I Swear I Won’t Bother You Again!, Vol. 1

By Reina Soratani and Haru Harukawa. Released in Japan as “Kondo wa Zettai ni Jama Shimasen!” by Gentosha Comics. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Kimberly Chan. Adapted by Jennifer Rawlinson.

One of the real joys of reading a large number of novels with the same sort of plot, characters, themes, and plot twists is that when something comes along that is surprising to me, I always enjoy it that much more. Let’s face it, we now have enough “villainess” novels out over here that it’s starting to become old hat. This book is not that, despite featuring many of the same beats you’ve seen before. Our heroine, Violette, is imprisoned after trying to murder her younger stepsister in a fit of rage. She’s filled with regrets and apologies, and swears that if she could only go back to when she and Maryjune were first introduced to each other, she’d do things differently, resolving to never bother her again. And then… she suddenly does return to that day. But she has no memories of a past life, this isn’t an otome game, and she can’t simply avoid conflict. As a result… she falls into depression.

Not to spoil too much about the book, but Violette is not your typical spoiled brat villainess we normally see, but a child of abuse, manipulated by her late mother, who forced her to live as a boy for several years, and then abandoned her when puberty made that impossible. Her father found a mistress he truly loved, and had a child with her, but as for Violette, he can’t stop seeing her mother in her, so is cool and unloving. As for Maryjune, she’s sweet and idealistic, but… she’s naive and VERY idealistic, and was raised as a commoner in a world where you can’t just say “nobility is wrong!” and expect to get away with it. All of this is filtered through Violette’s point of view, and frankly it’s not hard to see why Maryjune’s appearance made her snap. Here, on her second go-round, she just barely holds back, but this does not get rid of the rage, hurt, and loneliness that inhabits most of her being.

While not an “otome game” book per se, the plot certainly resembles that kind of genre, with Maryjune as the “protagonist” to Violette’s villainess. Violette has two allies; her childhood friend Yulan, who adores her but whom she sees as a younger brother type, and Marin, her maid (who was a dying orphan she found on the street as a child… I told you it hit all the standard plot beats), who is sometimes in tears as she sees just what Violette has to deal with every day. Violette tries to avoid the main things that led to her trying to kill Maryjune in her previous timeline, but she’s only gone back in time about a year, so it’s harder to prove that she’s changed. And, above everything else, she’s just so tired ALL the time. She’s resolved to become a nun after graduation, which I doubt will happen, but it does show that far from trying to find a happy life for herself, she’s almost given up from the start.

There’s a manga coming out next month, but I hear that this removes a majority of Violette’s inner monologue (as is common with adaptations), and thus she seems far less depressed and trying desperately to hold everything together. That said, I’m very happy we have this light novel, which shows why the Villainess genre has blown up lately – you can do a lot with it.

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  1. I bought this on your recommendation, and I didn’t like it very much. The trouble is, I found it to be very boring and Violette is not a very likable character. I can sympathize with her, but I don’t like her. The biggest sin of the book, though, is that nothing happens. It’s all a variety of uncomfortable conversations between characters who are uncomfortable with each other, and by the end of the book I was flipping pages desperately hoping for some kind of plot. Thanks for your reviews, even if this one didn’t work for me.

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