Though I Am an Inept Villainess: Tale of the Butterfly-Rat Body Swap in the Maiden Court, Vol. 6

By Satsuki Nakamura and Kana Yuki. Released in Japan as “Futsutsuka na Akujo dewa Gozaimasu ga: Suuguu Chouso Torikae Den” by Ichijinsha Novels. Released in North America by Airship. Translated by Tara Quinn.

There’s a lot of terrific humor in this volume, most of it stemming from the series’ premise. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s even more true in this book: both Reirin and Keigetsu are absolutely, 100% terrible at pretending to be each other. For the most part they’ve been helped in the past by a) no one knowing bodyswapping was a thing, and b) no one knowing the two well enough to be able to pick out the obvious poor performance. Now that both of these things are no longer true, the best gags in the book come from Reirin’s misplaced confidence that she’s got Keigetsu down pat, or Keigetsu’s inability to not let her cynical anger seep in through everything she does. That said, it’s a good thing that there’s some humor in this book, as the basic premise of this arc is evil and terrible, and the consequences, for some people, are rather chilling.

We pick up where we left off. Reirin has just been rescued from her attempted murder, and has swapped bodies with Keigetsu in order to repair all the damage she blames herself for and take back everything they’ve lost. In practice, this means finding out why exactly Kasui snapped and tried to kill Reirin, plus what she’s actually desperately looking for. She also needs to try to stop Reiga and Hourin from trying to kill her – or rather, using their maidens to try and kill her – and if the way to solve that problem is by getting the maidens on their side, then it’s something she’s going to have to do, even if it means allying with (ugh) Houshun. And then there’s Anni the shaman, the cause of everything that’s led up to this and possibly the most evil person we’ve seen in the series to date.

I continue to absolutely love Ran Houshun, even though she’s also possibly the most terrifying of the maidens. I’m used to hearing Reirin rattle off “Though I am an inept villainess” when she’s gloating over her supposed attempts at being bad, which usually are nothing of the sort. With Houshun it’s chilling when she utters the same phrase, because she’s about to let her Consort and “mentor” be beaten nearly to death by all of her court ladies. And yet it’s also triumphant, because Hourin is a piece of shit who’s spent years abusing and torturing those same court ladies, and for once vigilante justice feels like (at least narratively) the correct answer. As for the others, Kasui gets the closure that is all she can get, really, and can finally achieve a real bond with her own (non-evil) consort. And as for Seika and Reiga, they also get a good scene, but it pales next to Houshun, who’s simply better at this. You can see why Reirin hates her.

I enjoyed this so much I will forgive the use of a deus ex machina “this gets people so drunk they tell everyone the plot out loud” device, though I do hope this is the last we see of it. The next volume promises to be lighter in time, and (theoretically?) only one volume rather than an arc. Can’t wait.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind