Record of Wortenia War
It is good but …
Ryoma Mikoshiba is isekaied to a different world one day at school. He is a 16 year old who looks nothing like his age. He is built like a hulk. No one would think that he is a high schooler, and he certainly does not act like a teen because he is a material artist who has clear codes of conduct as well as philosophy.
And the first very act he does once he is isekaied is murder the guy who summoned him because the guy was attempting to enslave him with magic in order to better control him.
As he escapes O’Ltorema empire, he rescues two elven slave chicks and eventually reaches the kingdom of Rhoadseria where he is dragged into a civil war.
He sides with a puppet princess Lupis Rhoadseria and makes her win. As a direct result, she becomes deadly afraid of Ryoma’s intellect and cunning. In the end, she grants him Wortenia penisula and appoints him a baron. Basically, she does not want him to turn against her. It also means she also does not want him to leave the country. The only way to pin him down is to make him a noble, and that is what she does.
The issue is that she did promise him to let him go during the civil war. Ryoma, realizing that the new queen is attempting to shackle him and backing out on her own word, accepts her offer but plans a rebellion.
This is a story of Ryoma enforcing his own philosophy. He is kind to those who are loyal to him but never forgets grudges.
Not a harem
The focus of this story is mostly warfare. Therefore, in spite of my initial fear when Ryoma rescues two hot elven chicks, there is no hint of romance throughout the story. Given his position, he does receive marriage proposals and is given women to mate with. Whether he actually sleeps with them is not clear because the story doesn’t dive too deeply into his sex life.
However, it seems clear to me that Ryoma sleeps with some. He doesn’t overreact about it which I have to give a thumb up for. In most of Japanese light novels, they make too big of a deal about having intercourse.
Ryoma is ruthless and his philosophy
The dude is ruthless, and I do mean that. It’s pretty rare to see a MC who is not a hypocrite who speaks of righteousness but ends up doing dirty deeds. He has absolutely no regrets for killing those who stand in his way, a man or a woman – doesn’t matter. He slashes down anyone who stands in his way.
His philosophy is freedom which is why he strongly frowns on slavery that is rampant in his isekai world. Anyone who tries to restrict his freedom, he will strike them down. Lupis Rhoadseria has done this. Therefore, she is his target to remove.
Ironically, the biggest hypocrite turns out to be Lupis Rhoadseria herself.
What I mean is that characters are properly dressed. In other words, no female wears skirts on battlefields. This has to be commented and commanded since the vast majority of Japanese light novels has this weird trend that girls must wear micro skirts.
Slacking at the finest
This novel has 19 volumes (as of 2023) which sounds very impressive. I thought so as well until I realized that each volume has only 130 pages. This is the thinnest light novel I’ve seen. For an example, the bookworm series has 300 pages per volume.
Okay, not fair I guess. But the average page count of a light novel volume is 170 ~ 250.
Yes, this is classified as light novel, and “light” novel used to contain much less pages. However, that era has long passed. Nowadays, there is very little, if any, difference between light novel and regular novel. Given this story has been created recently, it sticking with the original length of light novel does not make sense or make a good excuse.
There is another issue as well. The plot after volume 5ish begins to crawl. Each volume, if you can call that a volume, has A LOT of monologues as well as explanation of what is going on, frequently repeating what has already been said.
At one point, I realized that the author was copy-and-pasting paragraphs from early volumes for explanations. Basically, one third of a volume (if not more) is nothing but a drag. This is made worse by a fact that a volume is already painfully thin.
Essentially, it may have 19 volumes out but, in reality, it has only 7ish volumes content-wise. The plot just wouldn’t advance and proceed at a crawling pace. This didn’t sit well with me because each volume cost me 699 J-novel coins. The value just isn’t there.
To put it another way, the whole 19 volumes released so far could be compressed into 12 anime episodes. In comparison, it took 37 anime episodes for 6 volumes of the bookworm series, and that’s after omitting a fair amount of content.
In conclusion, the bang for the buck isn’t there. If you are pirating, I guess this won’t be an issue. I normally wouldn’t mind, but a mere 130-pages per volume that cost the same as a volume with 300 pages doesn’t sit really well with me especially when the author is slacking off on its content.
And, with that alone, I cannot recommend this if you are going the legit route because you are essentially paying twice more for what is an average story.