As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World Volume 1 Review

Kodansha’s latest isekai release As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World sees a Japanese salaryman die and be reborn in another world. In his second life, our protagonist is known as Ars Louvent, the child of an aristocratic house. Although he lacks physical strength, Ars has a unique skill that he’s hoping will allow him to rise up in the new world he’s found himself. Will it prove an interesting manga? Let’s take a look! 

The skill Ars finds himself with is called Appraisal, which allows him to see the stats and abilities of those around him. This works out for Ars since his country, the Summerforth Empire, is headed for ruin. Although life is peaceful now, the studying Ars has done in the three years since being reborn (yes, he’s only three at the start of the series!) shows that the emperor is corrupt, leading to conflict in various territories. 

Ars knows he’s both too young and too weak to lead his people into battle should it come to that, so instead, he’s going to dedicate himself to finding worthy retainers in preparation for what’s to come. First of those is Rietz Muses, a 14-year-old boy from Marcan a region whose people are looked down upon and sold as slaves in Summerforth. Of course, when Ars brings Rietz home, proclaiming he’s going to make him a v vassal, Ars’s father and the servants are confused and demand Ars give up on the absurd idea. But our protagonist stands firm, trusting in the abilities and potential he can see in Rietz, thanks to his Appraisal skill. 

In the end, Ars’s father agrees to a duel with Rietz and promises that should the boy land a hit on him then he can be employed in the manor. This moment will decide not only Rietz’s future but also that of the whole territory, given his father will never listen to Ars again, should this not work out. 

Based on an ongoing light novel series by the author Miraijin A (I’m Capped at Level 1?! Thus Begins My Journey to Become the World’s Strongest Badass!, The Abandoned Reincarnation Sage) this manga adaptation by Natsumi Inoue feels like only a snippet of the story. Although there are eight chapters in this first release, we’re only scratching the surface of the story. 

Surely it won’t all be about Ars finding talented subjects, at some point he’ll be embroiled in something much bigger? But for now, we’re left wondering what that will be. I hope Volume 2 will be able to give us more of an answer since right now it’s difficult to work out what the series wants to be going forward and that’s not a good position to be in if it wants to attract committed fans. 

I’m also hoping they’ll age Ars up somewhat since it’s often difficult to convince myself he’s supposed to be 3-years-old. Sure, that’s tied into the story, given he has all this knowledge and being a child means no one trusts his decisions but I think there will quickly become a point where the whole thing is too silly. 

Having said that, there’s still plenty to like here thanks to Inuoe’s artwork. The character designs are attractive and although Ars may not act like a child, he’s certainly convincingly portrayed as one in the artwork. The few action scenes are easy to follow and quite dynamic, which makes me eager to see the cast fighting stronger opponents where the fight won’t conclude after a page or two.

As previously mentioned, As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World Volume 1 comes to the West thanks to Kodansha where it has been translated by Stephen Paul with lettering by Nicole Roderick. The translation reads well with no issues to note and I appreciate how the lettering for Ars’s Appraisal skill is depicted in fonts that are recognisable to anyone who has played an RPG. 

The manga is ongoing with eight volumes in Japan currently. Volume 2 and #3 are already available with #4 scheduled for a release in March. Kodansha has Volume 1 of the light novel scheduled for a release in March under their Vertical imprint, so if you’re interested in checking out the source material you’ll soon be able to! 

Overall As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World first volume seems better suited to those already familiar with the work. We don’t get very far in the story and it’s difficult to suspend your belief that a three-year-old protagonist is driving the plot forward. However, the artwork is great and I do like the premise, so this is still recommendable just with some drawbacks to be considered. 

A free preview can be read on Kodansha’s website here. 

7 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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