness.

With this new show, the Christmas Party Fireworks are now in a major need of an update. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon, maybe in time for the 50th anniversary! 

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10: JAPAAAAAAAAN

The Walt Disney Company is perhaps the only team that is actually able to celebrate diversity without being… well, you know… the Internet, and I applaud them for it (it’s also pretty ironic given THAT scene in Peter Pan). EPCOT World Showcase, like the rest of Walt Disney World, is full to the brim with people from all walks of life, and those people aren’t at each other’s throats.

And obviously, Japan is my favorite pavilion. Since this was the first year I dedicated myself to studying Japanese culture, I actually bought merch outside the anime section. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much merch that was symbolic of their culture itself as there was just general Japanese motifs on various apparels. 

We had lunch at Teppan Edo one day. I had eaten there once before, but I handled it poorly because I only knew about saying “Itadakimasu” before eating the meal, but not “Gouchisou-sama deshita” at the end. OOPS. I now look back on that day, thinking that those cute girls working there felt miffed that the shy American boy knew only the first step. 

I was prepared to say both phrases this time. However, our chef was so cute and talented that I clammed up. I was at least able to eat my whole meal with chopsticks in my own special way (although the Miso Soup was so rich that I made the same face that Asirpa did in Golden Kamuy), as well as discover a new favorite flavor of ice cream: green tea! I was also the only one who spoke an order in the Japanese name (which, honestly, anyone could’ve done since it’s written in romanji on the freaking menu). I’m definitely going to need to go back and do everything right this time.

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So that’s that for this blog entry. As far as Disney stuff goes, I’ll try to post a review of The Little Mermaid Live, The Imagineering Story, and Frozen 2 in the near future (no promises, though!). But of course, I’ll still be mainly focusing on light novels and stuff!

Overlord VS TenSura VS So I’m a Spider, So What?

Cover of each book's first volume

Prior to starting this blog, I had already written three separate reviews for Overlord, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, and So I’m a Spider, So What?, all of which are published in English by Yen Press. However, I realized that my feelings regarding all three of these are very similar. So, in this unusual blog entry, I’m going to review all three of them… simultaneously. For reference, I have read the following volumes at this point; 10 for Overlord, 6 for TenSura, and 6 for Spider.

All three try to subvert modern isekai conventions, and whether or not they succeed changes depending on who you talk to. The main characters of each are transported to the series’ respective worlds in unusual forms: Overlord‘s Momonga in the form of his lich-like avatar from a dead MMO, TenSura’s salaryman who gets named Rimuru upon his reincarnation as a slime, and Spider‘s unnamed main protagonist in the form of a spider. All three end up revolving around these characters exploring their worlds and becoming stronger over time. 

On paper, they have their own satisfying, JRPG-like progression system, where you feel genuinely cathartic once they have entire nations at their whim. But in practice, it doesn’t work out so well. In Overlord, Momonga- a.k.a. Ainz’s- avatar is already at maximum power, and all the custom monsters that his minions created are already devoted to him with every fiber of their being. The problem is that the author tries to have Ainz in a struggle of ideals, where he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but also doesn’t want to disappoint his minions. The latter is a moot point (because his minions already love him no matter what), and the former is kind of toggled on and off like a switch. As often as he tries to be “diplomatic” to gain new allies, he mostly ends up just brute forcing it and killing people violently and theatrically in spite of himself.

TenSura is similar, but more light-hearted. Rimuru at least has more interesting powers in that he absorbs creatures and learns their abilities, but when he gains the ability to assume a human shape, he uses it all the time and defeats the purpose of the Slime gimmick. In the end, though, the light-hearted nature of TenSura backfires. Rimuru is written as an utter saint and is never questioned when he murders in cold blood; at least Overlord TRIED to have an existential crisis, as moot as it was given its context.

So I’m a Spider, So What? had the best potential. The main character is reincarnated in a dungeon filled with powerful enemies that could kill her in one hit. As a result, she has to use clever strategies and status attacks to chip away at big enemies’ HP and kill them very unceremoniously. By the time the second arc starts, she conforms to the OP protagonist trope, but it feels like she earned it.

