Sansui Shirokuro died because of God mistaking him for an old person. In his next life, he wants to be the strongest. Thus, he is transported to another world, and trains under a master for 500 years.
For this LN, I was already familiar with the manga which I found to be a good comedy. So in some spare time, I decided to check the LN which to my surprise, proved to be fairly different from the manga.
After 500 years of training, Sansui is still a young man physically thanks to the immortal art he obtained through swinging his wooden sword. He doesn’t have many fighting technique, he looks like a peasant and still rely on his wooden sword. But, his training in the middle of the forest halted when he finds a young baby protected by a dead maid from wolves. His master tasked him to bring her up. Thus, Sansui goes back to civilisation.
With 500 years of training under his belt, he becomes the bodyguard of a duke’s daughter, Douve and beat everyone in the most unflashy way: oneshot with a wooden sword. The good thing is that it’s not One Punch Man. Overpowered he is, but from technique and not from just sheer brute force. In fact, there is a lot of martial art explanation from Sansui, analyzing everyone’s strengths and weaknesses including his own.
Now, the story has several thread. Sansui is attracting women and rivals, Douve is a capricious girl pushing him around for her entertainment, Sansui’s daughter is a mystery, the political force are definitely on the move, and I may be missing some. It might not be the most original, but they just flow and meld together very well for a lighthearted story.
The strength of this LN lies in its main character. Sansui exhibit the traits we may often associate with immortality. He has distanced himself from mortal desires, like lust, greed or gluttony. But he is no old man sage either. He is actually leaning on the cynical. The world through the eyes of an immortal can be quite different as his observation can be a fair bit deeper than usual. The only issue could be that such wisdom enter the textbook territory. Sansui doesn’t suffer from that, but some comments about war were on the easy side, as in war being a waste of resource. Some more development, and better depiction through the characters’ reaction of how horrible the battlefield is would have been more impactful.
Relationships are also quite a nice change. First of all, the one cheat character and usual protagonist of an isekai who get a harem, is not Sansui. Sansui anyway doesn’t exhibit much love nor lust as an immortal, making it hard for the girls hitting on him. This is different from being clueless about relationship like most protagonist by the way. He does try to answer her feeling with maturity. I’m curious on how he will progress.
Politic is getting more and more involved too as the reader progress, because Sansui being the ultimate swordman at the service of a duke is an imbalance in the forces within the kingdom. For the king, it means he could easily be overthrown. It’s usually problem overlooked by most isekai with op protagonist, but here they are slowly dealing with it. And, there are other countries with their share of problems pushing for conflicts.
Narratively, we get the usual first person point of view of Sansui, and sometime a change to third person when focusing on other characters. It’s no standout but does the job of conveying the story. The same can be said of the illustrations.
So for 2 volumes, I quite liked it, with the exception for the chapter on the mage. He is a lot less interesting than Sansui and his group. I also hope that the cynicism is kept fresh. As the plot is thickening on the political side, and there are hints of someone who could counter Sansui, I’m totally in for the next volume.
There is manga which I had read prior to the LN. The manga does feel more like a comedy because Sansui is presented more like a generic overpowered protagonist. Usually, LN with characters who have lots of internal monologue, or a specific vision of the world surrounding them, doesn’t translate for the best in manga or anime ( I’m looking at you SAO ). I was taught ( at least in my university 10 years ago) to rely on visual clues instead of keeping such monologue when adapting story to video scenario, and thus, they are lost.
Still the manga is solid and gives the comedy spin which was the actual drive for me to read the LN.
Author: Rokurou Akashi