After her mother passed away, Lucia found herself debt ridden. She is just a girl whose only specialty is to be able to cast the magic “Soap”, to do the laundry. Thus she became a laundrymaid, but, is that all her magic is capable of?
In a period of great despair as I read different new LN just to be disappointed, I was curious about this one. A brightful cover, just like it’s title, was the first thing to attract me. But how many time can I be baited by a cover? Too many. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed for this one.
The beginning started with a first person point of view. The narrator is Lucia, the main character, an ordinary girl. Her narration has a charming feminine touch which was heartwarming at the first few words. Her emotions are also strongly conveyed, so while I’m usually neutral on first or third person point of view, here I like it. It’s weird to described oneself at the first person, but for her, it was oddly fitting.
Lucia’s life is pretty simple. She is kind girl with a very bubbly personality. A touch innocent and naive, and of course dense because this is a romantic comedy. A typical shoujo protagonist a la Cinderella. She works hard to pay her debt and help people. You just can’t hate her. If you do, you are a monster, or you are tired of the cliché.
She is also secretly in love with a knight. The pairing is quickly introduced in 2 chapters. And that’s how you start your overdose of sugar. Both of them are so cuteeeeeee!
So far so good, the romance is set. But the events unfold. As a fantasy world, there are monsters and the people have to perform rituals to purify crystals around the world to prevent the apparition of monsters. The pacing is never too slow, never too fast. There are lots of events which make everything progress fast and never boring, yet everyone has some time to develop. Some characters get time to have their own chapter with their own point of view, to better illustrate their inner change or their reasons for behavior. You get intimate with them and a more nuanced portrayal than the appearance would let anyone believe. It is a nice expansion of what would otherwise have been a story too focused on Lucia and lack a certain world breadth.
Now, if I had one complain, it would be the title of the chapters. They are probably left over from the WN publication, as there lots of short chapters, so the title is usually in the form “Lucia does this”. When the narration is quite flavorful, the titles feel so plain. Actually, another complain would be that there is only 3 volumes, so this is going to be short and I will be sad when it ends.
Now that the complains is out of the way, the last thing to discuss is illustration. They are cute, and numerous which contributes to the heartwarming atmosphere. Just before, I had read a LN just before without any black and white illustration and it felt so lacking, that it was a joy to have so many.
So, The Extraordinary, the Ordinary and SOAP is a LN I liked a lot. I have already checked the prepublication of volume 2 and it keeps the same quality. It was a good surprise to me, as it washed away the bitterness I have felt from a number of volume 1 I have read recently. Unless you can’t stand sugar, it’s quite easy to get in and hooked so I would recommend it. It’s well written, heartwarming, full of fluff and heartfelt feeling.
Author: Nao Wakasa Syosetu