My ultimate complaint with all three of these series is their characters. Ainz is likable when he’s a super badass, but that’s very rare. As cool-looking as his minions are, Shalltear is the only one whose company I enjoy. The rest of the characters in Overlord are villagers and warriors who end up on the receiving end of Ainz’s boot. They exist to have you sympathize with them in order to push the moral ambiguity angle, but the characters themselves are incredibly unremarkable. 

TenSura isn’t much better. The only character I liked is Milim, a character that shows up in volume 3, but- of course- tends to spend a lot of time offscreen, at least up to where I left off at volume 6. Everyone else is just as boring as Overlord, sometimes even more so.

Out of the characters in Spider, the titular protagonist is by far the best. Despite how her chapters are written in monologues, she has a sassy personality that makes Spider a joy to read. However… notice how I said “her chapters.” The story alternates between her and her classmates, who also got reincarnated. In particular, the human chapters focus on Shun, whose new name is Schlain. Schlain is a straight-up human, which defeats the subversiveness of the spider gimmick. He’s at least not overpowered, but that ends up turning him into a whiny YA protagonist who basically has to passively do what his reincarnated class teacher says. The others are almost worse. A male classmate (forgot his name) gets reincarnated as Katia, a girl, which seems like a ham-fisted attempt to comment on gender identity without actually commenting on gender identity (sort of like in Levithan’s Every Day, my second least favorite novel of all time). Hugo is one of the first major antagonists, and basically a clone of Seifer from Final Fantasy VIII. The biggest problem with these characters is that they are introduced poorly. The prologue immediately starts with the class getting blown up and reincarnated, thus you do not get to see any of what they were like prior. As a result, the story expects you to feel the emotions of Schlain as he sees his classmates’ new forms without ever seeing their original forms. If you have that level of sympathy, cool. I don’t.

The writing styles of these light novels are vastly different from each other. Overlord has a very poetic D&D quality to its writing. However, it only gets good when SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS. A lot of it is other kingdoms discussing various politics that you know mean nothing because Ainz is just gonna smash everything, and it bothers me so much. On the flipside, it makes the few good sequences feel cathartic. TenSura, however, is the most boring. Action scenes could be good, but go by quickly and unceremoniously, which sucks because the author is actually pretty good at building up to major fights, and it all goes to waste. I don’t need tension, especially not for isekai, but novels like Cautious Hero are able to be enjoyable despite having no tension thanks to straight-up great writing. Spider is polarizing to read, because it feels like it’s by two different writers. As previously discussed, the spider’s chapters are great, and Schlain’s are tedious beyond all reason. Most notably, Spider‘s plot is structured to where the spider’s events happen decades before Schlain’s, but it doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose. In fact, the structure almost backfires; we get what I presume to be a preview of the climax of the entire series at the end of volume 5, which makes everything in the subsequent volumes feel like padding since we all know how it’s going to unfold in the first place. Well… it’ll only be a problem if this thing publishes into the double digits.

Lastly, let’s compare the art. The illustrations for all three books are incredible, in their own unique ways. Personally, I think the illustrations of Overlord take the cake, though, as they are gloriously detailed and look almost hand-painted. Spider’s is a more vibrant take on Overlord’s, and TenSura’s is super charming and cartoony.

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Verdict: Overlord 7.65/10, TenSura 6.5/10, Spider 8/10

These three light novels have taken the community by storm over the years, and I personally don’t understand why. While I think So I’m a Spider, So What? is by far the best of them, it has its own glaring issues. Overlord and TenSura could’ve been really good, but their authors just seem to be at a crossroads with committing to the best ideas they had for them. I don’t think they’re the worst, but I think they are easily outclassed by other isekais that I’d recommend, like Cautious Hero, Torture Princess, and Otherside Picnic. If you enjoy power fantasies in general, then there wouldn’t be any harm in giving them a try.

There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One Myself! Volume 1 Review

Cover of volume 1

There are SO MANY isekais out there, that it can become a reflex to assume that every new light novel is automatically an isekai. I read through the first chapter of There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One Myself!, published in English by J-Novel Club, constantly asking, “So when does this guy get sent to another world?”, just to realize that it’s set in THIS world. Earth? What’s that?

