One hundred and fifty. This is the number of instances that my Google Play Books’s word counter could find the word “cute” in the first four books of the light novel series “If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord”. So cute is a good word then to describe this series which revolves around the life of Latina, an orphaned devil girl, and her adopted caretaker Dale Reki who happens to be a real hero in this fantasy story.
If you’ve developed interest in this relatively obscure series, then it’s likely that you’ve watched the anime by the same name which released here in America on Crunchyroll the summer of 2019. You may be happy then to find out that the show faithfully follows the events of the first two books and cuts off not long after the third book begins. So as not to give a complete recap of either the anime or the first two books here is a short summary of the events that took place.
Dal Reki, an adventurer from a small but powerful province called Tislow who has been tasked to serve the region’s head official, is performing the small and somewhat unpleasant task of eradicating some local monster pest when he stumbles into a small starving devil girl whose father has recently passed. Instead of turning her over to an orphanage where she is likely to suffer persecution, because of her race, Dale decides to raise her himself. Raising a child as a single parent is no easy task, so luckily for Dale the girl, Latina, turns out to be incredibly mature for her age and willing to step up and help with anything she can at every opportunity. Also luckily for Dale, he has great friends/landlords who take care of Latina while he is working (in a lot of ways Kenneth is more of a stand-in father for Latina than Dale).
That covers the set-up, as for the plot, this really is a slice-of-life series. Latina is 7 almost 8 when the series begins and has turned 18 by the close of book four. We the readers get to see her grow up, make friends, cook, and go on a trip to Tislow to see Dale’s family. Dale is an 18 year old doting idiot at the start of the series and by the end of book four he is a 28 year old doting idiot. Perhaps it’s charming how much he reminds the same, but I said that this is a fantasy series too and it is our professional hero Dale that lets us know this as his work requires him to travel regularly in order to kill monsters as well as other devils…? Yeah, we’re given a lot of time to take in the rich history, politics, background, and culture of the country of Laband where our characters live and work. It is in the fourth book of the series that the story starts to change in more ways than one.
So what is my take away from the series that I’ve been reading for the past year and a half? Story wise everything is very consistent and sticks to what makes a light novel a light novel, it’s an easy read, something that you can grab off a night stand and read for thirty minutes to an hour before you go to sleep. The story is heart warming and the characters are enduring, but [spoilers!] by book three you know that the relationship between adopted daughter and father is changing when Latina tells Dale that she, “never saw him as her father”. It’s something that readers should be aware of going into the series. Also by the end of book four, the plot takes a heavy turn to the fantasy side of things. In general I enjoyed reading the first two books and I would recommend them to any anime/manga/fantasy fan looking for a heart warming tale about family and friends, but as for the other volumes in the series, I’d give them a pass. I personally had to set the series down when the characters’ relationship turned into a romantic one.
— Author: TBryantS