Young Lady Albert Is Courting Disaster, Vol. 4

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.

I’m starting to feel really bad for Patrick. The most obvious reason being that it’s not entirely clear, at least until the end of this volume, that Alicia would actually choose him over Lady Mary. The relationship between Alicia and Mary has not been yuri per se, but certainly Mary is the most important person in her life, and she has a tendency to tackle hug, and fondle, and adore her. Meanwhile, Patrick has to actually run a country, so is not as free for snuggles. More worrying for Patrick is that he is not the only fully, 100% sensible one in the cast. He didn’t think this was the case. He was sure it was him and Adi against the eccentrics and airheads of this world. But when push comes to shove, Adi has been around Mary far too long and thinks far too much like her for this to be true. Sorry, Patrick. Everyone is bananas except you. Someone has to do the nasty work.

Things are looking up for Mary Albert. She’s survived the first game (despite her best efforts to be exiled), and the second game has come and gone with only mild sadism and shotacon friends as the result. Unfortunately, the game also had an anime adaptation. Which introduced a friend character for Alicia, consoling her when Mary was being too much of an evil villainess. And now we get Veltina, a new arrival to Mary’s group due to a school exchange program. Veltina clearly has memories of the anime from a previous life, great hatred for Mary Albert, and a huge crush on Adi. On the bright side, she makes an absolutely terrible villainess herself, and taking care of her is ludicrously easy. On the down side, Mary is starting to get this odd heartburn when people get too close to Adi…

Everyone knows that if you write a villainess book where the heroine came from an otome game, and the plot resolves, then you need to have the otome game sequel, or spinoff media, or side story… anything to keep the series going. Here it’s the anime, but it’s amusing how little it actually matters. The author just says “oh, there was an anime, she must remember it” a few times and then proceeds to forget about it. So does Mary, who occasionally tries to find a good time to ask her but it never comes up. Which is fine, as in the end it doesn’t matter. We’re not here to see how Mary Albert can escape the terrible fate of whatever new plot hits her life – she’s not Katarina, or Aileen. We’re here for the comedy, as not only is Mary unable to tell that she’s feeling jealousy, but Adi is ALSO unable to realize this. You’d think that, having been married for some time now, the self-doubt would have disappeared, but that’s not how it works. Their resolution of it is sweet. Also, Alicia turns out to be the best gardener ever, which may be my favorite joke.

There’s four more volumes, and I’m not sure how many more antagonists we can reasonably introduce at this point. But the books remain a hoot, and always put a smile on my face.

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