Hazure Skill: The Guild Member With A Worthless Skill Is Actually A Legendary Assassin Volume 1 (a mouthful of a title) is hilarious thanks to the lead character, Roland, and his interactions with various people in his quest—pun intended—to lead an everyday life. Hazure Skill Volume 1 is a story by Kennoji, art by Fuh Araki, character design by KWKM with translation by Jan Mitsuko Cash, and lettering by Chiho Christie. After Roland defeats the demon lord, his name, fame, and fortune are about to skyrocket. However, instead of taking credit, Roland requests to disappear from the assassin’s life and seek a life of normalcy. He gets a job at the local Adventurers Guild to help with this endeavor.
Hazure Skill Volume 1 from Yen Press is comical. There are moments when I guffawed. We all encounter people whose thoughts and experiences are occasionally so different that it leads to unintended hilarity. But Roland has lived his life as an assassin and has no understanding of what a normal life entails. All Roland wants to be is normal, but his thought processes are assassin-based. We are dropped right into this world, which is not problematic as anyone who has played games understands quests, ranks, and skills. The choice to work at an Adventurer’s Guild is advantageous to the reader and Roland since we get to learn about this world through the guild and its customers.
Roland Ignorance About “Normal” Causes Problems…and Hilarity
Despite Roland’s determination to be normal, he gives himself away at every turn! Even in his interview, when the manager, Iris Negan, taunts him that he needs a skill to work there, he uses his abilities to remove the manager’s underwear stealthily. Roland encounters predicament after predicament because he wants to do well at his job. After all, failure to “means death.” At least from Roland’s unusual experience. In this issue, we are unsure of Roland’s motivations. We don’t know what drives his desire for normalcy or his motivations for good deeds, though it likely is not due to altruism.
The relationship between Roland, his coworker Milia McGuffin and his cat/defeated demon lord Rila is some of the best parts in a manga chock full of humorous moments. Normal varies from person to person, so there are opportunities for hijinks galore. One man told Roland normal, for men, is having multiple partners. Roland’s cat/woman Rila will have a massive problem with that in the future.
The art perfectly encapsulates the characters and propels the story forward. The reactions from Milia, Rila as a cat, and the senior employee at the guild, Mr. Maurey, are delightful. The art fits the passionate scenes with a blend between lust and laughter.
World Building & Real Stakes Are Needed In Future
There are not enough details about the world we are in yet. Hopefully, more context comes forth in future volumes. It’s a fantasy world, but readers will need information about this world. Still, it isn’t essential in the first volume, and it is frustrating when pages are devoted to just describing the world rather than naturally evolving with the story. But it will be essential to move this story in future.
There also needs to be some trajectory for the protagonist. We need more than just his suave demeanor. We need to know what type of character we are on this journey with so there needs to be some stakes, a risk of discovery. It will be great to learn more about the side characters too, since all of them are interesting. If it stays with the “normal” joke, unless the writer is creative, it may get old fast.
Hazure Skill Volume 1 is lighthearted fun in a superficial, low-key ecchi comedic way. There’s the usual cool guy, though Roland’s Superman/Clark Kent glasses disguise is hilarious. As though glasses make one’s appearance vastly different. The interactions between the characters, and Roland’s assertion that he is an “ordinary” guy, sell this volume. Hopefully, it doesn’t become overdone and maintains its comical, light feel throughout later volumes. If you like guilds, skills, and a cute guy who keeps his cool but still looks ridiculous and clueless because of his experiences, you’ll enjoy this first volume.
Feature photo courtesy of Yen Press