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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 Kitayama Yuri, which was later adapted to light novel form in 2015 with Riv as the illustrator. The light novel version is currently licensed by J-Novel Club.

Haruto Amakawa, an ordinary boy in Japan, is separated from his childhood friend, Miharu Ayase, 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 fantasy kingdom of Beltrum who seeks revenge against his mother's rapist and killer. With both the memories and skills of Haruto, Rio seeks to escape the slums and work his way towards finding his nemesis, but he'll first have to overcome Beltrum's unfair aristocratic system.


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 light novel.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The light novel fleshes out the world and its characters significantly.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted. The language of the other world is not Japanese, and only heroes get the ability to automatically translate dialogue. Rio, despite inheriting Haruto's language skills, has to be taught how to read the world's native language from scratch.
  • Alternate Universe: As Word of God states, the WN and LN 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 death only to meet a worse fate.
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    • Reiss forcibly transforms Alphonse into a ghoul, which while horrifying, isn't all that tragic due to the latter being one of the students who bullied Rio and framed him for nearly getting Flora killed. For additional karma, he leads an attack on Amande city, only to be easily killed by Aisha.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Most aristocrats in Beltrum will eagerly abuse their power to make life miserable for any commoner who stands out too much. There are a few benevolent examples, such as Liselotte in the Galarc Kingdom using her position to improve Amande's economy and rule fairly, but those are few and far between.
  • Bag of Holding: The Item Box can be used to store items regardless of size.
  • Balanced Harem: The story cycles between which heroine it focuses depending on the 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 did not acknowledge that he's the same person as the Rio Flora knows as a result of his fugitive status, even if it's very clear that neither of them buy the excuse, making it a case of Plausible Deniability.
  • Breather Episode: Volume 8 does not have a single fight scene.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Haruto defeating Beltrum's King's Sword and its hero Rui both at the same time. Also driving their army of 5,000 and capturing their leader Charles Arbor without suffering injuries. This event will cause a "ripple" on the Strahl Region.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Liselotte shows up early in volume 2, but only really becomes relevant in Volume 6.
  • The Coup: Duke Arbor takes over Beltrum Kingdom by taking advantage of the public's dissatisfaction with the royals and the Huguenot faction's handling of the war with the Proxia Empire.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Quite a few examples:
    • Rio makes quick work of the black Wyvern after figuring out its weakness.
    • Rio's first fight against Lucius turned into this due to Rio getting the drop out of him and cutting Lucius' left arm, and nearly killed him had Reiss not interfered.
    • Rio did this to Takahisa twice. First is a sanction duel to determine who Miharu would come with, Haruto dragged on the duel so that he could break his fighting will. The second one is after Takahisa tried to kidnap Miharu. Takahisa tried to attack Haruto with his divine arm but was dealt with an Offhand Backhand and One-Hit Kill that luckily he survived because of his Divine Arm.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Spirit Arts are this compared to magic formulas. They're harder to master due to requiring finer control over both internal and external sources of magic, but are also more malleable.
  • Fantastic Racism: Any beast-person who wanders into human territory is at risk of being turned into a slave. In turn, the Spirit Folk races view humans as dangerous, though Rio is able to earn their trust.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Of the Isekai genre.
    • Going to a new world naturally means having to deal with a language barrier. While the heroes are given the ability to have Japanese translated to and from the native language, ordinary people dragged in with them in the summoning process don't get this ability, leaving them helpless in a world where they can't talk to anyone who isn't a hero or reincarnator.
    • Despite his attempts to use his past life's skills, Rio is unable to overcome the prejudice against commoners, leading to him being framed for a crime by his jealous classmates.
    • Killing, even in self-defense, is a taboo on Earth and especially in Japan. The fantasy world is far more dangerous due to the less advanced culture and human rights, meaning killing eventually becomes a necessary evil that weights heavily on Rio.
    • Reincarnating into someone already living in the other world is not always good for one's mental state, as shown when Haruto's ethics clash with the more hardened and cynical 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 too, they could get 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 came from a world that doesn`t use such weapons unless for sport or training. Takahisa was defeated twice and Rui was neutralized in one hit by Haruto who had experienced real battle and trained in wielding sword for a long time.
  • 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 to get his friends up to speed.
    • Of note is Liselotte's status as a reincarnator. Rio suspects she, or one of her employees, is one, after learning of Ricca guild, and her own internal narrations don't really hide it aside from being vaguely worded, but the characters don't really address it until later.
  • La Résistance: The Restoration group is formed to oppose Duke Arbor's coup against the kingdom.
  • Made a Slave: Slavery is legal in the other world, and 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 you only need to be able to detect Ode (or Magic Essence) to use it, along with the magic formula being embedded in your body via a spell contract. Spirit Arts is harder to learn as you need to be able to detect and see Ode, as well as detect the Mana in your surroundings, along with forming a contract with a spirit to improve your control over Spirit Arts, but is much more flexible than Sorcery. The exclusive part is that you can't have a magic formula in your body if you want to use Spirit Arts as it disrupts the flow of Mana. The reverse is also true for Spirit Arts users who already have a contract with a spirit, as any attempt of adding a spell 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 he's a convenient scapegoat to avoid blaming an important noble house and potentially sparking a conflict between the dukes. Which ends up being All for Nothing when Duke Arbor starts a coup for different reasons.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The designated heroes, the so-called disciples of the of the 6 Wise Gods, get hit by this by Rio (Haruto) as they don't have many opportunities to deploy their divine weapons' full capabilities as there's no war to be fought. It doesn't help that they were treated just as politcal figure heads by nobles that intend to push their agendas or show of force, giving them less chances to train and master their abilities.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first 3 volumes are basically one long prologue that sets up the characters and setting.
  • 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 both 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.
  • Runaway Bride: Celia gets "kidnapped" by Rio with her permission on the day of her wedding.
  • Values Dissonance: Invoked. A major plot point is that the reincarnators and those who were summoned from the other world come to understand the differences as they compare their previous world's logic in the present one.
    • This is why Rio has reservations on pursuing a relationship with Miharu, as unlike Haruto, he has and will kill if necessary, and the fact that he's pursuing revenge.
    • Two of the heroes, namely 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 you want to survive. The king of Galarc notes the difference while they were discussing on what to do with Takahisa and his attempted kidnapping of Miharu, to which Satsuki clarifies that the country she and the other heroes came from frowns on any form of killing, whether it be intentional or in self-defense.
    • Slavery is legal in this world, and they can't do a thing about it unless they want to destroy the current society, which causes more problems. Rio has come to accept that this is a necessary evil for the current society to function. The heroes and other people summoned have mixed reception about it.

Alternative Title(s): Seirei Gensouki Spirit Chronicles


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