Stuck in our own crap-ass world, Sago Kinemitsu suddenly develops telekinetic powers. But it kind of sucks;  he’s only able to lift a lousy potato chip. However, after several miserable years of his unremarkable life, his abilities get stronger and stronger, but now he’s just a salaryman with “phenomenal cosmic power, an itty-bitty living space,” and no big bads to save the world from. So, he decides to form his own organization to fight an evil menace of his own creation (confusing enough?), and he gets help from the rich and busty Shiori Kaburagi.

So, bizarrely enough, this is a chuunibyou slice-of-life comedy with a rare occurrence of adult main protagonists. However, unlike most chuunibyou, these two actually have powers (well, technically, Shiori gets hers later). As previously discussed, the whole thing is about forming an evil-fighting organization, and then later forming the enemies of said organization, all for the sake of these two living out their own power fantasy, or more specifically, allowing kids to live out their own power fantasy.

With this being a slice-of-life, the main appeal is the cast. Sago, while having a lot of funny dialogue, is kind of a generic mid-life crisis guy. Best Girl Shiori, on the other hand, is great. While she comes off as a hoity-toity, “ara-ara” type, she’s actually a serious chuunibyou, with stacks of research papers on Magical Girls and anime superpowers.

Later in the volume, they gain some recruits. Touka Hasumi is a petite girl who gains fire abilities, but her most interesting trait is that she’s a Buddhism extremist. She’s constantly chanting sutras while also carving the image of Buddha on rocks. It’s pretty good timing that I started reading this while studying Buddhism, among other things. In addition to her is Shouto Takahashi, my least favorite character. He’s the designated cocky brat, who gains ice abilities. Fortunately, Sago at least has his own ways of snapping the kid into shape. Lastly is Ig… whom I won’t say anything about because of spoilers. Just know that she exists.

If there’s any real flaw with Secret Organization, it’s in the exposition-heavy writing. The reason being that there’s a lot of stuff that happens over a ridiculously long course of time. So what’s better, that the author cut out the middleman, or show every single tedious step? 

On a final note, the art has a very manga-looking style. It definitely has a very Clip-Studio-y kind of vibe. However, our girl Shiori is the only one with an interesting enough character design to catch my interest.

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Verdict: 8.5/10

Secret Organization is looking to be an interesting change of pace in the light novel market. The thing that concerns me is that Sago seems to be limited when it comes to the scenarios that he can craft. The volume implies that the CIA will be getting involved, but there’s no telling where it’ll go from here. For now, Secret Organization is a perfectly solid series opener that puts a good twist on the deceptively abundant slice-of-life genre.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle First Impressions (Volumes 1-5)

Cover of volume 1

In this turbulent age of “gotta-go-fast-gotta-go-fast-gotta-go-faster-faster-faster-faster-faster-SonicX“, we all appreciate an opportunity to just lay down, cozy in bed, and sleep. The main character of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, published in English by Viz, clearly appreciates it, and not even being a hostage of the Demon King will stop her from accumulating a world record breakin’ quantity of Z’s!

The aforementioned main character is a deadpan, loli princess named Aurora Syalis Goodreste, and as discussed, she is the Demon King’s prisoner. However, she doesn’t really give a crap as long as she can nod off to sleep. But the castle isn’t really the best place to sleep, so she goes off in search of things to make her own accommodations. Simple.

When it comes to characters, Syalis herself seems to be the entire selling point of this manga. It doesn’t take long to ask yourself if Syalis is the demons’ prisoner, or the other way around. She ruthlessly rips and tears demons apart with a nifty pair of scissors, and ends up making quite a name for herself. And since she’s a hostage, the demons can’t really do much to her besides carry her back to her room. 

The other demons are perhaps the weakest aspect of the manga. Each and every single one of them, from a random mook, to the Demon King himself, basically play the straight men who react to all of Syalis’ actions. The interactions are entertaining, but they don’t get much personality themselves. If anything, you just end up liking them out of pity more than anything else.

The true charm of Sleepy Princess is in the art. Not only do the panels flow well, but the main character looks super adorable (which is the most important aspect, by far). A lot of the other demons, even the ones who show up for five seconds, have great designs as well. The manga also has a lot of videogame meta-humor, as dialogue boxes straight out of a retro JRPG pop up often when Syalis accomplishes tasks.

