Reincarnated as the Piggy Duke: This Time I’m Gonna Tell Her How I Feel!, Vol. 5

By Rhythm Aida and nauribon. Released in Japan as “Buta Koushaku ni Tensei shita kara, Kondo wa Kimi ni Suki to Iitai” by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Zihan Gao.

If there’s one thing that these villainess stories make clear (and this is definitely a villainess story, even if our hero is the “piggy duke”), it’s that “you can’t fight fate” is not an option. You HAVE to fight fate, because fate has already written the otome game/webnovel/anime in question, and it has you being the villain and dying. Much of this book involves Slowe trying his best to stop the anime plot from happening and war from breaking out, and it’s very, very difficult. It does not help that Shuya, who has merely been a minor pain in Slowe’s side in the first few books, is an active antagonist here, being the ultimate in stubborn, wrongheaded anime “heroes”. Unfortunately, that will lead to disaster, so Slowe not only has to try to stop the city from being destroyed, but also has to try to stop Shuya from being possessed and massacring all his friends. Remember when this was just goofy classroom antics?

Slowe and Charlotte do NOT return to their home country, much to Charlotte’s annoyance, but instead are headed to the Dungeon City, Zenelaus, where Slowe hopes to stop war from breaking out. Unfortunately, he can’t exactly tell Charlotte that he knows how the anime went and that’s why they’re here. Alicia is here as well, mostly as Shuya has decided to help everyone in the city out as an adventurer, and is feeling like he’s really achieving something. Alicia just wants to go home, but she can’t convince Shuya to leave. Nor can Slowe. As for the event that kicks off the war, it involves a lich, a dullahan, and the Eye of the Crimson Lotus, who will stop this insidious plot even if it costs his life… in fact, he seems to regard the loss of his life as a fait accompli.

Most of this book is taken up with what is essentially a siege, but it also gives us a lot more insight into Shuya and how his mind works (even if it’s semi-possessed a lot of the time). As with a lot of anime antagonists, he wants to get strong and protect everyone he cares about. Also like a lot of anime antagonists, he mistakes “being the best” for “being strong” and every time he sees Slowe’s effortless OP powers he gets upset. Gotta be honest, Shuya is really goddamn annoying in this book, and I hope we get less of him in the next one. That said, another very interesting part of this book is the interlude we saw with Slowe seeing Shuya in school for the first time and taking an interest. It’s interesting because this is Slowe before he gets his memories of his past life, and, while passive and grumpy, we also see his insight that shows us why his downfall was such a tragedy.

This was not my favorite in the series, mostly as it relied a lot on a) big fights and b) Shuya being a dumbass. But it was still pretty good.

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