By Namekojirushi and Nao Watanuki
Light novels can be enjoyable even with a ridiculously terrible premise, and I Saved too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse is one of those series. The first book in the series is self-aware enough about its premise that it rarely takes itself too seriously. Even when the fate of the world is in question, Little Apocalypse, the nickname J-Novel Club gave the light novel, is mindless fun. It is best to note that while it is enjoyable, Little Apocalypse is rather standard light novel fare. A harem is already emerging as of the book’s final pages.
Rekka Namidare is your standard romantic comedy lead. He is oblivious to the advances of the heroines of each respective plot line. As previously mentioned, what makes Little Apocalypse an enjoyable read is its self-awareness. The entire premise of the series, which the titles clearly explains, is that Rekka becomes involved with too many cliché plot lines involving damsels in distress. As a result, the heroines will supposedly cause the apocalypse, and a young lady who comes from the future projects her image, which only Rekka can see, to prevent this very scenario. It’s not a terribly intelligent premise, nor is the book itself, but in terms of cheesy premises it does what it sets out to do incredibly well.
Little Apocalypse is a quick read. The first book in the series is not aiming to be highbrow entertainment, and as a result it proves difficult to fault the series for that. There is little fan service to speak of in the first volume either. Little Apocalypse is perfectly content concentrating on mindless Hollywood style action scenes, and B-movie style plots.
Plot lines in the first book include a standard light novel Japanese role playing game plot, in which Rekka must defeat the demon lord; another fantasy plot which Rekka must save the universe from a wizard; and a much less conventional plot in which Rekka must pretend to be an alien’s fiancee to prevent an intergalactic war. The key to success in Little Apocalypse is in the details. The best example is how Rekka uses the plot points from different storylines to resolve other points of dramatic tension. In the alien romance plot line, Rekka receives an all powerful laser beam gun. Within two chapters, in which the demon overlord storyline is introduced, Rekka destroys the demon overlord and resolves the first heroine’s plot. This is easily my favorite part of the book, as it is the most uproariously funny part.
Little Apocalypse will never be a great series, but it is at the very least a fun light novel. It is ultimately low-brow entertainment, but it knows how to be fun. This light novel is rarely unenjoyable reading, it is silly fun, and operates with complete awareness of that fact. There is certainly a lot of higher quality media out there, but for a brief diversion Little Apocalypse does quite well. That is about all that can be expected of this prose genre. And that’s perfectly fine.