When we left Will and his party at the end of Volume 4 of Wistoria: Wand and Sword, they’d dived into the dungeon, where they were tasked with defeating monsters to earn credits. However, things went horribly wrong when they encountered a powerful monster that caused a cave-in and sent the group down to the 11th floor. Will they make it back to the surface intact?
After crashing down to the 11th floor, Will and his party found themselves split up from one another. On a floor considered a ‘danger zone’ and not overseen by the academy, they were on their own to find a way back, left with little in the form of provisions, and easy pickings for the monsters that prowl the area. It’s touch and go for a while, but luckily everyone manages to regroup. However, before they can make it to safety they come face-to-face with a powerful foe.
The enemy they’ve come across is the Evil Grand Duke, a powerful demon-type monster worth 270 credits that usually frequents the 25th floor of the dungeon. Needless to say, it’s very powerful compared to our heroes and could wipe them out with a single attack but if they want to make it home, they’re going to have to defeat it.
When everyone else loses hope, it’s our plucky protagonist Will who steps forth. He’s the only one who has spent his life overcoming impossible odds, so what’s an Evil Grand Duke? If you’re going to die anyway, Will reasons, you may as well die trying to survive. But can he convince the others to work with him? They have a better shot at success if they team up, but as readers are well aware, Will is an outcast in this group and it’s going to take a lot for the others to trust in his determination to bring down the enemy.
As you may have surmised from all this, Volume 5 of Wistoria: Wand and Sword is once again filled to the brim with battles. I’ve complained about this in the past due to all the action overshadowing character development or world-building, but author/artist duo Fujino Omori and Toshi Aoi still manage to slip in some interesting tidbits here and there. This helps alleviate some of my complaints and allows me to enjoy watching the dramatic battle scenes, chapter to chapter.
What’s most interesting to me as a fan of Omori’s other series DanMachi is the introduction of a new character, called Finn. He’s the blond-haired dwarf on the cover of this volume and is a powerful adventurer who finds himself impressed with Will’s display of skill and courage fighting the Evil Grand Duke. Now if you’re familiar with DanMachi you’ll know that the series also features a character called Finn, who looks exactly like Wistoria’s Finn. They even share very similar personalities from what little we’ve seen so far.
This leads me to wonder if there isn’t more to Wistoria than meets the eye. What if (and this is a big ‘if’) this series is set in the same universe? Maybe even the future of DanMachi’s universe, given Finn is likely to be long-lived? So many things would make sense if that was the case and traditionally Omori is not a lazy writer, so I find it hard to believe he would reuse such a popular character. Surely this has a purpose?
I once criticised this series for being too similar to Omori’s other franchise, but if it’s intentional then that changes things. And frankly, now that this thought has occurred to me, I’m on the hook to see Wistoria through to the end, no matter what happens. I just have to know if I’m right or not and while this isn’t going to be enticing for fans who aren’t familiar with DanMachi, it’s certainly just the thing for me as a mega fan. Although at the same time, if this does turn out to be nothing, I am going to be extremely disappointed.
Wistoria: Wand and Sword Volume 5 comes to the West thanks to Kodansha. It continues to be translated by Athena and Alethea Nibley with lettering credited to AndWorld Design rather than an individual. Volume 6 of the series has just been released in English this month with #7 currently scheduled for March 2024, so after a rapid release pace we’re now faced with a five-month gap.
Overall, Wistoria: Wand and Sword Volume 5 sees the cast face off against their most powerful enemy yet. It may be more of the same, but if you’ve been enjoying the series so far that’s hardly a bad thing and there are clearly some interesting developments on the horizon!
Our review copy from Kodansha was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.