Light Novel Review: TaiCheat Volume 3

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.

Difficulty


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.

Difficulty 5/10

Translation Where?


Nothing that I know of.

Contents


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!

The Whole Damn Thing

As I said in the previous volumes, a rough summary of a story with this many places and characters just can’t be good. The story is consistent, so if my summary seems confusing then the issue’s my summary not being detailed enough; I’m not taking notes while I read, I simply write down summaries off the top of my head. I encourage everyone who finds the story interesting to simply try and read it themselves.

Volume 3 starts out with Tsunenobu in the middle of his last trial by the Great God Saber. What’s at stake? The hand of Saber’s daughter, Cuore, the Goddess of Love (lit. affection, but probs translates to love nonetheless). Tsunenobu’s task is to find the engagement ring, which Saber tossed into the desert. He has already found it, but tries to hide it from them, since not even a day has passed since the ring was tossed – and it’s supposed to take him years. Tsunenobu, however, does get found out. Saber can’t believe that he already found the ring, decides that something must’ve gone wrong, and throws it away again. Tsunenobu makes Saber promise he’ll accept the ring the next time for sure, pulls out a magical device, and simply summons it back to himself as he’s taken precautions to put a spell on it in case it gets lost again. As he has to acknowledge defeat, Saber loses his cool and prepares to throw a punch with his gigantic god fist from the heavens; this is where the prologue cuts out.

The “real” story starts at the beach, where all the girls and – of course – Tsunenobu are enjoying some summer time. After all the flirting and ecchi stuff’s over, Yuri arrives and announces the descent of a goddess, namely Cuore. She’s come down to earth because her believers (the country of Atoma, where Yuri comes from, is something like the Vatican/Olymp for all the god/goddesses stuff) are crying for her help with the super lewd brute who calls himself the Emperor. She knows of his shameless acts and decided to step in: By marrying him.

Back in the castle, and after an incident where Rosalinde and Hildegard are waiting Tsunenobu in underwear and with cat accessoires, the Great God Saber makes an appearance and demands from him to clear seven trials before he gives Tsunenobu his daughter’s hand. There’s a lot of back and forth about how Tsunenobu clearly doesn’t want to marry her and cleary states so, but Saber doesn’t really take him seriously and although Tsunenobu tries his best to displease the Great God so that he takes his daughter back with him, it all backfires and makes him all the fonder of Tsunenobu. Bice has already told Tsunenobu that taking Cuore as his wife would spell disaster. Being the Emperor’s “first” wife means that her offspring would be the heir to the throne which significantly strengthens the position of whoever race/family she belongs to. Marrying Bice would give the Elves a better standing in the world’s political power structure, etc.. Tsunenobu’s first task would be to defeat an ancient dragon. A dragon even faster and more evil than Rin. Since he doesn’t want to marry Cuore anyway, he decides to ignore the task… or so he planned. They don’t need to go to the dragon, the dragon’s well on his way to them. So intercept it on its way with their new weapon – homing, enchanted missiles – and are done with it.

A word about Cuore before we move on: She’s a classical tsundere. The “I-It’s not that like I’m thinking anything of you, okay?!”-type. Somehow, she does seem to be into Tsunenobu, tells him to live all his pervertedness out on her and spare the other girls, but tsundere-s that it’s all just a selfless act from the goddess of love to protect others. It’s kinda hard to tell whether she means it or not at first. Tsunenobu tells her clearly that he doesn’t want to marry her, but she doesn’t really take him seriously, ’cause who wouldn’t wanna marry the Goddess of Love, right?

Anyway, the second trial is taking a scale off from an ancient beast down in the depths of the ocean. This time for sure Tsunenobu decides to idle around. However, Natalia shows up with the scale, only wanting to help. Welp, trial cleared by accident.

Trial number three: Pluck a feather from the phoenix, flying around above the clouds. Tsunenobu calls in an emergency assembly to let everyone know that they should not move. As soon as he told everyone, he looks around and sees Rosalinde missing. She joins the meeting soon after with – you guessed it – the feather. But now it’s a good thing, actually; because people on fantasy Twitter (Kyala created one) also know of the trials by now (kinda hard to overhear if there’s a huge god hovering on a cloud in the sky above the capital, shouting it out) and expect the Emperor to clear it to show his powers. Oh well.

