Jinwoo gets “recruited” to help talk to his sister’s friend who is an aspiring hunter. He takes her along on a raid to show her how difficult the hunter life is. The C-Rank gate morphs as the team goes in, and becomes a Red Gate - a gate that transports them to another world. Within the team is an A-Rank hunter, several B-Rank hunters, and a handful of C-Ranks. The A-Rank abandons the lower rank hunters, but Jinwoo helps them and keeps them alive while he works through the bad guys. He tries out his newest skill, which lets him raise shadow soldiers from defeated enemies. Later, he goes back to the dungeon to which he earned a key, and he grinds through several levels before discovering the recipe to make an elixir that might bring his mother out of her sleeping-sickness coma. In order to find all the ingredients, he decides to finally reclassify and stop pretending he's an E-Rank hunter.
Jinwoo and a couple other survivors of the double dungeon take on a raid at dungeon, and they’re joined by three criminals and their handler. These criminals can take time off their sentence by helping to clear dungeons, but things go south with the handler, and Jinwoo is forced to show some of his overpowered skills in front of the healer and mage from the previous dungeon. Jinwoo is then noticed by a prestigious clan, who have figured out he’s a reawakened being. As Jinwoo’s level finally reaches 40, he is presented with a new quest: job change, where he must survive for an unspecified amount of time and be assessed to see what his classification will be.
Jinwoo is still dealing with the trauma from the last double-dungeon, but he decides he needs to get stronger so he can earn more and help out his family. He starts grinding in a low-level dungeon and puts a majority of his skill points into strength. This changes his physical appearance - he’s taller and has more muscle mass. He decides it’s time to try a harder dungeon, and he finds a group who need to round out their numbers to 10 to enter. There’s another new person, who is also low level, but he has extremely expensive equipment. Things turn out badly for the two of them in the dungeon, and Jinwoo uses all his new experience to protect them and survive the dungeon.
Laios' entire party is wiped out by a dragon, but his little sister manages to cast a teleportation spell on everyone except herself. The three remaining members are transported outside of the dungeon, but without any of their provisions or other supplies, including their money. Laios is determined to go back in and revive his sister before she's fully digested by the dragon, but without food or money to buy more, he turns to a more unsavory (or maybe it is savory?) option - eating the monsters and plants foraged from inside the dungeon. Along the way, they meet a dwarf who has made a lot of progress in figuring out which monsters and plants are edible, but not so much headway in conquering the dungeon. Together, they eat their way through the dungeon, one floor - and monster - at a time.
Jinwoo Sung is one of the weakest Hunters in the game, but he has to keep adventuring because the health benefits are paying for his ailing mother’s extended stay in the hospital. Jinwoo continues to put himself in harms way and put tons of pressure on himself because his sister is about to go off to college, and someone needs to pay for her tuition. Jinwoo adventures with large parties, hoping to not be killed in the dungeons that pop up all over town. The latest mission is in a D-rated dungeon, which most of the group has no problem handling. After defeating the dungeon’s “boss”, another way opens up. The team votes whether to continue on or not, and Jinwoo casts the tie-breaking vote to keep going. What they find at the end of the long tunnel changes the entire party, and sets Jinwoo on an entirely new path that he doesn’t fully understand by the end of volume one.
After finding out the truth about the famous painting Sayuri, the Phantom Thieves take on the artist Madarame for all the evil he’s done to his students and victims, especially how much art he has passed off as his own when it was really the hard work of others all along. This high profile change of heart brings more notoriety to the Phantoms, but it’s not all good. Special investigators, the police, the school president, even a mysterious high school student detective have all started to investigate the Thieves. Some believe their intentions to be good, but others wonder what laws they're breaking, and what sort of power they have over their targets to instigate this change of heart in the first place. So far, none suspect there is really another "world" the Phantoms step into to change their targets' hearts.
Akira and Amelia decide to adopt the not-so-fierce demon kitty. Amelia heals him, and Akira names him Night. Akira and Night form a new pact as master and servant, which will allow the demon king to still be able to see everything with the link inherent between demon king and all demons, but will give Akira and Night special abilities. Night reveals that there are three other dungeons in the world, and each dungeon challenges a different aspect of the character's skills. A portal opens at the end of the labyrinth, and Akira decides to travel to the next labyrinth in the forest of the Elven people, where Amelia is being hunted by her twin sister. With Akira caught right in the middle of the power struggle in the Elven kingdom, will he ever make it to the labyrinth to continue his development?
Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
Akira has retreated back to the labyrinth his class went to in volume one, determined to gain maximum levels in as much as he can. He’s been in the labyrinth a month before he finds Amelia trapped inside a slime monster. She’s an elven warrior who has come to the labyrinth for the same reason, and the two decide to team up to defeat the most challenging monsters at the end of the labyrinth. Back in the castle, Kyosuke, another classmate whose class is samurai, wakes to find himself in the princess’s chamber, having just cut through six black crystals. He has no idea what he’s doing or what the crystals are until the next day when hero Tsukasa announces he’s going off to fight the demon king. The rest of the class ridicules him, all except six classmates, Kyosuke among them.
Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
This has a really long, very Japanese title, but it's overall a fun story. Akira’s entire class gets suddenly transported to another world where they are tasked with fighting the Demon King and saving the kingdom. Each pupil, upon entering the world, was given skills and a job class that best suited them. Tsukasa, the class president and star athlete, was obviously the hero, and he has to lead the charge against the Demon King. Akira, however, is an assassin, and his stats are much, much higher than Tsukasa’s as the hero. Not everything is as it seems in this world, and Akira uses his max level [conceal presence] skill to find out what’s really going on. He befriends the commander of the guard and trainer of the Class, and uncovers a plot that speaks of more sinister intentions than just fighting a Demon King.
Volume three has the continuation of the story with the master artist, Madarame, who has been accused of abusing his apprentices and passing off their art as his own. Lady Ann tries to get the current apprentice, Kitagawa, to open up about Madarame’s crimes so that The Phantoms can change his heart. Kitagawa doesn’t reveal anything, and rather asks Ann to pose nude for his paintings. The assault on Madarame’s castle reveals another ally for the Phantoms, but the fight gets too overwhelming, and the group backs out for the day. The next day, they leave their calling card for Madarame, which allows the "treasure" of his heart to materialize into something they can take. The group of five then assault the castle again, but their carefully laid plan is heavily thwarted at every turn.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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