Fly Me to the Moon, Vol. 1

Book Info

Fly Me to the Moon, Vol. 1
  • Format: manga
  • Author: Kenjiro Hata
  • Translator: John Werry
  • Letter: Evan Waldinger
  • Publisher: Viz Media

Review

Where many romance stories end with the confession, Fly Me to the Moon makes an different choice: it starts there. We only get a brief introduction to the main characters, Nasa Yuzaki and Tsukasa Tsukuyomi.

First few chapters show us the first meeting of these two characters – Nasa tries to get himself inducted into an isekai is run over by a box truck trying to cross the street to introduce himself to Tsukasa. Even after his injuries, Nasa still tries to ask Tsukasa out. She says that she can only do that if she marries him. Rather than scaring Nasa away, he proposes. And Tsukasa accepts.

The book dives right into their life together. We get to see these two characters get to know each other and figure out how romance works, at the same time as they’re trying to figure out the specifics of living together an marriage. Only a few pages separate holding hands for the first time, from trying to buy bedding, to discovering that Tsukasa is a restless sleeper.

So far this isn’t a plot heavy manga; the focus is on Nasa and Tsukasa’s interactions. The afterward indicates that there’s more behind Tsukasa’s backstory that we haven’t seen, though, so I expect future volumes to mix some reveals in with the fun relationship moments.

Summary

Fly me to the Moon is a fantastic romantic comedy. Nasa and Tsukasa’s relationship is gold, and I’m fervently looking forward to future volumes in this series. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reincarnated as a Sword, Vol. 7

Book Info

Reincarnated as a Sword, Vol. 7
Reincarnated as a Sword, Vol. 7
  • Format: light novel
  • Author: Yuu Tanaka
  • Illustrator: Llo
  • Translator: Michael Rachmat
  • Adaptation: Cae Hawksmoor
  • Publisher: Seven Seas

Review

I think this volume of Reincarnated as a Sword might feature the least amount of curry eating to date. Instead, Fran spends her time… teaching newbies how to fight?

The focus of this volume is the trip to the Beastman Nation. Before taking off, Fran helps the local guild master school some overconfident young adventurers. Afterwards, she signs onboard a ship heading for the Beastman Nation, serving as a guard against pirate attacks if needed.

She’s not the only adventurer who will be on board for the trip – there’s a handful of other parties, including the group of overconfident adventurers from earlier. They make an smart request – they ask Fran to help instruct them so they can be better adventurers. This isn’t something Teacher pushes on her – she wants to do it.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of the teaching sessions. But the fact that Fran is becoming a teacher of her own, of her own volition, is interesting to see. I hope we see more of this in future volumes.

Instead of focusing on the teaching sessions, we’re treated to a naval conflict with the former king of the pirate nation of Seedrun. There’s nothing new here for people who have been reading Reincarnated as a Sword all along – it’s the same process we’ve seen in prior books, with Teacher and Fran unable to defeat the new foe until they level up their power again. And engaging in a spot of unnecessary torture along the way.

In the end, Fran arrives at the Beastman Nation, finally putting her in place to pursue the business promised at the end of volume 6.

Summary

Nothing particularly new here. A bit of character development, though I would have liked to see more. But mostly just moving the plot along to set things up for the next volume. ⭐⭐⭐

Our Teachers are Dating! Volume 1

Book Info

Our Teachers are Dating! Volume 1
Our Teachers are Dating! Volume 1
  • Format: manga
  • Author: Pikachi Ohi
  • Translator: Jennifer Ward
  • Adaptation: Rebecca Scoble
  • Letterer: Erika Terriquez
  • Publisher: Seven Seas

Review

Our Teachers Are Dating! is exactly what it says on the cover: a yuri manga featuring two high school teachers – gym teacher Hayama Asuka and biology teacher Terano Saki.

The book stands out on its own for having adult protagonists. My instinct is to try to pin them down with stereotypes, but that’s hard. It’s not like one of them is the shy one and one as the easygoing one, for example; they both take turns leading things and following the other. The characters are well-rounded but distinct.

While the two teachers did know each other and work together before the book started, they were just coworkers. We don’t see much of the pair in the classroom, but the school setting is important and helps to drive both the plot and the character elements along. Their relationship progresses quickly over the six main chapters of the book, from asking each other out, to their first official date, through to sleeping together for the first time. There’s even a hot springs trip.

In addition to the two protagonists, two other teachers at the school have minor recurring roles. So far they seem to be there mostly for exposition, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see either of them end up in a relationship of their own in future volumes.

