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Light Novel / The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?

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The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me? is a Light Novel series about Wendelin von Benno Baumeister (or "Well" for short), formerly known as Salaryman Shingo Ichinomiya, who falls asleep and wakes up as the eighth and youngest son of a poor noble family. At first worried about repeating an uneventful life in this new world, Well eventually learns that he was born with an unusual talent for magic and is privately trained by a very powerful magician. Once he's old enough, he leaves home and goes in search of his own fame and fortune, and quickly finds it in no small part due to his immense talent.

The original web novel series ran from June 2013 to March 2017, and has been adapted into a light novel and manga series which are still ongoing, as well as an anime adaptation that ran in the Spring 2020 anime block.


This work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Several events and characters were changed in the anime.
    • Well in the anime has low confidence and a lack of communication skills, while Wells in the manga and novels doesn't and was even friends with Erwin during the academy.
    • The details of Wells' engagement to Iina and Louise. In the manga, Louise and Iina tries to seduce Wells in his bedroom as part of their plan to become his mistresses, only for Wells to reveal he was already in love with them and wants them to be his wives instead. In the anime, it's Elsie who tells Wells he should get engaged with Louise and Iina, which he reluctantly agrees to after being pressured by all three girls.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Roderick knows that his father, Baron Ruckner, is a shady, underhanded schemer and was disowned by him because his mother was a commoner. He thus helps Well uncover and foil his plot as sense of personal obligation.
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  • Babies Ever After: 23 of them. Well has children with all of the women he marries, as well as from a few mistresses as well.
  • Badass Normal: Erwin has zero magical ability whatsoever. All of his fighting skill comes from good old fashioned hard work.
  • Battle Harem: Well's wives are mostly adventurers like himself, and the majority also join his party to fight at his side.
  • Beach Episode: Following Well being officially married to his wives, they take a trip to the beach. It is here that Well gets his harem to wear the swimsuits he had designed for them (ie swimsuits of modern day Earth).
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: Several key members of the kingdom's nobles and even the King are plotting to make Well the heir of his family's Knightdom, such as ensuring he gets promoted at a fast rate to justify his appointment via his rank or making sure the majority of the rewards go to him in order to have him be able to fund the development of the frontier in his family's lands.
  • Big Eater: Willma is a Full Contact Magician who is constantly producing magical energy to bolster her physical power. This drains a lot of her stamina and thus she is always hungry. The reason she seeks out Well in the first place is because he was one of the few eligible men in the kingdom with the wealth to make sure she's fed properly.
  • Bookends: It took the poor man more than ten years, but he finally managed to recreate the dinner that was so rudely interrupted when he woke up in another world.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Louise has short, blue hair and is a tomboyish pugilist.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Kurt grows to be the Cain with his brothers as the Abels, specifically Wendelin.
    • Baron Ruckner is the younger Cain to Lord Commissioner Ruckner's Abel.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: In episode 6, Elsie grabs Well's sleeve after she wakes up from fainting.
  • Civil War: The Holy Empire Urquhart ends up in one while Well and his party were visiting the nation with a group of diplomats. Well and his friends end up fighting for one side(technically they were considered mercenaries and not agents of their kingdom) against the usurper.
  • Cool Big Bro: Apart from Kurt most of Well's brothers are this, with Erich being the most prominent.
  • Cool Old Guy: Brantark Ringstat becomes the Token Adult of Well's party and accompanies them to give advice and watch out for Well's well-being.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Roderick, who is treated as a joke early into the series as he desperately tries to become Well's retainer, is actually a major badass. Not only does he defeat Iina at spearmanship, but he proves to be quite the Guile Hero and dutifully serves Well once he is finally accepted as his retainer.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Well is often exasperated by the differing social mores between his new home and his native Japan. Most notably, he is taken aback by Arranged Marriage — when he's told that almost everyone marries someone they've never met before, he is surprised by how different it is than what he's used to.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Louise later reveals that she enjoys pulling dirty pranks on and voyeuring on both men and women, often convincing Well to assist with her schemes.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Normally a magic user has a set maximum capacity of mana. However, Well's wives saw their mana capacity increase after having sex with Well regularly for a month.
  • Disproportionate Reward: Well feels this about the fast promotions and massive amount of funds he gets for his deeds. Justified, the Benevolent Conspiracy is giving him plenty of funds for the purpose of developing his family's sizeable land holdings
  • Evil Counterpart: Baron Ruckner can be considered as Wendelin's counterpart, when it comes to being the younger son of a family of nobles, Ruckner is driven to envy of his older brother, while Wendelin does not feel that sort of mindset to his brothers.
  • Eye Twitch: Lord Commissioner Ruckner does this when reading off the list of one of Well's rewards for his and his party's discovering the ancient artifacts in the ruins they were exploring (which would have to be spread out over 20 YEARS just to pay it all and not put the kingdom in debt). Keep in mind He's a member of the Benevolent Conspiracy
  • Fish out of Water: As a salaryman from modern Japan, Well often finds it hard to understand the norms of the new world he lives in and usually needs his companions or Brantark to explain it to him.
  • Full-Contact Magic: In this world, most combatants are able to use some amount of magic power to bolster their physical prowess.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kurt towards Well starting from when he (correctly) suspected that his youngest brother has magic and only increasing as the latter started accumulating more and more wealth, status, and accomplishments. Invoked as the Benevolent Conspiracy is hoping to provoke Kurt into doing something foolish so they have grounds to replace him with Well as the inheritor of his family's lands.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Thanks to her healing abilities and compassionate demeanor, Elise is considered a "Saint".
