The island nation of Yashima is in chaos. Armies march to war, pitting cousin against cousin in the fight for power. Sword saints hone their craft in battle, growing more deadly even as the tide of muskets flooding the country make the average soldier ever more dangerous.
One woman towers over the era. Known as the blood-soaked flower of the battlefield, it is said that to see her is to risk madness. To fight her is to die. Some even say she draws her power from the blood of vanquished foes.
Listening to the rumors, I can't help but feel that my plan to secure a comfortable administrative post has somehow gone awry.
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The author has written a very well done Youjo Senki story and this follows in the same mold.
The basic premise is that the main character Hana has the classic case of misunderstanding syndrome. Overestimating peoples general compentance which leads to misunderstandings.
Equally her attempts to impress other people while not realising she has far eclipsed them in skill leads to other characters misinterpreting her intentions. for example believing she is blood thirsty while in reality she just wants to show her competance in order to get a nice cushy office job.
Now the problem with the premise and where Hana differs from Tanya is that Hana has been portrayed as having no real stake in any political or social circumstances. She has trouble understanding basic human emotions to a degree and is quite happy in her own little bubble.
What this means is that it seems she has no incentive to be an active fore in the story and is more passive in nature. While Tanya had clear goals and attempted to influence events to that degree.
This could be a problem later in the story if it is not addressed, however it is still early days and or the most part I like what has been written. I do have faith in the author based on their previous stories.
One suggestion I would have is to combine the chapters together, rather than release a 2k chapter every day release a 5k chapter every three days or so. The current length feels unsatisfying to read if you have not banked multiple chapters as individually not much happens per chapter so far.
The writing is solid when it comes to grammar and spelling, which in itself earn the story 2 stars. The idea for the story is interesting, which earns it the third star.
What I do have some issues with is the execution of the story, the characters, the protagonist and the magic system.
1. Story Execution
I think the story is a little too rushed and the protagonist adapting to her new sorroundings is too seamless. It is unrealistic for someone to integrate into a new society this easily, especially if the new society is not only placed in a world with magic but also based on a real earth culture, which the person did not come from in the first place. A little more exposure on the adaption process, culture shock and learning about "what does it mean that there is magic?" and "How does this reality differ from my previous one?"
Besides the protagonist all other characters are just generic placeholders and could just as well be a cardbox mannequin.I prefer single PoV stories, but if other points of view are part of the story and when other characters start playing a role in the story it would be prudent to flesh them out.
3. The Protagonist
The author is trying very hard to make the protagonist sound clever and intelligent. The problem is that it clashes with her actions, interactions with other people and inner mologues. She starts training her magic on her own, but never actually tries to gain information on it from any source other but her adoptive mother, who in turn only nows fairy tales and hero epics. Not the best source for information. Nontheless these stories are enough for our clever protagonist to deduce how magic should work and what level of magic prowess is "normal" in the world and she is of course absolutely wrong. Because if you have zero data on something, you cannot even speculate, since you have no baseline.
Since the clever protagonist decided early on that she wants a quite life and an administrative position somewhere, she decides to join the army of her local daimyo and fight other people, because that is obviously the only logical step forward. Again, no information gathered, no data, just random action wtihout logical reasoning (which is what an intelligent protagonist would do). So yeah, the actions of the protagonist clash with her presumed intelligence and it only gets worse further into the story.
4. The magic system
This ties directly into Point 3. The protagonist simply tries to learns tuff on her own, offends the first powerful person she meets who offers her system access and then just keeps doing stuff on her own without trying to gather data from any sources whatsoever.
I think the story has potential, but these 4 points should be addressed and chapters possibly rewritten. As it is right now the story and protagonist's actions are seriously challenging my suspension of disbelief.
We are invited to watch and laugh as a high-functioning magic sociopath attempts to remake medieval Japan into a capitalist hellscape to make Andrew Ryan weep.
I'm putting this in the worst possible light for comedic effect, it's actually pretty good. Whether it's funny or not remains to be seen, from the summary it seems like the humor is contextual and we just haven't far enough into the story for the funny stuff to happen yet.
The prose is good, no grammar errors that I noticed.
I've noticed a lot of amature (that is, self-published stories not being sold for money) stories have an issue where they lack something I've started to think to myself as 'weight' for lack of anything better better to call it. Stories that lack weight tend to be be light and flighty, moving from one scene to another without proper context. These stories also tend to rely of telling over showing. They feel like they could change genres in a matter of chapters. They have nothing holding them close to the ground. Beyond the lack of experience, I think this problem mostly happens when there's insufficient world building and context for the story.
This story does not have that problem. The story has been a little light so far but we've basically just finished an extended prologue so I expect the story to move into it's first real arc soon and we'll see how it does then.
In summary, what's here is good and the story definitely has potential so I'm excited to see where it goes from here.
I have read multiple stories by this author and I've noticed that their characters can be hit or miss. They can write well, but in this case the main character falls flat. I think the premise is interesting, being reincarnated into 17th- ish century japan with magic, but that isn't enough. The author is trying to use Tanya's personality, from The Saga of Tanya the Evil, but with none of her charisma. The main character doesn't seem to care about things, including other people, which makes a lot of her interactions off putting.
The character interaction also needs to be increased to do more showing and less telling, as characters' thoughts are direcectly conveyed to the reader.
The main character is also written as being extremely competent at magic and battle. This is fine, but there needs to be more of a challenge to her goals, even if that doesn't come in the form of what she's good at. The whole story is suffering from a lack of tension. The most recent chapters had a grand battle that was incredibly boring due to how she just ran in, killed a ton of elite soldiers and the only problem she had was ruining her sandals with blood.
