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REVIEW: Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! GN 1




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HannoX
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Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 57
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:51 am Reply with quote
I've read the first novel (as well as up to #3) and the first manga. The first novel was better than the first manga. It doesn't have the awkward and disruptive flashbacks of the manga.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2482
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:00 pm Reply with quote
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The order in which the story is told isn't the greatest, however.


The manga adapts the light novel's chapters out of order, with the implication being that the editors felt that the private school stuff wouldn't have put the franchise's best foot forward. I'm not sure this was really necessary, and sort of wish that this version had rearranged the story back into its "proper" order.

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The series is still grounded enough in common isekai reincarnation elements that it will not blow anyone away with originality, but it definitely does enough to win an audience.


I think that if you enjoy stuff like Gakkou Gurashi (School-Live!) and are in the mood for a fantasy story, it might be worth picking up the first volume of either the light novel or the manga, especially if you aren't usually into isekai tales. This is the first isekai light novel series that I've stuck around for more than one volume of since Arifureta, and the first isekai series that I can honestly say I'm a "fan of" since the Rayearth / El Hazard / Escaflowne era. Often, you hear people go on and on about how long-running titles have some kind of mid-series paradigm shift that makes up for various weaknesses in the earlier volumes, but with this franchise, the thing that keeps the audience coming back for more is its consistency. I'm about eight volumes into (a somewhat mediocre fan-translation of) the light novels, and I continue to be amazed by how much the story continues to be entertaining despite never changing any real elements of its core premise.

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Actually, one of the most problematic elements is a nitpick about its concept. The way the story sets Adele/Mile's ability level is much more accurately called a median, which can in some cases be the same as the average but is not inherently so. Given that elder dragons (which she's being compared to) sound more like outliers, average doesn't accurately fit in this case. So God is less creatively interpreting what Kurihara asked for and more outright ignoring it.


From what I've come to understand, the way that Adele asked to be made "average" could have been interpreted as either "mean", "median", or "mode" in Japanese, but this ambiguity doesn't translate well into English. (Treat it as a variation on the "don't just assume that the genie knows exactly what you want" conceit, I guess?) If this is the case, then I wish that Seven Seas would have made the confusion more explicit, although in general they've been knocking it out of the park with their presentation of these releases.
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tcdelaney



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 163
Location: Mittagong, NSW, Australia
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:02 pm Reply with quote
In english "average" is ambiguous as to whether it's mean, median or mode (although it's almost never mode, and most commonly people intend mean). People often take advantage of this ambiguity to promote their own agenda (lies, damned lies and statistics).

I think Theron has mixed up mean and median ... in general terms:

Mean - the result of summing all samples and dividing by the number of samples.
Median - the "middle" sample i.e. 50% of the samples are below (or equal to) the median, and 50% are above (or equal to) the median.
Mode - the most commonly-occurring sample (there can be multiple modes).

The "average" chosen for this doesn't seem to match any of our definitions exactly. I'd argue it's meant to be approximately the mean. Mean can be heavily skewed by outliers - given 1000 low samples, and 1 massive high sample (outlier), median will fall in the middle of the low samples, whilst the mean could be higher than any of the low samples (depending on just how high the outlier is). This appears to be what the author is aiming at - the power of the few most powerful creatures is thousands of times greater than all the normal people *combined*, resulting in the MC's "average" power.

Although I think myskaros in the post below has hit the nail on the head in terms of what the author has *actually* done.


Last edited by tcdelaney on Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 514
Location: Vancouver, WA
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:21 pm Reply with quote
I think it's really that when most people see "average" they think "take all points of data and apply weights to find a one value that represents the data set." Adele didn't specify she wanted to be average among humans, and she didn't specify how to determine "average," so the god went with "what are the floor and ceiling values, I will give her the middle value." From a certain perspective, that kind of evaluation really is "average," since that's how ratings work, just not statistics.
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manapear



Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 1304
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:04 am Reply with quote
I only recently heard about the series but couldn't figure out what it was just by Amazon's description (of course). Everyone here really sold me on it though! I'm going to start the novel ASAP, and I may give the manga a shot.

I hope the anime team is smart enough to stick to adapting the LN or kind of doing their own thing, instead of lifting from the manga.
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 158
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:23 pm Reply with quote
What matters is the sample, I think, more than the specific mean/median/mode averaging. EG imagine a sample size accounting for every organism who has ever lived since the beginning of time--even on just one planet, humans are never going to have typical abilities.

Or the sample size could just count species individually, so a great elder dragon, or whatever, would have the same weight as a human, even if the populations are six to six billion.

Physical and mental and magical abilities could also be measured relatively (IE an insect is weaker than a human, but stronger than a human when you compare strength to body mass.)

Nevermind that in most fantasy settings, humans tend to be the weakest species around.

TL;dr it's only a nitpick problem if you don't stop for a moment to think about it, which is kind of the whole point of nitpicks......


Anyway, does the LN differentiate itself appreciably from the WN? I read bits of the WN a while back and enjoyed it, but for this kind of thing found KumaKumaKuma more fun.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 490
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:28 am Reply with quote
In the (English) LN, at least, she points out that God's definition of "average" is nonsense; though she has no idea whether he did this on purpose to give her unwanted assistance, or if the lord of all creation somehow doesn't understand basic math. The ambiguous Japanese wording might be part of it, but mainly the joke appears to be that he used a colloquial definition of "y'know, the one in the middle" for unknown reasons. As the main gag the whole series is based on, it's not meant to be taken too seriously, and it's mainly a means of setting the quirky self-parody tone for the rest of the story.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 941
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:50 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
In the (English) LN, at least, she points out that God's definition of "average" is nonsense; though she has no idea whether he did this on purpose to give her unwanted assistance, or if the lord of all creation somehow doesn't understand basic math. The ambiguous Japanese wording might be part of it, but mainly the joke appears to be that he used a colloquial definition of "y'know, the one in the middle" for unknown reasons. As the main gag the whole series is based on, it's not meant to be taken too seriously, and it's mainly a means of setting the quirky self-parody tone for the rest of the story.


Plus the fact that there's more than one meaning of "average" applied -- IIRC, she's mentioned to be unusually pretty due to her "average" face.
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