Saturday, March 02, 2024

The Other World's Books Depend on the Bean Counter Vol. 1 by Yatsuki Wakatsu: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Other World's Books Depend on the Bean Counter by yatsuki Wakatsu

Volume one of the original light novel has finally been translated, a year after the first manga came out. I’ve read the first three volumes of the manga adaptation, and they cover most of the novel, so the story was familiar to me.

Seiichirou Kondou, 29, is an overworked accountant in Japan who on a rare day off comes to the rescue of a school girl who is being sucked into ground by a white light, and he’s sucked in too. They find themselves in an alternate world, where the girl, Yua, has been summoned as a Holy Maiden, whose job it is to save the world from a deadly miasma.

Kondou is a tag-along, who the kingdom feels honour-bound to protect, but nothing more. He could spend his days being idle, but he doesn’t know how, so he asks for a job and is pointed at the royal accounting department. He’s horrified by the lazy work-culture there, and in no time reorganises the whole place. But he doesn’t stop there: he needs to salvage the kingdom’s finances too.

There’s one problem: his body is unable to handle the magic the world is permeated with, and everything from food to air is slowly killing him. In an acute health crisis, he’s rescued by dashing Commander Aresh Indolark, who heals him with magic, which only makes things worse. Out of options, he needs to acclimatise Kondou’s body fast to magic. And that means having sex with him.

Aresh appoints himself as Kondou’s protector, making sure he takes care of his health. And every now and then, a healing is needed, which requires more sex. Their odd relationship is a matter of necessity for Kondou, but for Aresh, it gradually becomes more.

I read the light novel in order to get a deeper view of the story. In places, that happened too, but the manga adaptation is fairly faithful to the story. Kondou seems more driven and single-minded here. There wasn’t much from Aresh’s point of view, but he emerges as a slightly different figure than in the manga in the end. The side characters also have a more meaningful role. The world itself remains a bit vague, so the manga does a better job depicting that.

This was originally a serialised web novel, so every chapter repeats much of what has been told many times already. Apart from that, it’s well-written and easy to read. Translation works too. The story ends without a cliffhanger, but in such a point in the men’s lives that I absolutely have to read more.

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