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Arha
Arha rated it
The Male Lead’s Villainess Fiancée
May 17, 2019
Status: --
I got bored and stopped reading around chapter 60 or so. The way the story emphasizes just how perfect and pretty and kind Louise is gets kind of irritating, as does the characters seemingly refuse to progress in any way. The last straw was being framed for cheating after she thinks about what a "terrible villain" she is for not intending to go easy on Stella after going out of her way to help her, only for Stella to apparently be complicit in framing her. Yeah, I get it, the... more>> teacher's a b***h and Stella either is too or is at best not willing to stand up for her, but the situation just makes me roll by eyes at how the story treats her like some martyr.

As for the characters not changing, the story only works because Louise is too stupid to realize that the prince is in love with her even though she knows exactly how the prince in love behaves. For the prince's part, it also only works here because he's ALSO too stupid to realize. Thus, they're at this point of quasi dating for sixty chapters because of how thick the characters are.

2.5/5, rounding down because I realized I don't have any GOOD things to say about it, only parts that I feel were competently written. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
By A Slight Mistake
May 13, 2019
Status: c34
The story begins with the question of why the beautiful, kind and intelligent rival from the otome game wasn't the heroine instead. The story then sets about answering why: She's completely unrelatable, artificial and holds grudges even while claiming she doesn't care. Everything with her is about image and not substance.

The majority of the supporting cast is very flat. I literally can't tell most of her suitors apart and when I can it's only because they have some really stock defining trait like 'guard with obsessive loyalty.' Pretty much the... more>> only characters with any personality at all are Mizuki, Yakumo, Shiori and Suwabe or whatever his name is. And while the story emphasizes the stupidity of the latter two, I find myself pitying them because Mizuki's family is destroying theirs after two young children made a stupid mistake that had consequences far worse than they anticipated.

I can't keep going with this one. After Mizuki flat out admits her mechanical view of the world it's damn near impossible to like her. Maybe it gets better when the otome game heroine shows up and cucks her or something, but with the way the story likes to wank Mizuki I very much doubt any of them will pay any attention to her....I guess the boys have a fetish for scars or something? Because I don't see what else is different about Mizuki that makes her so much more desirable this time around. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
The Death Mage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time
May 4, 2019
Status: c192
It's okay. If the story could drop the harem angle or at least keep it to a manageable level I'd feel quite happy with giving it four stars despite the protagonist's boring personality, but every damn arc seems determined to throw in more cute monster girls and then not develop them at all or give them any meaningful personality. At this point I'm expecting his mom and Vida to start swooning over his complete lack of charisma. Which is weird, because he's ACKNOWLEDGED to have no charisma, yet still has... more>> like fifty women wanting to jump his underaged, waxy corpselike bod. I guess it's the mind control he constantly uses on his followers. Oh yeah, he uses mind control on his followers, did I forget to mention that part?

The greater conflict going on in the background is legitimately interesting, but it takes a really long time to get to it at all because of the slow pacing. The more important gods are interesting characters who don't completely revolve around the protagonist yet, so it's neat to see the details of their age old conflict. If more could be done with the Bravers I'd still be happy. However, their subplot seems to be getting dragged out as well. By the time they get there and do stuff the protagonist is going to be even more ludicrously broken. Nothing is a challenge for him anymore and hasn't been since like chapter thirty.

Still, I'll keep going. The world building is interesting, the monster girls are fun when they have personalities and I like a lot of the small stuff like the legitimately different values on things like relationships. It just gets drowned in so much mediocrity and pandering that it's clear that I won't last with this series until the end. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka?
February 10, 2019
Status: --
This story singlehandedly renewed my interest in light novels and anime after years of just ignoring all but a few releases. It starts off very simple and unfocused with the main character simply trying to survive in a hellhole and and like all isekai protagonists becomes completely overpowered... but she's not the hero, she's the hero's villain, so of course she has to be strong. She's the one making the plot, not responding to it. And once there stops being serious threats to her, she stops getting into real fights.

There... more>> are so many small things to praise about this story. The villain group's POV is very sympathetic, but also fundamentally flawed. The protagonist in particular goes from seeming completely happy go lucky to showing multiple different mental illnesses which cause most of the conflict. The ridiculous skill system actually has a legit reason for existing. The characters have a lot of depth and all have significant flaws and conflicts. It really isn't clear where the story is going or who will 'win' in the end and so on. It all comes together quite nicely with a lot of intrigue and mystery as characters all struggle for opposing goals where even the villains mostly can't be considered truly evil nor the heroes totally good.