  • Heir Club for Men: The vast majority of political power within this world is held by men. In fact, the very title of the series demonstrates this; Well can't inherit anything because he's the eighth son, which doesn't include the two daughters that are also older than him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Baron Ruckner and his co-conspirators are killed by the vengeful spirit of Kurt, whom they manipulated against Well.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Well's mentor, Alfred Reinford, has been undead for several years, only barely hanging on to sanity so that he can pass on his magical knowledge to a worthy successor. When he has finally taught Well all he can, he asks Well to purify him so that he can rest in the afterlife and not turn into a berserk undead and harm others.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode of the anime except for the last one is some variation of "____? Are You Kidding Me?", the blank usually being related to the episode's events in some way.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Well comes from a noble family, but they are quite poor financially despite all the land they own.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Despite Kurt being the 1st son, almost everyone sees him as this due to his arrogance and incompetence especially in comparison to the 8th son Well It's also the main reason the Benevolent Conspiracy wants to replace the former with the latter
  • Like a Son to Me: Brantark cares for Well like a son, personally looking after him and offering advice because he reminds Brantark of his own pupil, Alfred.
  • Lost Technology: The precursor civilization whose ruins Well ends up exploring had advanced magitek, including stuff that wouldn't look out of place in modern-day Earth.
  • Marry Them All: Well is quickly betrothed to the cardinal's granddaughter Elise, but Louise and Iina also ask that he marry them as concubines, which Elise raises no objections to. Later on, he also marries Willma, Katharina, Katia and Lisa, and also takes Philine as a fiancée and Amalia as a mistress.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The entire premise of the series. Well happens to be the eighth son (and that's not even including daughters) of the already-destitute Baumeister family, meaning that he has absolutely no chance of inheriting anything from his family. Fortunately for him, he turns out to be an immensely-powerful mage, which quickly makes him even more wealthy and famous than his entire family.
  • The Mistress: Well's father has a mistress who's also the mother of his two older sisters and two other older brothers. It is custom among male noblemen to have a "sex educator" who teaches them the most enjoyable and proper ways to have sexual intercourse before marrying. In Well's case, his is former sister-in-law Amalie, who eventually falls in love with him and becomes his mistress. Even bearing him a child later. He also gets several other mistresses as well.
  • Now or Never Kiss: When Well's party becomes trapped in an ancient ruin, Elise uses a magical spell to empower Well and help him fight a foe while his magic is running low. To impart the spell, she kisses him on the lips. Later, Iina and Louise discuss the fact that a kiss is not necessary in order to imbue the spell and Elise likely kissed him because it was possible that the two of them could die.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: When Well accidentally becomes engaged to Elise, he is at first taken aback and wonders if it's a good idea given that they barely know one another. But, after going on a few dates, it becomes clear that Elise is quite smitten with him and that they are a perfect match.
  • Reincarnate in Another World: Well was originally a Japanese Salaryman who fell asleep while eating dinner and somehow woke up in his current body. It's implied that he died from exhaustion due to overwork.
  • Secret Test of Character: Subverted and played for laughs. When Well first enrolls in the school for adventurers, everyone assumes that because he is a high-level magician that he is secretly judging them and testing whether or not they are worthy to become his companions. As such, no one actually tries to befriend or talk to him, because they're all on edge trying to put their best foot forward to impress him. In truth, Well was just hoping to make friends and wasn't even aware that people would treat him like such a big deal anyway.
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: One of the King's cousins claims to be Elsie's "fiancé" and demands Well hand her back, despite the fact Elsie doesn't like him and her grandfather the Cardinal has repeatedly told the guy he doesn't like him as well and refuses any marriage proposal between them. It doesn't help the cousin is an arrogant Fat Bastard and already has three dozen wives!
  • Smug Snake:
    • Baron Ruckner and his co-conspirators are all smug, underhanded schemers that try to manipulate Well and his family to their own ends.
    • Kurt himself has the ego and incompetence, is unfit to lead his land in contrast to Well, and tries to kill Well with a dagger, despite Well being more powerful in magic.
    • One of the King's cousins is an arrogant Fat Bastard who challenged Well to a duel for Elsie's hand in marriage, despite both Elsie and her grandfather disapproving of him and refusing any engagement with him. He then tried to cheat by using a monster to kill Well, only to be become a blubbering mess once Well defeats the monster and the King arrests his cousin for cheating.
  • Stock Light-Novel Hero: Ticks every box. A normal Salaryman falls asleep and wakes up as a nobleman with extremely high magical power. He then gains a harem of female consorts, and amasses both wealth and authority that make him one of the key players within his new fantasy world.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Kurt, Well's eldest brother, and heir to the Baumeister Barony, becomes defensive of his position and title once Well quickly gains prestige in the kingdom, fearing that Well will seek to usurp him. Well never intended to give Kurt trouble, and had always planned to leave the Barony upon realizing he could use magic. Of course, while Well was willing to let Kurt be, the kingdom was looking to replace Kurt with Well, as Well's wealth could be put to used into finally developing the Baumeister Barony.
  • Unfinished Business: Undead are typically deceased beings who died with regrets or some sort of unfinished business that keeps them bound in the living world. Albert is unique in that it's his unfinished business that prevents him from turning into a mindless monster; he simply will not let himself move on until he finds a worthy successor to pass his magical knowledge to.
  • World's Strongest Man: Commander Warren, the best knight and soldier in the entirety of the Helmut Kingdom.
  • Wutai: The Mizuho Earldom is one of territories under the domain of the Holy Empire Urquhart, and is basically Feudal Japan to the reincarnated Well. When his friends note that the Mizuho cuisine resembles the Japanese food that Well managed to recreate, Well "admits" it was Mizuho cuisine he was reproducing.

Alternative Title(s): The Eighth Son Are You Kidding Me, The8th Son Are You Kidding Me, Hachi Nan Tte Sore Wa Nai Deshou