Light Novel Review: Hundred Volume 3

Who Would Like this Series/Volume?


If there is any drama in this (didn’t feel like there really is), then it’s bound to lead to a happy end. Typical sci-fi-battle/rom-com stuff in the spirit of Infinite Stratos. If you liked volume 1 and 2, you’ll like volume 3 for sure.

For: People who liked Infinite Stratos, Hundred volume 1 and/or 2, and for those who like light-hearted sci-fi-battle/rom-com stuff in general.

Difficulty


Let’s consider that everyone who’s going to read this has already read or at least had a look into volume one and two. All the unusual vocabulary should’ve been looked up at least once by now, and even if there are words that you don’t know, they’re almost guaranteed to have furigana attached to them. Furthermore, I won’t assume that people expect to understand every last word in this (heck, I happen across English words I don’t know from time to time but it’s no harm to my reading experience). Keeping all that in mind, this is probably the easiest volume I’ve read so far. In fact, if you’re interested in trying to translate something and aren’t all too familiar with Japanese yet, you could give this series a try. In terms of light novels, it won’t get much easier than this. With some basic/advanced knowledge, you’re almost guaranteed to get the gist of it. All in all, I’m giving this a 2 in difficulty, since it really is the easiest thing I happened upon yet.

Difficulty 2/10

Translation Where?


Considering how everyone and their mothers want a translation, there’s none for the light novel. But there’s one for the manga, which is so-so. Oh, and there’s an anime, I’ll be damned if that one’s not being translated, I haven’t watched it yet, though.

Translation: No for the light novel.

Contents


NOTE: This volumes/series has an anime and/or complete translation somewhere. Hence, the contents section will be reduced to the bare minimum as you can get the experience more or less by yourself.

Rough Sketch

Conclusion


Volume 3 Cover

1) The first 3/4th

Again, we’re dealing with a third volume here. As I already mentioned a bunch of times, three is often the magical number when it comes to light novels since this usually is the moment where a series gets shot down if it doesn’t sell well. At this point, Hundred already counts 11 volumes, so we know it did sell. That’s not the point, though. In case it wouldn’t have sold well, the author would’ve ended it here. We’re basically bound to get an interesting volume since who would end their series without some nice fireworks, right? Let’s see.

How are the characters? We get some new characters with this volume. Claire’s brother, her little sister, and Emil(ia)’s old friend. I’m only counting the “good guys” here, and only major characters.

Claire’s older brother, the head of Warslan, is a mysterious person whose motives aren’t clear. Obviously, he has something up his sleeve but he’s a set up for greater things in later volumes. His implementation seems like a good idea, my guess’d be that he’s the true arch-enemy later on.

Claire’s little sister is surprisingly “LiZA,” the supercomputer. Especially her background so far was a pleasant surprise and as she’s seemingly an imouto-character, I clearly welcome her. Lisa’s basically a “designer baby,” which means that Claire’s mother took one of her eggs, manipulated it with the Variant virus and stuff, all to give birth to a new kind of human to “fight God.” Quite the delicate subject to touch in a light novel, but there hasn’t been dealing with it yet. Nonetheless a plus for me.

Emil(ia)’s former friend (let’s just call her childhood friend) is the usual energetic yuri’ish girl that wants to pop Emilia’s cherry. She’s just there to endanger Emilia’s cover and give Hayato a harder time getting into “situations” with Emilia. I guess she’s a nice kind of gyve to restrict Hayato and Emilia’s relationship a bit and give the other harem members more space. Instead of just artificially drag Emilia from the spotlight, the author went with a new character instead. A rather smart move if you ask me. She’s an okay to have.

How is the story? The beach action right at the start of the volume is a nice side story and gives all the characters a chance for a re-introduction without feeling all too forced, it also blends nicely into the next scene… As I already mentioned, we have Claire’s older brother who introduces Hayato to the secret of Little Garden: the power output is almost solely done by Claire’s little sister, Lisa. She’s kept safe within Little Garden and hasn’t ever been awake since the moment she was born. A nice twist which also fits well into the setting. I especially like the idea of Lisa communicating over a computer terminal in chat form (this is fantasy sci-fi stuff, don’t sweat the logical details). Suddenly, the UN forces plan to smoke out some Savage hives (I’ll just call them like that). Consequently, all the major Slayer forces out there unite for the field operation and are sent out into more or less unknown territory. This reminded me very much of the first few episodes of Muv-luv Alternative which I, by the way, loved (only the first few eps, though). The meeting and everything was well-presented, I blasted through these parts, it could’ve been even more detailed and longer if you ask me. The hunt itself was solid, with a good feeling to it but also with an onsen side-event which felt kinda forced.

How is the world building? I can put it shortly: I at least liked it all. I would’ve liked even more detailed descriptions of the environment and as I mentioned more depth to it overall. It wasn’t as picturesque as it could’ve and should’ve been. But I liked it a whole lot more than in volume 1 and 2.