It is not without flaws. The first part of the story is basically impossible to get invested in if you do not like the protagonist. There are no other significant characters for a LONG time. The first and second half of the story vary wildly in tone and themes. But despite all this, it's easily my favorite isekai story and Shiraori in particular is the most fascinating and complicated characters I've seen in years. I hope things work out for her.

It's truly a shame about the spotty translation the series has at times and the long hiatuses. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
A Wild Last Boss Appeared
April 29, 2019
Status: c70
This is one of the most consistently entertaining series that I track. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing it is to have a protagonist that picks up on the obvious foreshadowing as quickly as the audience does rather than being beaten over the head with it. I also think the twist the story is building up to will be amazing
Spoiler

if the author really has the balls to have it so the player character never existed and Ruphas was just tricked into thinking she got isekai'd.

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Arha
Arha rated it
Ascendance of a Bookworm
April 5, 2019
Status: c55
I wish we could award half stars because I don't know whether I want to give it three or four stars. I'll be nice and give it four.

There are, I think, three major issues for the series. First, the main character is insufferable at the start. She's very demanding, selfish and condescending, but after awhile she slowly gets used to things and realizes how much of a burden she is on everyone, so I don't mind that too much. Second is the pacing. As I sit here around c55 or... more>> so I'm waiting for this Devouring thing to finally be over and done with. It's not like I want her to launch fireballs at goblins or anything, it's just that it gets a little tedious having her oh so slowly deal with (part of) her weak constitution. I know it's not an easy problem, but it's still kind of annoying. The third issue that there's something kind of off about the characters. Lutz, for example, absolutely does not read like a six year old to me and the clever merchant characters don't seem to grasp the idea of not totally alienating your business partners. If Maine was like 10% more selfish/intelligent she'd cast Benno away for the way he's always trying to cheat her. It's understandable that he wants profits, but he seriously undermines himself as a credible partner.

Now, on to the positive side. Maine actually does develop as a character and the way her social status changes over time is also pretty interesting. She doesn't suddenly leap up to queen of the land just because she knows how to make shampoo. She doesn't know what's valuable, she doesn't know how to market it and she can barely make the stuff at all.

Next, the characters personalities are very distinct. Often when I'm reading a story I feel like the character is more of a template where we fill in the blanks or just go off of archetypes. The characters relationships revolve around the main character and it isn't really clear why they do what they do and what motivates them as thinking feeling human beings. That is not the case here: You can easily tell who Lutz, Maine, Benno etc are, what they want and why they do what they do.

Overall, I'd like to give it about a 7/10. I'm going to be very frustrated when I hit the end of the translated chapters because I know that with the slow pacing it'll take months to really get anywhere again. <<less
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Arha
To put it simply, this story is very good. It manages to be gritty and bloody without diving head first into the EDGE that it easily could have given the premise. While the supporting cast is fairly well rounded, the true draw is of course Eliza the Impaler. Her head is a very strange place to be because she just has this emotional numbness that leaves her almost completely unable to open up to people or accept good will from others, but at her core is obviously a rather kind... more>> woman who is trying to fulfill the role she's given herself to atone for her past 'crime.' I also appreciate the rather subtle sense of humor. Things may be bad sometimes and Eliza may have a terrible sense of humor, but the story doesn't lose itself in those things entirely, which is what helps save it from being too dark.

As for the story, I find it a nice change of pace that it doesn't stay on the otome game side of things for too long nor get too far into it before heading back to the politics and warfare. And yet those moments at the school are still quite entertaining because it's one of the best ways to see how people truly think of her. The adult nobles who aren't basically her family are too wrapped up in politics and their own affairs to make it clear how they see her except as a tool or threat to themselves, but the children see both the hard working noblewoman and the battlefield butcher and come to their own conclusions based on that alone.

If I had to give some criticisms to the story, I guess there would be two, which is why it only gets four stars from me. First, a lot of the side characters lack a certain depth to them. You can tell what they feel and part of why they feel that way, but the details about them as actual people can be a little lacking. The second criticism is, I think, a bit more problematic. Namely, there are some real flow issues between chapters sometimes. Between chapters the story often seems to jerk forward rather than ride smoothly ahead. I suspect the latter issue is probably lessened in the light novels, but the characters are probably still a little flat even there. Still, it's hard to say for sure.

