As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World Volume 2 (Light Novel) Review

Now that the Spring anime season has reached its conclusion, so too has the anime adaptation of As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World! Now, you may be wondering where to pick up the source material or simply if it lives up to the anime, so with Volume 2 let’s find out more!

As we reunite with protagonist Ars, we pick up right where we left off in Volume 1. Ars has become the head of the Louvent household after the early death of his father and certainly doesn’t have an easy time taking up his new duties as the empire he lives in prepares for a civil war. Known for his ability to pick talented individuals and having become fast friends with Lord Couran, Ars has been invited to take part in the war councils in preparation for the upcoming battles.

However, although Ars has plenty of smart retainers, the one thing he’s lacking is a capable strategist. He does of course have Rosell whom he recruited in Volume 1, but being a young boy with no battle experience, there’s only so far his knowledge can take him and Ars worries that he’s starting to plateau in growth.

It’s lucky then that Ars’ spy contacts, the Shadows, have found him a capable individual called Mireille, who formally worked for the enemy before her master passed away. Now she’s been roaming around the country looking for a new place to settle, but no one will take her in due to her eccentric personality. Upon meeting her, Ars uses his ability to confirm her potential and realises she’s exactly the type of person he needs for the upcoming war councils.

However, Mireille is an alcoholic and has no desire to work hard in her new role. She causes nothing but trouble at Ars’ estate and it’s not long before she’s made an enemy of everyone, including Rietz who is the most devoted to the Louvent household and his young master. Ars can’t bring himself to let her go, given her potential, so begins to scheme ways to win over the rest of his retainers and allow them to see her full capabilities…

If you’ve been watching the anime adaptation for this series then you’ll almost certainly recognise the main storyline here. The anime adapts half of Volume 2, which makes for a good stopping point as the rest of the book is largely about preparation for the battles ahead. In some ways that is the big downside to this volume compared to the first; it feels like very little happens because it’s all set up. Yes, Ars gains Mireille and we do see some action scenes, but there’s certainly an overwhelming sense that this is all in service of something bigger.

Of course, Reincarnated Aristocrat put us under no illusion during its first outing that this was a slow political series. So, as long as you keep that in mind, you’re unlikely to be too bothered by the slower pace of this one. Especially as among all this, there’s good character and world-building, both for the enemies, Ars is destined to face and the new members of his team like Mireille. Despite her eccentric personality and tendency to cause more harm than good, I did warm to Mireille relatively quickly. If nothing else, her heart is in the right place and it seems as if she will prove a dependable ally in the long run.

As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World continues to come to the West thanks to Kodansha under their Vertical imprint. This release is once again translated by Tristan K. Hill and although some names and terms differ from the anime (which is on the anime team rather than Hill since this came first), the release reads well with no issue to note. It may just trip up some newcomers coming from the anime. This release includes colour pages at the start depicting Ars and some of his retainers.

Kodansha has been busy bringing this one out at quite a fast pace, so you can already get your hands on Volumes 3 through 5. There is a Volume 6 in Japanese, but since that only came out in April of this year I imagine it will take a while longer to make its way into English. Still, that means there is plenty of this to keep you going before the anime returns in the Autumn.

Overall As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World is a much slower outing than its debut as it steadily builds up for a much larger conflict. Still, it offers the same level of thoughtful character and world-building we saw in Volume 1 so there’s still plenty to enjoy here. Particularly if you watched the anime and are hoping to get to new content as soon as possible!

Our review copy from Kodansha was supplied by Turnaround Comics (Turnaround Publisher Services).

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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