How’s the “rom?” Blant. Typical “stumble and fall onto boobs”-stuff. But there are a bunch of romance scenes in this, so don’t worry. Don’t expect them to be original, though.

How’s the “com?” Hardly there. There are only rare occurrences of really comedical stuff. While I wouldn’t welcome it to be hilarious since that doesn’t fit the scenario, it’s still on the lacking side here. The absolutely worst thing are Fritz and, errr, what’s-her-name (Ridi?). They’re such a forced side-gag that it hurts. When she’s nervous due to the hunt, he puts his hand on her head and is like “Don’t worry, I’ll protect you,” and she’s like “I’m no kid anymore!” and throws a tantrum, and everyone laughs. I’ve seen this sorta thing 372 too many times. I’m not sure whether that duo really helps this series, they feel really out of place and their depiction is too cliché.

All in all, this volume was a rather surprisingly good read compared to its former volumes. Question is, is it worth 8 points or rather 7, after all? Since it’s some battle harem stuff that I tend to underrate I’ll give it an ei… Oh wait, there’s still…

2) The last 1/4th

Welcome to volume 3’s downfall. The hunters take their stage and Claire goes to fight them, this is where everything goes to sh*t…

We’re starting with Claire’s battle versus one hunter, because they don’t seem to want to win but rather due some idiotic one-on-one instead of going three-on-one. Okay, pride will have a fall and stuff, I get it. And so Claire fights and eventually goes “Full Armament” (or whatever the prominent translation is), being able to take the upper hand in the process. What does she do now? She talks… and talks… and talks… Those guys took out a bunch of allies and she doesn’t exploit her advantage? Sure. Does it get worse? Why, yes! She waits for those merciless hunters to freaking power up! She just stands there (well, hovers in the air, rather), provokes them and waits for their power up instead of even attempting to attack. So that’s the composed and mature student council president of Little Garden, the feared Queen? Ridiculous.

But of course Hayato and the cavalry arrive before she gets her ass handed as she deserves to. And then Hayato fights them off and due to their Variant energy mixing up, sees their past. I don’t criticize that point, I guess it’s a decent way to make the protagonist see what their opponents did in the past, to get to know their background. What I criticize is the background. They, the hunters, were just slaves to another army similar to Little Garden when they were kids, but escaped and learned to hate Slayers with that. When finally the dragon-type Savage arises, they all become friends. We have their archenemies, if you like, introduced in volume 2, but in the end they’re just misunderstood victims themselves? That’s way too easy a conclusion and it’s way too fast, too. I don’t like how this part is completely uninspired and cliché, the energy exchange (well, it’s only one-way so not an exchange really) feels forced and even as a means to an end it leads to an anti-climatic “let’s just all be friends”-pokemon-kinda crap. Very awkward indeed. And a very unsatisfactory way to “take care” of the archenemy which is now, supposedly, that Vitali woman (she’s referred to as “woman” a lot of times). They can have that clichéd misunderstood background for all I care, but they can still remain fucked-up hateful bastards, you know (in volume 2 they were licking the edge of the blade like some sick mofos even)? But no, everyone’s all nice and peaceful, okay.

Is that finally all of the idiocy? Not yet. In the end, the dragon-type Savage can only be brought down by Slayers with guns. Like Claire. But Claire’s exhausted. What do? Make her a Variant. How? By French-kissing her. Of course, that can’t just happen like that, we have to discuss that matter lengthy in the midst of a fight against a Savage, that eradicates whole forests with one of its beams. I guess you can picture yourself how Emil(ia) doesn’t want that to happen, that Professor from Little Garden eggs them on, Claire fidgeting around, and ugh, horrible, really. Maybe that Savage could read the mood and was nice enough to just hold its feet (?) still for a moment. Or maybe the author failed right here. Also, I’m not too sure about this one but it seems like every freaking normal person being French-kissed by a Variant person turns into a Variant themselves? If that’s true, then Variant = herpes and a lot less cooler than it might’ve sounded at first.

After the fight, Hayato loses consciousness way too sudden and without any real symptoms of exhaustion beforehand, furthermore he remains in a coma for a while and after a bit of tongue action with Emil(ia), recovers consciousness. I don’t get the point of those five pages, really. He could’ve just remained conscious, instead the author went for sudden drama with sudden resolving.

3) First 3/4th + Last 1/4th = ?

Where does this get us? For me, personally, the last fourth ruined the overall positive impression. If it was just for that last part, I’d give it a 3 or 4/10. The story line went bonkers, the characters acted retardedly, stuff didn’t make sense by any measure anymore. I really don’t know what suddenly went wrong in the author’s head. Anyway, I’m in a dilemma too. I’d give it a 6, but that’s what volume 2 had too, and I like volume 3 better than volume 2. Giving this a 7 would imply it’s “good,” but the last fourth is just so bad that it certainly isn’t good but above average. Hence I’ll downvote volume 2 by one point and this one gets a 6. Saddens me, really. This could’ve been one of the few battle light novels that I actually enjoyed.

Rating 6/10

 

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