On second thought, I'm going to bump by rating up to five stars. With the way the ratings are skewed 'really good but not perfect' should be a five here, not a four. My only serious concern is the pacing, after all. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Tensei Saki ga Shoujo Manga no Shiro Buta Reijou datta
July 21, 2019
Status: c149
Nobody seems to have any idea what they're doing. Several trained assassins are overpowered by a chubby girl and a brainless blond, the castle guards keep letting in the assassins, some twit tries to start a rebellion against his brother and fails utterly with no idea as to what he'll do even if he wins. The protagonist jumps back and forth between trained combatant and complete incompetent but either way I suppose it doesn't make much difference given her competition.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that pretty people are... more>> jerks and if you're mean to ugly people they turn evil. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Everyone Else is a Returnee
June 1, 2019
Status: afterword
The tone of the story was pretty fun and the story didn't care too much about explaining how the angels got all these absurdly niche references and so on. That let it sit back and just tell a silly pseuedo-isekai story full of nerdy foreign pop references without making you think about it too hard. The supporting cast was also generally pretty entertaining, though once you got to the third stringers like Michael Smithson or Pate they had pretty much no personality at all beyond a single quirk. Michael is... more>> envious, Pate is gay, that's all there is to them. The crafting stuff was interesting for awhile but eventually I just stopped caring. But it just. Kept. Going!

However, the story really does fall apart in the last quarter. I think a part of the problem was that the author was too receptive to audience criticism. For example, going back on the 'this time it won't be a harem, I swear!' statement or
Spoiler

changing the main heroine from Kang MiRae to Liera when the latter was more popular and then giving a lot of MiRae's screentime to YuNa when she was, again, more popular. Or Spiera losing a lot of popularity thanks to her "betrayal" and then getting offed for it when she had specifically argued against it in the first place.

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It's not that I was a huge fan of these characters, nor did I mind all of the sudden inexplicable changes, but this kind of flexibility really felt like it undermined the story and like a disservice to the characters, especially the latter. It's good to recognize when you've messed up on selling a character to the audience, but just throwing them away when they need to serve a purpose causes problems in the long term.

The big faction war that comes at the end feels really weird. The story spent so much time keeping the Garden of Sunset and the Army of Brilliant Light mysterious that I had no clue what the hell they even wanted and no investment in their defeat, continuation or anything. What we got for motives from them was pretty underwhelming as well. And I don't know if it was planned from the beginning
Spoiler

but treating Heaven's Army as though it was just as bad as the other three factions really rubbed me the wrong way since by all appearances even later in the story they really were doing the best they could even after abandoning Earth. This eventually turns out to be justified, of course, but very Yu IlHan clearly didn't know that at the time. And even then it's really only Michael and Raphael that are ****heads while everyone else is a good person who gets murdered for not bowing and scraping towards IlHan.

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But I guess by the end of the story Yu IlHan is basically a villain protagonist going on a cosmic temper tantrum with his dragon cult so maybe I shouldn't expect him to have the moral high ground. Good thing that due to pure chance he happened to end up accidentally doing something helpful for the universe.
Spoiler

At least until he genocided most of existence that didn't worship him by fusing it to Dareu or just frigging nuking it outright. Isn't that what the story condemned the God of Heaven for? But I guess he's slightly less of a tyrant.

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The story jokes about him being evil and villainous or has him say modestly that he's not a hero and all I can say is 'Yeah, we know he's evil and of course he's no hero, he murdered a friend that trusted him deeply last week' or whatever.

I also didn't really appreciate how characters' personalities seemed to get rewritten to make them more palatable. Kang MiRae later on is pretty much unrecognizable from her first appearance while Na YuNa seemed to have had the edges shaved off to make to her look like what she was only pretending to be. She wasn't a shallow ditz, she was an intelligent but secretive woman who didn't trust people or open up to anyone and hid it by acting goofy and vain.

What's disappointing is that over time they often seem to morph into the same few character types, such as everyone becoming a tsukkomi to IlHan no matter what they were like originally or Heliena turning into Liera 2.0. Most characters end up fitting into one of three archetypes, namely the tsukkomi who calls IlHan crazy all the time like Erta, the deredere fawning over him like Liera and then the grumpy guy who just complains a lot, such as Orochi. I don't know why this happens since they start off distinct, but then they just kind of change over time. Many villains don't even seem to have that much, leaving them quite uninteresting. They don't usually get good sendoffs either. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Skeleton Knight, in Another World
May 18, 2019
Status: v8
Starts strong with the plot about rescuing elves from slavers, but then it just drops that plot by literally going "We don't care about this anymore, go do something else." The story has a really terrible way of just dropping plot threads like that. What happened to the succession subplot? Is this romantic subplot going to go anywhere? What about the curse on the protagonist?! Are... are you just going to end the story THERE of all places?

And that's not even mentioning how boring and out of place the villain... more>> was. What's with this evil religion crap? Who even cares?

On the bright side, the characters are pretty solid, if unexceptional, and the humor isn't bad. It just kind of nose dived in quality about halfway through. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Tensei Shoujo no Rirekisho
April 9, 2019
Status: c16
Okay, setting aside that we've already had two major scenario changes fifteen chapters in, I had to drop it because of two serious problems.

