When I reviewed volume 5 of An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, I praised it for delivering a unique story – the likes of which the series hadn’t yet offered. Now we’re at volume 6 and I’m hoping what I loved form volume 5 has continued. Let’s find out!
As we reunite with our cast the day for Zagan and Nephy’s first date is drawing closer, but when adopted daughter Foll falls out with her parents, trouble ensures! Upset that Zagan won’t teach her any powerful magic until she’s older, Foll seeks out magic to allow her to grow bigger.
Zagan and Nephy worry about the consequences of Foll dabbling in such complicated magic without their supervision, so Zagan reluctantly agrees to help Foll with the spell. However, while performing the ritual something goes wrong and while Foll grows bigger Zagan finds that he shrinks in size! Now in the body of his child-self, Zagan must find a way to put things right before he’s stuck this way!
If this synopsis sounds familiar to you then don’t worry you’re not going crazy. This volume is quite similar to the events of volume 4, where Nephy turned into a child. Although the circumstances are different, Zagan and Nephy go through similar thought processes to last time (just in reverse). Nephy wants to protect Zagan from harm and also takes the chance to dote on his now, adorable, form. In a way, this odd situation strengthens their relationship quite a bit, but it does sadly put a dent in Zagan’s plans for a date.
Meanwhile, Foll has to come to terms with the fact that power comes at a cost and having cheated her way into becoming bigger, she may not end up with the desired results. When she learns that Zagan may be unable to reverse the spell she’s left devastated about her thoughtless actions. However, like with Nephy, Zagan being a child means Foll starts to see him in a new light and realises he’s only ever done what’s best for her. His unwillingness to teach her powerful magic wasn’t born out of distrust, but a wish for her to live a peaceful childhood first.
I find myself conflicted about the events of this volume. On one hand, we get some great character development for Foll, a character who has largely been left to their own devices since their introduction in volume 2 – on the other hand, I struggled to invest in the story with it being so similar to volume 4. After a genuinely great tale last volume, this time we’re back to ‘monster of the week’ and reusing old content which just didn’t grip me in the same way.
The longer Elf Bride goes on, the more obvious it is that a large portion of the stories it tells are all the same – and that takes all the excitement away. It’s predictable and difficult to justify sticking with unless you deeply care about Zagan and Nephy. This is only made worse by the fact author Fuminori Teshima is capable of so much more with their writing, as the previous volume proved.
This volume of An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride once more comes to English thanks to publisher J-Novel Club. As always the volume has been translated by Hikoki and while the pre-pubs had a few issues, the final eBook is a smooth read. The colour illustrations (drawn by COMTA) this time around are utterly adorable and a must see for fans of Zagan and Nephy.
Overall this volume of An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride is a disappointment. While it does develop Foll’s character, the retreading of volume 4’s plot was unneeded and sucks out a lot of the enjoyment out of the book. Hopefully, better things are in store for volume 7!