Huh? What just happened? Why do I feel like I’m floating? Is that a truck in front of me? Was that the sound of me being hit by a truck? Oh. Crap.
One day, a second set of memories struck Elle very suddenly. It confuses her, but she realises one thing: She can’t let herself die first out of the Four Grand Mage of Analia—or else the strongest Grand Magi (and the man the Demon Lord chose for her engagement), Julius, will mock her! But with her past memories comes not only the knowledge of her pathetic death but also the values she once upon a time had grown up with. With these in mind, she sets off to escape death, and find true freedom.
This book is a ride! (In a good way)
But before I continue with that, I want you to know that I began reading this right after I finished reading Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System and GOSH it felt familiar. Suddenly being in a fictional work, trying to avoid the bad end, taking the place of something else (Elle has a bit of an opposite role though) and not catching onto the very obvious romance plot because that’s not what happened in the original work!
I had just read basically the same premise with the same darn romance plot, and it frustrated me beyond description one third into the book. I wouldn’t have been so annoyed by it hadn’t I literally read like 80 chapters of the same romance plot the days before picking this up.
So if I rant about Elle being so utterly dumb about Julius’ and her own feelings, that’s why. The romance plot isn’t actually that bad, just unfortunate circumstance of one following the other too soon.
Anyway, I directly asked Cross Infinite World on Twitter which book they’d recommend if I could only by one (whoever replied was really pleasant, so stamp of approval). I’m pretty much an all-around reader
(though I still have yet to find sci-fi a satisfying genre, and fantasy and romance only got my interest thanks to manga and boys love), so I was open to anything. The Weakest Manga Villainess Wants Her Freedom was one of them, and I picked it up.
“I’m not just some damsel in distress waiting around for you to save me! Being protected by you and doing whatever you say…makes the same person I was when I foolishly entrusted everything to the Demon Lord. I’m not who I was in Analia. I am not a puppet who rejoices when someone else pulls my strings!”
I really want to compare this to SVSSS, but as I have no review on that, I can’t give you any reference points of previous thoughts, so I’ll try not to. But I can mention that they’re both originally webnovels, and Cross Infinite World translated it after Karazawa polished the webnovel for English publishing.
We get a pretty quick rundown of the plot of the original manga pretty quickly, which puts the basis for the premise
and to be fair, this fictional shoujo manga is clearly having a better premise than the work in SVSSS in my opinion. It’s a kind of typical fantasy shoujo manga with a chosen girl and basically a harem to choose a love interest from.
Elle doesn’t know how this manga ends though—she only knows up to the second last volume because her past self got hit by the truck-chan. So she never had a chance to find out, but she certainly knows she has to flee the Demon Lord, which is a fantastic idea! And somehow she ends up bringing Julius with her (for whatever reason she has no clue, because she’s dumb as a brick), while also purposely bringing her servants she had swept out of misery by kidnapping them.
She just wants to live in peace with freedom.
Which I totally get. I would too.
And then comes all the plot twists. It’s a fast-paced story, but it’s still very well paced. I thought just one book might lack in a proper story, but it really mashes everything in without actually adding too much,
and I love how the story completely twists herself to something else completely differently than SVSSS.
“Lady Elle held a knife to her own heart and went with them on the condition they don’t harm this village… She took her own heart hostage to save us because we are too weak to save ourselves…”
The translation’s easy to read and actually quite pleasing. Thumbs up. Major thumbs up, even. This is an excellent translation. I didn’t actually find any truly awkward passages, though perhaps it’s the exceptional story that’s behind it. Who knows? I don’t at this point, but I still am giving my thumbs up. Well done, Charis Messier.
But it was difficult to jump onto the main ship, solely because JUST GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY. I was pretty frustrated, as mentioned, but it wasn’t bad. I can’t say that enough. It really was just unfortunate I picked the same premise twice and ended up with very similar romance plots right after each other.
It doesn’t have a lot of art, but what it got it really nice. What you expect, I guess. It’s not something groundbreakingly amazing stuff, but it all is pleasant to look at. The narrative and dialogue also comments on the kinda stereotypical appearances of some characters, and I love that.
I was afraid to face the truth; I refused to be sad. Weeping, grieving, and being at a loss were for weaklings, and so I rejected my emotions.
But I was wrong. Elle was the strong one for accepting those sorrowful emotions, crying and moving on. I just ran away.
That’s right. Elle is strong. Far stronger than I will ever be.
Emotions have a big role in this story, though. It actually has some tough questions, even. What is love? What is friendship? What is strength? How do you accept loss and how do you go on? Can you go against your values, and if not, how do you stand against all you ever thought was right?
How do you handle the truth that all that you knew was a complete lie?
That said, though, it was really a lot of fun to read! The Epilogue in particular had me laughing so loudly I’m afraid I may have disturbed my neighbours, and I slapped my thigh at every sentence for a good part of it. Sometimes even three or four times, because I was laughing so much I got lost and had to re-read the sentence to finish it. It’s Thursday at the time of writing, so feel free to ask me on Sunday what colour my thigh is on Sunday. If it’s not blue, then I didn’t slap it often enough while laughing at the comedic parts in this book, I tell you.
Yes, I slap my thigh while laughing. A lot. If I IRL LOL, then I’m slapping my thigh. Ouch, my thigh hurts… But worth it. So worth it.
Overall, a great read. Light and breezy, while packed with action, comedy, magic and a plot twist that was just… great. Just great. Amazing. I could barely put this book away, to be honest. I haven’t had a read like that for a while. Last one was probably Tian Guan Ci Fu
(I’m watching the animated series now; it’s second on the list of Anny’s 2020 obsessions). Or Mo Dao Zu Shi, but we know just how much I like this.
I think anyone into fantasy manga/anime with a shoujo demographic could definitely like this one. Think Yona of the Dawn kind of stuff, and not so much Ancient Magus Bride.
Lol, I picked two titles with red-haired heroines to compare with a title with a red-hair heroine. Give it a read.
Be warned, though. While, unlike my last review, I would confidently give this book to my kids in the 12-15 age span, it has some blood and stuff. It’s not exactly graphic, but I’m putting it out there because of how many people talk about content warnings and so on. Also, Elle is supposed to look like a young girl
(I RELATE, ELLE. I just wish I had your chest instead of mine.), while Julius is a bit older, so some may find the age gap concerning. I personally don’t mind, because I honestly don’t see the problem, as there’s nothing harmful in the story.
I do know I have to take the time to read Karazawa’s other work on Syosetsuka ni Narou! some day if they don’t hit the (digital) shelf at a bookshop before then.
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