Manga Review: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation

A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation, by Misaki, art by Momochi and Sando. 5 for 5 stars; very slice-of-life isekai with a light touch on character interaction.

This manga takes an interesting twist on the isekai genre. Lizel was in his room one minute, standing in the fantastic city of Parteda the next. A reasonably standard isekai start… except, as Lizel relates to the adventurer Gil later, he already comes from a fantasy world. The local language is familiar; the currency, maps, and adventurers, not. The world is close enough that Lizel knows how a lot of the basics work, but different enough that a local guide (preferably armed) is prudent. Hence Lizel taking full advantage of the opportunity when Gil warns him against a bad part of town to introduce himself and start figuring out what’s going on.

Lizel, it turns out, will take advantage of darn near any situation. Not that he cheats; he offers generous terms for what he’s after. But he has a devastatingly honest smile and incredible curiosity to go along with it. Gil is quietly amazed at how many people stand no chance in a bargaining session at all.

(Gil is a tall, dark, grumpy protective type. I can tell already we’ll love him to bits.)

From a story-crafting perspective I am both intrigued and impressed by the author’s choice of “isekai’d to very close fantasy world”. It allows the story to get in all the fantasy tropes we love; dungeons, adventurers, and magic among others. But it lets the story itself focus more on the characters and their interactions. We get to see all of Lizel’s delighted reactions of how this world is different and he can get a vacation. We also get to see Gil go from “this guy is a naïve noble” to “another world, really?” to “strange but decent company” to “I want to keep working with you.”

Special kudos to the artists. There are a lot of subtle expressions and body language here. Gil’s startled face on p 38 is particularly striking; Lizel’s just explained that he doesn’t have the power to go home, but if his king is “troubled by his absence”, the king will find a way to get him back. Until then, he might as well consider this a vacation.

I haven’t read the LNs the manga is based off of, so I have no idea what hints we’ll get of Lizel’s identity later. It’s implied that he is very high-ranking, but he comes across as sweet, polite, and wreaking mischievous havoc on people’s expectations because he finally can. Vacation, indeed.

All told, if you like your fantasy on the lighter side with a touch of bromance, this is an excellent choice. And yes, I want volume 2. 🙂


26 thoughts on “Manga Review: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation

  1. I find it hilarious that one description I found of it goes like, “It’s not yaoi, we _swear_!” I mean, if you have to say it, your pretty-boy protagonists are maybe having a few too many deep meaningful gazes with each other.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Probably a result of both protagonists not being hideous; I’ve seen some really nasty comments about “bait and switch” that boiled down to “but neither of the guys on the cover was ugly, it HAS to be yaoi!”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There is also the fact that there doesn’t appear to be any women in the world (or at least they don’t talk), so Shippers are forced to make do.


      2. For entirely logical reasons, there are a lot of pre-modern cultures where you don’t meet the women of the family unless you are a trusted friend of the family. Often the women were working at home (especially if weaving was really really lucrative), or they tend to work in either a safe/warm area like a walled garden or in an area where lots of women and older kids work together (and watch each others’ younger kids).

        There were plenty of medieval castles which were essentially fortresses full of men, with an area for the lord’s family’s noblewomen and their gentry female servants, and all the other women lived with their families in the castle town/village (unless everybody was under siege). It was a secure facility, and most of the servants and support staff were males. A lot of small castles sent out their laundry to the village if they didn’t want/have male laundry servants to do it, which just made me laugh. But yeah, not a lot of Norman or Saxon barmaids or castle wenches, sadly, which was probably why the young knights were so prone to crushes and courtly love.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. *eyes the epic of Gilgamesh* …pretty sure fans arguing over whether to read XYZ relationship as absolutely romantic or just friends is officially Older than Dirt.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. There’s always the Really Just Friends dating route– my mom dated a gay guy in college because he didn’t want to date dudes, and she didn’t want to date chicks, so if you showed up and watch each other’s back everybody just “knows” you’re intimate and will mostly leave you alone.

