Despite protagonist Tinaris’ penchant for making healing potions, Reincarnated as the Last of my Kind volume 1 was close to a typical lackadaisical food-centered isekai. Volume 2 continues to have both food and alchemy as key plot points, but if the slice-of-life easygoing nature was one of the main reasons you enjoyed the first volume, well, you may be slightly disappointed.
Yes, if you were hoping to see more battles and learn about Tinaris’ role is in this world, then volume 2 is going to be more engaging. As before, Tinaris’ sections each cover a significant event at ages 8, 10, and 12. While the lengthy (for a light novel) chapters aren’t all about fighting — we learn more about this world’s history, meet Sirius’ son, and more — battles are a bigger presence versus the first volume’s proposals-gone-awry or elderly grandparents. Volume 3 looks like it’s going to feature even more action and adventuring, especially since the very last chapter in volume 2 lays out exactly what’s going on.
That was kind of weird — we get some hints and indications, and then the novel leaves off with telling the reader exactly why monsters are appearing more often and what a certain character wants Tinaris to do. I guess this was meant to hype up volume 3, but I think there were enough pieces to keep readers intrigued and making educated guesses without quite being so revealing all at once, especially since something new just appeared and I think having the characters (and readers) trying to figure out what it is would have been better. Not that Tinaris herself is told all of this just yet, but I doubt it’s going to be kept from her for long.
Last chapter aside, Reincarnated as the Last of my Kind volume 2 continues to follow the format of a Tinaris’ chapter and then a Marcus chapter. I was kind of hoping that Nakona would get a chapter as well, as now she’s happily living with her father and adopted sister. Or, as I like to call her, Tifa Jr., as she not only has a similar outfit, Nakona’s martial arts abilities come in very handy whether it’s to beat up robbers or to pound flour for Tinaris.
While all of that is useful for Tinaris and other characters, Nakona’s real importance is to help humanize Tinaris. One of my complaints in volume 1 was her viewing her relationship with Marcus as almost transactional. (Which, to be fair, is a view he shared of his own parents and in many cultures, to repay your family.) But things like Tinaris pulling the cute little sister pleading card to get Nakona to fix ingredients even though she’s tired felt like they were a family. I thought Tinaris might draw a line between herself and Nakona since she’s the “fake” daughter while Nakona is the real one, but I’m glad it wasn’t the case. Maybe as a result, her attitude toward Marcus softened a little bit, since there was much less focus on Tinaris wanting to repay Marcus.
That’s the growth I wanted to see even as Tinaris starts to discover more about herself and her birth parents in this world. She’s still afraid of being seen as not an ordinary human, but now she’s got reasons to hide this from the outside world. As the country who advocates for human supremacy starts gearing up for war, Marcus’ home of De Marl and other places on the continent prepare to fight back. She and others know that someone of her skill — let alone someone from a thought-to-be-extinct race — is not going to have a lot of freedom in a time like this if the government finds out she exists. But Tinaris’ eager-to-help nature means she doesn’t do a great job of downplaying her abilities overall (she wants to meet the top alchemist in the country, and she helps out random refugees), and she also gains some new tricks up her bag. Somehow I don’t expect she’s going to remain hidden for long.
But that also depends on whether she sets out on a journey, and also who is going with her. While I like her new potential partner (for both adventure and romance), I like this family even more…even though Marcus and Nakona are both bad at dealing with their own love stories. Still, the Mythical Beast chose well compared to some of the oddballs here! So while I’m sure some readers may be a bit put-off over Reincarnated as the Last of my Kind potentially becoming more of a standard save-the-world story, I found the all the trouble brewing made for a more fun read than just Tinaris brewing recipes.