Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
It’s your generic, off-the-shelf sci-fi-battle-rom-com series. The similarities to Infinite Stratos are undeniable. Though, it’s not the boldest of rip-offs. But anyways, if you liked Infinite Stratos then you won’t be let down here. The very, very little drama it has is almost being ignored by the protagonist, so it’s simply smooth sailing through the rom-com seas with one or two battle waves hitting the sci-fi ship. There might be some eye rolling involved due to over-excessive generic-ism, so you gotta bring some stamina with you. Also, the heroines in this are rather pushy and direct. If that’s your thing, then good for you. This one isn’t Shakespeare either. But it has a rubber duck.
For: People who want Infinite Stratos all over again.
Neither the series nor the volume themselves are really difficult. But explanations can get technical and – as probably in every other battle series – the kanji used aren’t the most common. There are also characters and circumstances where the dialogue turns really “stiff and polite”, which can increase difficulty for some. There’s also talk about medicine and whatnot. If you’re holding a gun to my head, I’d guess it caps to 5/10. But only due to the words used, not the grammar or “sense” in general.
I translated volume 1 over at guhehe. I also teased the prologue of volume 2. There’s nothing else of the light novel that I know of. Translation quality is, of course, epic. Legendary. Unreached. Godly. Guhehe-tastic. There’s also a manga. Yeah, there is. Hey, this is a light novel review. Don’t force me to read scanlations.
Translation: There’s volume 1 and the prologue of volume 2; and a manga that I haven’t read.
NOTE: These summaries can never give you an accurate impression on how the book reads or what the book is really like. It simply gives you the gist of the novel, but don’t judge the book by this alone. It can’t be helped that things read rushed and colorless in a summary. You can get an idea by reading the conclusion and, finally, by reading it yourself!
I had a rough battle rating this volume. Let’s be honest, this series is generic. It’s even a battle novel with some kinda transformation, so it’ll turn into some “this isn’t even my final form”-sorta thing. We got our blonde tsundere with drills. We got some kind of childhood friend who’s all over him. We’ve got our fair share of stumbling, falling, slipping and grabbing onto something bouncy. The battles are, in my opinion, rather boring, too. But I’m not really into the typical battle cycle (fight -> lose -> get stronger (new transformation?) -> win -> new enemy -> repeat) to begin with, so let’s overlook that matter for a bit.
Why not 4/10, then? We got a few things that make it better. The author at least hints at human experiments and stuff – could be interesting. And we’ve got Sakura. Frankly, I hated her at first. She’s got an attitude and is aggressive, though not in a cute way but rather in an offensive manner. Yet, this has a refreshing feeling to it. I don’t know many characters like her, so whether I like her or not aside, she’s got a certain degree of originality. Also, we’ve got (praise the lord!) an imouto who’s not a brat but rather shy and kinda rude to strangers. This is also a kind of character that is not worn out yet. Alas, she’s had hardly any screen time yet. Another plus in my opinion, this volume doesn’t focus on battles all too much. Though, it had almost lost me right in the beginning (practice battle). Lastly, lots of fan service – and that in volume 2 already. O Lordth!
Why not 7/10, then? Do the characters play their parts well? Not really. It’s a lot of blabla which doesn’t fall in place nicely (good example’d be the talk on the special place – anti-climax.). Regarding the human experiments being interesting, it’s alas just a few pages and the author even makes it look ridiculous (“I was experimented on.” “You’re a Variant?” “You too?” “Yeah.” “Ufufu, I’m so happy, tehehehe. Anyways, human experiments…”). Emilia keeps being pushy and so this harem just can’t happen without him being a total jerk. And as its model series, Infinite Stratos, it commits the bad, bad mistake to have lifted the reverse trap all too early, which makes the character situation a lot less interesting because the less people know about the reverse trap’s true nature, the more interesting is it to watch her act. This point’s not falling into the ranking all too heavily, though, as it’s not really a problem of this volume (stuff happens in volume 1 already) but of this series in general. But there’s also potential that it might work out and imouto gets more screen time, which would add more diversity to the currently generic harem. So this series can rise to a 7/10 or even a 8/10 if stuff’s played out more nicely. Even so, as it is I don’t want to grade its potential but this volume and its current state how I see it. Personally, I’d give it a 5/10. But that wouldn’t be fair. It’s not bad per se, just not good either. Adding everything up, I can force myself to a 6/10. Without the fan service, I wouldn’t have read it at all, to be honest. The story itself, and the characters enacting it, give me just too little.
And this leaves us with only one question:
Where’s his dong? But think again: he’s Japanese.
EDIT (Juni 2016): Downrated by one point since volume 3 isn’t quite good but overall still better than volume 2. Hundred volume 2 is hence considered an average experience.