Summary

I was actually surprised to see the “To Be Continued” at the end – I’d missed that this was volume 1, and the volume concluded so perfectly that if it was a one-shot I would have been satisfied. I look forward to reading more as these characters’ romance evolves. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Volume 8

Book Info

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Volume 8
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Volume 8

Review

Volume 8 of Mushoku Tensei picks up about a year after Volume 7 ended. Where the last volume ended with a side-step to the Ranoa University of Magic, we open with protagonist Rudeus Greyrat receiving an invitation to become essentially a graduate student there – full scholarship, no classes, able to spend all of his time working on magic research.

Even though it’s the alma mater of his elementary school crush, Roxy, Rudeus isn’t willing to go; he wants to keep looking for the last member of his family missing from the Fittoa Displacement Incident. But the Hand of the Author Man-God tells Rudeus that he should go to the university and take advantage of the offer and spend his time researching the Displacement Incident. Cannily, the Man-God promises Rudeus a fix for his erectile dysfunction if he goes. As should surprise no readers at this point, that’s more than enough to convince Rudeus to go.

The university ends up being something of an old home week for Rudeus. The overall experience is reminiscent of the high school life that he missed out on, down to the Japanese-style uniforms and start-of-term speeches from the principal and the student council president. Rudeus makes a good start, diving right into his research. Unfortunately, he ends up quickly engaging in some morally questionable actions, beyond his usual gentleman-pervert status.

The problems start with Rudeus helping a fellow student purchase a slave for Rudeus to train up as a magician. While Rudeus does try to make sure she’s treated well – more like an adopted child than anything – the fact that he doesn’t even say a word about the practice is disturbing. Rudeus then quickly follows that up by abducting some of his fellow students for a fairly tenuous reason, and briefly molests them in the process.

In the end, the volume fizzles out. Rudeus’s actions in the back half of the book aren’t great. Afterwards, the volume ends, without any sort of a climax in the plot.

But while the contents of the book were terrible, I still found it compelling enough to keep reading. So, kudos to the author, translator, and other contributors for managing to keep my interest despite Rudeus’s moral failings. The lack of an ending was disappointing, not a relief.

Summary

While the time jump could have been a new jumping-on point, the fact that Rudeus was kind of a dick throughout the book makes it hard to recommend for anybody new. But the writing still kept me hooked for the rest of the book, making the weak ending even more disappointing. ⭐⭐⭐

Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World, Volume 4

Book Info

  • Format: light novel
  • Author: Kei Sazane
  • Illustrator: Ao Nekonabe
  • Translator: Jan Cash
  • Publisher: Yen Press

Review

It’s time for the beach episode!

No, seriously, the book starts off with Iska and the other members of his squad being sent on a vacation because they’ve spent too much time on the front lines without a break. His unit’s captain selects a desert oasis resort, a small independent nation, for their trip, and Iska is quickly dragged into helping his female compatriots shop for swimsuits.

Meanwhile, in the Sovereignty, we get introduced to Alice’s older and younger sisters. It turns out that her younger sister, Sisbell, is the witch that Iska freed back in his Saint Disciple days. Her powers aren’t combat-oriented like Alice; instead they’re much better suited to spy work. Sisbell is ordered to the same independent nation on a diplomatic mission, to determine how likely they are to join the Empire. (A coincidence, hardly a first for this series, but somewhat more reasonable than some of the others Iska and Alice have endured in the neutral cities!)

Once they get to the resort, we quickly see things descend into a reprise of the prior volume for Iska. Sisbell’s powers let her find out that the soldier who freed her from captivity is in the same city, and uses them to make contact with him. Unfortunately, another political player from the Sovereignty thinks it would be a good time to take Sisbell out to improve his claim to the throne, and it’s up to Iska to once again defend a witch of the Nebulis family.

While this is going on, we get a peek at the political homefront with Alice and her other family members. Her mother appears, and gets to show a bit of a maternal side that wasn’t expected after hearing about her in earlier volumes. Alice’s sister, however, doesn’t seem to have much time for her family. After learning more about how the Sovereignty passes power between generations – not by birthright, and not even necessarily to the Nebulis family – we understand why.

Summary

While the Imperial story feels like a retread of the last volume, the Sovereignty’s story introduces new political dimensions that promise interesting stories to come in future volumes. Hopefully the Imperial story can bring something new soon too. ⭐⭐⭐