Third Loop: The Nameless Princess and the Cruel Emperor, Vol. 2

By Iota AIUE and Misa Sazanami. Released in Japan as “Nanashi no Ōjo to Reikoku Kōtei: Shītagerareta Yōjo, Konse de wa Ryū to Mofumofu ni Dekiai Sarete Imasu” by M Novels f. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by JCT.

I always enjoy it when a series with an “artifact title” manages to find a way to work it into future volumes regardless. An artifact title is when you title a book or a show after something that happens at the start that gets fixed, and you’re then left with that title even though it really doesn’t make sense anymore. See, for example, The Ideal Sponger Life. Third Loop was an obvious candidate, as the Nameless Princess gets a name at the end of the book: Angelina. As such, well, how is she nameless? This ssecond volume, though, comes up with something quite clever: people are calling her “the Polaris Princess”, but are seeing her as her title or her power rather than as a four-year-old girl. (To be fair, she’s mentally a lot older… well, kind of.) So she once again has o deal with enforcing her identity upon those who would deny it. Luckily, she has friends.

We’re coming up on a ten-day celebration and ritual for her older brother Kyril. Naturally, having won over everyone in the first book, Angelina will have a large role, despite being four years old. Indeed, one of the main parts of the ritual HAS to be done by her, as the Emperor, um, sort of killed off every other women in his family to ascend to the throne. As one does. That’s not the only issue she’s facing. The goddess of the Heavenly Sovereign Temple has descended for the ceremony, and she does Not Like Angelina At All. There’s also the issue of some wells in the commoner part of the kingdom freezing up… in high summer. Could this be related to the demon tribe that their nation has been at war with, who have arrived seemingly just to be jerks? And can Angelina really solve everything by gumption and cuteness?

Well, nearly. As I alluded to above, this series is not really very good at making Angelina act her age. This is not an uncommon problem with time loop or reincarnation stories that start with them as a baby – technically they should act like they’re in their thirties, but the reader wants to see her be an adorable kid who lisps when she gets stressed. But maybe that’s the way to keep her from being too OP, as it’s clear that Angelina being adorable and forthright solves almost every problem in this book. It’s how she gets gods on her side. It’s how she deals with introverted royalty, insecure priestesses, and her bodyguard and best friend. She’s weaponized being cute as a button. (Perhaps too much – I could have done without the standard “overprotective dad” joke where he worries his four-year-old girl is running away to get married.)

So yes, flawed. But honestly, if you’re hear for the cute? You can put up with a lot of flaws. And the gumption and forthrightness is also excellent.

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