A very good LITRPG story, of the isekai variety. An Asian-Australian with a gift for obfuscating talk and strong opinions on politics and culture goes to a fantasy world with a rather unique set of RPG mechanics attached to it.
There have been other reviews which say that everyone's in love with the MC, but I don't see it. Yes, he's different from the cultural norms of the world he was sent to, and this makes him an oddity, but he's being used by most of his 'friends'. The story goes out of it's way to show that the MC, Jason, while a decently smart and observant guy, is blinded by his cultural prejudices and is not as smart as he thinks he is. Yes, he's good at manipulating people, but mainly because of the vast amount of media he's consumed. There are no new stories under the sun, after all, and locals who are unfamiliar with the tropes of fiction can be counted on to not act in a 'meta' way. They haven't been raised, after all, on hundreds of stories with a corrupt child of someone important getting their comeuppance, for example.
I really enjoy it, and I recommend it to others. The MC can seem like a lot in the early chapters, but the way his thinking works is spelled out pretty well later on.
tl;dr at the bottom
I feel like this story was created as a giant middle finger to anyone who doesn't want their protagonist to be a muderhobo. The MC is the father of the person who'd normally by the MC, the insanely-talented and prepared-for-all-situations daughter. The daughter is a great example of why most LITRPG protagonists are terrible people from the outside, as we lack insight into her thought processes and are given no way to emotionally connect with her. We see her as the average person in the world would, as a borderline sociopath who is too fully ready to slaughter intelligent beings for numerical benefits.
The MC himself is a perfectly fine character. Or, at least, he would be if the lore, world, and LITRPG system were set up for any existence but slaughtering monsters for fun and profit. He's a bit too naive at times for someone pushing fifty, and acts a lot like a teenager. As stated previously, if this was another story, he'd make a better character, but the mechanics the LITRPG system uses are set up to be min-maxed for combat.
The Script(translate:System) that runs everything is designed from the ground up for combat. There is an in-universe reasoning given for this, but it kinda rings hollow as things progress and you realize that the culture isn't different enough for this reasoning to be real.
There's a Quiet War between the humans of this world and another race, which I have only determined exists to give the author a way to contrive drama and play with worn-out themes of 'sins of the fathers' and 'fantastic racism'.
The story is well written, with few grammatical errors and solid storytelling. There were a couple times I genuinely enjoyed the story, although there are times where the theft from established properties is a little too obvious to be enjoyable in anything shy of a full parody story.
This story is the equivalent of the even cheaper, off-brand chips. It's fine for a party, but you know it's not good for you and the taste is just off enough to not be pleasant.
Realize that plot-important characters get less development than the two waifus conning the MC into adding to his harem in AN ENTIRELY REALISTIC AND NOT AT ALL PORN-TIER WRITING WAY.
Used to really like this story, and the early part is still pretty good. I just get turned off by the constant pushing for the MC to expand his harem, and if he shows reluctance or an unwillingness to break his wedding vows, well, he's just an old fuddy duddy!
It's well written and I enjoy it, but it's rapidly heading down a 'beastiality loli harem' route that I'm starting to be creeped out by.
EDIT: Apparently I was right.
What happens when your OP character becomes something of such unique power that it will take an impressive diabolus ex machina to create an enemy?
Seriously, though. What started as an intriguing story about a monster's growth turned into probably the defining work of obscure references and puns on Royal Road. And for all of that, I genuinely cannot bring myself to care anymore. There are only so many times you can bring on the NSFW without it just becoming mundane.
The last chapter I read, "Interlude - A Day to Remember", read like the capstone of the work. It seemed like an ending. And with it, my interest his guttered out. It was an interesting ride, while it lasted, but I think that may truly be the best place to end this particular story.
If you haven't read it, I encourage you to, so long as you have a strong stomach for highly NSFW scenes, puns, and intense descriptions of violence.
The worst sort of cringy wish-fulfillment. The MC is a cool kid not afraid of anything using modern thought and technology to upset the martial arts world. Watch him shamelessly flirt with preteen girls!
I've been told that it gets better in later chapters but I can't continue. Best of luck to the future.
Take the snarky mental AI companion from Prehistoric Barbarian, a cultivation system with new names taped over everything, a pretty generic LitRPG system with prettier than normal windows, add in a dash of murderous intent and cover everything in [REDACTED], no wait, Classified because writing mystery is hard so the answer is just not to answer any questions.
The writing is clean, the MC is bland, the gammar is consistent, and the emotional tone is lacking. It's fine. Not good, or bad. It's fine. Better than a lot of garbage on this site, but not a gem.
I have read until chapter 35.
This story is excellently written, with an MC who genuinely feels like an older man reincarnated into a child. He's a great combination of bemused, arrogant, sarcastic and cautious.
Now, there have been stories that have slowed down when the MC entered a city and politics began to take hold, but this isn't one of them. It's exciting, fast-paced, and simply fun to read. Highest recommendation!