I like parts of this story, pieces of it simply don't work together. I wouldn't recomend reading this story unless the author does some major revisions.
For starters, this kicks off with an MC that has seemingly no ability to understand social interaction. Ostensibly played for humor, the idea is that she is absurdly competent and simply can't comprehend that others don't see the world in a coldly logical way. Unfortunately, she comes off less like a competent individual and more exceptionally oblivious and naive. It clashes with moments of thoughtful intent to manipulate or where she follows social convention despite being entirely unaware in other situations. The OP nature and lack of awareness add some underlying humor, but it falls flat with little else to support it.
Style: Solid overall. The words flow well and it's written in an easy to read manner. There are occasional hiccups, but they aren't mistakes so much as slightly less clear.
Story: Somewhat problematic. The MC is reborn and discovers that she has magic. Stating that she loves learning, she rushes off to better understand magic by... Hanging out with the wealthy neighbor girl (Kana) and practicing ideas from Earth culture. The culture with no magical heritage. No effort is placed in acquiring information that isn't bedtime stories from the widow that adopted her. Similarly, the entirety of her martial experience with a sword comes from sparring with Kana and yet she winds up being both an exemplary swordswoman and peak sword saint. Lastly, she is offered a litrpg system by a Goddess and gets into an argument with her regarding the importance of self-interest and economics. I won't spoil what happens, but it's a thoroughly unself-interested choice for her to make. The rest of the story largely continues in the same lines of the MC not understanding that she's literally the strongest sword saint that they've ever seen,
Grammar: Almost perfect, not much else to say.
Characters: Definitely the weakest aspect of the story. The main character consists of three main traits: Libertarian, absurdly oblivious to social cues (except when she is), and libertarian. It's stated that she likes to research and learn, except she does no research and exclusively self-studies with Kana. Otherwise, the only thing she thinks about is training and her love of mutual self-interest and the free market. I honestly can't tell if it's going to be a joke, where she forces a free market and is shocked when someone forms a monopoly and starts extorting people, but there's nothing else that the character likes. The fighting is just to earn an administrative position, the training is to be good enough to earn the role as a woman, her friendship with Kana to have a wealthy backer for the future. The rest of the characters have minimal background and their personality is largely just "in awe of the MC" when we see from their perspective. It's common for stories with overpowered protagonists, but that doesn't prevent it from being a flaw.
Overall, if all you're looking for is an overpowered MC that shocks and awes everyone around them, this is pretty much that. There is some humor in the obliviousness and naivete of the MC, but it doesn't do much to fill up the rest of the story. The main character's behavior is somewhat inconsistent, but if all you're reading for is someone effortlessly overtaking the best of the world, then it easily falls into the background.
I the story is sorta fun, but it is WAY too rushed, and the main character is trying to be too things at once.
I have a feeling that the main character is supposed to be sociopathic to some degree, but she just seems super fucking autistic. I mean that literally.
Also her entire life philosophy is built around like half an econ 101 course. She keeps making statements about economy and - more importantly - human psychology that are just not true.
I really like the premise and the general direction of the story, but the pacing and characters really puts me off.
I like JacobK, and I like Youjo Senki inspired fiction (which this is), but I have some serious misgivings about the direction that this plot is going. Part of the fun around OP protagonists is seeing interesting fights, or having them be matched by other OP villains. In this, I feel like there is no end goal, and the MC will never be challenged.
The main issue I am having is that the main character has a cheatlike system, which they use to train and gain power until she is a teenager, at which point she tries to join the army. In order to prove that she should be allowed to join, she cuts a bullet out of the air and easily defeats the most powerful magical swordmaster in the kingdom, and a leading candidate for most powerful in the land. After this, what more is there to do? Her growth is unparalleled, and soon not even that particular swordmaster would be able to stand up to her. Overpowered characters are a staple in fiction, but this just seems cheap. It's chapter 10!
In addition to that, she is actively cold and doesn't care about the social scene or other people, so it is unlikely that this could be a comedic slice of life story either. I am hopeful that JacobK can pull this story off, but until then my review remains low.
The early munchkining was fun, and the whole "too blind to realize how powerful you are" gimmick was fun and did help establish the character of the MC, but it has already gone on too long. To continue the story in an engaging way, you'd have to drastically change things, and develop several characters. I think the author might have already written himself into a corner.
So I've read another work by jacobk that I really enjoyed, and hoped for more from this one. But I'm kinda dissappointed.
The overall premise of a sociopathic economic minmaxer hit by truck kun and isekai'd to magical historical Japan to become a super-OP soldier seems like a comedy setup, but then this book takes itself way too seriously without any of the narrative/plot weight to make the comedy setup work as even a semi-serious read. It's very tropey with no self awareness.
The grammar and writing are overall good, but I find the MC and plot throughly annoying.
If you enjoy Jacobk's writing, you will probably enjoy this.
In Yashima Chronicles, Jacobk returns to the matter-of-fact narrator and misunderstanding comedy. The system is interesting but kept a minor part of the story, which I think is for the best. This story also contains mysticism rather than number crunching and abilities or perks, which I'm always a fan of.
All of the best parts of this story so far are character interactions; the group member, the trickster, and to some extent the swordsman. My greatest concern, however, is the handling of the friend and the mother.
The mother and friend relationships are mostly timeskipped over, and the protagonist is emotionally distant to them. It's unfortunately a bit of a catch 22 that the nature of the protagonist's neurodivergence makes it difficult for the narrative to explore that neurodivergence.
I really hope that the main character continues to be forced to actually talk to people, and that her difficulties are explored in ways like in chapter 1 and 2, rather than just being played for laughs. That has already been done half to death, anyway.
Overall, read the start. The story is well written anyway, so at worst it will start to drag a little between the good scenes.