The Hero Is Overpowered But Overly Cautious Volume 4 Review

Last time on Cautious Hero, Rista and Seiya end up in Ixphoria, the SS Rank world that Seiya failed to save in a previous life. Rista opens a gate to make adjustments, but a werewolf breaks through. Adenela kills it, but it mutters something about having already left its mark. Seiya immediately heads to Ixphoria, saying “Everything’s going to be okay”. When they arrive, it turns out the werewolf’s attack left Seiya with amnesia, and a reckless personality. Rista manages to get him to hold back, then an old guy helps guide them to safety, where they encounter Braht, one of Seiya’s old buddies. After a bit of an argument, Seiya grabs a rusty sword and heads out to fight the boss, Bunogeos. Rista manages to turn the sword into a platinum sword, and Seiya is able to beat some of the enemies by using his high-level spells in ACTUAL combat. But Bunogeos shows up and captures them. Fortunately, Seiya is able to destroy the iron bars by headbutting them, and recovers his memory in the process. The refugees aren’t giving him a warm welcome, so Seiya beats them up (yep, he’s back alright). Unfortunately, he also hates Rista, because it was her fault that he couldn’t be perfectly prepared. He promises to defeat Bunogeos, so he changes his class to Jolly Piper, with Earth Mage as a secondary job. They sneak underground, and Seiya utilizes a makeshift spitball gun to take out the enemies. It’s super effective! They repeat this strat for a while, then seek out Bunogeos. Curiously enough, Seiya starts squealing like a pig while spying on Bunogeos. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to find a weakness before being detected, so they fight him head-on. But of course, Seiya learned the ability to change classes himself, and thus is able to make quick work of him, even when he tries to enter his second phase. When they head back to the spirit world, Seiya masters shape-shifting, turning himself into Bunogeos (the pig squealing was practice for this), and Rista into a fish beastkin. They head to Termine, where they shapeshift and join the beast squadron. Rista is sent to the former queen of Termine, Camilla (her mom), whom she is instructed to torture (she doesn’t though). The day of the ritual comes upon them, and Rista returns to her mom. However, Grandleon is there, holding a doll that Tiana (past Rista) made for her, and that’s what finally breaks her. Rista appraises it, and sees a memory of her past life. The queen is now about to be executed, and she interrupts Seiya’s ritual to get him to save her. And you know what, he decides to fight Grandleon on his own. It’s rough, but Seiya pushes his new Berserk skill to its utmost limits, and manages a narrow victory.

And guess what… there’s more where that came from! In this volume, the Machine Emperor Oxerio sends his machine corp to attack Termine. Seiya gets about as over-the-top as usual with his perfect preparedness, and disregards the public as he fortifies the city. But in addition to Oxerio, he has an evil sorceress named Celemonic to take care of in the latter half of the volume.

In fact, Seiya is more sadistic than ever. He genuinely trolls us- the readers- and shows complete disrespect towards literally everyone. When a disturbing secret regarding the killing machines is revealed, he doesn’t even bat an eye. Seriously, if you didn’t like Seiya before, then you’re only hurting yourself by continuing to put up with him. What do you think about Seiya at this point? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

As far as newcomers are concerned, we get introduced to a rogue killing machine named Kiriko, who has a kindhearted personality. There’s also the introduction of yet another goddess who continues to follow the trend of being an eccentric weirdo. As far as development of existing characters is concerned, everyone is more-or-less the same. You know the saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I must still praise the author for not making the series so repetitive despite how simple it is. Seiya goes above and beyond, at one point showing us he doesn’t even need to be conscious in order to beat back his enemies. The solutions to problems get more over-the-top and creative than ever! But a seasoned reader like myself should know that this consistent rate in quality is likely too good to be true.

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Verdict: 9/10

Cautious Hero is on fire, as always. Bu according to the afterword, the Ixphoria Arc ends next volume. MyAnimeList still says this series is ongoing, but what could possibly happen after this? Well, I suppose the only solution is to wait and find out! 

There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One Myself! Volume 2 Review

Last time on There Was No Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!) so I Made One Myself!, Kimemitsu Sago gains some phenomenal cosmic power. He decides to use those powers to form both a crime-fighting organization, as well as said organization’s enemies, which he fashions out of telekinetically manipulated water. He meets up with a rich chuunibyou named Shiori Kubaragi, and she helps fund the project. They name their group Amaterasu, and set themselves up in a bar that they buy and name Ama-no-Iwato. They recruit the Buddhist fanatic Touka Hasumi, the cocky Shouta Takahasi, and a monkey. After a battle against a large water blob of Sago’s creation, the CIA catches wind of what’s going on…

…as well as some aliens. Specifically, one alien, named Lonalia Linalia Baba-Nyan. Despite her name, she is neither a cat nor an old lady; she’s a straight-up elf loli. On her world, demon Lord’s are an endangered species, and she yearns to fight a real calamity-type one instead. So, she goes to our world and catches wind of Shouta fighting a water blob, and ends up getting roped into the whole thing.

The big irony with her character is that, despite being a fantasy person, Earth’s lack of magic makes her unable to actually do anything magical in the first place. It really showcases how cynical modern society is (or maybe it’s just a way to keep the series relatively grounded). 

In other news, the occult is experiencing a big boom thanks to Sago, with Tokyo’s population getting a big boost due to tourists. The police and other investigative organizations are getting involved too, and it naturally becomes a big issue for him.

Unfortunately, Secret Organization seems to still be stuck on the exposition-heavy writing. Once again, words- and not action- govern the progression of the plot, making it still pretty tedious to read. It’s a real shame, considering that the actual scenes, as opposed to the montages, are where the story is at its best.

