The arrival of Unnamed Memory Volume 3 brings us to the conclusion of Act 1 and the halfway point of the series. But does this prove to be a satisfying end to Act 1? Let’s find out!
When we reunite with King Oscar and Tinasha, the pair are a mere two months from the end of their contract. Oscar is still hoping that Tinasha will agree to marry him and stay around in his life, but for Tinasha’s part, she’s still anticipating returning to the tower and living out her days in isolation once more. Although lately, Tinasha has started to notice she has a reluctance to leave and she turns to her friends to help her work out why that could be.
Of course to both us readers and the people who spend their lives working under Oscar, it’s clear that Tinasha has fallen in love with the king the same way he loves her. When this is revealed to the witch, she grows flustered and runs off to visit one of her fellow witches, before finally coming to terms with reality, but just because she accepts her feelings doesn’t mean she’s prepared for marriage!
Oscar is, of course, over the moon to have Tinasha finally return his feelings and vows not to give up on changing her mind about marriage, but before the two can talk it out, trouble strikes. Rumours that Tinasha has found a lover have reached the Witch Who Cannot Be Summoned and now she wants to kill Oscar to make Tinasha suffer. She’s a powerful enemy and our heroes aren’t sure how they’ll bring an end to her plans, but Oscar believes that as long as he has Tinasha by his side, the two are unstoppable.
Unlike Lanak in Volume 2 of the series, the Witch Who Cannot Be Summoned is a more interesting antagonist. Her reasons for disliking Tinasha are shallow, to begin with, but as the book goes on and her backstory unfolds, it becomes clear what’s driving her hatred. Because she wants to kill Oscar, it ensures we see plenty of both him and Tinasha this time, as opposed to the previous book where the king was sidelined for large portions of it.
I’ve talked at length before about how I love author Kuji Furumiya’s way of showing the passage of time throughout these books and that remains true in this instalment as well, although not as much time moves between chapters. The other thing I appreciate about the writing this time around is that Furumiya has managed to include a bit of everything in this story. There is happiness, excitement and sadness. There are scenes of outright heartbreak mixed in with the everyday sequences we’ve come to love. It never feels forced having so much taking place; the plot has a very natural progression and will have you waiting with bated breath to see what’s coming with every turn of the page.
As far as being a conclusion to the first act, it manages to tie up all the loose ends while simultaneously setting up for the following book. Given how this one ends, I’m already excited to see what’s next, but also apprehensive because I think it’s going to be difficult to follow up on what’s honestly my favourite volume of a light novel at least this year, if not last year too. Having said that, I’m sure what Furumiya’s next book delivers will continue to be just as delightful as what we’ve read so far.
Unnamed Memory Volume 3 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Sarah Tangney. The translation reads well with no issues to note. This release also includes a special commentary from Re:Zero author Tappei Nagatsuki where he perfectly describes what makes this series special and why he loves it so much himself. This extra was certainly a nice way to finish off the book! Volume 4 of the series is currently scheduled for release in November, so not long to find out what’s next in store for us in Act 2.
Overall, Volume 3 of Unnamed Memory delivers the best entry in the series so far as well as demonstrating why author Kuji Furumiya is such a captivating writer. This one will have fans laughing and crying in equal measures as the curtain falls on the first act.