My Servant Is An Elf-Knight From Another World
- Traumatising content
It was just like any other day, or so I thought at least. The birds were chirping up on trees, clouds were rolling by the bright blue sky and Elves were dumpster diving in the alleyway.
Okay, one of those three didn't sound right...
I had a boring life once. Recently though, it has become less boring... to put it one way.
Finding a random Elf in the dumpster? Heh, must be a Monday.
A normal person would have walked by. A normal person would have ignored it. I must be a pretty weird guy, then. Now I have this Elf swearing her allegiance to me. What's next, vampires?
Better not jinx it.
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Tl;DR is that it's a great story with some flawed characterization and great everything else. It's a long review, though, so you do you.
I don't see reverse isekai very often and I think that this is the best one I've seen. Admittedly I haven't seen many but I think it needs to be said. That said, it doesn't really feel like a reverse isekai in a weird way. It feels more like the transported characters fit into the world as it is, which I think is a good thing.
Alright, that done with lets get to the scoring thing. For style I really, really like the style. You're not making things gritty and dark but it is realistic. Things don't always work out well and as a reader I didn't expect them to. I was fully aware that, at the end of arc one, that a major character I had grown attached to could die. I almost anticipated it, really. Damn good job with that.
The closest thing I could relate your style to is the Simulacrum by Egathentale. It's not wide, filled with lots of characters, big themes like kingdom building, or world building. It's deep, with interesting, complex characters (more on this later), moral clashes, important descisions, mysteries with serious roots in the characters and setting, and a slow winding pace of tension that rose and fell at times. I actually think you should put the drama tag on your story because it sure felt dramatic at times in a good way.
Now for the story: It's good, but dragged down a bit by some of it's themes. You have depth, and with that a lot going on. Ria's got some stuff going on in her past, clearly (pretty sure she's gay for Irene too but she was still sealed away and all. That's going to be an interesting story if it ever gets told), Ash has more than bags of personal drama, truckloads of it I'd say, Irene has something up too, and the twins... well they're funky.
Point is, the story's overarching theme of piecing together this puzzle you're creating is good. You're leaving a lot of pieces around and slowly introducing more characters that fit into the backstory you're weaving together to make a bigger picture. However, all this small personal drama distracts from it. Some personal drama and side plots is good but you're spreading yourself thin, which doesn't work so well with that depth of writing you've got going on. I trust you as the writer to pull things off but leaving too much out to dry for too long will always end badly.
Now for the bad part, your characters. Don't misunderstand me, they're good. They're all distinctly different from each other with their own goals, lives, and you were willing to have them do something other than hang off the MC forever. Good job! Letting your characters leave is a hard thing to do but critical if you want to keep the focus on important people. You've kept others from becoming hanger-ons for the story and that's great!
The problem isn't with the characters around our brave little MC, it's the man himself, and how he refuses to just... buck up. The pieces are all there. The dream he got of his mom and dad and their real names, Irene revealing the whole demon goddess/queen thing, and so forth. It's blatantly obvious who his mom and dad are and nothing. You don't say a peep and it while our MC waffles around the point of 'Yeah, Leonardo and Terra are my parents' he never seems to get it. It's all there and he just never addresses it. Ever. Not even a thought on it, and other characters just don't ask, which is ridiculous. Why didn't they ask him about all the weird crap around him, like surviving the matriarch bite? They just let it hang when they could ask 'dude, what's up with this' and that would be that.
It's a little forgivable since he pieces things together right before a fast combat situation but seriously, it makes him look stupid and it railroads the mystery element of your story in a way that I feel breaks the characters. It goes beyond the horror movie thing where you're screaming at the dumb teens to run from the masked killer. It's plain illogical and makes for some irritating moments.
The same goes for the name thing you're doing, where he never said his name. It's not particularly unique or anything, just an irritance. We've got a face but no name to go along with it. I personally think that it's a badly done attempt to add something to the MC but, honestly, it just doesn't work out and feels forced.
