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Light Novel / Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles

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Spirit Chronicles (精霊幻想記; Seirei Gensouki) is an ongoing 2014 Web Novel series written by Yuri Kitayama, which was later adapted into Light Novel form in 2015 with Riv as the illustrator, as well as a Manga with Futago Minazuki as the artist in 2017; the latter two are currently licensed by J-Novel Club.

Amakawa Haruto, an ordinary boy in Japan, is separated from his Childhood Friend, Ayase Miharu, due to his parents' divorce. They promise to meet again one day, so Haruto works hard to eventually go to the same high school as her. Unfortunately, she and several students go missing, and are not found for five years, causing Haruto to live aimlessly for that time. After dying in a bus accident, Haruto is reincarnated as Rio, a homeless orphan in the Beltrum Kingdom, who seeks Revenge against his mother's rapist and killer. With the memories and skills of Haruto, Rio desires escaping the slums and work his way towards finding his arch-nemesis, but he'll first have to overcome Beltrum's unfair aristocratic system.


A Twelve Episode Animated Adaptation co-produced by TMS Entertainment and WaoWorld began airing on July 2021.

Note that the Web Novel and Light Novel diverge at multiple points in the story, and should be treated as different continuities, with this page covering the events of the latter.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Compared to the web novel, the light novel fleshes out the world and its characters significantly; of note, the web novel halts after the events from the light novel's tenth volume.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted - the primary language of the other world is not Japanese. Only summoned heroes gain the ability to automatically translate dialogue. Rio, despite inheriting Haruto's language skills, has to be taught how to read and write the new world's native language from scratch.
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  • Alternate Universe: As Kitayama states, the web novel and light novel can be treated as such.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Double Subverted when Rio nearly kills Gon when the latter tries to rape Ruri. While Rio eventually calms down and spares him, Gon is sold off into slavery as punishment for his crimes, meaning Gon escaped with his life only to meet a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Reiss Vulfe forcibly transforms Alphonse Rodan into a ghoul; while horrifying, the narrative paints this as not-so-tragic when the latter was one of the students at the Beltrum Royal Academy who actively bullied Rio and framed him for nearly getting Princess Flora Beltrum killed. For additional karma, he leads an attack on the city of Amande in the Galarc Kingdom, only to be easily Killed Off for Real by Aishia.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Most of the aristocracy in the new world will eagerly abuse their power to make life miserable for commoners who stand out too much. While there are a few benevolent examples, such as Liselotte Cretia in the Galarc Kingdom, who uses her position to improve Amande's economy and rule fairly, those are few and far between.
  • Bag of Holding: Rio's "Item Box" can be used to store items regardless of size.
  • Balanced Harem: The story frequently cycles between which heroine it focuses on depending on the Story Arc.
  • Blatant Lies: Once Flora learns that Haruto and Rio are the same person, Rio confirms that he was indeed called "Rio" in the past, but does not acknowledge that he's the same person as the Rio the character knows. Flora is aware that as a result of his fugitive status, even if it's very clear neither of them buy the excuse, this makes it a case of Plausible Deniability.
  • Breather Episode: Volume 8 of the light novel does not have a single fight scene.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Rio defeating Beltrum's "King's Sword" (the title given to the kingdom's strongest knight) and its hero Shigekura Rui at the same time, while also driving their army of 5,000 and capturing their leader Charles Arbor without suffering injuries. This event will cause a "ripple" effect on the Strahl Region.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Liselotte shows up early in Volume 2 of the light novel, though her importance to the story only becomes relevant in Volume 6.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Rio is subjected to this after saving Flora because Princess Christina Beltrum accuses him of kidnapping her younger sister and not giving him a chance to tell his side of the story. This gives Charles the opportunity to try and beat a False Confession out of Rio, in order to cover up his incompetence that allowed Flora to be kidnapped in the first place.
  • The Coup: Duke Helmut Arbor takes over the Beltrum Kingdom by taking advantage of the public's dissatisfaction with the royal family and the Huguenot faction's handling of the war with the Proxia Empire.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle
