When a series is popular, many others try to capture that magic. Like all the “reincarnation” series, fantasy and adventure manga about someone kicked out of their party is booming. But, done well, each series can veer into specific directions that make their tale stand out. Apparently, Disillusioned Adventurers Will Save the World has the lengthy title, so many series nowadays possess. But with its explicit content that works seamlessly with the story, the series has promise. With Apparently Disillusioned Volume 1; they tap into that penchant to cheer for underdogs. 

The original story is by Shinta Fuji, with art by Masaki Kawakami, character design by Susumu Kuroi, translation by Daniel Hutton, and lettering by Anthony Quintessenza. Here is the land of guilds, parties, magic, monsters, and non-human races. Any fan of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft understands the world this soon-to-be motley crew inhabits. The only part that did not sit well was the brief reference to assault. Nick is a veteran adventurer. As he feels indebted to his guild’s leader, Argus, he does what is best for the guild. 

In Apparently Disillusioned Volume 1, Nick Has No Luck

Unfortunately, not everyone is cool with Nick, especially how Nick keeps track of the guild funds. So a guild member steals money, tells Argus that Nick is the thief, and, even knowing it’s a lie, Argus kicks Nick out. Something more is happening between the pair beneath the surface. Nick knows Argus is better than his C-rank status and doesn’t accept that Argus is happy with his level. Argus sees potential in Nick wasting away if he remains in their party. Throwing Nick out might be to help him, but Argus’s execution caused more harm than good.

In Apparently Disiullsioned Volume 1, poor Nick can’t catch a break. Because on top of Argus kicking him out, his girlfriend dumps him after letting him know she used him to get goods for her party. So now he has no guild, no party, and no partner. After an idol, Agate, gives him an umbrella as he stands depressed in the rain, she offers him a ticket to her show. He becomes a hardcore fan and spends his savings lost in the fandom.  It’s hysterical how the fandoms are like Kpop fandoms in an adventure world. Never ignore the fandom might. 

A Change in Fortune

As Nick gets drunk in a bar, others ask if they can sit. All of them are by themselves, drinking and feeling down. When they blurt out, “I’ll never trust anyone again,” at the same time, they share their tales of misfortune. And each member has traits that complement the others, perfect for partying up. Tiana, who lost her fiance, school, and family, is a magic user. Zem, a former priest, who served time for assaulting a young girl, is a healer. Though innocent, Zem lost everything because of it. Karan, betrayed by her party and left for dead, fights using swords. So in this group, they have ranged attack, healer, and even a tank. 

Nudity and Ecchi But A Good Story

Apparently Disillusioned Volume 1 cover of Karan, Tiana, Zem, and Nick.
Apparently Disillusioned Volume 1 cover art.

Nudity and ecchi angles are not everywhere in the manga, but they are present. But it does not saturate to the point that the story suffers. There is an underdog tale here. The only place Apparently, Disillusioned Adventurers Will Save the World Volume 1 misses the mark is Zem’s backstory. Claims that women and girls falsely accuse men are rampant despite their unlikelihood. Fictional stories perpetuating that falsehood only increase harm. 

Trust-Building Rules

Nick thought Argus wasted his talents, but Argus was right about Nick’s skills. He is a problem-solver and wasted in that guild. As this quartet comes together, Nick devises rules and a setup that allows everyone to play a vital role regarding the money they make. Although Nick is in charge of the group, he tells them he’ll step down if one of them wants to lead. He is not an ego-tripping, power-hungry leader. His goal is to ensure things run smoothly, which makes him relatable and admirable. 

Though all of them have trust issues, some have scars running deeper. Although the series is in a fantasy adventure world, the universality of experiences helps connect readers to the characters. Karan and Nick, in particular, as their backstories play out in the first volume. It’s a horrible feeling to trust and believe in a party and care about them, only for them to sacrifice you for monetary gain. Luck saved Karan, and no doubt those traitorous party members, especially the leader, will crop up in a later volume.

Adult Story Of Adventuring Underdogs

Serialized in English from Yen Press, Apparently, Disillusioned Adventurers Will Save the World may not be mind-blowingly good. But the first volume is a solid start for the series, showing the lead-up to their party and the challenges they face to make it work. It’s like cheering for Rocky in the first film. There’s something about an undervalued person or persons succeeding. With the focus on making readers connect with these characters and occasional explicit content, Apparently Disillusioned Volume 1 hits the mark. Plus, the title hints at epic, future conflict, so worth taking a look if you love a come-up tale for the have-nots. 

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