Young Lady Albert Is Courting Disaster, Vol. 2

By Saki and Haduki Futaba. Released in Japan as “Albert-ke no Reijō wa Botsuraku o Goshomō Desu” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Ray Krycki.

Most of the time, when you hear about a light novel protagonist who is described as “no one has any idea what they’re thinking”, there’s a fairly obvious reason for it. usually it’s because they were reincarnated from Japan, or (as in Mary Albert, theoretically) a villainess in an otome game. But we, the reader usually know why they’re thinking what they’re thinking. it’s just the poor supporting cast who have it rough. That’s not the case in this series, and I have to hand it to the author: there are many times in this volume when I *really* have no idea what Mary Albert is thinking. It’s not even a case of “trying to sabotage my future” like the first book in the series – she did that (well, OK, the opposite, but you know what I mean) and has moved on. But in the case of Mary Albert and her feelings for Adi, even she has no idea what she’s thinking. Until WELL after you might expect.

Everything’s coming up roses for Mary Albert at the start of this book. Despite attempting to be a villainess, she actually managed to work things out in a different way, so the ending of the otome game is not going to happen. She’s going off to a foreign land to study management skills. Hell, even her trademark drills, previously unable to be tamed, are now gone thanks to the power of the game being over. But there is a second game, the sequel to Heart High, that takes place at the school in that foreign country. One with a “heroine” and a ‘villainess”. That said, Mary’s not in that game at all, so she can simply sit back, watch the enfolding disaster, make good friends with a wet blanket of a noble, and also get married to Adi. Wait, what? What was that last part?

I admit that I *was* expecting the events of this book to some degree, but the author really threw me off by the order in which they happened. Mary is not yet finished dealing with/watching for villainess pointers at her new school when she’s called back to her country to get married, something that she does unconsciously and without think9ing about it, to the amazement of everyone. It’s only after she and Adi are already married that she’s forced to confront the fact that it happened, and why she was so blase about it. Mary Albert is a rare “villainess” who’s retained very little of her Japanese self, and simply associated marriage with “political move”. Marrying for love never was a thing she expected. As such, when she realizes it happened, her freakout is possibly the best part of the book. As for the second game and its resolution, it’s yet another example of why “harem” endings are good in a funny way when you’re a gamer, but terrible if you try to consider them seriously – see also Endo and Kobayashi Live.

And so, we’ve reached the end of the series. Um. There are HOW many books left? Let me guess, short story volume? (checks) Yup. We’ll be back next time for the obligatory short story volume! Till then, this is much more fun than I expected, with a great heroine.

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