Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Vol 1 Review
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Vol 1 is a light novel written by Hakumai Ryou. It was originally published as a web novel in June of 2015, and is still not officially serialized. As of writing this review, the web novel version of the series has 268 chapters. The illustrations are done by TakayaKi.
Synopsis: Nagumo Hajime, a seventeen-year-old otaku, is just your average everyday teenager. Because he always pulls all-nighters to play video games, he often sleeps during class. The combination of that and him being friends with the school’s beauty, Shirasaki Kaori, make most of his classmates hate him. When he wishes for his class to be transported to another world, it actually happens! Hajime is originally excited, but when he finds out that he is the only person with no overpowered ability, his is again ridiculed and bullied. Will he be able to survive with no special skills to speak of?
Review: Arifureta is another one of the many stories that fit under the popular and now over-saturated category isekai. While Hajime and his classmates start out in Japan, they are quickly transported to another world, where they have been summoned as “heroes.” In this new fantasy world there is a global war between humans and demons. Because they are heroes, the majority of the class were gifted incredible powers. That is, all except for Hajime, who was given completely average stats and the class of Synergist. As the weakest member yet again, he continues to be bullied. Hajime however doesn’t let that stop him, and he attempts to become strong with knowledge. This leads him to learn how to transmute metal and stone. While everyone continues to deem him worthless, Hajime uses this ability to save the class. However, because he is targeted and betrayed by a classmate, he falls to his supposed death.
Having barely survived the fall, Hajime is attacked by a bear-like monster. He transmutes a protected area in the wall to keep himself safe, and in the process comes across “Ambrosia,” a substance that allows a person to basically become immortal. This comes in handy when, because of his starvation, he is forced to eat monster meat. Humans aren’t supposed to be able doing so, but because of the Ambrosia, he does. The disgusting meat causes his body to transform, while at the same time allows him to inherit the monsters skills. It is through eating many different kinds of meat and honing those new skills that Hajime becomes truly powerful. One of the positives about this story in particular, is that they give occasional level and stat updates on all of the main characters.
By the time he has cleared 50 more floors of the Great Orcus Labyrinth, his strength has far surpassed that of his classmates. Towards the bottom of said labyrinth, he meets Yue, a vampire who had long been trapped in the dungeon. Hajime’s personality had long since hardened, but Yue is the one who brings parts of his old self back. Together, they clear the remaining floors and beat the final boss, a deadly Hydra with seven heads. Upon doing so, they discover the Maverick’s hideout, which is complete with a magic portal that leads outside the labyrinth.
The use of this photo is for review purposes only. © J-Novel Club, Ryou Hakumai, TakayaKi.
While still part of the isekai genre, Arifureta does have it’s strong points. Having an entire class transported rather than just one shut-in neet changes things up a little bit. It is also extremely interesting to follow Hajime’s transformation, both from human to monster and weak to powerful. Another plus is the fact that he primarily uses guns rather than the typical swords and magic. Unfortunately, while Hajime is interesting, Yue isn’t at all. While just as powerful and alone as Hajime, Yue seems obsessed with flirting and anything sexual. After a couple chapters of her interrupting the story with this, it becomes extremely annoying. Hopefully, this becomes less of a problem in the next volume, where our main characters meet back up with the class on the surface. The illustrations throughout the novel are pretty, but a lot of them end up focusing on Yue, who is often naked.
Overall, Arifureta is an enjoyable read, even with it being an isekai story. Hajime is a good main character, and the story and lore are also extremely interesting to learn about. Because Hajime is alone for a good part of the story, Arifureta isn’t dialogue heavy as most light novels, a trait that it shares with Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody. If you are looking for another good fantasy/adventure story, check out Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest.
This book was provided to us free, for review purposes.
If you are interested, this book is available for purchase digitally from BookWalker Global.