Tsunenobu goes to tell Cuore that they’ll clear all trials after all. When they meet he also asks her why she really wants to marry him. Apparently – being the goddess she is – she knows all about him. His true name, that he doesn’t belong to this world, and all that. She also knows that he wants to bring the world to peace without fighting, and that’s something really outrageous to desire in this world, which is why she wants to give him her blessing

Trial number four: Defend against an onslaught of a big-ass bug swarm. Cleared by the help of Maraika and her earth wall.

Trial number five: Fight back against an army of the undead. Dealt with by a huge amount of Imperial clerics, who purify them.

Trial number six: Destroy a huge meteor coming towards earth without anything of it touching earth whatsoever. Dealt with by Sierra and Marianne who fly up there and suck it into a black hole.

It gets pretty clear by now that Saber really doesn’t want to let them clear all trials, he starts to ask the impossible. Oh well. Tsunenobu also wants something to be able to deal even with Great God Saber if need arises. It seems that only other gods and goddesses can beat the gods. And one goddess in particular has the power to “reflect.” Her name’s “Spekia” (I guess, seems to be food, though). To let a god descend, however, they need a huge amount of followers desiring so; and they got just the setup they need for that. The Emperor’s birthday is soon, and to celebrate that, there’ll be an event with a live concert of Maraika and the Empire’s idol group which will also be broadcasted live. During that live concert, they make the millions of concert goers and viewers wish for the goddess’s descent and sure enough, there she is. And they manage to get the power to reflect from her.

Which brings us back to the very first chapter, where Saber is about to god-fist Tsunenobu and the earth in general, it gets reflected and they’re safe. He also happens to protect Cuore from her father’s fist since she was with Tsunenobu, which he mistakes for an act specifically to safe her life and makes her fall for him even more.

And so they averted the crisis, or so you might think, but everyone wants to marry Tsunenobu and not everyone can be his “first” or “main” wife. And the girls want a decider for that. As thus, they call for a public vote. Yes, a public vote who gets to become his first wife. And all of the heroines want to participate. Tsunenobu calls them all in and asks for the reasons. Turns out, most of them are mainly in for themselves/their countries and Tsunenobu sooorta secondary. During the vote, most of the girls do their best to get voters on their side, be it by fair or not-so-fair means (Rin threatens villages to raze them if they don’t vote for Marianne, Salvador lets votes for other participants vanish (doing it for Hildegard), or some people simply sell their vote. To get the situation under control, Tsunenobu acts as if he’s a tyrann and broadcasts a statement where he belittles everyone, sets a few very harsh rules in place, and basically threatens everyone with the death penalty if they screw around, letting them know that to him they’re worth less than dirt. We also get to see three separate confessions during the vote, one by Hildegard, one by Bice, and one by Kyala (her name’s wrong by the way, I’ll stick with my usual names for the entirety of volume 3, though). The estimated results are in, and Sierra’s first, Bice second, and Hildegard third. Paola is dead last, which makes me happy, but alas, Tsunenobu is very concerned about that, which can’t be good…

Another one is also very concerned about the rankings: Saber. Cuore placed 6th, which the Great God doesn’t like at all. He challenges Tsunenobu to roulette, and only if Tsunenobu wins, he acknowledges the vote. If not, he will show the world what divine punishment means. After everyone tells Tsunenobu what an idiot he is for accepting a challenge to gambling against a god who can manipulate odds, he – in the end – bests Saber by using the Empire’s funds to bet twice Saber’s amount on every single possible outcome. He basically overpowers him financially.

One week before the vote concludes there’s a live show in which the participants get asked questions. First question being, what color the panties are they’re wearing right now. Sierra black, Kyala and Cuore none IIRC, Natalia blue, Paola white (?), Rin flashes them; that kinda stuff. Another important thing is that everyone gets asked what their slogan is about, and Paola – slogan being “I’ll give birth to many healthy children” – answers slightly teared up that the Emperor always works so hard and she can’t help him with anything, this was the only thing she could come up with to be of use.

The final results are in, the winner is – as you might’ve guessed it – Paola, Cuore second, Bice third. Dead last is Sierra, by the way. Volume 3 closes with some of the heroines walking in on Tsunenobu taking a bath – first of which is Paola, who I’m pretty sure washes his back with her boobies – and him stating that he’s not done yet changing the Empire (slavery and such still going strong).

Conclusion


Volume 3 Cover

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.

Rating 7/10

 

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.

 

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