Readers may already be familiar with Saint? No! I’m Just a Passing Beast Tamer! thanks to its light novel, which is available through J-Novel Club. Today I’m here to check out the manga adaptation, which has been brought to the West thanks to Yen Press. Does it prove a good read? Let’s find out!
The story revolves around Kanata Aldezia, who passed away in Japan after living an isolated life in a hospital bed due to a terminal illness. When Kanata is reincarnated, the goddess asks her if she has any lingering regrets from her life in Japan and if there’s anything she can do to make Kanata’s second life in a fantasy world better. Kanata replies that she’s happy with the life she led, except for the fact that she never got to pet any animals.
So the goddess grants Kanata a blessing to ensure she’s as lucky as she was unlucky in her past life and that she has the opportunity to make plenty of friends. Which should mean she gets to make friends with plenty of animals too! Unfortunately for Kanata, it turns out that all the animals in this world are frightened of her! To make up for this, her father suggests she train to become a Beast Tamer which would allow her to befriend animals and magical creatures through the abilities she’ll gain from the role.
Kanata dedicates herself to training in the hopes of being offered the Beast Tamer job when she attends her Selection Ceremony at age 15. In this world, someone’s job is determined not just by their base stats, but also the life they’ve led up until that point. Kanata has pushed herself so far that she’s gained a reputation for being a saint who will surely have access to an incredible number of jobs, making everyone excited to see what she’ll pick. No one believes that she’ll pick Beast Tamer, a job no one wants since it diminishes your stats.
Of course, Kanata does indeed have access to the Beast Tamer job and quickly chooses it before zooming off to find a fluffy creature to befriend, much to the despair of everyone around her who hoped for her to take something that better fit her saintly reputation! Still, that’s of no concern to Kanata and she’s already gotten herself into trouble as she finds a small cat-like creature being attacked by giant birds. Kanata is warned not to approach them but, given her powerful stats, Kanata defeats them in seconds and rescues the one being attacked. And she’s overjoyed to find that at long last this one doesn’t run away from her! She tames the creature and later learns he’s the Demon Lord called Zaggiel, but this is of no concern to Kanata who nicknames him Zaggy and spends her days petting his soft fur and adventuring to make enough money to live.
Saint? No! I’m Just a Passing Beast Tamer! is very free-spirited as far as isekai stories go. Kanata has no real ambition beyond wanting to pet fluffy creatures and while you’d think that would make for a dull story, it’s a lot of fun watching her run around so single-mindedly. She gets herself embroiled in all kinds of trouble too, from fighting a dragon to leaving everyone around her flabbergasted both by her strength and her ridiculous decision to waste it all on becoming a Beast Tamer. Generally, these interactions are hilarious since there’s such a disconnect between Kanata’s thoughts and the common sense of this world. And more than that, the whole thing is simply charming.
As mentioned at the start of the review, this manga is based on a light novel series but it has made the transition to manga well. Artwork is handled by iidatoy and despite being their debut work, it’s quite detailed and does a good job of depicting Kanata’s personality. The battles (as few as there are in this volume), are very eye-catching too. I also admire the restraint in terms of the dialogue, where there are still some pages filled with exposition but those are kept to a minimum which is rare for light novel adaptations. There’s enough still present so newcomers won’t be lost, but fans of the light novel don’t have to fear the content feeling overly repetitive either.
The only real concern with this manga is that, as of the end of Volume 1, it feels like we’ve only just scratched the surface of the plot and it’s not clear to newbies what the series wants to be. This is not unreasonable given there are only three chapters here, but still. Zaggy being a Demon Lord is clearly important, but given Kanata doesn’t care, will it ever be a focus? Likewise, is her daily life going to change at all from coddling Zaggy and leaving everyone around her flabbergasted due to her abilities? Because both of those things could become stale in the long run. But these aren’t problems that should put off anyone looking at Volume 1 because this is still great fun if you’re a fan of the genre and fluffy animals.
Saint? No! I’m Just a Passing Beast Tamer! Volume 1 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Eleanor Summers with lettering by Carolina Hernandez. Despite some concerns when the series was initially licensed under a different title, this release seems to be in keeping with the light novel translation at least as far as main character names go, which is always the biggest concern when these projects are handled by different companies.
This series is ongoing in Japan with four volumes. In English Yen Press have Volume 2 scheduled for a release in November, but there’s nothing beyond that dated currently which suggests we’ll be in a lengthy gap later on.
Overall, Saint? No! I’m Just a Passing Beast Tamer! Volume 1 is well worth checking out both for fans of the original material and those looking for a free-spirited isekai adventure. With a likeable protagonist and charming artwork, there’s plenty to enjoy here and it’s sure to leave you eager to see where Kanata’s story is headed.
Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.