Goodbye, Overtime! This Reincarnated Villainess Is Living for Her New Big Brother, Vol. 1

By Chidori Hama and Wan Hachipisu. Released in Japan as “Akuyaku Reijō, Brocon ni Job Change Shimasu” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Rymane Tsouria.

First of all, because I know it’s the first question on everyone’s mind, there’s no incest subtext in this book. OK, there’s no sexual incest subtext. There’s tons of Brocon/siscon stuff, and the usual “I’m never marrying anyone I’ll just stay with you” nonsense, but there is zero sexual attraction between the two leads beyond Ekaterina thinking her brother is hot. Which he is. Secondly, in the afterword, the author says they got the idea for this series after reading another villainess book. They don’t say which one, but if it’s not My Next Life As a Villainess, I’ll be very surprised. This, like quite a few villainess books, reads like someone wanted to write the same series only with the main character being less of a complete dipshit. And this not only includes Ekaterina trying hard to avoid her doom, but also includes her befriending the heroine, who seems to fall deeply in love with her. That said, this will likely be about as canon as Bakarina as well.

Rina Yukimura is an OL in a Black Company-type job, who ends up dying of overwork and exhaustion while playing an otome game she loves. Now she wakes up as… the game’s villainess! Ekaterina Yulnova is the sister of a duke, and spends most of the game bullying the heroine until she eventually gets her comeuppance. So Rina has several things she has to do. First, she and Ekaterina start off as very different people, and meshing their personalities (well, more like Rina takes over) takes a lot of energy. Secondly, she has to work hard to not be the villainess, which means actually study hard and also read up on her family history, which was not gone into in the game, and turns out to be a lot darker than she expected. This is all before she gets to school, and meets Lady, Flora, a commoner who is now the adopted daughter of a baroness…

If that summary made you roll your eyes a bit, I don’t blame you. It’s a bit boilerplate, yes. Ekaterina is fun, though. Having died from overwork in her past life, she sees her brother running the entire dukedom and panics that he’ll do the same thing… while remaining blissfully obvious that she’s fallen into her own overwork habits from before. Flora is a shyer, more reserved Maria Campbell, but they even bond over good food – in this case, potato and bacon crepes rather than sweets – and seems to hero worship Ekaterina just as much, and some other ladies also look smitten by the end of this volume. That said, she’s also gaining male followers. In addition to her brother, who reads like Keith Claes only without all the creepy, there’s the Prince, who reads a lot like Jeord but without all the creepy. Oh yes, and there’s also monster attacks, which Bakarina doesn’t do as much but does allow Ekaterina to help save the day with her “common” Earth magic… which again, feels like a comment on Katarina Claes and her Earth Bump.

If you like villainess books, this isn’t bad. If you want Bakarina with the serial numbers filed off, it’s also not bad. Just… expect the yuri to go the same way it’s going to go in Bakarina.