For better or for worse, the majority of fans who read manga or watch anime most likely will be able to relate to Haruka, the main protagonist of Loner Life In Another World. He’s an independent, solitary guy who isn’t really good friends with anyone in his high school class (Ouch. Yes, I know…that hurt). Honestly though, it’s empowering watching him overcome the obstacles set in his way and his success needs to be celebrated! Whereas the rest of his classmates flounder and struggle after getting transported to another world. Now doesn’t that feel self-satisfying? Perhaps.
Okay, so backing up a bit, let’s put things into context. Haruka’s entire class got transported to another world. However, Haruka didn’t quite make it there at the same time. Once those magic circles engulfed his classroom he deliberately avoided them because, as any good loner/geek knows, that’s how an isekai series starts and although it’s cool to read about, it’s not actually an experience Haruka wants! Oh well. Too bad. Haruka fails to escape which means he’s transported to…a void? Huh? While staring off into the bleakness of space he spots an old geezer who Haruka immediately chastises for being the incompetent God! You’d think that wouldn’t be the smartest idea, but that doesn’t stop Haruka from giving God a one-two-verbal-punch!
I couldn’t stop laughing during their exchange. The writing in Loner Life In Another World is absolutely its strongest selling point. Whenever there are other characters in the scene, or heck even when there aren’t, it’s comedy gold. Even with multiple chapters of Haruka being on his own it’s a laugh riot since he talks to himself… a lot… and his running commentary, along with the under-his-breath-comments when others are around, are hilarious and seem totally natural, never forced. If you’re a fan of Konosuba and Kazuma’s shtick you’ll have a good idea of what you’re in for here. Haruka is just as skilled as Kazuma, plus he too breaks the fourth wall without skipping a beat. I was extra amused when the manga panels even started taking on certain shapes to punctuate his conversation with the bimbos over multiple pages!
Speaking of… Whatever happened to Haruka’s classmates? Oh yeah, right. They’ve been floundering. The jocks, bimbos, delinquents, and nerds have barely been able to keep it together, and without the Class Rep, let’s face it, they’d all be screwed. Well, except maybe the nerds. They’ve been preparing for this turn of events for a really long time according to Haruka. He’s not doing too bad himself either. Especially given that he’s only working with the leftover stats and equipment his classmates hadn’t already taken! Things like: Generic Villager A Set, Cane Mastery, Walking, Temperature, Blockhead, and NEET! What!? How’s a guy supposed to survive with those!? Well, Haruka sets out…unwillingly…to discover just how his new abilities will help him survive against the hordes of attacking goblins! Wait…when did this become a survival manga!? Ahem.
You’d think this would be the part where some cheap laughs would come into play at the expense of our hero, but this is where that self-empowerment I mentioned before shines through. Haruka works out what his abilities actually do, and he’s quite smart in how he applies them. Many of his applications are really quite clever (Maybe take some notes for your next D&D campaign, okay?). All right, back to his classmates who this Loner has accidentally stumbled upon – crap! First Haruka overhears the delinquents who were up to no good, then saves the nerds who are fleeing to a nearby village, then he’s asked by the bimbos for his help, and finally the Class Rep wants to stay at his place!? Dang it! If only Haruka’s title wasn’t “Loner” he could totally form a party! But, alas, he’s doomed to be forever alone even in this new world.
Overall, Loner Life In Another World may seem like just another isekai series, but based on this first volume it definitely should be high on the list of ones you’ll want to check out. The biggest highlights for me were the story’s comedic timing, tight writing, and having its Loner protagonist exist in his new world without a party. Usually the main guy is a hero and makes new friends, but that ain’t happening…unless Haruka can learn some new skills. Things are gonna be interesting in the next volume, that’s for sure!
Loner Life in Another World Manga Volume 1
Haruka is just your average high school loner, minding his own business and keeping to himself as he makes it through his high school career, until one day—he's suddenly sent to another world alongside the rest of his class! Before he knows it, he’s face-to-face with the god of this new world, who presents him with a list of cheat skills to choose from…but there’s a catch. It’s first come first served, and his classmates have already beaten him to the punch. Haruka has to make do with what he can get as he navigates his way through this brave new world, all while flying solo!Add to CartLearn More