Saturday, July 10, 2021

REVIEW: The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, Vol. 2 (book) by Yuka Tachibana, illustrated by Yasuyuki Syuri, translated by Julie Goniwich

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent is an isekai fantasy romance series. It's licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment. I bought my copy brand new.


Yuri Drewes, the grand magus who initially summoned Sei and Aira to this world, has awakened from his coma and now wants to perform an Appraisal upon both of them. Sei is less than thrilled - despite her saint-level display of powers in the previous volume, she still hopes to live a quiet and relatively anonymous life. 

Although the results are inconclusive (sort of), several things are now coming to a head. From the start, Prince Kyle never even acknowledged Sei's existence, much less her possible status as the Saint. Since then, Aira's abilities have grown at an amazing rate, but she hasn't done nearly as much that might indicate that she's the Saint as Sei has. Also, while Yuri technically hasn't confirmed that Sei is the Saint, her abilities have intrigued him, and he's not the kind of person to let interesting new magic pass him by. One way or another, Sei will have to further explore her Holy Magic, even if she isn't yet ready to admit that she's the Saint.

I'll start by saying that this wasn't a good book. However, I enjoyed it anyway. It just makes me cry a little, thinking about how much better it could have been.

From the start, this has read like a wish fulfillment sort of series. Sei was an exhausted office worker who rarely had time to relax. She was summoned to a new world in which she was snubbed by the prince for not being as cute as Aira, a teenager, but then everyone else practically fell over themselves to make her happy, arranging work for her that she enjoyed and shielding her from anyone or anything that might bother her or make her uncomfortable. Everyone she encountered (except Prince Kyle) loved her, and she easily adjusted to being in this new world. Albert, a polite and handsome knight, behaved warmly towards her even though he was normally cold to other women.

Like many other current light novel series, the author doesn't bother too much with descriptions, is overly reliant on summarizing events rather than showing them, and doesn't spend much time considering how her characters would react if they were real people. I found some of this more noticeable in this volume than in the first one, probably because I just watched the anime a week ago. While the anime definitely had its problems, there were several things it did better than the novels.

One specific thing that stood out to me was Aira's reaction to finding out that she'd likely never see her parents again. In the anime, tears began streaming down her face and then she broke into sobs. Prince Kyle, shocked into remembering that he was dealing with an actual human being, rushed to her side and tried to comfort her. She cried herself to sleep that night. It provided an excellent foundation for Prince Kyle's later behavior, as he did everything he could to ensure that Aira could be happy in his world and find a place for herself.  

By contrast, in the book Aira cried a single tear. This so moved Prince Kyle that it provided the motivation for all his later actions. He was a much better character in the anime, and it was disappointing to see how badly Tachibana bungled things with him. Then there was Aira - the single tear thing was stupid, but I did like the way Tachibana presented Aira as a weak person who was used to others (first her parents, and then Prince Kyle and his friends) making her decisions for her. I thought she might turn out to be even more interesting in the book than in the anime - a storyline about her personal growth in this new world would have been fun. Instead, Tachibana did absolutely nothing with any of that. It was incredibly frustrating.

Speaking of things Tachibana didn't follow through on: Sei and Albert's romance. They had some great scenes in the first book, and I happen to know from the anime that Sei's feelings for Albert will prove to be an important part of the story. Too bad that Albert's such a cardboard character in the books, and barely even present in this one. Tachibana should have spent more of this book fleshing him out and creating a stronger foundation for their romance and, instead, readers got a dancing scene and Albert briefly escorting Sei, and that was pretty much it. I hate to say this, but Albert is as bland as any of the interchangeable cute girls with a single quirk found in your average harem romance series.

The writing was repetitive, sometimes telling readers information that had just been stated one paragraph prior. Also, Tachibana can't write action scenes well at all, so I'm hoping there are fewer of those in future volumes. This was quick and easy reading, and there weren't any sentences that were so badly written I had to pause to figure out what they meant, but I still can't honestly say this was well-written.

And yet I enjoyed this anyway and am looking forward to reading the next book. It's light and low-stress reading - nothing truly bad ever happens and, for now at least, the wish fulfillment aspects work for me. We'll see how long it can manage to hold my interest.


Three full-color illustrations (the cover image, the back cover image, and a character page featuring Albert, Erhart, Sei, and Yuri), black and white illustrations throughout, and a 5-page afterword by the author. The afterword made me wince a bit - it laid out Tachibana's thought processes and reasoning for the book's different Acts, and it was clear that she'd hoped to get the story to a particular point (for example, a more solid romance between Sei and Albert) but wasn't able to manage it.

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