Author: Robert B. Marks
Publisher: Tapas (Serial) / Legacy Books Press Print / eBook)
Formats: Digital / Physical
Pages: 199 (Digital) / 252 (Physical)
Genre: Isekai, Reverse Isekai, Fantasy
Publication Date: May 27, 2022 (Serial), November 21, 2022 (Print/eBook)
Re:Apotheosis markets itself as a spiritual successor to Rei Hiroe’s Re:Creators. Here, this follows the story of Princess Stellaria who, one day, gets transported to the real world. It has been five years since her transport and, since then, she had lost her powers and had fallen in love with a boy named Adam Jacobs. Adam found her in an alley after she had hidden herself there for three days, unsure of where she was.
Stellaria, now known simply as Stella, assumed a false identity from the deceased Anne Marie Sorenson. Her wish was to meet her creator; however, she lived in Ontario and her creator lived in Japan. After saving up money to make the trip, they do so; however, when they arrive, they didn’t know that their fates would change.
The same phenomenon began to happen. Characters from other worlds were brought to the real world. Of course, when you have so many characters converging in one spot, there needs to be conflict. In this story, a character simply known as The Destroyer got bored of his world and decided to use his godlike powers to follow someone who he perceived to have the ability to transport themselves between worlds. Figuring a new world would be more interesting, he followed. Soon, he learned that Earth was simply a hub to enter these other words. He ends up in the world in a military conflict and steals a power orb from a generator. This orb allows him to keep using his powers in the real world. That world’s main character, Major Atria Silversword ends up getting transported as well.
Soon, we have quite the cast of characters split into two parties. Along with the Destroyer, we have Jenny Calhoun… a monster hunter who only wishes for a world without conflict, and Jack Death, a master assassin joining forces with one goal in mind: to hunt down and kill their creators in order to achieve the ultimate liberation.
On the other side, we have Stell joining Atria with Captain Infinite, a comic book hero, as well as Atria’s creator Junichi Kaguyama and the Japanese Self Defense Force who simply wish to find a way to get those who wish to leave back home.
There are plenty of characters to be had here. Stella is a powerful wizard but thanks to her inability to wield magic anymore, she settles into normal human life. Still, how she got to the real world puzzled her so she decided to take up studying quantum physics. Rather than being able to fight with power, she fights using knowledge and information although she experiences internal conflicts over this as she, oftentimes, feels useless.
Atria Silversword is mostly unaffected by the real world draining her powers because she has none. She uses guns and a saber to fight with and since her weapons obey the real world’s physics, she can fight unhindered. Even her anti-gravity belt falls within the lines of real-world technology which gives her quite the advantage.
Jenny Calhoun is a pretty standout character. I really enjoyed her attitude. Even though she wasn’t written as such, when she came to the real world, she began to despise her creator for putting her through battle after battle that seemingly had no end. A teenager and a rebel at heart, Jenny loves to get stabby and just let loose. The fact that she gets to choose when to fight instead of being forced into it is something that really appeals to her about the real world.
Jack Death is simply just a master assassin with a one-track mind. Who to kill and how to kill them are the only things he thinks about when faced with confrontation. Achieving stealth and carrying out his orders with skill and silence is where his specialties lie. When he is discovered and has the chance to speak, he demands nothing but the truth from his opposition but even when they speak the truth, if it doesn’t align with what he considers to be ‘normal,’ then he has a hard time believing them.
Captain Infinite is basically a parody of Superman. He’s just pure at heart and wants to do everything in the name of righteousness. However, he is revealed to have a human side to him. He talks about what it’s like to pick up a simple glass of water or to swing a golf club and how he’s jealous that normal humans can do stuff like that with ease. While he is powerful and almost godlike, he years for normalcy and that put an interesting spin on his character that I really liked!
Finally, we have The Destroyer. This was a very interesting take on a villain. Here is a godlike supervillain who was created to be just that… however, his boredom led him to question why he was written that way. He was curious and just wanted to understand the way the world worked. He wanted to know why he wasn’t even given a name. In the beginning, he seemed more like a tragic hero than a villain but as the book progressed, you saw him slowly figure things out for himself. The Destroyer (or ‘Roy’ as Jenny had come to name him as) is a perfect example of the difference between a hero and a villain. A hero will always do what’s right… a villain will do what they believe is right. Liberation through killing all of their creators is simple what The Destroyer thought was right. It really made him a compelling character!
The creators themselves were also diverse. I don’t want to touch on them too much as revealing who they are could also end up spoiling some of the plot twists… especially when it comes to the wild card character that was introduced… Daiki Yamato. I will say that their creator plays a massive role in the series; however, despite this, you do feel a connection to them. Junichi Kaguyama, Atria’s creator, especially since there is a point where you just feel this emotional connection over a situation that he had kept hidden until he couldn’t hide it any longer.
Overall, it was a very well-rounded cast, each with personalities and conflicts that you could relate to.
I will fully admit something here in complete honesty. I didn’t really expect much from this book when I heard about it. Re:Creators took a very unique spin on the isekai genre and became one of the best examples of a reverse isekai in modern light novel/anime history. Of course, there are other reverse isekai out there like Restaurant to Another World but nothing slapped harder than Re:Creators (mostly thanks to a banger of a soundtrack from Hiroyuki Sawano). So, my skepticism stemmed from the fact that this story has HUGE shoes to fill in my eyes. Plus, when you hear the phase “spiritual successor,” you know right away it’s not an official work, and rarely can fans capture the essence of the original
With all of that being said… I was surprised.
I will fully admit that all books (including my own) have their faults and Re:Apotheosis had its share. I believe that some of the creators or characters in this series were convinced way too easily that fictional characters from other worlds were now walking among them. While I am over-simplifying my reasoning here, it really felt like…
“I’m a character from another world.”
“Just believe me.”
I think those moments could have been written better. Being a successor to Re:Creators, I would have thought that it would have hinted back to the incident with Altair and have some of the characters in the world have prior knowledge of those incidents to give a “So, it’s happening again” feel to it.
However, outside of those moments, I have to say that this really felt like I was reading a sequel to Re:Creators… or at least a spinoff of it. While I think the book could use some more polish in the writing department, the story was compelling, the characters truly shined with great depth and little nuances that brought them into their own, backstories and descriptions of the world were well-told, and there was some good drama, albeit, a bit typical as one would expect, and a bittersweet conclusion.
I think fans of the original work by Rei Hiroe will find some good entertainment value in this spiritual successor as Robert B. Marks clearly put in a lot of effort to try and give this story that familiarity to fans of the original series. Re:Apotheosis comes off as a simple love letter to the original and I think it’s worth spending the few hours it will take to consume this book.
Give it a read on Tapas when you get the chance! Even if you disconnect it from Re:Creators and treat it as a standalone reverse isekai, it still holds up as a good quality story.
As of the time of this review, the Prologue and first three chapters are available here: https://tapas.io/series/ReApotheosis/info
Overall Score: 3.5 / 5
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This item was provided for review by Robert B. Marks