I’m Giving the Disgraced Noble Lady I Rescued a Crash Course in Naughtiness: I’ll Spoil Her with Delicacies and Style to Make Her the Happiest Woman in the World!, Vol. 1

By Fukada Sametarou and Sakura Miwabe. Released in Japan as “Konyaku Haki Sareta Reijō o Hirotta Ore ga, Ikenai Koto o Oshiekomu -Oishi Mono o Tabesasete Oshare o Sasete, Sekai Ichi Shiawase na Shōjo ni Produce!-” by PASH! Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Yui Kajita.

How much you enjoy this volume will likely depend entirely on how much you can tolerate the series’ one joke. This is a comedic romance, despite a dark premise, which has a basic shtick, and it’s that the characters describe things as “naughty” when they’re not actually talking about sex. Allen keeps telling Charlotte that he’s going to force her into experiencing all sorts of naughty delights… but it’s things like eating a cake for dinner, or going to a hot springs, or sleeping in. “I’m Spoiling the Disgraced Noble Lady” would be a much snappier title, but it would probably get fewer clicks. That said, if you can get past the overdone joke, this is a rather sweet book about a misanthrope with a kind heart who takes in a typical villainess heroine and turns her life around – for the better.

Allen is a sorcerer who lives in a remote mansion because dealing with people is a hassle. His sole contact with the outside world are daily visits by the mailwoman and occasional visits from his sister. Then one day he finds a young woman collapsed right by his doorstep – and several guards who tell Allen she’s a wanted woman and they’re to bring her back dead or alive. Allen doesn’t trust them, and with good reason – after getting rid of them and taking the woman inside, he discovers she is Lady Charlotte Evans, the fiancee of a nearby nation’s price. Supposedly a wicked woman who is accused of countless crimes, she is actually an abused child who has been treated like a servant for years and is now being treated as a scapegoat. There’s only one thing for Allen to do now – show her what the good things in life really are!

The main plot is fluffy because the backstory is so horrid. Charlotte’s life, especially after her mother died, has been an absolute misery, and she has trouble standing up for herself or even having actual wants and desires. You could argue that she is not ready for a romance with the awkward yet very powerful Allen, and you’d be right, but this is a romance series, so you’re going to have to lump it. And they are very cute together, especially in the back half once both start to realize that they’re developing feelings. This is especially baffling for Allen, who’s not nicknamed “demon overlord” because of his kind smiles, and who is having trouble separating family, friend and lover in his head. If you’ve read An Archdemon’s Dilemma, this is a very similar vibe, and will likely appeal to the same people who read that.

All this plus a petting zoo filled with monsters. Despite its cruel backstory, at heart this is a fluffy romantic comedy. Just get ready for its one joke. It’s a naughty joke.

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