Villainess Level 99: I May Be the Hidden Boss but I’m Not the Demon Lord, Vol. 3

By Satori Tanabata and Tea. Released in Japan as “Akuyaku Reijō Level 99: Watashi wa Ura Boss Desu ga Maō dewa Arimasen” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Satori Tanabata.

I’ve said this before, but I will say it here again: these books are just too long. Normally I don’t carp too much about the length of a book, but it’s relevant in this vase because Villainess Level 99 is a comedy. The bulk of the humor comes from Yumiella being ridiculous, and everyone’s reaction to this. And she’s very funny here, but the trouble is, about 50-60% into the book, you just flag a bit, and want it to be over faster. Luckily, by around 80% or so complete, the actual serious plot kicks in, so it ends strong. But there’s no reason this had to be 300 pages, dangit. Especially since, as the author says in the afterword, this is no longer a villainess series ad there’s no longer a demon lord. Well, mostly. Covers always spoil, and maybe the reason that this book was so long is because the presence of two Yumiellas means that there needs to be twice the pages to contain them.

After the events of the last book, things have settled down mostly, and all Yumiella really has to worry about is Eleanora being around her far more often and a sinking suspicious that she’s dead weight even though she’s running her territory. But then the God of Darkness shows up, and through him Yumiella finally learns the way to get past that Level 99 cap and get even stronger – she has to kill a version of herself from another parallel world. Believe it or not, Yumiella is not as gung-ho about this as you’d expect, especially since there’s only one other Yumiella left – all the other parallel Yumiellas have been killed by virtue of the otome game plot that our Yumiella subverted. Unfortunately, the remaining Yumiella is still alive as she’s destroyed her world… and is heading for our Yumiella next!

The core of this series remains Yumiella’s combination of deadpan humor, oblivious ditziness, and meathead tendencies, and all three of those are in full effect. You’d think that the alt-Yumiella would be quite a different person give that she destroyed the world, but remember even our Yumiella, with her “isekai” personality, had those feelings a few times in Book 1. Honestly, and this is part of the gag, the alternate Yumiella is a heck of a lot more sympathetic than the one we know. Things do turn serious in the end – alt-Yumiella’s trip to this world was not just for evil kicks, and there is a higher power behind all of this. I had sort of guessed how things were going to have to turn out, but the book did enough hoop jumping that I was able to accept a lot of the hand-waving near the end that kept everything from getting too depressing – this IS a comedy, after all. And the epilogue is the best joke in the book. Maybe our Yumiella should be #2 after all.

This volume is well-timed, as the anime starts in January and will likely get through 2-3 books at most. It should be fun to watch. Especially as the episodes won’t all be 75 minutes long. Also, Patrick is just Kyon, right? He’s even doing the Kyon pose! Yare yare.

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  1. I read the first one, and enjoyed it well enough, but decided against getting the second one – which I think was a good choice for me, personally. Don’t think I’d have enjoyed another 300 pages! Thank you for reviewing, an enjoyable read as always! The anime could be fun, so I’ll check that out when it arrives.

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