The Eminence in Shadow (Light Novel)

Alt title: Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! (Light Novel)

Vol: 6+
2018 - ?
4.332 out of 5 from 263 votes
Rank #246
The Eminence in Shadow (Light Novel)

Shadowbrokers are those who go unnoticed, posing as unremarkable people, when in truth, they control everything from behind the scenes. Sid wants to be someone just like that more than anything, and something as insignificant as boring reality isn't going to get in his way! He trains in secret every single night, preparing for his eventual rise to power—only to denied his destiny by a run-of-the-mill (yet deadly) traffic accident. But when he wakes up in a another world and suddenly finds himself at the head of an actual secret organization doing battle with evil in the shadows, he'll finally get a chance to act out all of his delusional fantasies! 

Source: Yen Press

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This is so far the best LN and one of the funniest isekai series out there. It’s what if your chuuni protagonist got to live all his fantasies. The main character is utmost obsessed with idea of being secretly overpowered character. This leads to his death in our world in very grotesque manner, but it brings him to other world, where thanks to magic, he can realize this dream. His actions are driven by his fantasies and deciding factor is what he thinks is cool. Just this little detail is source for various comical moments [1]. During his murderous training sessions [2], he gets acquainted with girls, which will become the backbone of secret organization he is playing as. However, in the process he makes up story about a secret plot to release sealed evil daemon Diabolos back to the world, which is coincidentally entirely true. In his ability to read situations is on the same level as main character from the Overlord series. His every subject admires his brilliance and intellect, being always two steps ahead, but in reality, he is mostly clueless. He is just very strong and bit lucky in way trouble comes to him. In social situations he is sometimes out of the loop as well particularly with girls, who like him. However, he doesn’t care enough to be swayed by the girls and is not afraid to apply his policy to give middle finger to the world. [3] Speaking of side characters his closest servants show up only sporadically. There is more interaction with MC’s classmates. The first volume is mostly set in school with magic and swords. A very typical setting. Especially for first arc. Except the MC tries hard to be a mob character. In later volumes the story moves to different locations. I’ve read manga as well and I have to say the LN is better in comedy and better shows how each character works. There is one more difference in the first volume it has one short chapter of fanservice centred story, but luckily no pictures of that nature so you are quite safe reading it in public. Putting that aside, the story is mostly comedy and action with main protagonist saving the day, while keeping his secret identity. Anime adaptation is coming in late 2022 so I’m looking forward to it very much. Speaking of images throughout the book there are only a very few, but without any colours, but at the beginning there are plenty illustrations in colour and some are at the end as well. I’ve been reading the digital edition. I’ve read most of it on my phone. The swiping felt endless, but unlike browser viewer the mobile app has dark mode. Overall, I do recommend the series. I think if you pick either LN or manga (even anime, when it comes out) the story is pretty fun. It reminds me of Overlord and Konosuba as if put together. There were moments which made me genuinely laugh in a good way. Edit: After reading five volumes I still love the series. I think the LN is the best version of the story. Especially the build up through over arching story and all the silliness of the MC. Despite some arcs initially not having anything to do with overarching story each contributes in some unexpected way to overarching story. Japanese difficulty 7/10 (see my profile for details about various difficulty scores) It’s a book so there is by default no furigana, but it does have furigana for unusual readings or more difficult words. The digital edition is good, because I can faster search for words I don’t know or I’m not sure about. I do recommend this series for readers, who want to up the game from manga in Japanese to actual books in Japanese. I think it’s less steep step than I had with case of Overlord LN or Yamato Book adaptation. This review is written originally after reading 1 volume*. * It took me over month to read the volume (390 pages). I’m going to read all volumes. Spoilers [1] For example MC going into tournament wants to try all his stunts faking hits and injuries, which in sense backfires as his opponent is shocked by his ability to take seemingly any beating. Each of his secret techniques has chuuni naming like "bloody tornado". [2] He secretly runs around taking lives and possessions of bandits. [3] For an example MC gives middle finger to the princess Alexia, when she tries to keep him for real after spending together sometime in pretend relationship she forced him into beforehand in order to get rid off her fiancé.

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