A little while ago, I discovered that a light novel with the title Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! will be getting an anime adaptation. Looking into it, I discovered that the main cast of characters are female, so I decided I would buy the first volume of the series and give it a go to see if it would be something I liked.
Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! is a light novel series written by FUNA, and illustrated by Itsuka Akata. Seven Seas Entertainment are publishing the light novels in English.
The Adventure of a Lifetime… or Two!
When gifted student Kurihara Misato dies right after her high school graduation, she meets God and has a peculiar request: to make her abilities average in the next life. But few things – especially wishes – ever go quite as planned. As she navigates her new life as a ten-year-old girl in magic-filled world, she realises God has a unique definition of average!
So, as you may be able to tell, Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! is an isekai light novel series. What makes it particularly notable is that is main protagonist is female. As far as I am aware, besides her gender, Adele/Mile is a pretty typical isekai light novel protagonist.
I could be wrong, though, as I don’t really have much experience with the isekai genre. She does possess very powerful abilities and draws lots of people to her, though.
The main focus of this light novel is Adele/Mile trying to lead a normal, everyday life as an average girl. However, when the average has elder dragons at the top end of its scale, she happens to stand out – often without meaning to.
This first volume is pretty much split into two parts. The first focuses on Adele’s life at Eckland Academy, and honestly, as I read that, it just didn’t really grab me. It’s pretty much slice-of-life stuff set within Eckland Academy, but it wasn’t exactly the most compelling reading.
As I read through the first half of the light novel, I started to think that it might not have been for me. However, I then hit upon a turning point.
About halfway through this first volume, Adele causes an incident that results in her fleeing Eckland Academy and adopting a new name: Mile. That’s as in the measurement of distance, by the way.
Mile enrols at a hunters’ prep school, and meets new friends and it was from that point onwards that my interest in Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! started growing.
I’m definitely glad I stuck with it through the first half, because the second half of this first volume was so much better. Perhaps it is because Mile is learning to become a hunter, and thus we get a bit more action.
Maybe it could be attributed to Mile’s new friends, Mavis, Reina and Pauline, who make for a much better group than Adele’s first group of friends.
Mile training to become a hunter lends itself to far more interesting situations compared to Adele’s time at Eckland Academy. That could be due to the fact that class barely plays a factor, too.
It’s not just nobles and commoners. Nobles have a hierarchy all on their own, and honestly it’s not the most interesting thing to be reading about. Doesn’t help that you get the arrogant nobles, too.
With the Hunters’ Prep School, the students are far more equal – well, at least until you start comparing their raw abilities against Mile. Of course, Mile just wants to be average, so she tries her best not to stand out too much.
As things stand, the stuff that happened at Eckland Academy feels a bit unnecessary. Presumably the characters introduced will show up again in a later volume, but for the time being it seems that FUNA had one idea in mind, and then came up with the Hunters’ Prep School and decided that was better idea.
In the afterword, FUNA does admit to not knowing the direction of the story as whole when the first portion had been published. I think it shows a little bit…
There are times that it feels like Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! gets bogged down with details that aren’t entirely important, particularly with the beginning. I’m not sure the detailed description of entropy was really necessary, and focusing on all that nobility stuff seems like a way to fill out that word count.
This volume also contains three short stories, collectively called ‘Adele’s Magnificent Academy Life’. As their focus is on Eckland Academy, I didn’t exactly find them to be the most interesting things. They are all very short, though.
So, whilst I wasn’t a big fan of the Eckland Academy stuff, Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! managed to win me over in the end. It got to be a lot more fun to read as Mile attempted to become a hunter, especially when it came time for the graduation exams.
Thanks to its strong second half, I am keen to pick up the next volume and see if Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! can continue the momentum. In fact, I just ordered right now at the time of writing. Expect to see my impressions of it sometime in the near future.