Saturday, July 24, 2021

REVIEW: The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, Vol. 3 (book) by Yuka Tachibana, illustrated by Yasuyuki Syuri, translated by Julie Goniwich

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent is a slice-of-life fantasy series with romantic elements. It's licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment under its Airship imprint. I bought my copy brand new.


This volume takes place a year after the beginning of the series. Sei is still working on becoming comfortable with her status as the Saint (and in fact still thinks that no one is really sure that she's the Saint, because she's a bit dense in that respect), but she's finally ready to start traveling to problem areas with the palace knights. The first place she and the Third Order knights are being sent is Klausner's Domain, which is sometimes referred to as the alchemist's holy land due to its focus on herb production and potion making. The problem: although Sei used Holy Magic in the previous book to dispel the Miasma in the woods near the palace, she still has no idea how she did it. There's no guarantee that she'll be able to help Klausner's Domain.

I can't really say that this series is good - the text is occasionally repetitive, the world-building is poorly thought out, and the author pays too much attention to individual events and not enough attention to developing the characters. Still, it makes for enjoyable and low-stress reading. Nothing really bad ever happens, and the characters are generally focused on supporting Sei (or Aira, when she was on-page more). It's nice.

Unfortunately, the world-building and character issues were a fairly big problem in this volume. I'm guessing that's why a good chunk of content was cut out when it was adapted for the anime.

The whole "people in this world don't season their food" detail came back with a vengeance. There were long sections devoted to the food at Klausner's Domain. They'd adopted the palace's new craze for cooking with herbs, so the food was more enjoyable than Sei expected, but for some reason the cooks weren't creative enough to do more than stick to a couple types of foods. Sei is apparently the only person in possession of any sort of cooking creativity, and so there was a long scene in which she taught people how to make pasta. Never mind that people in another country in this world eat noodles - although cooks in this kingdom had heard of them, they'd never tried to make them before.

The more Tachibana brings up the cooking thing, the more chances I have to poke holes in it. I hate it, because it's such a glaringly awful problem in an otherwise okay series. This particular book got me to thinking about the past Saints. Most of them were born in that world, but at least one, probably more, were summoned by the same ritual that brought Aira and Sei there. Even if no one born in this world had any cooking creativity, surely one of the past summoned Saints would have done the same thing as Sei and introduced a few recipes. Why did none of those recipes stick around? Yes, texts by and about the past Saints were destroyed, but things like recipes and cooking and seasoning techniques would find other ways to survive.

There was technically some progress in Sei and Albert's romance, but it continues to be underwhelming. In all or most of the author afterwords, Tachibana has lamented the slow pace of the romance, blaming it on Sei's lack of romantic experience or the need to fit in other events. However, at this point I'm going to argue that the romance is progressing so slowly because Tachibana has barely spent any time fleshing Albert and Sei out, so their relationship simply isn't interesting enough to write about. Sei has gone from being a workaholic in our world to being a workaholic in her new world - the only difference seems to be that she actually enjoys this work. 

And Sei at least has something like a personal life - I could list multiple people she enjoys talking to and spending time with. Albert, on the other hand, is a mystery. He's been friends with Johan since they were kids, and he works at least as much as Sei does. He has a reputation for being cold, not that we ever see that on-page. Other than that, I know nothing about him. Does he have hobbies or goals? Does he ever spend time with Erhart, his brother? What does he do when he isn't working or training?

Despite my complaints, like I said, I'm still enjoying this series. I plan to read the next volume once it's available.


Three full-color illustrations (textless cover art, the back cover illustration used as a character profile section, and Leonhardt's introduction), a two-page "story thus far" summary, black and white illustrations throughout, and an afterword by the author.

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