The first volume of the I Want to Be a Receptionist in This Magical World manga appeared outside of Japan, and it doesn’t waste time getting to the point. Mako, Yone, and Maro’s series follows Nunnally Hel, a young woman who aspires to work at the counter of Harre’s, an organization that aids adventurers. However, its criteria for employees is surprisingly strict, which means needing to become the best of the best to find a spot. This initial entry essentially speedruns the first part of her life story and, honestly, it works.
Volume 1 of the manga covers Nunally’s early life. The prologue begins with her discovering Harre’s when going with her father to visit one and being captivated by the receptionist working there. By the time the first chapter proper begins, she’s at the Kingdom of Doran’s Magic Academy alongside the nobility. Her goal remains intact, and she is determined to be first in her year, show up the other rich kids who think she won’t do well due to being a commoner, and especially intends to show her deskmate Alweiss Rockmann what’s up.
For the rest of the volume, we get to see important moments in her time at the Magic Academy. We see her rivalry with Alweiss grow. We see her friendship with fellow commoners at the school, Benjamine and Nikke. We watch as her magic Blood Type is determined, changing the color of her hair and eyes in the process. Basically, it’s a chance to see formative moments that help her as she reaches major turning points like the Practical Combat Magic Tournament. Within four chapters, six years of schooling passes by.
Granted, there are ways in which this works against the story. For example, we absolutely get a good sense of the relationship between Nunnally and Alweiss. However, it does mean that suddenly one of the “mean” noble girls is her friend, but we don’t get a really good sense of developing that. It hurts that relationship progression. I also suspect it isn’t going to make me as a reader understand Nunnally’s loyalty to Maris once the love triangle starts coming up more in later chapters. It also left me feeling like I missed out on various antics and side stories with characters. Especially since the bonus story at the end of the volume covers one such incident.
But there is a positive for this. Volume 1 of the I Want to Be a Receptionist in This Magical World manga closes out with Nunally achieving her dream. She’s going to be a receptionist at Harre’s. So even though we sped through it all and didn’t see firsthand every moment of her life at school, we are going to get a more detailed look at her professional life.
Still, I’m left with the impression that this is a sacrifice that will be worth it. We see a lot of series that deal with school life and leading up to the goal. Having one where it’s actually achieved and we get to what life is like after that is novel. It has the potential to be far more interesting, and what we know of Nunnally and her life from volume 1 of the I Want to Be a Receptionist in This Magical World manga makes it seem like it’s the start of a good story.