In Volume 4 of The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest, protagonist Matthias set off for an abandoned village where demons had made camp, but what awaits him in this place and what will it mean for the kingdom? With Volume 5 in hand, let’s find out what’s happening now!
Waiting for Matthias in the village is the Mist Demon and a heated battle ensues. Once the Mist Demon has been defeated, Matthias and his group discover a Dracopulse Pillar, which sucks in mana from the earth to then unleash a powerful spell. This Dracopulse Pillar has been left with the task of summoning a powerful army of monsters to attack the kingdom!
While Alma and Lurie are worried about how they’ll fend off an army of vicious creatures, Matthias is fairly unconcerned about the whole thing and instead endeavours to help the kingdom rebuild its defensive barrier.
But before Matthias can return to the kingdom, he needs to decide what to do with Iris the dragon whom he enlisted to take him and his party to the village. Iris is a powerful ally so Matthias suggests she take on a human form and enrol at the Second Academy with him and the others, to which she readily agrees. There’s just one problem – Iris has no idea how to control her powers in this new form!
To begin with, Matthias thinks Iris will be able to join the academy easily but he soon grows concerned when she fails the written portion of the exam, with her fate then resting on the practical portion. Of course, the bigger problem is if someone starts to suspect Iris of not being human, which is a whole other kettle of fish for our protagonist to deal with…
Back when I reviewed Volume 4 of the series, I was hopeful that Iris would remain a member of the cast, so naturally I was overjoyed when Matthias suggests she join them in the academy. I must admit I am also surprised by the restraint on the part of the author/artist team not to have her turn into a big-breasted female character when she transforms into a human. A lot of series like this do go for that trope, which often ruins the character for me, so I was happy to see Iris depicted as a fairly normal girl just like Alma and Lurie.
That said, some readers may get annoyed by the fact that Iris can’t fully control her powers since that is also an overly used trope in the genre. I think given enough time, Iris will grow into her new body and become an irreplaceable member of the team, but for now, we’re going to have to put up with some minor struggles.
What I also appreciate about this instalment of the series is that, despite becoming a bit sidetracked with Iris, it’s still moving the plot along. The group are working hard to acquire the Magistones they’ll need to make the barrier active and Matthias is working to not only become more powerful himself but also train those around him. After all, if an army of demons is going to try and invade, then he needs the whole kingdom prepared to fight them off!
The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest Volume 5 comes to the West thanks to Square Enix Manga and continues to be translated by Caleb D. Cook. Included at the end of the release is a short story from author Shinkoshoto which focuses on Iris, which is a treat if you’ve gotten attached to the dragon so far! Volume 6 of the series is due for release later this month, so we won’t be waiting long to continue Matthias’ adventures.
Overall, The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest Volume 6 succeeds in further developing the new member of the cast while skilfully avoiding some of the tropes of similar series. It also sets up well for the story to come, so there is plenty to be excited about!
A free preview can be found on the publisher’s website here.