Flash Review – Reincarnated as a Sword (Vol. 1)

This is the part where I provide a synopsis, but the title does so wonderfully and in four words, no less. It blows this whole flash review concept out of the water with a hydrogen bomb.

The Self-insert Protagonist:

He’s your typical otaku with a crap job, crap life, and crap virgin status, and the only thing that could make it worse is a driver running him over while browsing his Facebook feed. He’s pretty chill about becoming an inanimate object, just like Rimuru was pretty chill about becoming a slimeball and going blind, but he lacks the shrewd chinwagging of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime’s protagonist.

The Cute Girl:

Fran’s her name, and cute she is, but waifu she is not, because only twelve she is. She’s an emotionless girl, but she has her motivation for becoming stronger so that she can aggrandize her frowned-on clan, and who doesn’t love an underdog? Not this pussycat.

Pacing:

The most glaring fault has to be the pacing. The first hundred pages is just Teacher—that’s what Fran names him, FYI—meandering around a grassland, doing the busywork of level grinding, which probably could have been summed up in 20-30 pages. The pace picks up once he meets Fran, but then it’s back to meandering around, doing the busywork of becoming official adventurers.

The Stuff Which Happens:

For what’s supposed to be a pure hack-and-slash fantasy romp, there’s this almost slice-of-life quality to it, where the duo are just going about their days. There’re some hints at a lot more going on behind the scenes, but beyond that, everything is matter-of-fact. The climax is very reminiscent of Goblin Slayer’s first volume, except that it lacks the same tension due to the pair being overpowered as an infinite lives cheat code. I like overpowered characters as much as the next isekai protagonist, but the dungeon boss battle feels extremely rough, like the author just threw in whatever he felt like and called it a night.

The Verdict:

This was the biggest meeeeeh I’ve read in a long time. I’m up in the air as to whether the second volume is worth a read. This book feels like setup, so maybe things will pick up for the next round, but on the other hand, it doesn’t leave that great of a first impression.

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