UPDATE: I miss this story.
LOOK AT ME I'M CRAZY AND LOLSORANDUMB REFERENCE REFERENCE EPIC MAYMAY!!!)!1010101 You're an idiot. SHUT UP BRAIN I DO WHAT I WANT LOLOLOLMAYMAY EPIC LE REFERENCE!!!!1010!!!
There. I just saved you from having to read this dumpster fire masquerading as a story. It's mostly meaningless noise. The MC has a 'sane' subconscious for apparently no other reason that to insult the MC. Want to die of alcohol poisoning? Create a drinking game that revolves around pop culture references. The author has taken the Big Bang Theory path of shouting catchphrases and references to pop culture instead of having jokes, emotion, or any attempt at making something meaningful or timeless. References are not jokes, and most of the references in the early chapters are already dated. But that's not all! They also fall victim to the common well adjusted writer's trap of thinking genuine mental illness is the same as being an unlikeable overexcited prat.
Reading this story has left me frustrated and angry. The grammar, when not deliberately messed up, is pretty good.
It's basically the Korean comic The Gamer with the organization he joins being a VRMMO game company/Illuminati/Knights Templar instead of a martial arts family. I really, really wanted to like it, but I can't. I, in fact, hate it. There are potential spoilers, so don't read farther if you want to avoid them.
Style: Competent. The author's writing is crisp, however a lot of the character's progression has been glossed over in favor of keeping the story more with the feel of elongated diary entries.
Grammar: Very good. Author fixes any errors pointed out in the comments, and there are very few of those.
Story: Aside from a potential biotechnological singularity event in the near future, nothing about this story is original. MC gets LITRPG powers in the real world. Then joins the spoopy COMPANY, which is trying to save the world by introducing VRMMO's that let people know that magic exists for some reason.
Character: If I could give this no stars I would. I haven't had a story engender in me this amount of hatred in a long time. The main character is nice, but completely lacks both curiosity and a backbone. If done well, that's fine. I have little problems with that on it's own. The difficulty comes when paired with his parents and """best friend""". They completely walk all over him. He gets no say in his life in even the smallest of ways. Any desire for privacy is not even acknowledged. His best friend already worked for the company since she's got a reincarnation power. He reveals his power to his family, not knowing you're not supposed to do that. From that instant on, he becomes essentially the tool of his friend and his parents, who decide they, as unpowered people who know nothing about this secret world, should control every aspect of their son's life. He is essentially kidnapped and tortured by his friend so that she can learn every iota about his power and start training him in the way she believes he should best be trained. He is actively discouraged from innovation and experimentation. He is constantly belitted by his 'friend'. His parents move him into an apartment complex that the friend's company controls to keep a better eye on him. His friend breaks in to his apartment every day to force him to make her breakfast. He is essentially powerless in matters of his own life. When he is plugged in to the new VRMMO to beta test it, his friend and parents are there as well, continuing to belittle anything he does. He is constantly forced to endure his friend's punishments, which range from her tormenting him in ways the reading is supposed to find humorous, to constantly zapping him with static electricity. The one time he attempts anything back she immediately escalates it to a level he cannot return. That is not friendly play, that is forcing dominion over another person.
I cannot stand these characters. The MC is a nice guy, but he comes off as having a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome. He never questions, never fights back. He is completely broken. His best friend, if it weren't for the author trying to hammer home that the horrors she constantly inflicts on the MC are 'for his own good' (The rallying cry of bullies, tyrants, and sadists everywhere), I'd say she was the main bad guy of the story. His parents are willing accomplices to his friend and display almost no familial affection for someone who is supposed to be their son.
The author has made a cursory attempt at making the world a scary, unforgiving place, but there's really been no sign of the sort of danger he's being 'trained' for. The comic this story is 'borrowing' most of it's elements from show that the hidden world is a scary place. People die, people get enslaved. People get turned into living batteries to power unholy artifacts. That helps to justify any excessive training. Here, there is none of that. He's just tortured and told "You're lucky I'm here!" with no explanation as to why that is the case. I loathe it.
Just reading this story makes me angry. Angry at the MC's parents, because they're horrible people who are apparently living out a power fantasy vicariously through their son's power. Angry at the MC's best friend, because she is every abusive relationship I've ever seen wrapped up in a single person. She is physically and emotionally abusive. I was angry on the MC's behalf at how poorly he was being treated by his friends and family, and how he was immediately forced into a path without even being given the opportunity to back away.
This story evoked an emotional response of rage. I shouldn't hate this. It's a LitRPG story about a guy getting RPG powers in real life. I should love it. But the characters ruin it for me. I forced myself to read to chapter 18 (the most recent one at this time) because I hoped the MC would be able to do something, anything to get out of the bad place he's in. I will not be returning to this one, and I advise if you have ever been in a violent or abusive household you avoid it.