    • Rio makes quick work of a black wyvern after figuring out its weakness.
    • Rio's first fight against Lucius turns into this due to Rio getting the drop on him, cutting Lucius' left arm, and was nearly able to kill him had Reiss not interfered.
    • Rio does this to Sendou Takahisa twice: the first is a sanctioned duel to determine who Miharu would go with, where he simply drags on the duel in order to break Takahisa's will to keep fighting, and the second is after Takahisa tries to kidnap Miharu. Attacking Rio with his Divine Weapon "Laevateinn", he's dealt an Offhand Backhand and a Power Fist that he luckily survives because of Laevateinn.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: "Spirit Arts" are this compared to magic formulas - they're harder to master due to its user requiring finer control over both internal and external sources of magic, but are also more malleable.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: Noblemen are permitted multiple wives, normally with a Top Wife and a hierarchy based on the order of marriage. Celia is expected to be obedient to her senior wives despite, as the daughter of a Count, socially outranking them.
  • Fantastic Racism: Any beastkin who wanders into human territory is at risk of being turned into a slave. In turn, the Spirit Folk view humans as dangerous, though Rio is able to earn their trust.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Of the isekai genre, though more specifically, tropes regarding Reincarnate in Another World.
    • Upon reincarnating, Rio's mind is filled with the memories and moral stance of his previous life as Haruto on Earth. This results in such mental conflict throughout the early story that Rio has identity and personality issues, especially when Haruto's ethics clash with the more cynical, hardened Rio because of the events that led to him becoming an orphan.
    • Going to a new world naturally means having to deal with a Language Barrier: while the summoned heroes are given the ability to have Japanese translated to and from the native tongue, ordinary people dragged in with them in the summoning process don't inherit this ability, leaving them helpless in a world where they can't talk to anyone who isn't a hero or a reincarnator. While Rio is able to speak the language fluently (since he was born and raised in the new world first before Haruto's memories poured into him), even he doesn't know how to read and write because he was never taught it, thus his first year at the Beltrum Royal Academy is spent learning to do so.
    • Despite his attempts to use his past life's skills as a martial artist with the knowledge of a university student, Rio is unable to overcome the prejudice against commoners from his elitist classmates, who have become so ingrained with such a mindset because of them being raised in a hierarchical society. Rio doing so well in the Academy earns him more ire from his peers other than being a commoner, ultimately leading to Rio being framed for a crime by his jealous classmates.
    • Killing, even in self-defense, is taboo on Earth, especially in Japan. The fantasy world of Seirei Gensouki is far more dangerous due to its Medieval European Fantasy setting, unprogressive cultures, an aristocracy who dehumanizes the commonfolk and non-humans and the lack of basic human rights, meaning murder is often Necessarily Evil, something that weighs heavily on Rio.
    • Summoned heroes automatically get a lot of powers that reincarnators don't have, but they're ultimately seen as tools by whichever political faction summons them. If any of their friends get pulled in from Earth too, they could be taken as hostages to force the heroes' cooperation. Additionally, the summoning process doesn't select the heroes based on their skill or moral character, meaning it can hand a lot of power to those who would misuse it and/or don't know how to use their power skillfully.
    • The reincarnation process is seemingly random, since one can easily be reincarnated as a slave or slum resident, which is statistically more likely than being reincarnated as a noble.
    • Even though the heroes wield Divine Weapons, they come from a world that no longer uses such weaponry for sport or training. It comes as no surprise that Takahisa is defeated twice and Rui neutralized in one hit by Rio, who has experienced real battle and trained at wielding a sword for years in the new world, on top of his memories and skills inherited from Haruto.
    • Someone having Next Tier Power-Up may sound awesome in theory, but in reality, it's detrimental in battle as the user would have likely skipped knowing the fundamentals unless they have studied it extensively. Sakata Hiroaki gets hit hard with this where, despite throwing his power around, he isn't able to hit Rio, who keeps blocking and deflecting his attacks. Contrast Rui, who uses his bow without the same kind of fanfare Hiroaki pulls and is more competent in his combat approach against Rio.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The various races of the Spirit Folk live in a secluded forest to avoid humans. Bonus points for elves being among those races.