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Current Verdict: 8.5/10

Sleepy Princess is pretty darn good so far, but it’s another case where it could get boring if it runs for too long. Without any clearly defined story arcs, at least not yet, most chapters are self-contained and don’t have the continuity of other comedy manga, like Kaguya-sama. Nonetheless, it’s a great manga, with a great loli (always important), and I recommend it to anyone who wants a modern twist to those old-fangled fairytales.

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Anime Reception Prediction: Sleeper Hit (no pun intended)

I don’t know when the recently announced anime for Sleepy Princess is going to air, but when it does, it will probably be well-received. However, it could get overshadowed by whatever the “next big thing” is, especially if another battle shounen or isekai comes out that season.

Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen Volume 2 Review

Cover of volume 2

Last time on Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen, Kaito Sena is strangled to death by his father and summoned to another world in the body of a golem. He is forced to serve Elisabeth Le Fanu, a young girl who has killed a LOT of people, and must hunt thirteen powerful demons as punishment. After a fun frolic through a creepy guy’s slaughterhouse for kids, Kaito finds Hina, an autonomous doll that ends up joining the crew. Later, they fight a demon disguised as a corrupt clergyman, and encounter Elisabeth’s father, Vlad. When they go to Elisabeth’s old hometown to find him, they fight Elisabeth’s estranged nanny, Marianne. During the fight, Vlad captures Kaito, and says that he’ll summon Kaito’s dad to this world and allow him to torture the man if he abandons Elisabeth. Edgelord that he is, Kaito agrees. But when his dad is summoned, he sees a drunken old fart, and calls the deal off. Thanks to a teleportation sigil drawn on his torso, she appears in Vlad’s room and destroys him. Well, so much for the main antagonist!

Waiting for this volume was really hard for me. After all, so many other “edgy” series, like Elfen Lied and Goblin Slayer, had traumatizing openers that made it look as if they were going to be incredibly dark, only to wind up being light-hearted and boring. Torture Princess started out so elegantly angsty, but-

OH WHO AM I KIDDING?! THIS VOLUME WAS FREAKIN’ LIT!

The first question that would be raised is, “Well, we basically killed the final boss, Vlad and the Kaiser. So, what now?” Just because that guy was the strongest doesn’t mean he’s the final boss! In fact, a new Demon, the Grand King, lures Elisabeth and Co. into a trap that causes a mana-sapping affliction to be, well, afflicted on Elisabeth. However, the church waits for no one as she is still dispatched to, well, dispatch other Demons. KAITO, it’s your turn to protecc her!

And that’s exactly what happens. When investigating Vlad’s HQ for information on other Demons, Kaito pockets a strange orb that contains Vlad’s spirit. He colludes with Vlad and starts to learn magic, so that he can fight people on his own for a change. I can see him developing into an overpowered main protagonist…

When it comes to character development, Hina and Kaito are the ones in the spotlight this time. Their one-sided relationship gets tested thanks to Kaito’s new secret, plus we get some of 2nd Best Girl Hina’s presumably week-long backstory.

Other than that, the utter angst is still in full swing. As soon as I started this volume, with that flesh-coffin that had mangled up human arms for wings, I knew that this volume of Torture Princess would live up to its predecessor. However, it concerns me that the author could inevitably run out of ideas for terrifying situations… but we’ll cross that bridge (probably made out of the corpses of women and children) when we come to it!

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Verdict: 9/10

If you’re looking for an intellectual, subversive isekai that questions moral values and explores the inner recesses of people’s emotional insecurities, then Torture Princess isn’t for you. However, as long as it follows through with its exquisitely well-written angst and disturbing imagery to the bitter end, then it will remain one of my favorite light novel series of all time, just for the sheer entertainment value. With Kaito as a to-be-overpowered protagonist, his yandere girlfriend in Hina, and a waifu he must protecc in Elisabeth, this series may seem to be generic, but it’s incredibly enjoyable. As someone who’s been disappointed time and time again by “edgy” YA novels and stuff that just end up copping out for whatever reason, Torture Princess is a repugnant breath of fresh air! I still recommend this series to anyone who loves wanton violence and gore!