ICv2 Stars: 3.5 (out of 5)
Posted by Nick Smith on November 6, 2018 @ 8:35 am CT
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 17, 2018
Creator(s): Riku Misora (writer), Kotaro Yamada (artist)
Format: 194 pgs., B&W, Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Older Teen
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
Suspension of disbelief can only go so far, even in what amounts to a fantasy story or an alternate world tale… it may even be both. Still, it’s the setup of the characters that quickly becomes difficult to believe, and it gets worse as the story progresses. If you can totally ignore that, the story is actually interesting.
Seven high school students are somehow the best in the world at what they can do. There are problems with the doctor and the politician among them, since their ages make some of the back story just impossible, or at least unbelievable. The swordsmaster, stage magician, business expert, inventor and journalist are also difficult to believe, at their ages, but are somehow much easier than the first two.
In a sequence that is oddly told, they somehow crash through into another world, land in an isolated village, and begin using their skills to "improve" the place that may be their new home, in the hopes of finding a way to return to their home world. One of the clues about it being another world is that humans are not the only intelligent beings, and many of the folks they meet have animal traits, like pointy ears or furry tails. Another is the apparent medieval level of the society and its workings.
Another minor difficulty is that these amazing teens are not entirely nice people. The politician did something moderately horrific, in the back story, but he and the author focus on the side effects rather than the actions. The business expert even claims to view himself as a villain at one point, which is honestly very odd in the scene’s context.
For readers who want teen wish-fulfillment fantasy tales, the story has some good bits, especially the part involving the business expert unleashing his skills in a medieval market. The artwork is very good, although the cover is needlessly dominated by fan service, barely showing one of the main characters in the background.
A minor production glitch makes the character descriptions largely illegible, with white fine print on black backgrounds. Readers can figure out most of the words with effort.
Older teens and up are the target audience, as there are some dark tales under the humorous fantasy overlay.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.
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