Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest

Alt title: Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekaisaikyou

Vol: 8+; Ch: 51+
2016 - ?
4.308 out of 5 from 3,202 votes
Rank #1,697
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest

When a classroom of students is transported to another world to act as its saviors, Hajime Nagumo finds himself the weakest link. As his friends and classmates are granted strong classes and impressive abilities due to their existing skills, he is given the weak title of Synergist. When a dungeon quest leaves him separated from his group, Hajime must discover his own talents or be left to rot in this world forever.

Source: Seven Seas

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Nagumo Hajime is what I will call a tsundere hero. At first, fe's all like "No, I'm not a good guy. I won't save you. I only do things that benefit myself. I'm evil. Grrr." But then fe totally acts like a good guy, and (inwardly) blushes at people seeing feir shamefully moral compass. Sometimes, it's implied that fe's acting cruel and merciless because feir faith in humanity has been destroyed after one of feir classmates betrayed fem. And it's said that feir only goal is to find a way to return to Earth. But honestly, quite a few of feir actions fit more in line with fem wanting to be cool rather than fem wanting to survive by any means on the path to get home. Fe refuses to run away or back down from a fight probably because that would be uncool. Fe refuses to abandon people or break feir promises because that would be uncool. So it might just be that feir condescending and rude attitude is a facade, fem attempting to be an anti-hero. Because anti-heroes are cool. Or it could be that when fe absorbs the skills from the monsters fe ingests, fe also absorbs some of their monstrous attitude, so what we're seeing is a tension between feir human side (which wants to be cool) and feir monster side (which is heartless). Either way, it comes across as a tsundere hero. And it does not make for an interesting reading experience. Whenever a fight sequence starts, I kinda just blank out. I'm not sure what it is, but quite a few of the battles just aren't engaging. Maybe the ratio of fight scenes to non-fighting scenes is too high? Maybe there isn't good choreography or back-and-forth between the two sides? Maybe I just feel that there aren't any real stakes since it's obvious that Hajime will always win? I dunno. The main thing that keeps the story interesting is that it actually has a goal, unlike many of these isekai stories which just involve freeform adventuring. The goal is that there are seven Great Labyrinths which were built by the seven Liberators during the age of gods. After defeating each Labyrinth, Hajime will be granted an ancient power. And once fe's defeated all seven, fe'll have the capability of sending femself back to Earth (though fe'll probably have to fight the gods of the world first, since that's just how these stories go...). While fe was inside Labyrinth #1, fe ran into Girl #1 (Yue). Then before Labyrinth #2, fe added Girl #2 to feir party (Shia). And now fe's on feir way to Labyrinth #3, and there is a Girl #3 in the making (Tio). This seems like a pattern, so projecting forward, fe should end up with a harem of exactly seven girls by the end of the manga. The monsters look really cool, especially the draconic ones. The people aren't anything special, but they're not bad. [Reviewed at chapter 36]

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