Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter, Vol. 1

By Suki Umemiya and Reia. Released in Japan as “Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami” by Kadokawa Shoten, serialization ongoing in the magazine Young Ace Up. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Angela Liu. Adapted by Tracy Barnett.

There has been a bit of a backlash online about the constant flow of “isekai” stories into North America in the past few years. Of course, that’s because they’re incredibly popular in Japan. Indeed, they seem to be so popular in Japan that we’re starting to see authors who have an idea of a story that need not involve an isekai try to shoehorn it in anyway to get readers. This is a good example of it. Now, I may be wrong – it’s taken from a light novel that is itself taken from a webnovel, and future volumes may take more advantage of the fact that its heroine has been killed and reincarnated in another world. But honestly, if you removed the isekai aspect from this manga series, very little would change at all. Fortunately, the story is strong – which is probably why I’m complaining that an isekai wasn’t needed. I’m perfectly happy to watch Iris save the world.

As I mentioned earlier, it begins, as many series like this do, with a death by car accident. A young woman who works overtime at some company or other and spends her spare time playing otome games is killed, and suddenly finds herself in the climactic scene of the game she just cleared. Sadly… she’s the rival who’s just being taken to the cleaners. She knows what happens next – her character leaves the school and gets exiled to a nunnery for the rest of her life. Yeah, that’s not happening. Oh, she’ll leave the school, but she decides instead to confront her father with all the political machinations that have been going on in the game, pointing out that he had plans and backup plans. He’s impressed enough by this that he decides instead of exiling her to a nunnery to exile her to one of his fiefdoms, and basically tells her she’s in charge. So, with the help of a seeming army of orphans she’s picked up over the years, she sets out to make her country a better place.

I enjoyed this, but there are, let’s face it, a few moments that made me raise an eyebrow in disbelief. For a “villain” character who is seemingly an expert at verbal abuse in the game itself, Iris actually turns out to be a sweet girl who constantly wants to save everyone. Iris claims it’s “first love sickness”, and I guess we’ll go with that, but I’d have liked better use of the actual gimmick. Likewise, Iris immediately having a large force of bodyguards, maids, accountants and such that she can immediately marshal to the cause is a bit… easy? That said, honestly, if it’s going to lead to “let’s see how we’ve neglected the poor people and try to make it so they have a better life”, I’m fine with it. And the supporting cast seem fun, even though, as I noted, none of them seem to regard Iris as the villain type. Honestly, given this runs in a seinen magazine, the best audience for it may be those who enjoy the light novel How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. It has a similar vibe. In any case, I look forward to future volumes of this flawed but fun book, even if it did not have to be an isekai.

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