Fake Saint of the Year: You Wanted the Perfect Saint? Too Bad!, Vol. 3

By kabedondaikou and Yunohito. Released in Japan as “Risō no Seijo? Zannen, Nise Seijo Deshita! Kuso of the Year to Yobareta Akuyaku ni Tensei Shitanda ga” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Rymane Tsouria.

There have been a LOT of series recently with a guy who dies and is reincarnated as a woman, or is isekai’d into a woman’s body, etc. So many that we’re even seeing a few that are explicitly (at least according to the author) a “transsexual fantasy” (see I Guess This Dragon Who Lost Her Egg to Disaster Is My Mom Now). That said, Ellize is here to nip all that in the bud. She makes several things clear over the course of this volume, and the ones that do not have anything to do with her baffling and depressing death wish have to do with her sexuality. She’s a guy. She’s attracted to girls. She has absolutely no desire to admit that lesbians exist. And so therefore she plans on rejecting Verner no matter how high his “affection score” is with her. That said, the ending of this book seemingly makes all that irrelevant.

After the events of the last book, it’s clear that it’s time to take care of the Witch once and for all. Especially as the Witch – or rather, her most intelligent monster minion – is starting to make moves like “let’s kidnap someone and make them a patsy for Ellize to kill”. Which also involves kidnapping several students, and leads to… Eterna awakening as the Saint. OK, not a problem, Ellize can gloss over this. Things get a bit trickier when they journey to an island nation and find the grave of the First Saint… which turns out to have the first saint in suspended animation, and Ellize can free her. Now they have TWO real Saints and ONE fake Saint, and need to work out how to defeat the Witch without starting the cycle all over again. Oh yes, and Verner has figured it out: Ellize is not the Saint.

I’ll be honest, I thought this was the last book, and when the fourth volume in the series appeared on the JNC streaming site it startled me. Everything was set up for things to finish here. The trouble is… everything was set up for things to finish here tragically. Indeed, that’s the ending we get. The book ends with Ellize dying in order to prevent the Witch from taking over the next Saint, and the tragedy is that she mistakenly thinks that this will make everyone happy (because the world is saved) rather than destroy everyone around her (because they all love her). If this were the ending, it would be bitter indeed. I’m not sure what happens in the fourth book, which we are told *is* the final one, but I assume Ellize is not going to spend the whole book dead. Something will have to be done. And I sincerely hope that something will also fix Ellize’s “nothing matters because I’ll be dead soon” attitude.

This series has its flaws, mostly from when Ellize remembers to be skeezy, but it’s still more interesting than I expected. It’s worth sticking around for the finale next time.

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