My look at light novels continues with yet another series I have purchased. I really enjoyed the anime If It’s For my Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord. Yet I knew that it was probably going to be an anime that would never get a second season. Knowing that, and curious about how the story would shift into its more…interesting story-lines later. I decided to pick up the entire series in Light novel format. So how does the series hold up? Well join me after the cut as I dive into the first volume of If It’s For my Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord.
Unlike my last look at the first volume of How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord, the anime of For My Daughter was not something that completely blew me away, and again I find that my theory about light novel to anime translation is correct. If the anime adaptation of a light novel is excellent (Steins;Gate, 2/3 of Fate Stay Night), then going back to the source material can be difficult. However, if the opposite is true, and the anime adaptation isn’t that great, or even mediocre, then that original source material fares far better (YU-NO, Fate Stay Night’s Fate route).
The latter is the case with For my Daughter. I liked the anime, but it wasn’t anything to write home about, so when I picked up that first light novel, which covers the first third of the anime, I was again pleased by how much extra content it covers. The story of Dale Reki, the lonesome adventure who comes across an orphaned demonic girl named Latina benefits greatly from the descriptive prose and additional detail put into the scenes. It is clear throughout the entire text that Dale was living a fulfilling, but hollow life as an adventure, and Latina coming into his life is able to provide him with meaning and reason. The effect Latina has on not just Dale, but the entire community around her is palpable throughout the text.
Something I also enjoyed was the reaction Dale has to the incident with Latina and the priestess at the school. After telling Latina the truth that as a demon, she will outlive everyone she loves, Dale’s reaction to Latina’s actions is full of cold and calm fury that you wouldn’t expect from someone like him. There is no rage, or shouting that a normal parent might do, but a simple conversation with the head of the local church, and Dale using his influence and power to force through a measure of justice. Seeing Dale who at that point had been the bumbling and dutiful new father, get serious and show the side of him that people fear was down extremely well in the text.
Since it is the first volume (of nine so far), there again isn’t much plot to cover. The story is more concerned with setting up a status quo with Dale, Latina and the people of Kreuz for later stories. These are mostly chapters of a cute girl doing cute girl things and people reacting to this new arrival in their lives. While again, I did enjoy these light-hearted moments, I can’t deny there were times when I felt the story dragged on a little bit in a few places. There could have been a few scenes trimmed down, or condensed, but overall it is a minor issue in what is a splendid story.
Volume 1 of If It’s For my Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord is more of what you would expect from this series. If you liked a cute little girl doing cute little girl things, then you are in for a treat. The volume expands on some scenes, (sometimes a bit too much) and pulls you in with additional world building and narrative to help drive across certain thoughts and feelings. I don’t know if it is a full on upgrade to what was shown in the anime, but there wasn’t the sense of “this was done better” that I felt with when I looked over Demon Lord. I’m committed to seeing this series to the end, and I look forward to cracking open the second volume as soon as I can.