At the end of the volume is another episode with Nicolas Stallone, the CIA agent from before. I assume that his role will be limited to these bonus chapters, until he ends up getting roped into the main story later. It just stinks that his sections are the most tedious of all.

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Verdict: 7.5/10

There is some charm to Secret Organization, but in execution, it’s really tedious. Like I said in my Ascendance of a Bookworm post, I don’t have the time or money to read just anything. I gotta pick and choose what I want the most, and sadly, I might have to abandon Secret Organization someday. But hey, if you love it, more power to you.

Combatants Will Be Dispatched! Volume 2 Review

Last time on Combatants Will be Dispatched!, underpaid Kisaragi employee Agent Six is sent as a spy to a fantasy world, so that the company itself can conquer it later. He goes with a sassy pretty-girl android named Alice, and they set up camp in the world. They meet the gropable royal knight, Snow (who isn’t as morally correct as she seems), along with the princess, Tillis. Six and Alice get paired up with a chaotic chimera named Rose, and a wheelchair-riding weirdo named Grimm (but hey, both are cute girls). The Demon Lord’s army attacks, but Six manages to hold them off easily, thanks to Kisaragi technology (patent pending)! However, doing so cost him too many Evil Points, and if he goes back home now, he’s in for a rude awakening from his supervisors. So, he chooses to stay (and grope Snow some more). 

After a brief chapter to re-acquaint us with the girls, we find that the town is running short on water, and they can’t get any new water because Six changed the rain machine’s password to something lewd. Fortunately, the neighboring kingdom of Toris has some water crystals that Tillis is going to negotiate for. The problem is that the prince of that kingdom is a real perv, so Six and the others are to accompany her. 

They plan to have Snow flirt with him so they can catch him being a perv. But of course, Snow’s a greedy woman, and she intends to fully get with the prince. It really showcases what a horrible person she is, and it’s hilarious (what’s even more hilarious is that the guy denies her advances). All this is just the beginning of the antics in this volume!

New Kisaragi agents transfer to this world from Earth, but we only get introduced to one of them, Tiger Man. He’s a grrrrrrrreat character whom I want to see more of, but he seems to be someone who’ll only pop up once in a while. We get introduced to a new Demon named Russell, but he’s perhaps the least interesting character so far. At this juncture, Combatants‘ biggest issue is introducing lovable characters other than those in the main group, especially compared to existing volumes of Konosuba, such as the tenth one, which made Iris of all people into a new Best Girl.

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Verdict: 8.75/10

This is a great volume of Combatants Will Be Dispatched!, but whether or not it’ll stand up to Konosuba is still up in the air. In the afterword, the author implies that our protagonists will be more heroic, which would admittedly be kind of a cop out, especially since scummy protagonist’s are this guy’s forte. I guess we won’t know until the next volume drops!

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.

The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautious Volume 1 Review

Cover of volume 1

Isekai has fallen into a rut of tropes lately, so naturally the way to make isekai great is to subvert the crap out of those tropes. For example, Ascendance of a Bookworm, and Otherside Picnic. However, one relatively recent isekai, The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautious (short version, Cautious Hero), conforms to isekai tropes so hard that it implodes and ends up subverting them in its own unique way!

In the realm of the gods, a goddess named Ristarte is charged with summoning a hero to save a world from a generic evil force. She leafs through the resumes of some average Joes when she comes across Seiya Ryuuguuin, who has great stats but a cautious personality. She summons him because his cautiousness shouldn’t at all be a problem. The story, uniquely enough, is told through the perspective of Rista, so you get to experience the cringe-inducing hilarity of Seiya alongside her.

The selling point of Cautious Hero revolves entirely around our cautious Best Boy Seiya. His personality makes him super untrusting and condescending towards others, like an edgelord without the edgelordiness! Watching his interactions with the other characters is what makes this light novel so appealing. Seiya follows through on his exploits. After every battle, he heads back to the gods’ realm to train. He also makes three of every piece of equipment, just in case (sometimes, even breaking to Rista’s room and pulling out her hair to craft better kits). He uses top-tier magic against slimes, and even against the dead bodies of enemies (just in case they regenerate). This causes him to destroy the towns he’s supposed to have saved in the first place, which he funnily enough doesn’t care about. The most important aspect of Seiya is his catchphrase, translated by Yen Press as “I’m perfectly prepared.” I’m not gonna lie, but I literally started fangushing at one point with this catchphrase, and it’s only volume 1. I love this meme and I hope it stays forever.

The only real issue (other than the usual stuff that isekai’s critics would hate) is that as a result of Seiya’s indisputable greatness, almost everyone else gets the shaft, which is a shame because a lot of other characters are also great. Rista is a good girl and a great audience surrogate with a lot of personality. We see some of the other gods, and out of all of them, Valkyrie has the most potential (plus she’s on the cover of volume 2, so I know that there’s more with her). Mash and Elulu, two companions Seiya recruits, are the blandest characters by far, but it’s on purpose because they literally exist just to carry Seiya’s massive inventory.

The art in Cautious Hero is great. The illustrator really captures the characters’ personalities in their facial expressions, which is important for a parody series such as this.

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Verdict: 9.5/10

Sorry, for the short blog, but this series is as simple as a retro JRPG. You know the old phrase: “Less is more.” A simple twist to something that’s been done a million times breathes new life into the isekai genre with Cautious Hero. If it continues like this, it will become one of my favorite light novel series of all time.

Sadly, the anime is going to air six episodes by the next volume release, more than enough to adapt the first two volumes and beyond, so being a “I-was-a-fan-before-it-was-cool” hipster isn’t gonna last for much longer. But nonetheless, reading Cautious Hero is worth it at any time, and it will have you perfectly prepared for the days ahead.