        Can even be done on accident, by identifying someone who is trustworthy and shares common interests. After about three times, they just assume you’re, ah, intimate. *eyeroll* Humans!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. There is a pairing that solidly made and makes zero sense to me– Bashir/Garak? Yeah, I can see that, Robinson was laying in creep factor ten and obviously having a blast doing it, and the guy who plays Bashir is a genius for clueless. (No, I am not trying to spell his name!)
        But Kirk/Spock? Huh? No chemistry at all, beyond an impressive mutual loyalty.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Unfortunately “loyalty” as a reason for anything seems to be very much frowned on by those of a progressive mindset – they see it as excluding people.

        Which, um. Some people you trust to have your back when the phaser blasts are flying, some you don’t. For very good reasons. This is called survival, people….

        Liked by 2 people

      5. @Foxifier

        Bashir is canonically heterosexual, so even in-universe, there’s a reason why he’s clueless to why Garak might be paying attention to him… Not that that stops fangirls…

        I do have to say, one of the things I really liked about DS9 was how diverse it managed to make a lot of the crew’s relationships. For a TV show, there’s a decent number of couples that get out of “will they/won’t they” limbo and get to “we have feelings for each other and are getting married as a result”. And a good chunk of the relationships that get focused on are mentor/mentee relationships or parent/child ones. It was just… nice… to see a lot of relationships in a Star Trek series that largely didn’t go the “pair everyone up with UST!” route.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. @0bsidianFire-
        I figured Bashir was clueless because he’s a himbo– which is what made it so fun to watch as Garak was outrageously chewing the scenery. (Part of why I like the Cardassians so much is because the whole race seems to live to be a dire threat to scenery. I kept expecting a good guy Brian Blessed Cardassian to show up.)

        Miles and Bashir’s relationship was awesome, all the more because I swear I know a dozen Kikos…and I don’t like them, but I do respect them, because they really care about their husbands.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. After reading a little further, I think I’ve realized what’s going on: This is a story about a bunch of women slowly growing into a True Sisterhood, they just happen to be all be drawn as men for some reason. That’s why Lizel draws everyone in with charm and grace, (s)he’s a natural queen bee. Jill’s a tsundere, the shopkeeper is overjoyed at being taken into the inner circle of the new clique, etc.

    Even the hostile ‘men’ act more like a Mean Girls clique than a gang of thugs. The artwork that depicts everyone as so bishie that I keep seeing comments of, “wait, so-and-so is supposed to be a guy?” likewise contributes.

    If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Misaki being a woman and writing what she knows for her earliest works.

    Explains why it sets off all the yaoi alarms, too, since yaoi is likewise written to emotionally appeal to women. (The inverse of how Playgirl turned out to appeal to gay men more than it did straight women.)



    1. Well… there’s obviously shenanigans with the naming patterns, and the original author is obviously trying to write men as much like women as she can, in certain ways, without actually making them girls. Except she’s doing it on purpose, as part of her worldbuilding and as part of her authorial moneymaking scheme.

      But it is funny. And the characters do fun stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooooookay…. I went looking around, and apparently the original author of the light novels decided to play both sides of the street. So she put up fanfic of her own light novels, over on And some of them are “gray zone” without much deniability, and that was popular with the fanfic set; so then she wrote an entire fanfic novel that was “black zone” (ie, stuff actually happens between all the male characters and the main character).

        So… being totally cynical, I notice that it was apparently after the fanfic novel came out that the manga version of the original, official, for-pay novel was approved.

        I would say that this was unprecedented, but of course there have been people in Japanese comics who have done their own fan comics of their own official stories to appeal to various pairings’ fans. And then there’s Della Van Hise, whose editors at Pocket Books were asleep when they published a “gray zone” Kirk/Spock novel (the first, quickly suppressed edition of Killing Time) and then sold her fans the unexpurgated version of certain scenes as a zine by mail. (Which was why the need for suppression was discovered, and the second edition of Killing Time was edited rather severely.)

        Sigh. Kind of annoying, I know. And if the manga sticks to the official light novels, it could be that nothing untoward occurs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah well. This is one reason I keep my fanfic and origfic strictly separate!

        (Another being that I see fanfic as strictly not for profit; I hope more than anything it’s viewed as free advertising for the original canon…. *G*)


      3. It’s been fun to read, so far, it’s just that keeping in mind that these are women-drawn-as-men means I don’t have to strain my SoD.

        Have to chuckle at the idea of the author writing fanfic of her own characters, although I’ve no more interest in seeking them out than I would want to read the infamous Kirk/Spock ‘zines.



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