Helen: Laetitia has survived her first tricky situation as the figurehead queen of Wolfvarte and now none of the queen candidates will try and contest that position. Laetitia is relieved and would much rather spend her two years as the figurehead queen in relative quiet, preferably in her villa where she and her servants are recreating the foods and tools she remembers from her past life on Earth (although lately she’s realizing that she doesn’t remember as much about her past life as she thought she did). She’s not surprised when the other queen candidates come calling in an attempt to win her support in their endeavors to become queen but Laetitia takes her position seriously and wishes to remain neutral in the power struggle between the human and beastfolk factions of Wolfvarte and queen candidates.
She’s not completely unwilling to lend a helping hand however, and somehow food always seems to be involved….
While the main section of this volume, where Laetitia and the readers meet the other three queen candidates and Laetitia provides assistance to one of them, Kate a Wildcat, worked well as a story, both the beginning and the end of the volume felt rather weak by comparison. Laetitia’s interactions with Natalie, another queen candidate and the one whose aunt caused so much trouble in the last volume, felt oddly vestigial, like it should have been a part of a larger story, even if that part was needed for the story to re-establish Natalie as her own character now free from her aunt’s influence.
Likewise, at the very end of the volume a new character is introduced, an artist who even appears in the colored character pages at the beginning of the volume, which made me think that another arc was starting up only for the volume to cut away to some side-stories and end the whole volume! Yu Sakurai mentions in the afterword writing on the Shōsetsuka ni Narō (Let’s Become Novelists) website and, since I know that Cross Infinite World sometimes licenses web novels (versus light novels) I wonder if that was the case here since in these places and a few others it felt like this second volume of Mofu Mofu could have used a few more drafts.
At this rate, if it takes the full two years for Mofu Mofu to reach its endgame (namely, that Laetitia becomes the actual queen of Wolfvarte and discovers that King Glenreed has been visiting her all this time as a wolf) then I really hope Sakurai picks up the pacing, writes heftier volumes covering more time, or at least stops filling up the volumes with side stories!
I do enjoy some iyashikei stories but Mofu Mofu just isn’t up there in my favorites; after two volumes it’s getting a little repetitive and just doesn’t do enough to grab me. Laetitia is a perfectly fine heroine, there’s nothing wrong with the basic plot, although the romance is a bit dull since there’s no real movement in that area yet. But I find myself wanting more than “perfectly fine” from this series and I’m not sure if I’ll get it.
Helen’s rating: 2.5 out of 5
Krystallina: While the first volume of Since I Was Abandoned After Reincarnating, I Will Cook With My Fluffy Friends: The Figurehead Queen Is Strongest At Her Own Pace focused on Laetitia moving to Wolfvarte and starting her own fluffy friends harem, volume 2 has her growing her friend harem thanks to the queen candidates.
And while Laetitia continues to be completely clueless that the mysterious wolf Lord Aroo is really her husband, King Glenreed, she…may not be oblivious to the fact she’s becoming attracted to her husband?
While much of this setup follows the standard isekai formula, it’d be nice change of pace for the heroine to not just rack up hearts — human, beast, or animal — without her own being moved by someone. Sure, most of the romance is just Laetitia being happy that Glenreed likes her food, but at least it’s unlikely she’ll be oblivious for the entire series that he’s special to her. In one of his scenes, Glenreed does consider the idea of Laetitia being his permanent queen, but he believes it can’t happen for political reasons. I’m sure that’s not going to stand, but I like how the idea has crossed his mind instead of choosing from the four candidates.
While the climax of volume 1 involved a scheme at the human queen candidate’s house (Natalie), volume 2 has Laetitia sharing in the pleasure of fluffy friends with Natalie. So now it’s time to formally introduce catgirl Kate and foxgirl I-Liena (yes, that’s how it’s written). I-Liena is as mysterious as her animal half would suggest, but Kate’s rather blunt — especially about how she does not want her half-sister, Sienna, to take her spot.
This whole situation could have gone very dark, but fortunately, the novel avoids too much drama. Volume 3 may be bringing more of the intrigue, but for now, this continues to be a relaxing, likable read.
That being said, I didn’t enjoy this volume quite as much as before simply because there wasn’t more to it. The animals were my favorite part of Cook With My Fluffy Friends, but a new creature isn’t introduced until the very end, and he’s not even a fluffy! Laetitia still brushes the wolves and decides to create a dog park near her villa. Meeting Kate and I-Liena doesn’t necessarily dominate volume 2 in terms of page time, but it dominates in terms of plot. Of course they were bound to turn up sooner or later, and I like how their bickering and side-comments, but I was so disappointed the author couldn’t work in a new fluffy to join Laetitia’s animal harem.
Besides, Berry, the absolutely adorable Gardner Cat, totally deserves to be in the character introduction color images. Yeah, it’s minor, but who doesn’t want to see this expressive cutie in color?
The illustrations continue to be great, and I wish more novels would have this level of life in them instead of just a generic picture of a character.
So while the illustrations may have been my main source of delight, the rest of the book isn’t too far behind. It may not quite have been what I wanted in terms of cute animals, but on the other hand, the relationship between the king and queen is developing more than I expected. That positive mostly balances out my disappointment, but I’d still like to see both the fluffy creatures and the fluffy romance.
Krystallina’s rating: 3.5 out of 5