Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
Volume 2 is flatter and more sexualized than volume 1. The harem size pretty much explodes while the comedy and originality falls. It’s still a good pick for people who like a harem fantasy rom-com without drama, but it won’t blow your mind.
The phrasing in volume 2 feels kind of fancier than in volume 1. That means, it’s gotten a tad harder in general, but it’s easier on the names and terms than before. That adds up to a strong 6 for me.
Nothing I know of. Gotta learn dem moon runes, boy.
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!
TaiCheat (just a reminder that this isn’t the official shorthandle) was one of the most pleasant surprises I had with “new” light novel series these days. Although the cover screamed “dumb, cliched fanservice,” it actually had an interesting setting with many unconventional and funny plot twists. That, of course, lead me to read volume 2 asap. How did it hold up?
Once one of volume 1’s biggest strengths, the storyline can’t hold its own in volume 2. It feels rushed and poorly thought out in general, I’d like to demonstrate why with several key events.
First, you might remember that volume 1 introduced the “Seven Princesses,” warriors of legend destined to fight a grand evil which would befall the continent; and apparently it’s been decided that said evil is the Empire. Volume 2 deals with five of those princesses: Fire, Water, Earth, Light, Darkness. Volume 1, on the other hand, dealt with one of them: Wind (Storm). So legendary warriors, five of them to boot, all of them being dealt with in one volume, five times as much as in the previous installment. As you might expect, the princesses this volume appear hardly threatening nor do most of them even put up a fight. Maraika, the Princess of Earth, is dealt with by simply keeping her busy with a rivaling idol group. Natalia, the Princess of Water, is dealt with by simply having yuri doujins of her and her first in command. Yuri, the Princess of Light, isn’t even dealt with in any active or semi-active way, she’s just a friendly all of a sudden. Marianne, the Princess of Fire, is being dealt with by defeating her dragon and she’s a friendly all of a sudden. Only Sierra, the Princess of Darkness, actually puts up a fight. What’s nagging me about this isn’t even that they’re not putting up as much of a fight like Rosalinde, the Princess of Wind, in volume 1, but how easily they turn friendly. At the beginning of volume 2, Yuri tries to assassinate Tsunenobu, and then she’s suddenly an ally. Why? Why did she go from killing intend to sitting on Tsunenobu’s lap? The Empire is considered an aggressive country that razes down smaller countries to annex them, they are or at least were a terror on the continent, all of the princesses should face the Emperor with distrust; and that’s exactly what Rosalinde did, she even keeps resisting for the most of volume 2. Yet, even though five of the princesses declare war on the Empire, Marianne, Natalia, Yuri, and Maraika just let it go like that. On top of that, they join the harem at the end of the volume, Natalia even makes active advances. She’s literally seen him for the first time! He’s the Emperor of an aggressor! There are missing links all over the freaking storyline, the way most of them behave makes just no sense, it frustrates me to no end, completely different from volume 1.
To make matters worse, the final conclusion of volume 2 is three of the princesses fighting the Princess of Darkness. Not only do they not attack the Empire, they turn on their ally, swayed by one mere video clip on the internet! Well, it’s not like Sierra attacked the Empire for greater justice. Her reasoning stems from sado-maso eromanga alone, which could be funny if it wasn’t just so unreal that it makes your eyes roll. The manga has the typical “this is a work of fiction”-disclaimer, yet Sierra chooses to not believe anyone that it isn’t reality and decides to attack. Again, it makes no sense and feels super forced. Rosalinde, on the other hand, had a sound reason to attack. For one, she was ordered to. Second, she believed the Empire to be evil, which she had all reason to. Oh, and the final battle of volume 2 has hundreds of civilians chanting “go home” at Sierra, which the author believes does trigger masochism. Truly cringy.
Another source of annoyance is Paola. I wouldn’t mind if she was just a little sister type of loli or if she was a little sister for ecchi incidents. However, she seems to be designed for both. She’s got the mind and statue of an elementary schooler with the boobs of an adult. While she’s supposed to be “super moe” and “cute,” she merely looks like someone who tries too hard to appear cute, consequently achieving the contrary by looking retarded and annoying. It’s so off-putting that she behaves like an 8 y/o, is overly sexualized and wants Tsunenobu to impregnate her. Really the product of a truly disturbed mind. To me, Paola is either a mentally handicapped (judging by her behavior) young adult (judging by her body) – that’s the option that’d let me sleep at night – or just a biologically perversed child/elementary schooler with breast implants. She doesn’t even bring anything to the story table, every time she makes an appearance it’s about her forced “cutesy” behavior that is so exaggerated, you just can’t buy it. I’d go as far as saying volume 2 would be a better book without her. A poorly written character, indeed. I also wanna add that the other loli characters (Kyala, Yuri, Maraika) are way better designed and written than Paola, who just seems to be a manifestation of the author’s fetish.
As you might be able to tell by now, I’m not exactly thrilled by TaiCheat volume 2. It feels like I’ve just read three volumes with 2/3 of them missing. It still has its moments in humor and twists, but they’re far less impactful than they were in volume 1. The worldbuilding, however, is pretty decent. It even has a worldmap and faction section for people who suck with names (me), and it took me way too long to actually spot it ’cause it’s after the table of contents and in front of the prologue, I tend to skip to the prologue after the color illustrations so ye, overlooked it at first. The summary might’ve been better if I’d seen it. Oh well. So ye, the worldbuilding heaves volume 2 above average – ever so slightly. Sadly, I don’t really have other compliments than that, it’s a pretty weak continuation of a great story and a weak 6 in my mind. However, I bought up to volume 4, so I will read TaiCheat at least to that point. I hope volume 3 goes back to the roots.