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January 26, 2024
By Shelley Pallis.
The story behind I Could Never Be a SuccubusStart with a striking GotterdammerungThe story follows a brave hero as he fights an evil demon in a castle that is on fire. The battle is not a one-on-one fight, as the hero leads a stereotypical adventurers’ group. The antagonist quickly realizes the sorceress is the key player, who is throwing distracting illusions his way. He uses all his evil power to kill her, but the plucky sorceress (incongruously named Liz) manages a game-changing strike on him.
We are transported to a magical high-school, where Lisalinde is a student who excels in all wizarding classes. She is popular in school until one fateful day, when a group of adventurers comes to speak and she asks for their leader’s underwear.
Liz has lost all memory. This means that she has no memory whatsoever of her dungeon-adventuring days or the source of powers which turned out to be her distant, demonic heritage. Lisalinde, the straight-A student, is descended from succubus and is horny.
Thank you Japan for taking these sentences to places no one could have imagined. I Could Never Be a SuccubusNora Kohigashi achieves the remarkable feat of crashing Harry PotterA bawdy session is a great way to get into the mood. Dungeons & DragonsImagine a heroine that suddenly realizes she cannot control the erotic desires bubbling within her. Kohigashi’s comedy is a winning satire on teenage angst, crossed with a little Zennial hobbyism, as a girl with a vague past in dungeon-bashing finds herself struggling to manage overwhelming hormonal desires.
Sadly, it also suffers the afflictions of many a light novel – placeholder names, hand-wavy world-building, and an authorial inability to stick to a single register. So, sometimes we have Liz’s first-person account of her tribulations, and sometimes an omniscient narrator pops up to deliver massive and unnecessary infodumps. Nevertheless, Liz is soon back on the adventuring trail, joyfully reclaiming her slutty roots as a girl who just can’t get enough, and putting it to use in a series of encounters where she snogs, strips and sashays her way into an erotic adventure.
However, her adventuring chums don’t see it quite the same way, and repeatedly head off her activities in order to stop them becoming the opening scenes of a porno film. I don’t know about you, but I think succubi should be allowed to do what they do best, otherwise it’s just a frustrating series of set-ups for sex scenes that never happen!
Roy Nukia’s translation is oddly eloquent, going far beyond what I assume to be a relatively low pay grade to employ terms like “pitch-black”, “atavism” and “astir”, all in the service of a story that very much hopes to be Carry on DungeoningThe author relies on the reader’s imagination to predict what is about to happen. This is fine, but I could do it at home.
I Could Never Be a SuccubusJ-Novel Club publishes this novel in English.