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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Rio.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.