An Akira psychic blast all but wipes an entire country off the face of the world, displacing everyone and everything, including Rudeus, who awakens on the arid Demon Continent with his cousin. He’s lucky to be alive, but probably for only the next thirty-seven seconds, because watching him intently is a green-haired man with a red jewel set in his forehead—the exact sort of person his master warned him never to go near.
Since Rudeus was told previously that a Superd will go berserk if you tick them off, it’s only natural that he would cross paths with one, but right away he learns that the Superd are actually misunderstood, which is a disappointing portrayal. The hatred and fear of their race is an allegory for prejudice, which is a theme I can get behind, but I was looking forward to seeing Rudeus tiptoe in conversation as he overthinks every noun, adjective, and proposition before they come out of his mouth.
The Underwhelming Bad Guy:
Another disappointment is the volume antagonist. Maybe I had a bad read on him, but the volume put me under the impression that he was a conniving marionettist, that at some point, he would reveal his hand, and in that hand was the control bar used to manipulate the party’s every action. In actuality, he’s more of an opportunistic who only gets a leg up on Rudeus’s party by sheer dumb luck. He didn’t make for an intelligent or threatening villain.
The Dragging Epilogue:
This is the first volume with a proper epilogue, but maybe the reason the first two volumes ended on cliffhangers was because this series doesn’t know how to write a proper conclusion. After the climax is all said and done, the party goes about piddling with this and that, so it’s like the book was spinning its wheels, trying to figure out how to write a proper conclusion before giving up and slapping a THE END on the last page.
Not a bad read, but this volume fails to make good on any of its promises, is fairly sloppy on its structuring and composition, and Rudeus grabs hold of an idiot ball when he panics over one loss against the bad guy despite having a fifteen-win streak. A pretty bad sink for the series.