  • Internal Reveal: Done multiple times over the course of the story, especially when it comes to Rio and getting his friends up to speed; of note, however, is Liselotte's status as a reincarnator. Rio suspects she, or one of her employees, is one, after learning of the Ricca Guild and the products they sell, with Liselotte's internal monologue not hiding it aside from it being vaguely worded, but the characters don't really address it until later.
  • La Résistance: The Restorationists are formed to oppose Duke Arbor's coup against the Beltrum Kingdom.
  • Made a Slave: Slavery is legal in the other world; unlucky saps unable to fight back against slave traders are fair game.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Sorcery and Spirit Arts - the former is easier to learn as one only needs to be able to detect "Ode" (or "Magic Essence") to use it, along with magic formulas being embedded in the body via a spell contract. Spirit Arts, however, are harder to learn as users are required to detect and see Ode, as well as Mana within their surroundings, alongside forming a contract with a spirit to improve their control over Spirit Arts; fortunately, Spirit Arts are much more flexible than sorcery. The exclusive part is that one cannot have a magic formula in their body if they want to use Spirit Arts as it disrupts the flow of mana; simultaneously, the opposite holds true for Spirit Art users who already have a contract with a spirit, as any attempt at adding a magic formula to the body will be rejected.
  • The Needs of the Many: Beltrum's government knows there is no hard proof that Rio accidentally pushed Flora off a cliff, but they decide since he's a commoner, it's easier to make him a convenient scapegoat to avoid blaming an important noble house and potentially sparking a conflict between the dukes. This ends up being All for Nothing when Duke Arbor starts a coup for very different reasons.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The designated heroes, the so-called disciples of the "Six Wise Gods", get hit by this with Rio as they don't have many opportunities to deploy their Divine Weapons' full capabilities when there's no war to be fought. It doesn't help that they are treated just as political figureheads by nobles that intend to push their own agendas or be displayed as a show of force, giving them less chances to train and master their abilities.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first three volumes of the light novel is basically a giant Exposition Dump that merely sets up the major characters of Seirei Gensouki and the new world they're a part of. Even the manga Lampshades this at the end of Chapter 31, explicitly stating the story has simply reached the end of the "prologue".
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Ghouls are formed when a human ingests a certain kind of magic stone, turning them into winged Humanoid Abominations who are physically strong and difficult to kill due to their Healing Factor.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Between Rio and Miharu; Latifa and Liselotte's previous lives also had a crush on Rio's previous life as Haruto.
  • Runaway Bride: Celia Claire gets "kidnapped" by Rio with her permission on the day of her wedding.
  • Values Dissonance: Invoked - a major Plot Point is that reincarnators and those who were summoned from Earth come to understand the cultural and societal differences as they compare their previous world's logic with the present one.
    • Rio has reservations about pursuing a relationship with Miharu: unlike the morally-inclined Haruto, Rio has killed and will kill if necessary. Furthermore, the fact that Rio's primary motivation is the pursuit of Revenge makes him believe he's unworthy of ever being happy.
    • Two of the heroes (Hiroaki and Takahisa) disdain murderers, ignoring the fact that the overall safety in the world they're summoned to is lower than modern Japan, making killing a necessity if they want to survive. The king of Galarc notes the difference while they are discussing on what to do with Takahisa and his attempted kidnapping of Miharu, to which another hero, Sumeragi Satsuki, clarifies that the country she and the other heroes came from frowns upon any form of murder, be it intentional or in self-defense.
    • Slavery is perfectly legal in the new world: there's not a thing anybody can do about it unless they wish to dismantle how the current society functions with slavery installed, which will cause more problems than before without it. Rio has come to accept slavery as a necessary evil, but the heroes and other people summoned have mixed reception about it.

Alternative Title(s): Seirei Gensouki Spirit Chronicles


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