Thursday, December 3, 2020

REVIEW: Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch If You've Got a Ringer, Vol. 2 (book) by Tsukikage, illustrations by bob, translated by Caleb DeMarais

Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch If You've Got a Ringer is, technically, a Japanese isekai fantasy light novel. However, instead of focusing on the character who's been transported to a new world, it focuses on a priest from that world. 

This is licensed by Yen Press under their Yen On imprint. I bought my copy brand new.


Nao (who's most often referred to as Toudou, so maybe I should switch to that) and her party have ventured into Yutith's Tomb, a place novice priests often go to level up. It should be easy for a Holy Warrior like Toudou, except for one thing: she's deathly afraid of most of the undead.

Ares, who still thinks Toudou is a womanizing guy, continues to try to assist her without her being aware of it. That means helping Toudou with her fear of the undead, leveling her up, and somehow adding a priest to Toudou's party, since she kicked Ares out. Unfortunately, Toudou, Limis, and Aria have crossed paths with one of the last people Ares ever wanted them to meet: the crusader Gregorio Legins, also known as the Mad Eater. So now he has to keep them safe from Gregorio as well...

It's been over a year since I read the first volume, so when I started this I struggled to remember who Limis and Aria were and why the party was even in Yutith's Tomb in the first place. Toudou, Limis, and Aria aren't the most vivid characters, and they were particularly bland in this volume.

I continue to think that Tsukikage is a decent writer who painted themselves into a corner with their choice of premise and POV. Toudou is technically the person the story revolves around, the hero brought over from another world who is supposedly the only one who can defeat the Demon Lord. However, Ares, who is technically a side character in the overall "defeat the Demon Lord" quest, is the one with actual skills and experience. So readers are stuck watching Ares try to prod Toudou along the necessary path, even though Toudou is ill-suited for the role and appears to be at least 20 years away from ever being able to defeat the Demon Lord. I'm still convinced that, when they do finally encounter the Demon Lord, Ares will essentially be the one to kill him, even if he has to do it by throwing Toudou at him, sword first.

In the first volume, Ares was an angry professional forced to do his job as best he could with both hands tied behind his back. He was ruthless, ridiculously skilled and competent, and not particularly priestly. Toudou and her party were massively incompetent, and Toudou made things worse by shoving away the help that Ares offered. Ares essentially tortured a monster in an effort to help Toudou, which was off-putting, but somehow not as bad as Toudou freaking out and severely wounding an entire tavern full of people and never thinking about that incident again.

In this volume, it seemed like everyone had mellowed out a bit, which unfortunately made Toudou and her party painfully bland. I was a bit disappointed that Ares wasn't the giant ball of anger and frustration that I recalled him being in the first volume, but I will admit that his behavior was generally less problematic. He was surprisingly patient and kind towards Spica, the little orphan girl he and Amelia hoped they could add to Toudou's party.

Gregorio was a fun character, one of those types who's so warped by his backstory that he almost qualifies as a villain. The best parts of this volume were when he and Ares interacted - Gregorio deeply respected Ares, while Ares loathed Gregorio and just wanted him to leave.

The volume's pacing was, to put it mildly, pretty terrible. This was essentially just 300 pages of Ares attempting to help Toudou conquer her fear of the undead while trying to get Gregorio to stay out of the way. Still, my appreciation for Ares kind of makes me want to continue this series. But is it on hiatus? It's been two years since Yen Press published volume 4, and I think the Japanese editions might have stopped at that point as well. Tsukikage has another series, The King of Death at the Dark Palace, that Yen Press will begin releasing in April, so maybe I'll just give that a try instead, and leave Defeating the Demon Lord behind for now.


A three-page story in which Ares discovers one of Amelia's "activity report journals" and learns her true feelings (maybe?) about him and the other characters in the series. Also, a brief afterword by the author, black and white illustrations throughout, a couple full-color illustrations on a folded sheet, and character profiles for Gregorio and Spica. Spica's "Will" information made me smile: "Doing her best." I do hope the choices she made at the end of this volume don't end up getting her killed.

No comments:

Post a Comment