It is a hallmark of how predictable Tabisuru Shoujo to Shakukunetsu Kuni (旅する少女と灼熱の国) is, that 20 pages or so before I have completed it, I am writing this review. Or, as I like to describe it to other people, this was written with the help of the “Big Book O’War Novel Tropes.”
Do you remember the end of Madlax? No? Neither does anyone else, so don’t worry. It was a great series, and had a lot of everything, happening all at once, so it’s not surprising that you don’t. Well, the main point to remember is that at the end of the series the entity known as Margaret Burton at the beginning of the series, doesn’t really exist any more.
But her maid, Eleanor Baker, who has been traveling around war-torn Garth-Sonika for ten years, does not know this crucial fact. In those ten years she has been looking for Margaret without success. And it is into her (somewhat fruitless) quest we find ourselves catapulted in the beginning of this Light Novel.
Eleanor is looking for Margaret, without success. 10 years have passed, but she remains undaunted. Right away, this fact depressed the hell out of me. We know Margaret doesn’t exist as such anymore. And here’s Eleanor still looking for her. How depressing is that?
So, while looking for Margaret, she meets Dieu, a woman whose husband wandered off to war ages ago, and has struggled to keep her little cafe running, while being used and abused by local guerrilla fighters. Eleanor brings both hope and despair, but helps Dieu beat off the guerrillas long enough to be reunited with her husband. In addition to kicking guerrilla fighters in the balls, Eleanor cleaned the cafe for many pages.
Eleanor meets Nigel Wingate, a British Intelligence Officer who is too clever for his own good, and with whom she rescues a kidnapped child, Alissam, from a group of kidnappers. We were treated to many pages of the cleaning the filthy kitchen in the kidnapper’s apartments. After this segment, if you did not recognize the Japanese word for “roach” you were not paying attention.
In the third section, Eleanor and Wingate foil more bad guys, this time at a resort casino. We learn that, along with her amazing fighting and cleaning skills, Eleanor also is a casino-class card dealer.
The books ends (will end) with her and Wingate coincidentally traveling together.
There was, of course, as much service as could be crammed into a book that included guerrilla fighters intimidating the owner of a small cafe, kidnappers having kidnapped a female child and casino pool scenes. And, we learn details of cleaning in a war zone, which surely will be useful one day.
I can’t even say this book was bad. It was *exactly* what I expected from the official post-series Madlax novel. “Big Book O’War Novel Tropes” is ever so popular. Which is to say, who else but me and a bunch of freaks would ever read this? ^_^
Art – Meh
Story – Absurd
Characters – Ridiculous
Yuri – Of course
Service – Gobs
Overall – Laughably awful, unless you actually liked Madlax, like I did. Then it’s a depressing, dismal, 3.