The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, Vol. 2

Book Info

The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, Vol. 2
The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, Vol. 2
  • Format: light novel
  • Author: Meguru Seto
  • Illustrator: Takehana Note
  • Translator: T. Emerson
  • Adaptation: Cae Hawksmoor
  • Publisher: Seven Seas

Review

Volume two of The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter doesn’t change much from the first volume. The overall story for this volume is the first set of exams at the Hero Academy. To pass them with a high enough score to skip summer school, Noir and Emma will need to turn in 100,000 points worth of monster loot – which means slaying a dragon. But before they can do that, they need to get strong enough to take one on.

It may be just me, but it felt like the second volume toned down the lasciviousness. Noir still indulges in physical interactions with his harem women for the sake of building up his LP, but – outside of one of the bonus chapters – it felt much more perfunctory this time around; it happened but wasn’t as detailed as I remember from the first volume.

There’s not much to note in character growth in this volume. Noir and Emma’s stat numbers go up, but they don’t really learn anything new. Noir continues to put his Get Creative ability and its cohort to good use, coming up with solutions unique to each set of enemies that he faces.

Summary

Hidden Dungeon volume 2 is just as much a quick read as the first volume. While the characters are relatively static so far, as long as the Get Creative logic puzzles keep coming I’m happy to keep reading. ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Recommended for fans of the series.

The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, Vol. 1

Book Info

The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, Vol. 1
The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, Vol. 1
  • Format: light novel
  • Author: Meguru Seto
  • Illustrator: Takehana Note
  • Translator: T. Emerson
  • Adaptation: Cae Hawksmoor
  • Publisher: Seven Seas

Review

The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter‘s premise is two-fold. The first half is right there in the title – there’s a hidden dungeon, that only protagonist Noir Stardia can enter. The second half cranks the power fantasy up to 11: he has the near-unique ability to create, edit, and bestow magical skills on people and things, provided he has sufficient LP. And LP are earned from indulging his base desires.

This is not an 18+ novel, so said desires don’t go too far. Good food, hugs, kissing… nothing that requires removing or going under clothing. However, this is still probably enough to lose much of the reading audience. (The definition of LP is not given that I noticed, but I suspect it stands for “lust points”.)

The setting is a typical fantasy-world-with-a-stats-system. Noir is a member of an adventurer’s guild, as well as attending an academy for would-be heroes. In morning he attends classes with his childhood friend, Emma Brightness; in the afternoon they go on guild quests for money and rank points.

Being a fantasy light novel, Noir can’t help but acquire a harem on his adventures. He starts with Emma, but gains other members through his adventures in the book, including the guild receptionist. (And of course his little sister wants in too.)

The story arc of the first volume is about getting into the Hero Academy, and introducing his harem fellow students, as well as an elf healer who wil join him on his future quests. So far there’s not much of an overall plot to the series, beyond Noir’s classroom and adventuring life.

The unique selling point to the series isn’t the Hidden Dungeon itself; it’s Noir’s skill creation and editing abilities. He can’t just win with power; he needs to “Get Creative” in order to succeed against his foes. The limitation on requiring LP helps keep this focuses, meaning we should continue to see unique (cheap) solutions to conflicts rather than Noir just making himself overpowered.

Summary

If there’s such a thing as “wholesome ecchi”, then Hidden Dungeon is it. The setting is cliché but I liked the characters, and Noir’s editing skills keep things interesting. This is not highbrow literature in the slightest; but I thought it was a quick, enjoyable read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐, Recommended for harem fans.