REVIEW: ‘Heterogenia Linguistico,’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2

Heterogenia Linguistico is a fantasy series by Salt Seno focused on linguistics in the Netherworld. For most humans, the Netherworld is a monstrous place. However, you can’t judge a book—or a realm—by its cover. Last volume  introduced human linguist Hakaba, a man on a mission to explore that seemingly monstrous Netherworld and its denizens. Looks like he’ll be doing the same in Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2. 

The second volume of Heterogenia Linguistico continues to episodically track Hakada’s travels in the Netherworld. Often, his adventures are quite mundane and pretty average. That is, Hakada doesn’t have grand adventures. Instead, he sees the very real daily lives of the creatures who dwell there. To me, that’s much more relatable and enjoyable than if he was some bombastic hero.  As the kids say, it hits different.

So much of the charm of Heterogenia Linguistico, in general, is learning about all of the different languages that these fictional species might use. Actually, that becomes a small plot point in Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2 as Hakada has largely stopped using human languages and communicates in Werewolf. Naturally, this leads to misunderstandings, cultural hiccups, and some foibles.

Thankfully, Seno spares no detail when it comes to hashing out these differences. In fact, the depth that Seno goes to is a marvel. Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2 is chock full of linguistic tidbits, as well as language breakdowns and juicy little facts. Because Hakada is both an informed linguist and language learner, readers get to learn right alongside him. This ranges from learning about tones in Old Werewolf to understanding gestural languages as well. Seno’s detailed work, as well as the work of series translator Amanda Haley, really help make it all engaging and interesting.

Hakada remains an incredibly likable protagonist, as does his companion Susuki. Like I said in my initial review, Suzuki is as cute as can be. Her knowledge of linguistics—passed on her from her father and Hakada’s professor—is helpful, often coming when Hakada’s in a bit of a pinch. Together, they make a really lovely duo, perfect for exploring the Netherworld and its denizens.

This volume of Heterogenia Linguistico also introduces readers to more creatures in the Netherworld, including lamia, minotaurs, werecats, and more. All of them have really cute designs, further deconstructing the Netherworld. It seems Hakada’s teacher is correct: the Netherworld is full of species simply living their own lives. There’s nary a scary thing to be found!

I can’t emphasize how delightful Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2 and the entire series thus far is. Hakada and Susuki are a funny duo that feel like a brother-sister pair. The members of Hakada’s traveling party bring a lot of life to the story. The linguistics and anthropology, while fictional, are incredibly creative.

Don’t sleep on Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2. It’s a one-of-a-kind story that’s got so much heart. Admittedly, Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2, and the series overall, won’t be for a lot of readers. However, if you’re into languages, fictional cultures, and have ever asked the question, “Do RPG monsters have lives?”, then you’ve simply gotta get into Heterogenia Linguistico.

Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2 is available now wherever manga are sold.

Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2
4.5

TL;DR

Don’t sleep on Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2. It’s a one-of-a-kind story that’s got so much heart. Admittedly, Heterogenia Linguistico Volume 2, and the series overall, won’t be for a lot of readers. However, if you’re into languages, fictional cultures, and have ever asked the question, “Do RPG monsters have lives?”, then you’ve simply gotta get into Heterogenia Linguistico.