The Do-Over Damsel Conquers the Dragon Emperor, Vol. 2

By Sasara Nagase and Mitsuya Fuji. Released in Japan as “Yarinaoshi Reijō wa Ryūtei Heika o Kōryaku-chū” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by piyo.

When I reviewed the first volume I mentioned that Cross Infinite World was putting it out a lot faster than they normally do their series, and the reason for that became apparent shortly after the release of the first volume over here: it’s getting an anime. It’s a good choice: I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss got a decent if not dazzling anime as well, and the audience for the two series is exactly the same. Not just because of the author, but the same basic themes are here as well. iris may be a Villainess reincarnated into a game, and Jill a young woman who travels back in time to fix her past mistakes, but as protagonists they’re both doing the exact same thing: improvising and being badass as the universe does its best to kill them over and over and over again. And in this second book we get another think it has in common with Final Boss: for every Villainess there’s a Heroine, and heroines in these series tend to be evil.

Hadis and Jill are on their way to the capital to meet the rest of his family. Sadly, on arriving there, he’s attacked, accused of being a fake, and his magic and Jill’s is sealed. Hadis is mostly fine with this, and tries to make the series into a Slow Life book, gardening and cooking delicious meals. Jill is not particularly happy with his, so she and Zeke (half of her bodyguard duo) go into a nearby town so that she can join the Dragon Knights and gain intel. Easier said than done – she’s got the combat skills, even without magic, but the reaction of dragons to her means that she’ relegated to squire duties – which also means getting bullied. We also meet Hadis’ siblings, who turn out to not be as bad as she thought… at first.

Reading this book can be a struggle. Not because it’s bad, I really enjoyed it, but because Jill’s life is such a high wire act that at any moment you expect her to die and for this to become a Re: Zero sort of time loop story. Things are not helped by the introduction of Princess Faris, Gerald’s younger sister. In the first book she had merely been one half of the “ew” part of the story, as we knew Gerald was sleeping with her and that she was frail but not much else. Here we see her younger self, who turns out to be doing much the same thing Jill is – and for many of the same reasons. Alas, this makes them mortal enemies, and the two pretty much hate each other on sight by the end of the book. Final Boss also had its “heroine” antagonist, but Faris looks to be a lot nastier than Lilia ever was.

This really is “if you like Final Boss, it’s more of the same”. But that’s good, as it means it’s just as addictive. Roll on Volume 3.

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