Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress!, Vol. 2

By Ameko Kaeruda and Kazutomo Miya. Released in Japan as “Onna dakara, to Party wo Tsuihou Sareta no de Densetsu no Majo to Saikyou Tag wo Kumimashita” by Overlap Novels. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Molly Lee.

As we start the second volume of Sexiled, things are looking good for Tanya and company. They’re celebrities now, heralded by the women in the city for what they did. They’re now guiding other parties to grow and learn. But, of course, there’s still the inherent sexism of everyday life. Some of the parties they’re guiding just want to show off in front of them. Sexual assault is framed as “she was asking for it by wearing that outfit.” Promises of marriage are extorted by drugging a girl. Even fashion is against them, as Tanya is told that only men can wear swords at the palace ball… even though Tanya is there as a bodyguard. And then of course there is Laplace’s behavior, as lately she’s seem distracted or even depressed at times. Why was she sealed up in the first place? And is is possible for her to also get revenge?

As with the first book, the writing here reminds you of the sort of thing that women deal with every day. The first half is filled with frustrating assumptions and casual misogyny that makes our heroine’s brains burn. Katherine, the fox-sorceress who was a minor antagonist in the first book, has joined Lilium, and she proves to be an excellent addition to the party, gaining confidence, inventing popcorn chicken, and also helping save the day so that things don’t have to end with a lot more deaths. Because the back half of this book is a lot more serious than the first one. Many of the relationships in this book are abusive, including the princess of the realm, as well as Laplace, whose determination to stand up against her abuser is very well done. I also liked how the kissing was reframed as plot-relevant (and Tanya noting that it was non-consensual at first, even if she ended up not minding it), and this leads to an excellent callback at the climax of the book.

The book is still a light novel fantasy, of course. We briefly see Tanya and Laplace fighting goblins, and there is much discussion of mana and its ability in helping to attain immortality. The fight scenes are relatively simply but breezy, never getting too bogged down in spell creation or other pitfalls. There’s also a healthy dose of humor – I quite liked Nadine yelling “POW POW” in Tanya’s ear, and the smarmy tone of one of the jerks dealt with in the book is mocked by criticizing the very typography of his lines. There’s also a nice scene at the very end of the book which shows a young palace guard who was also inspired by Tanya’s party to chase after his own dreams, and his genuine gratitude and admiration of her feels like a “not all men” that’s actually earned for once. I will admit I think the art that comes with the book is merely adequate – there are some nice scenes of Tanya and Laplace in the middle of the book where the illustrations feel very flat. I wonder if we’ll get some fanart from others.

I’m not sure where the series goes from here – we’re caught up with the Japanese release – but I will definitely be devouring the next book in the series. Still an excellent takedown of misogyny as well as a good light novel fantasy.

Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress!, Vol. 1

By Ameko Kaeruda and Kazutomo Miya. Released in Japan as “Onna dakara, to Party wo Tsuihou Sareta no de Densetsu no Majo to Saikyou Tag wo Kumimashita” by Overlap. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Molly Lee.

There is a variety of stories seen, mostly on television, that are described as “ripped from the headlines”. You take a current real-life story and fictionalize it in order to craft a good drama. you rarely see that extend into the field of fantasy light novels, but in this case the book was definitely inspired by a real life event: the discovery that Tokyo University (and others) were fudging medical exam results to admit fewer women into medical school, ostensibly as they believed they’d just get married and become housewives anyway. This news surprised a lot of people who had not been paying attention to the inherent sexism in women’s everyday lives. And so this author decided to write a version of the story where a harried and underpaid mage, kicked out of her party by her “childhood friend” Ryan for being a woman, ends up getting her revenge. And it is a glorious revenge, make no mistake.

Tanya is furious at the actions of her smug party leader Ryan, and decides to blow off steam by going to a nearby deserted area and throwing off a few Explosion spells. Doing so wakes up a woman called Laplace, a legendary sorceress who had been sealed away for three hundred years until Tanya woke her up. Tanya is actually a fantastic mage, and Laplace can actually “change her class” (via kissing – there is a bit of yuri in this), making her an even more powerful Magi-Knight. Given that Laplace is already super-powerful in her own right, the two form a tag team to take on Ryan and his party in the upcoming tournament. OK, they may be a bit TOO overpowered, so they also take on the guild secretary Nadine, a level 3 healer whose stats help the party to average out… though she has secrets of her own. Will Tanya get her revenge? Or… will she realize that revenge is not really what she’s after?

Hell yes, she gets her revenge. This book is a marvel from start to finish if you are sick of men and their smug sexist attitudes. Tanya may be filled with rage and anger at Ryan and society, but is otherwise a relatively happy and fun person. Laplace is wonderful, combining the “airhead” personality with a bit of the ancient wisdom that she has, and also leads to the best translated gag from the book, where Tanya gives her the nickname “Stone Cold Stunner”, which she loves, and proceeds to use all the time. There is a scene that mirrors the medical school scandal as a young girl Tanya had been tutoring in magic finds that the local Mage school doctors its scores so that there are fewer women – this gets taken care of fast. And then there’s Tanya’s fight with Ryan near the end of the book, which I don’t want to spoil but is simply magnificent.

There’s a second book in the series, and we do see a few plotlines that could be used going forward, mostly involving the royal mage Maxwell, who is as old as Laplace and also the one who sealed her away. I also want to see more of the other characters – I liked Katherine, introduced to us as Ryan’s girlfriend and the replacement for Tanya in the party, she quickly learns what he’s really like and becomes much more sympathetic after being shown some basic kindness by Nadine. More to the point, I loved the writing in this book, filled with great humor, telling observations about the sexism in everyday life, and a wonderful female power fantasy that does not particularly concern itself with being “fair and balanced”. I quoted liberally from it on my Twitter feed, and could easily have done three times as much. This book will put a big grin on your face and make you pump your fist in the air.