Didn't I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?! Light Novel Vol. 1 Kindle Edition
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The story begins with a girl having a flashback of sorts. It's when she wakes up suddenly during the night and can't remember the details of who she is correctly. All of this information is flooding into her mind. She now remembers that she is, in fact, a reincarnated Japanese girl who died, met a god, and was reborn into a different world. In her previous life on earth as Misato, she died saving the life of a young girl who, Misato is told by the god with whom she speaks, will be instrumental in the advancement of human history on earth. To reward Misato for this, one of the gods ruling over the cosmos offers to allow her to be reborn in a world that is not as developed as modern-day earth, but is filled with a science that is similar in effect to magic, so she can live out her life there. He tells her the advantages she will have due to the special extra skills he will grant her, and it sounds like a good deal.
Misato accepts the offer, but with one request: she doesn't *want* the superior skills and powers this god offers her. Instead, she wants to be average and common-place, as she puts it. There is a reason for this. In her previous life that just ended, she was a prodigy of such an extent that it made her miserable. Or rather, the actions of others made her miserable. Her family put unbelievable pressure on her to succeed and had arguments about her future. On top of that, no other children wanted to spend time with her, because they perceived her as being far more intimidating than she really was. She believes that being exceptional would lead to problems again, and she doesn't want to go through all of this heartache and isolation once more. She wants to be normal, average, have friends, live a peaceful life, so on.
Unfortunately for Misato, when she was reborn as the noble Adele Anscham, the god who agreed to her request kinda used a loophole of sorts out of a desire (we can presume) to ensure her survival in the new world to which he was sending her. He didn't make her average, he made her pretty much the median, the middle, of EVERYTHING. So she is right down the middle for all abilities and what not, across all creatures and races. And even outside the races, her abilities are the middle of all possible skills and traits. Stength, speed, magic, you name it. Essentially, this makes her the world's strongest person. To say that she is not amused by this, well, it would be an understatement. But she does make the most of it, while still trying to be normal if she can.
Of course, she is not exactly very *good* at this effort to be normal either, so lots of funny and cute moments abound. Adele is kinda what you would call a ditz at times. She is a genius with access to knowledge from her old world that far outstrips the knowledge of the largely medieval world she finds herself in. But her lack of social knowledge, combined with her naiveté, make for most of the humor and challenges on her quest to live a normal life. She navigates things the best way she can with the help of loyal friends.
All of that longish intro is to just get you the feel of the story. Yes, it is kinda a ridiculous premise, even as far as reincarnation-style *isekai* (transported or reborn in another world) stories go. But the premise is the foundation behind much of the humor, the cuteness, and so forth of the story. It's thus necessary to summarize it in order to give a potential reader an idea of what is going on.
There were a few problems that I want to get mentioned and out of the way before I praise this book. First of all is that Adele (later called Mile) seems at times (in my opinion) unsympathetic when she uses her 18 year-old mind to argue with and often brutally dress down other students whose minds match their young bodies, unlike with her, and whose knowledge will always be inferior to hers. Other readers might not have a problem with it, but it bothered me. The second issue is a double-standard in that while she *does* get criticized for going too far at times by others in-universe, she is also praised or humorously ignored. It's not always bad for her to act that way, is the notion. Whereas I'm certain such leeway isn't often, if ever, given to male characters in Japanese fiction.
The other issue with the book were some myriad typos and grammatical errors. It seems like this ebook version was put out really quickly and I hope these are all caught by the time of the physical release. If so, then this electronic version will likely get an update.
Now for the plusses. I really can't sing the praises enough because this story, while not high literature, was well-written and was *fun* to read. To me, that is really the most important part. Literature can be on the technical level sophisticated, well-written, and check off every item on some imaginary "high literature" list, but if said story is not enjoyable to read, it isn't good enough.
Another good point is how the author balances the humor just carefully enough so that it isn't cringe comedy. I personally despise the particular genre of comedy, and some of the aspects of this story, if not handled deftly, would have been cringey. Thankfully, it was not, but was quite funny, due to the author's careful hand.
To me, characterization is always among the most important aspects of a story. The characterization here was a mixed bag. It was good in the matter of Adele (later Mile as her alias). But for the other characters, it kinda wavered between some decent characterization and poor characterization that verges on caricatures. The reason this was a problem for me is that the author obviously has the ability to delve into the characters' heads if they so choose to do so, yet for some reason, did not do so as much as they could have done.
Despite this, the reader *is* able to grasp the characters enough to care about them and to enjoy reading about some really cute and heartwarming moments. Both as herself, Adele, and as her alias, Mile, the main character gains a trio of best friend girls with which she tries to forge the path of her life. These are Marcela, Monika and Aureana for the first group, and then for the second, her new team of Reina, Paula and Mavis. Of course, a young boy named Veil kinda ends up joining Mile's team too for a short time. The interactions between the members of each group at a time was worth the price of the novel alone. It was sweet, calming, and simply the type of read that can soothe the soul.
The thing about the cute and heartwarming parts is that they could have been nauseating, but they were not. Just as comedy can go wrong if not handled correctly, so can the sweet moments make one want to kills the characters as they are too saccharine if not handled right. Again, the author showed amazing skills here.
While it might seem strange to mention or give kudos for this in a largely slice-of-life story, the world building was quite good. There were some details not quite fleshed out entirely, but for the most part, this was far more intricate world building than I've typically seen from this type of story.
The illustrator, Itsuki Akata, did a terrific job on the illustrations. They were just so cute, as well as perfectly capturing the sense of the scenes they were depicting. The pictures are a perfect addition to the story.
While this isn't the perfect book, and has some issues, the author did a great job of handling the story elements to create and tell a wonderfully readable and fun story, while avoiding the pitfalls they could have fallen into when writing it.
Highly Recommended and looking forward to Volume 2!
Rating: 5/5 Stars.
I liked the characters and the writing, all the twists on the in another world / magic were great.
Would recommend, if you like this you should like (Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody, Konosuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!, Is it Wrong to pick up Girls in a Dungeon) and visa versa.
The story is told almost exclusively from the protagonist's point of view. She is overpowered, but hindered by her own wish for a normal life and failing miserabely in obtaining it. I found it a fun quick read, but it might not be for everybody. Afterall, it is a light novel with its odd branche of humor, although I have seen worse. There is also no overarching plot or detailed setting, at least, not yet.
Still, I am looking forward to the next part....
I've read multiple novels both on amazon and through websites. But it seemed like half of the 'Reincarnation with overpowered abilities' themed novels I read were just really drab and harem-y.
This...this golden novel on the other hand has finally been the light at the end of the tunnel for me. The MC being a girl (girl power!), actually wishing not to stick out like a sore thumb ability wise (but lol) and the author actually incorporating logic ideals, theory, and rules of medieval times. From start to finish I felt the words taking me on an actual journey I would love to be apart of! Gosh, I can't believe I was lucky enough to stumble on this gem of a story and I can sincerely say, "I cannot wait for the next volume to come out!"
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The only thing that I didn't like about it was that the main character rarely spoke.Read more