Flash Review – Invaders of the Rokujouma (Vol. 1)

The tenant’s dream come true is an apartment with a monthly rent of ¥5000, and it’s a deal that Koutarou Satomi has no intention of giving up, not even with a ghost haunting the unit. His future in the apartment hangs by a thinner and thinner thread when a mole person, an intergalactic visitor, and a cosplayer show up wanting the tiny apartment for themselves.

The Amateur Style:

It’s hard for me to believe that this is a professionally published work. The prose is plain as white bread, repeats what the characters were just talking about, and dialogue is so unnatural that it reads like a writer’s first work. If you were to splash this work on a site like Fiction Press or Wattpad, I wouldn’t think it was out of place.

The Snoozing First Act:

This story starts with Koutarou moving into his new apartment, which seems like the most natural starting point, but then nothing happens for close to 40 pages. The story teases you into thinking that stuff’s about to go down, but then it pulls away like, “Haha! Tricked you, didn’t I?!” It’s such a painful crawl that could’ve been skipped over altogether.

The Punching Bag:

I was categorically stunned when I got to the afterword and saw a note that what I’d just read was a comedy. Thought maybe the afterword of another novel had gotten mixed in, but sadly, that’s not the excuse. This novel has exactly one joke, and that one joke is that there’s this magical girl who’s trying to warn Koutarou and the others about impending danger, but they all think she’s just a cosplayer who wants to throw a house party, so she gets upset, runs off, and cries. I feel so sorry for her. There’s no real precedence for this running gag, so this poor girl exists just for the other characters to make fun of her.

The Verdict:

Boring prose, boring or unlikable characters, unfunny, and lacking in personality. It does see minor improvements in its pacing and style once more girls show up, but on the whole, it has the polish of a rusty shovel and the charm of a defective animatronic. Koutarou has to deal with weird girls invading his apartment, and I have to deal with this crappy volume invading my bookshelf.

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