I had quite the ups and downs with Loner Life in Another World. I know this is originally a Light Novel series but I picked up the manga because I prefer manga.
Ok so on a whim a few months ago I decided to just buy a bunch of volume 1 manga that I didn’t know anything about and figured if I found something I liked I would continue it. This has backfired horribly. Not only did I like most of the series I started but I absolutely loved receiving a box in the mail full of manga to discover and going through them one at the time in the evenings. It was like a different adventure every day!
And then, I did it again… This is not a cheap hobby by any means! I should just read digital versions. I really really should. And to kind of slightly justify it in my mind, I want to at least share my experience with you guys!
Why I Picked up Loner Life in Another World
For once, I actually had a good reason. I was actively looking for new manga and Loner Life in Another World came up a few times in random recommendations online since it was fairly new and the Light Novels had apparently been quite successful. So I read the summary and I liked the idea a whole lot. This notion of a classic isekai with all the trappings of the genre but the main character is a loner who just wants to live a quiet peaceful life by himself. On top of that his entire class is actually there as well so no chosen one! I thought there was a lot of potential to subvert some of the isekai tropes and change up the classic dynamics so I ordered the first volume.
Haruka is just your average high school loner, minding his own business and keeping to himself as he makes it through his high school career, until one day—he finds himself being sent to another world alongside the rest of his class! Before he knows it, he’s suddenly face-to-face with the god of this new world, who presents him with a list of cheat skills to choose from…but there’s a catch. It’s first come first served, and his classmates have already beaten him to the punch. Haruka has to make do with what he can get as he navigates his way through this brave new world, all while flying solo!
My First Impression
Ok, so I had tons of first impressions. When I read the summary I thought, cool, an isekai that’s not going to just end up as some type of harem with a Gary Stu MC. Then I got the book and just flipped through the pages quickly, I happen to fall on one where said main character acquires a bunch of girls as indentured servants and calls them his bimbo servants. At that point my impression changed a bit to – whelp, I was wrong.
Eventually decided to read it anyway just for completion’s sake and it started out kind of cool. More like a survivalist isekai with some funny twists and I thought, o.k. so as long as the MC is actually alone it’s pretty good. Reminds me a bit of Slime. Then I got to the Bimbo part and in context, it really sort of worked. And by now it was far from a first impression and I was confused.
What I liked
I ended up liking a lot. It has a certain charm and some fresh ideas. Honestly if this was an anim I would be looking forward to the next episode.
It does manage to deconstruct some tropes but it remains generally kind to both the characters and readers. It never feels like Loner Life in Another World making fun of people for liking isekais or video games. And even though there are a number of characters referred to only as bimbos (such an old fashion diss) it actually does end up fleshing them out and giving them some redeeming qualities. I’m not saying it’s particularly respectful but I never got the feeling that the author resented these characters like I have in other cases.
The first volume is mainly set up and it’s done well enough to make me want to know what happens next. Like I said, if Loner Life in Another World is ever adapted into anime I will put it directly on my watch list without hesitation.
Although it’s got some charm and ideas, at the end of the day it’s pretty much a cookie-cutter isekai. You’ve seen it before and you’ll see it again. I’ve been following the new releases and like 90% of all light novels are essentially exactly this. Sure, it’s not a harem in any way, at least not for the moment, but otherwise, it follows the isekai rulebook quite closely.
Because it’s being very standard so far, the characters are also kind of dull. Not because there is anything wrong with them but because for now, they are just archetypes that I have seen many times before and already have examples of that I like better. I should say that this is very normal for a first volume. You can’t expect the story to develop all the characters yet, especially in an isekai where you have to establish all the rules of the new world for the readers. So This is a point that could easily get remedied in laters volumes but it is true for volume 1.
Loner Life is a pleasant enough romp but I honestly want to see it in anime. I wouldn’t say it’s my priority to continue in manga. This said if I have nothing else to read. I would happily continue the story. Volume 1 ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I am curious about the rest.