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A GENTLE NOBLE’S VACATION RECOMMENDATION, VOL.1

Writer: Misaki

Artists: Momochi and Sando

Publisher: TOKYOPOP (@TOKYOPOP)

A Gentle Noble's Vacation Recommendation, vol.1 by Misaki, Momochi, and Sando

WHAT IS IT?

A laid-back noble finds himself in a strange new world and decides to make the most of it by calling it a vacation in this cozy, chill adventure series.

Think .HACK//SIGN meets Legends & Lattes.


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

(Minor Spoilers)

When a noble named Lizel mysteriously finds himself in a city that strongly resembles his own, but clearly isn’t, he decides to enjoy the unique experience and take a much-needed vacation. This strange new world is full of monsters and those who hunt them for their riches, and Lizel’s dignified appearance immediately stirs up trouble. Interested to know more about the dungeon-crawling world around him, he hires a B-rank adventurer named Gil to be his escort for the month. Gil is revered as the best of the best and his abilities are known far and wide, making him the perfect bodyguard and companion for the laid-back Lizel.

Intrigued by the adventurer’s guild and the sprawling labyrinths just outside of the city, Lizel registers as a low-rank adventurer and sets off to explore the strange landscapes and delve into the local literature. With Gil by his side and broad horizons before him, Lizel can’t wait to see what awaits him on this unexpected vacation.


WHAT WORKS?

  • Misaki’s world and the characters who inhabit it are a fantasy-adventure fan’s dream. The story is well-developed, the rules and regulations of the world Lizel finds himself in feels tangible enough that his story makes sense, and the charming cast is both captivating and refreshing. It’s a world you’ll want to get lost in.

  • Momochi and Sando’s artwork perfect matches the tone and theme of the story. It is definitely a fantasy but the laid-back, chill nature of the narrative is enhanced by the calm, often quirky vibes of the characters, and the lightly shaded artwork adds to the quaint aesthetic of the manga.

  • TOKYOPOP's team did an excellent job with the sound effects in this series. With the mixture of relaxed, cozy energy and fantasy action, the varying designs and nature of the SFX pieces range quite drastically from bold and booming to soft and small. Each one is rendered and translated with care, do not obstruct the artwork, and enhance the scenes perfectly.

  • Lizel is a fun protagonist. He has a duality about him with his obviously intelligent nature and his carefree, almost clumsy attitude. The air of mystery about his origins and the world he hails from lends to his intrigue, but he lacks the typical maliciousness that is often found with similar characters.

  • The fact that this series strays from the typical isekai* genre stories where a regular, boring human must learn to adapt to a magical world is incredibly refreshing. Lizel is well-versed in magic and fighting, so he feels less like a bumbling fool trying to survive like many protagonists in similar stories.

  • I appreciated the fact that the world isn’t completely explored or elaborated on in the first volume. We only see a brief, tiny glimpse of the vastness of it all on a map, but the first volume is locked into the city Lizel gets dropped into. It allows for exploration and growth of the narrative as the series progresses, keeping readers engaged while still allowing the lore to unfold naturally.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK?

  • CW: Fantasy violence and blood (including finger pricks, the killing of animal-looking monsters, and sword-based fights), mild language, use of tobacco and alcohol. It is, overall, a fairly clean series but is recommended for teens.

  • This series, though an action-adventure series, is definitely part of the ‘cozy’ genre. It moves quite slowly and certain scenes do tend to drag out - though this is more prominent in future volumes - so those expecting a more action-heavy isekai style narrative may find this a turn off.

  • There are a few word bubbles that feel a bit big for the text inside. Though this is most likely due to the shift between Japanese to English, it does make a few of the panels feel a bit crowded with the size of the empty-feeling bubbles.

  • There is a brief, slightly homophobic jab made in the middle of this volume. The characters make it in jest but it does feel out of place, especially with how heavily the series leans into traditional boys’ love themes.


A Gentle Noble's Vacation Recommendation, vol.1 by Misaki, Momochi, and Sando

WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

The isekai genre is becoming increasingly popular not just in manga, but in comics as a whole nowadays. We see a ton of stories featuring individuals being thrust into magical worlds/settings with dungeons to explore and monsters to slay hitting the shelves quite regularly. With massive titles like Solo Leveling, Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girl’s In A Dungeon, and That Time I Got Reincarnated Into A Slime, you can't go more than a few letters down the alphabetic without seeing several series falling into this genre on the shelves.


A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation stands out amongst its peers with its undeniably chill vibes and charming cast of characters, making it an eye-catching and fresh series in an overwhelmed market. While many fantasy-adventure series showcases the action, the epic battles, and massive monsters, this title leans heavily into the meals, the conversations, and the more slice-of-life aspects of the adventurers’ daily lives. The cast of 'pretty boys' - as TOKYOPOP likes to say - is a delightful shift from the gruff men, bubbly witches, and hapless fools that tend to saturate the genre, and their fun introductions in this first volume will have you running out to grab vol.2 with haste.


This series is perfect for fans of the newly popular cozy-adventure genre, those who like their D&D campaigns filled with bardic moments and bar-based scenes, and readers who want a less-stressful story to get lost in. Vol. 6 was recently released in its physical form and the series shows no signs of slowing down. So, if you’re looking for a low-key, laid-back adventure series that still offers plenty of lore and laughs, you’ll definitely want to take this vacation recommendation to heart.


HOW DO I READ IT?

The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All TOKYOPOP characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright TOKYOPOP or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


*isekai is a genre where a typically regular human is transported to another world, one usually filled with magic.

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