Of late, I’ve found myself in that odd spot of reading a series where I think, maybe I should switch series or nah, give it a few weeks and I’ll be caught up 😄. Last night as I started volume 8 of Dahlia in Bloom, and I’m reminded that it’s going to be a while. Based on Wikipedia, I believe that volume 9 was released in Japan back in December, so it will probably be summer time by the time an English translation lands.
I’ve really enjoyed the series so far, perhaps because in many ways: it’s protagonist and I have similar natures. Dahlia’s antics as a craftswoman and a certain joy in cooking, are things I’m rather able to relate to and the series makes for a good slice of life. The side thoughts of both Dahlia and Volf also remind me of the experience of first love, which sprinkles a nice touch on the romance side-plot that just makes you want to root for the lead characters, and sigh with the supporting cast.
In volume 1, the story begins with Dahlia Rossetti about to move into a new house the day before her wedding. Only, as it turns out her fiancé, Tobias, has suddenly found “True love” with another woman and leaves Dahlia holding the bag as it were. The out pouring of friendship and support from those around Dahlia is wonderful, and quickly snowballs into the craftswoman forming her own trading company to support both herself and the development of new magical tools. It’s a big leap, but she resolves to hold her head up high and follow her dreams as a magical toolmaker even if that means becoming chairwoman of the Rossetti Trading Company.
When she encounters Sir Volfied, crawling out of the forest battered and bloody from being carried off by a wyvern it isn’t long before the chance encounter with Volf and Dahlia’s own nature, brings her into doing business with knights of the Order of Beast Hunters at the castle. At first, Dahlia is merely trying to use her talents to make Volf’s expeditions with the beast hunters easier. But of course between Dahlia’s ingenious crafting and Volf’s unexpected salesmenship, business is soon booming. Dahlia’s desire to bring people happiness through her magical toolmaking, soon finds her products in demand with both the knights at the castle, and with commoners and nobles alike.
Along the way, there are many bits of amusement and slice of life joy. Volf becomes a frequent dinner guest at the tower that Dahlia calls home and workshop, soon coining the name, “Green Tower Diner” and wishing she would open a restaurant — good food and drink abound. Not to mention the experiments in trying to produce a magical sword, which range from the mildly terrifying Sword of the Dark Lord’s Minion and the unnerving “Creeping Sword” all the way to the Galeforce Blades when you combine the insanity of a knight and a magical toolmaker 😅.
The story takes itself mostly seriously, but like any good series: isn’t afraid to take itself humorously either. I especially enjoyed that when Dahlia is called to the castle to advise the knights on stamping out athlete’s foot amongst the order of beast hunters, she finally looses her cool when the senior knights are about ready to chop off their legs and have the temple regrow them and she’s just trying to convince them to properly clean their bath mats. And of course there’s what happens when Volf implies that if her father had the condition and she knows so much about controlling the infection, surely she must have shared the knight’s plight as a young woman. The reaction of the senior knights is awesome, and quite frankly the artist’s rendition of the look on Dahlia’s face is kind of priceless! The issue of course tends to pop up from time to time, with one of the nick names chairwoman Rossetti has received being “The goddess of athletes foot” once youngsters shorten out the part about eliminating it, lolololololol.
For bonus points, each volume ends with an epilogue about Dahlia and her late father, Carlo. Often relating to some magical tool they worked on in her youth and revealing aspects behind the curtain that are flashed back from the old man’s point of view. Ranging from great amusements like Dahlia trying to create a hair dryer as a child and accidentally creating a flamethrower, or having to dismantle a prototype kotatsu because her father was treating it like a turtle carrying its shell around. Likewise, plot points beyond that abound. See, Carlo Rossetti had a plan to support his daughter Dahlia even after he was gone to his early grave. In part of this, we have the running gag of sorts first brought up by the vice-guild master of the merchant’s guild in volume 1, and well, you’ll just have to read the book if you want to know more 😝