The Handyman Saitou in Another World manga does some interesting things narratively, and volume 3 is no different. This time, it involves Kazutomo Ichitomo artfully blending in two seemingly unrelated stories together.
As usual, one of the storylines involves our trusty party. We see Saitou, Raelza, Lafa, and Morlock leaving the Fortress of the Great Labyrinth after the revelations of the previous volume. After a heart to heart between Saitou and Raelza, it seems like it is back to business as usual. Except… after Saitou, Raelza, and Lafa go on another errand, they come back to find Morlock is dead from an Armored Serpent’s Venom.
So on that side of the story, we have this new “questline” for them that deals with Morlock’s death and potential revival. It features the sort of humor, heart, and team-building moments as we’ve seen in past chapters. It’s generally a great read, while also offering insight into how revival and magic works in this other world.
However, the really interesting part of this volume is the story running alongside our usual Saitou and co. activities. It follows a Demon World hunting dog that meets a wolf from the Human World that somehow wandered into his realm.
Now, from the start this is fascinating. Handyman Saitou in Another World is a manga that hasn’t been shy about showing different viewpoints, and at first I thought volume 3 was no exception. Ichitomo does a great job of defying expectations and humanizing characters we might otherwise see as villains or tropes. Eventually, certain characters may meet or those instances may provide extra insight. So I thought this was that.
And it is a great example of that too, as we see what life is like for the hunting dog and the wolf as he gets to know her and they interact. But this is also a good example of the mangaka playing with our expectations. I genuinely didn’t see the reveal coming until Ichitomo flat out made it happen at page 102 of a 192 page book. Once it did happen, it changed the whole situation for me, and I loved it.
So again, I feel like volume 3 of the Handyman Saitou in Another World manga is yet another exceptional entry in a great series. It’s dramatic and fun at the same time, and the characters and their connections are wonderful. I really appreciate what’s happening with the series, and it’s a delight to read.
Handyman Saitou in Another World volume 3 is available now from Yen Press, and volume 4 of the manga will appear on May 21, 2024. The anime is on Crunchyroll.