The Drab Princess, the Black Cat, and the Satisfying Break-Up, Vol. 4

By Rino Mayumi and Machi. Released in Japan as “Jimihime to Kuroneko no, Enman na Konyaku Haki” by M Novels F. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Evie Lund.

So I believe that this may not be the final volume in the series after all. It certainly feels like it, though. The princess is no longer drab and no longer a princess. the break-up has happened and was pretty satisfying. Viol is still a black cat on occasion, but part of this book’s plot is getting to see Seren in his human form, in order to ensure that the announcement of their engagement does not come completely out of nowhere. But for the most part, this book is in the subgenre of what I call “victory lap” books. Our heroes have won, the problems are solved, and what is left is just everyone feeling really swell. That’s exactly what happens here, there’s minimal drama. I suppose there are things they could do in the future of this series, such as children, or cool magic things, or maybe giving Marietta something to do. But really, this absolutely feels like the end.

After the events of the last book, Seren is finally a High Mage, and gets to start High Mage Classes. Of course, there’s one slight problem – she never underwent normal magical university classes at all. So she has to not only do the advanced stuff everyone else is doing, but also take the basic magic courses Viol did not bother to teach her. I’ll let you guess how difficult she finds this. Guessed yet? If you said “not in the least”, give yourself a cookie. In the interim, she also finds time to invent electric fans, and she and Viol also help intervene in the rescue of a ship stuck in the ocean due to calm currents, which ends up being solved due to… GIANT electric fans, basically. With all this going on, can Viol manage to get permission to court Seren?

There’s not really much to say about Seren and Viol’s courtship, mostly as it goes so smoothly that the book ends with a wedding. I was amused at meeting Viol’s family. He’s always sort of been the calm, stoic type, so it’s hilarious that his commoner family are the same as commoner families always are in these sorts of books, which is to say rural farmers who panic when they have to deal with noble folks and worry they’re offending them somehow. They don’t have much to worry about – Seren’s dad is basically as eccentric as she is, and the King and Queen ask for this to be a big wedding more because Seren was like a daughter to them than any other reason. The other suitors for Seren’s hand are basically driven away by the sheer power of their “we are a gorgeous and powerful couple” vibe at the most recent ball. And they all lived happily ever after.

Except a 5th volume came out in March in Japan. Does the electric fan break? Well, I’m sure something will come up. If you like “relaxing vibe” series, or enjoy seeing two nerds nerd out while being in love, this is a good one.

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