Huh? Hey, no, chin up author! It's a great story! You bet your ass I'm going to come back and read more once you've got some more chapters out. A few parts I have issues with is nothing. Almost all stories have those. The flaws are forgivable. You've made some wonderful, memorable characters and really put some life into them, and the mystery elements in play aren't ruined. There's a ton of questions I still have, from Ash to how his parents, a hero and a villainess, ended up as parents in a mundane world, leaving their loyal followers to wherever, and then there's the whole part where they're traveling across different worlds and the time travel Leonardo did - lots of mystery to be had.
I fully expect that I'll be blown away later on as more parts of the story start revaling themself. It's a great story and deserves five stars. it's not perfect but you've done a good job, and I'll be eagerly waiting for more.
EDIT for the thirtieth chapter. I won't bother with these edits anymore, I will just leave it as it is for the future.
So, let's go over the whole thing again, shall we?
1. Style: I liked the comedic style in the beginning much better then the serious and gritty style that came in the later chapters. But it's not bad still. In average I will give four stars.
2. Story: The same thing as with the style. After a very strong start the novel did not live up my initial expectations, but it is by no means bad. Be warned though, that after the initial light-heartedness this turns into a more grim story.
3. Grammar: I have no complaints. There are typos, but if you point them out to the author, he fixes them really fast. So, if you find a mistake that hurts your eyes, just put it into the comments, and leave the rest to Mr. Author.
4. Characters. They too were more entertaining in the beginning.
5. Overall it is a decent read, though not as faboulous as I imagined it would be after reading the first chapters. On the other hand most of my grievances are caused by the fact that I expected the story to be a comedy, while the author was planning to write a gritty urban fantasy with comedic elements, so maybe I am being too harsh here.
Below you can read the previous iterations of my review.
At chapter six, it is too early to tell whether the story and the characters will be good, but what we have seen so far was enjoyable. The main character is a decently smart fellow, who has made terrible life choices, and lacks common sense. His sidekick is the titular elven knight, who will be presumably the brawn in their partnership. It's an ideal setup for a good comedy. I have given five stars in advance for both characters and story, hopefully I wasn't counting chickens that will never hatch.
I found the grammar good. Don't take my word for this though, because English ortography and grammar are not really my strong suite.
The style on the other hand I can judge. The author (and the main character) has a devil-may-care attitude, and that style really goes well with the topic. Also, the choice of words is reasonably colourful.
This is a really strong start, we'll see what will come out of it.
For the author, if you are willing to take a word of advice: I see that you have two other works, that have also decent ratings, but went on hiatus later. You have posted six chapters in about one day. I think it would be better on the long-term, if you posted chapters more infrequently but reliably. That way you would tire out yourself less. Not that I am complaining, a decent batch of chapters is always welcome.
EDIT for the seventh chapter: it seems this will be more of a noir/urban fantasy than a comedy.
EDIT for the twentieth chapter: The story (and the characters) developed in quite another direction than what I expected, but it's still good.
The synopsis drew me in, but the story really is better than expected. Please read! ('Nuff said.)
Style: pacing is good, and things don't slow down or feel like they move too fast. The way that the writer handles confusion and perspectives in action scenes is well done and empathic. It flows pretty well.
Story: 10/10. A little confusing at times, but that's intended, I think. Still manages to draw you in like a starved vacuum cleaner. It shifts in tone quite quickly, but it's not unappreciated, and done without breaking immersion. As a reverse isekai goes, it's not 2D in its explanations for why it occurs, and the author doesn't seem to be going down the path of having it without reason.
Grammar: one or two missed punctuation marks - otherwise perfect.
Character: characters are relatable or at least understandable. Perhaps MC is a little too reticent about using his authority.
People in shock can sometimes cling to discipline, authority, or habit. If he were a little more authoritative, she would probably be the better for it in chapter 45. However, this is in line with characterisation, so no biggie.
Regardless, the characters are mostly consistent and living. Furthermore, there are some confusing shifts.
The mob people, who shift in characterisation. If he owed the MC's father, why didn't he act on it at the start and require urging? It seems a little forced, though I appreciate that it may be a change of heart, and it is bewildering for the MC too.
I like it. Its good. Has good story flow, interesting characters, doesnt serve the mc power on a silver platter, yet still alludes to greater strength within him.
Also, make Ash go good-good again.
I also predict vampire waifu. Probs not happening, especially since this story seems darker than usual ones, and how it doesnt throw women at the mc left and right.