I Swear I Won’t Bother You Again!, Vol. 2

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 T. Anne.

It’s been about a year and a half since the first volume of this came out (there were apparently behind-the-scenes difficulties), and I was worried, given that I’ve read 578 Villainess books in the interim, that I would have lost whatever made me really, really love the first volume. Having now read the second volume, I can state my worries were entirely unfounded. This is not a fun book to read. It may take you a while to crawl through it. But it’s an intensely powerful book. Most of the Villainess books either have the main character entirely unaware of how much everyone loves her, or they resolve the “bad end” part straight away and move on to happier, fluffier things. Not here. At the end of this second volume, I can’t think of a single thing that Violette can do to make this a happier, more joyous series. And that’s even including the epiphany she has at the end of the volume!

Most of this volume deals with exams. In her previous go around, Violette did all right, but maryjune got first place for her year, meaning her father yelled at her endlessly. She knows she can’t avoid that, but she wants to at least do well, but lacks any core friends that will help her study beyond Yulan. Fortunately, Yulan would do anything for her, and takes care of this. Then the exams come out, and she does quite well… but she accidentally triggers something new, and now has even more new, terrifying ways to worry about what Maryjune is going to do. On the bright side, she does gain a new friend in Rosette, a princess from a neighboring country who also tends to hide her real self. On the not-so-bright side… the entire rest of the book.

I worry I may be talking this book down by saying how goddamn depressing it is, and I want to reassure readers: this is really good. The author knows how to convey abuse and depression, the day to day grinding down that can happen to anyone forced to live with a family that belittles and hates them. At one point Violette has a panic attack, and it too is perfectly portrayed. The end of the book has her realize just how she feels about Yulan, and we also get several POV chapters showing how he feels about her. That said… I’m not a fan of them getting together. I think it would be bad for both of them. Yulan is not in love so much as obsessed, and that can easily turn out badly, especially with someone like Violette, who already has to deal with Daddy Dearest (you’ll really wish him dead by the end of this book). At least she has her maid Marin, who does not slaughter the entire family in a rage at the way they treat Violette, but certainly imagines doing it.

I’d wait till you’re in the right mood to experience this book. It’s heavy, and downbeat, and somewhat hopeless. But man, it is NOT the same old Villainess story we normally get. Can’t wait to suffer more.

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