Over the summer Square Enix Manga began releasing The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest in English. After a successful first instalment, now we’re back with Volume 2 to find out if the series can keep up the momentum.
Having passed the exam for the Second Royal Academy with flying colours, protagonist Mathias is now enjoying his school life. He impressed the teachers so much that he now finds himself helping to tutor the students in magic! Not long after his first days at the academy, our hero learns about the existence of dungeons. Together with his friends Lurie and Alma, he creates a party to go adventuring.
Lurie and Alma are two women introduced toward the end of Volume 1. Mathias met the girls on arrival in the capital city and helped create a weapon for Lurie; since then he’s found himself forming firm friendships with the two. Not only that, but he sees a lot of potential in their abilities and they’re quick learners with skills that complement his strengths.
The headmaster of the Second Royal Academy approves of Mathias’ group and asks him to help out in the forthcoming annual competition between the Second and First Royal Academies. In this contest, three students are selected from each side to compete against one another in a 3 vs 3 match. This is something that Mathias’ school has struggled to win in recent years and our protagonist might be just the helping hand they need to claim victory.
While exploring the dungeon nearby, Mathias teaches Alma how to wield a bow more effectively and guides Lurie in using enchantments. Since Mathias is a close-range fighter, he concentrates on making the girls effective rearguards. It’s entertaining to watch Mathias put the two through their paces and the progress they make.
Like the first instalment of The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest, a lot of this volume is dedicated to setting up a much bigger plot. It doesn’t leave much time for dwelling on questions I’d have liked answered about the world (like why Mathias wants to fight monsters in outer space!), but the story it’s putting together is an interesting one.
Perhaps most importantly of all, the series is still pure fun to read. The comedic scenes are well-timed and the artwork continues to convey the cast’s emotions well. Not to mention some of the delightful two-page action scenes throughout the book. I still think they would look fantastic in an anime, so I hope that eventually comes to fruition!
The series so far isn’t doing anything we haven’t seen elsewhere, but it has a good sense of humour and is more than happy to poke fun at the tropes of the genre. An example of this is Alma being shocked by Mathias revealing they defeated an extremely powerful monster, only to turn around a panel later, proclaiming that she can’t use common sense when it comes to our protagonist. It’s refreshing to find characters who are so self-aware about the fact that the protagonist is ridiculously overpowered.
Ultimately, I think this blend of action and comedy will give the series longevity for a while yet, but I do hope by Volume 4 or 5 we’ve had the world-building fleshed out a bit more. There are obviously very interesting things happening in the world judging by hints here and there, but we just haven’t had the opportunity to learn about them yet.
As previously mentioned, The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest comes to the West thanks to Square Enix Manga and has been translated by Caleb D. Cook. The translation reads well with no issues to speak of. Volume 3 of the series is scheduled for an English release in January 2021.
Overall, The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest continues to be an entertaining read in the fantasy genre. While this volume didn’t offer the world-building I was hoping for, it did deliver some impressive fight scenes that kept me hooked. If you liked the first volume then this certainly won’t disappoint!