Title: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation (Vol. 1)
Author/Art: Momochi, Misaki, Sando
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributor
Publication Date: August 11th, 2020.
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I was approved to review a digital review copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review will be cross-posted on NetGalley and Goodreads.
When Lizel mysteriously finds himself in a city that bears odd similarities to his own but clearly isn’t, he quickly comes to terms with the unlikely truth: this is an entirely different world. Even so, laid-back Lizel isn’t the type to panic. He immediately sets out to learn more about this strange place, and to help him do so, hires a seasoned adventurer named Gil as his tour guide and protector. Until he’s able to find a way home, Lizel figures this is a perfect opportunity to explore a new way of life adventuring as part of a guild. After all, he’s sure he’ll go home eventually… might as well enjoy the otherworldly vacation for now!
(Taken from Goodreads)
The Book Review
Thank you Diamond Book and NetGalley for sending me an eARC of this new manga! I was attracted by the premise and the art style, as I thought it a fresh slice-of-life spin on the Isekai genre featuring a vacation rather than panic, distress and life-or-death quests. While overall enjoyable, the first volume in the series presented some issues that prevented me from fully appreciating the story.
What I Liked
The art style is gorgeous. Detailed, expressive – a pleasure to look at. There is a lot of detail, dynamism and personality coming through in the drawing style, which made the manga particularly enjoyable to read!
Like I said, I was really excited about the fresh spin on the Isekai genre. It was refreshing to see a protagonist who, instead of panicking or getting into trouble immediately is level-headed and carefree enough to think about enjoying his break from the ordinary!
I’m intrigued by Lizel. He’s definitely hiding something – some secret or some skill – that will hopefully propel the narrative forward in the next volumes.
What I Liked a Little Less
I had two main issues and one minor issue with this volume: plot, character and time.
Plot-wise… there isn’t much? Plot, I mean. There isn’t a clear sense of tension or progression towards a goal; just events happening one after the other. It really felt like the story lacked direction or purpose. The city and the two worlds, too, feel anonymous.
Similarly, characters are disorienting in that the readers don’t get any insight into their motivations or their lives. They just sort of meet and move on. For instance, towards the end, Lizel compares his companion to his king, but that comparison holds no weight since we know nothing about the king to make any sense out of it. The lack of drive on the characters’ part negatively impacts the plot as a whole as a consequence.
Time progression is not clear. It always looks like it’s either midday or morning: how much time has passed in the first volume, a day? A week? The manga would be easier to navigate with more time variety in scenes and temporal markers indicating the passage of time (e.g. “later”, “the next week” etc).
Would I recommend this book? Meh. Maybe the second volume will be better?
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