Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
Volume 3 is very heavy on the ecchi and comedy. Drama’s not an issue, if you liked the previous installments, you’ll like this one as well.
Actually, this time around TaiCheat is easier to read! It’s more about the things and places you’re already familiar with than new stuff, so the amount of new names, places, and terms to remember isn’t an issue. Dead average difficulty.
Nothing that I know of.
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 wasn’t exactly psyched by volume 2 being slightly above average. Usually, I’d drop the series at this point and move on to other stuff. However, time sales are the bane of my life and I already bought all the volumes up to four. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I paid for it, so I might as well read it, right? Maybe, there’s a pleasant surprise waiting.
To get minor aspects out of the way right away: TaiCheat volume 3’s world-building and character development is, well, okay-ish. You get to know a bit about what the surrounding countries are like – that there’s still slavery in some, for instance – and what relationships certain races have with one another. The novel doesn’t really explain itself much here though, they’re merely small mentionings of a sentence or two without much further background. Better than nothing, but close to nothing nonetheless. Development of already established characters is basically not there. You get to read three (more or less) love confessions, but it’s not like you didn’t know about their feelings already, so I wouldn’t count that as new aspects to their characters. There’s no further background provided of them either. On the plus side, the princesses who had declared war on the Empire last volume only to figuritively leap into Tsunenobu’s arms ten pages later are now much more reasonable and honest.
What I mean with that is related to the second big story arc in volume 3: The “First Lady” election. All the citizens of the continent – even those outside the Empire – get to vote on who should be Tsunenobu’s first wife. All the heroines put themselves up for election and when he asks for their reasons, the war princesses state rather selfish motives, at least he isn’t the top reason. It’d be weird if he was, they declared war on his ass, right?
Speaking about the story, as I mentioned there are two big arcs. The first one introduces two new relevant characters: God Saber and his daughter, Cuore. Saber is a very whimsical god but does his best to deny it and make himself look merciful. Cuore is a classical hardcore tsundere. Literally the “I-It’s not like I like you or something, got it?!” type. A very socially clumsy “Goddess of Love.” The main point of the first arc is that Cuore wants to marry Tsunenobu to save (wo)mankind from the perverted sicko that the Emperor is (in her mind) by letting him live out all of his sick fetishes on her (her words). God Saber, however, doesn’t want his daughter to be married to Tsunenobu and puts him through trials to gain his daughters hand. Problem is, Tsunenobu doesn’t want to marry Cuore either, yet somehow unwillingly clears them until he’s in too deep to back out.
This part is probably the best comedy I’ve read in a long time. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it does a lot right. The typical “Dude wants to mess up, but succeeds” story. Tsunenobu wants to piss off Saber so that he takes his daughter back, yet Saber’s impressed by his brave behavior. Tsunenobu wants to sit out a trial in which he has to get a legendary item, yet the item comes to him. I basically flew through this story arc, a great read.
The second arc is the aforementioned election. It results from Tsunenobu clearing all the trials and gaining the right to take Cuore’s hand. The other heroines and ministers are unwilling to sit by idly and just let it happen. Since being the “First Lady” of the Empire comes with a lot of political power, prestige, and influence regarding the power structure of the continent, they figure the citizens should vote on who gets to take the cake.
To be honest, this part of the story felt pretty underwhelming. It’s not funny, it’s not exciting, it feels pretty dragged out and only Saber throwing another tandrum when Cuore’s not on top of the projections lightens it up. Everyone’s trying to cheat and influence the voters, but it feels more like they’re being jackasses rather than it being funny. The results feel very forced, too. Paola wins the whole thing in the end with a tearjerker after being dead last (how does that even work?) and seeing how worried Tsunenobu was when seeing her dead last and how happy when she won, I know how this series will end and I won’t like it. All volume long she didn’t bring anything to the table that would make me rethink her position of being the most annoying character in the series. The volume closing with her pretty clearly washing his back with her “child boobs” didn’t help either. Please either make her grow up or sexualize her less, okay?
Altogether, volume 3 is an improvement. It starts out insanely great and then takes a steep fall. In any case, I neither regret reading nor buying it and I’m more optimistic for volume 4. Keeping the amount of relevant new characters to two certainly helped calming down the rushed story development of volume 2. A great first and meh second story arc kind of neutralize each other leading to a good but not great score in my mind.
On a sidenote, the novel clarifies that “Kyala” is meant to be “Chara” and “Maraika” is meant to be “Malaika.” The author – contrary to a lot of other Japanese authors (“Crea” instead of “Claire”) – seems to know, what he’s doing, so I will adept accordingly in the future.