The Ideal Sponger Life

Alt title: Risou no Himo Seikatsu

Vol: 18+; Ch: 82+
2017 - ?
3.884 out of 5 from 847 votes
Rank #8,092
The Ideal Sponger Life

One day, average salaryman Yamai Zenjirou has an out-of-this-world experience—literally! He's pulled from Earth and dragged to another world where magic thrives and a gorgeous, powerful queen needs a consort. Now he's being pressured to marry that very monarch and help her bear a child. Will Zenjirou accept this life of lazy, luxurious love at the cost of leaving his home behind?

Source: Seven Seas

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Reviews

nathandouglasdavis
10

This story is much more appealing than most other isekai manga. Part of that is that it actually attempts to create a more human motivation as to why fe is being summoned to another world. I'd say the normal cliche would be to summon somebody in order to help defeat the Demon King or because people from other worlds have special powers or cheat abilities that the summoners want to take advantage of. The motivation this manga offers makes perfect sense and even offers justification for Zenjiro being a sponger. And that skill at putting a story together is probably the main reason this manga is appealing: it creates scenarios and drama that feel completely natural, almost like they're inevitable outcomes of certain peoples' motivations and personalities. Throughout the manga, Zenjiro and Aura (the queen who summoned fem to be feir consort) have to worry about court politics and the various motivations and maneuverings of the nobles and about how to best avoid causing strife. Alongside that, the manga is also about the blossoming love between those two. All the main characters are interesting and well put together. Yamai Zenjiro is largely motivated by wanting a more relaxing lifestyle than previously afforded fem, but feir sense of duty and obligation makes it impossible for fem to be a complete sponger. Aura Capua is the queen of a male-dominant country and has to deal with the tension such a power dynamic can cause. Fabio Deubaje is Aura's aide and often helps fem work through problems; fe's also doubtful of Zenjiro's actions. Lord Puyol Guillen is the captain of the knights, who ride on land dragons similarly to how Owen Grady rode on velociraptors in Jurassic World. Puyol is blatantly ambitious, but also fiercely loyal to the country and crown. Count Marguez is supposed to be an example of how all the nobles act to some decree, with every action having a concealed motivation to curry favor and gain political influence. The art is great. The women are drawn very beautifully. The men, not so much. Some of the background details like hands can be of a lower quality, but they don't draw attention to themselves, so unless you're scrutinizing it, it doesn't detract from the beauty. [Reviewed at chapter 15]

d3Xt3rnz
10

[Reviewed at Chapter 65] What an amazing read. First of all, there are official translations of this manga - and they are 100% worth buying! Each chapter has old-school style 40+ pages, with over 160+ pages in each volume. So if you do the math, it's pretty good value for money, unlike some of the rip-offs we see these days with only 10-15 pages per chapter... With that out of the way, onto the review: This is my ideal isekai - it avoids all of the clichés and also addresses most of the pet peeves I have with isekai. To sum it up: No clichés like MC getting truck-kun'd, meeting with god, getting cheat skills / "system" etc. MC gets to properly wrap up his business on Earth, with some tearful moments. It was a nice touch. MC plans properly and brings along various useful items from Earth. There is a reasonable explanation on how these items can continue to be used even after they get worn out, which is one of the biggest flaws I see in other isekai, where MC brings items from Earth. There's also a reasonable explanation behind MC being able to understand the language. But he has to learn the written script from scratch. MC actually utilises his knowledge from Earth, and this often gives him an advantage in negotiations or solving various hurdles. Also, his Earthly knowledge isn't anything massive or unbelievable either (eg none of the ridiculousness seen in My Wife is the Demon Queen). Now about the MC himself: MC isn't OP. He isn't even strong, in fact, he's one of the weakest characters among all the main characters. But that's fine, because this isn't an action or shounen manga. He is smart - that's one of his biggest skills. The other being his negotiation skills. He's pleasant, likeable and relatable. Coming to the story - now this may be a point of contention for some - there is no story. At least, no major overarching storylines, which in a way is nice because there's no stress or anxiety-inducing end-of-the-world scenarios or evil supervillains to be stressed about. There are various minor arcs, however, which typically span across a few volumes. A large portion of the series revolves around politics and negotiations, so if this isn't your thing, don't dive into the manga and give it an unfair 4* rating like that other guy did... once again, this is NOT an action/adventure manga! (although there is some adventure involved, it is a bit slow-paced). The artwork is flawless, characterisation is flawless, there aren't any major loopholes and everything is explained as logically as it can be explained, in a fantasy setting. Hence the perfect 10/10 score. The biggest thing I like about this manga is how mature, believable and professional it is. The dialogues are well written, the characters are properly fleshed out and portrayed well, and there aren't any stereotypical shallow villains. The characters also grow over time, and the story flows very well from one arc to the other. Once you pick up the series, you won't be able to stop reading it - and suddenly you're 15 volumes down and you don't even realise it. So if you're looking for a truly immersive isekai experience that makes you actually feel like you've lived a life in another world - definitely read The Ideal Sponger Life!

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