First, I have this troubling feeling of 'I think the world and the people would be better off if all the useless commoners died.' Waaah, using a well is too hard. What, you made a pump for it? It's still too hard! Give me back the magic water box! The nobles aren't much better but at least they're not that incredibly dim. But even the 'nice' nobles... more>> Ryou was living with own slaves, Ryou being the most obvious among them.

And what's with Ryou? She's sold off, enslaved, has it suggested she be used to sexually initiate children, is forcibly adopted (or was going to be) and then told she'd be told to marry some dude against her will and then impregnated and she reacts with an 'oh well' feeling. How am I supposed to care about this girl when she clearly doesn't care about herself?

Three stars might be generous but I felt two was a little mean because the actual writing quality was okay and the characters do have distinct personalities... they're just all awful. <<less
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Arha
It's alright, I guess. It started off strong but after awhile it seemed to just be about the hunky underaged boys. Which is fine, the MC is a little girl too, but then it gets kind of creepy when the one that seems to be the main hunky boy is eight years older than her and fell in love with her when she was four. Ew ew ew. Eighteen year old man creeping on a ten year old girl is Not Cool.
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Arha
Arha rated it
Wagamama Onna ni Tensei Shita yo
August 3, 2019
Status: c31
It's cute, but the characters are very flat and the sheer ignorance of the characters is astonishing. It doesn't make your protagonist look smart when she tells them they can do math on paper or how to make potato flour, it makes them look mentally subnormal.
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Arha
Arha rated it
Common Sense of a Duke’s Daughter
July 13, 2019
Status: --
This is basically Baby's First Villainess Isekai and doesn't really feel like the author wanted to write one to begin with. Instead, he just kind of picked up a new fad and told the story he wanted to tell anyway while kind of shoehorning the villainess bits into it. It's not bad by any means, but it leads to a feeling that it's a bit of a waste of the premise.

As far as the story itself goes, it feels like Iris is overpowered even though she has no fighting ability.... more>> She just has too much money, influence and authorial support to ever struggle much or for long. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Albert Ke no Reijou wa Botsuraku wo go Shomou desu
July 11, 2019
Status: v2c3
Solid, but I have to wonder why it didn't just come to an end at the end of volume one.

Anyway, the cast are pretty entertaining and I like how Mary's attempts at harassment just make her look like a massive tsundere when she's actually just incompetent. The translation is pretty bad but I've seen worse. I can't really give it full points though because it doesn't really do anything special. It's not super witty, nor super charming and has no hidden twists or particularly deep and interesting characters. It's all... more>> around functional. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Stop, Friendly Fire!
June 28, 2019
Status: c34
Very satisfying so far. I was surprised to see the story had a straight up villain protagonist, though I think the author would disagree on that statement. Still, Shin Woo isn't overly cruel and he's kind of charming in what a sheer bastard he is, so it's easy to ignore. Plus, he's been pointed by the goddess at (probably) even worse people than he is.

Really hoping we don't have the goddess be the final boss. It'd be kind of annoying after the mess that Every Else Is A Returnee devolved... more>> into with its Gnostic nonsense.

Loses another star for the terrible ending. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
Soshite Shoujo wa Akujo no Karada o Te ni Ireru
June 4, 2019
Status: c34.5
It's alright. Like other reviewers noted, it would be interesting to see the MC slowly figure out why Aika committed suicide rather than see her adjust. And the story does slowly shift over to that. Going by the hints we have so far, Aika was a very unhappy girl that few people tried to understand and she didn't really help her own case by frequently reacting to everyone with hostility. She dressed kind of trashy and was aggressive in pursuing the boy she liked, but seemingly not the point that... more>> the boy or the girl he liked actually disliked her. In fact, they seem to have been two of her only friends and the boy might have liked her too. Her reputation is also a little confusing because it seems to have been entirely rumors with no substantiation.

So that character arc and exploration is fine. We'll probably get more, including an explanation for why she was genuinely pretty sh*tty to her family. The real trouble is that the story just has this kind of inherent blandness. The MC is cute and it's kind of interesting to see her explore what happened with Aika, but in the end I'm not really very invested. It's kind of hard to actually care about the cast. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
The Lady is a Stalker
July 26, 2019
Status: c11
A promising start so far with no real complaints. The translation seems a little off at points or perhaps the writing has issues with trying to get things across. Still, it's solid so far and I like the premise of an unrequited love switch. A part of me hopes Celebi never responds to the prince even after he falls for her, but that's obviously not going to happen.

Well, guess we'll see if the quality stats high as the story continues. Lots of stories have great beginnings but fall apart later... more>> on, after all. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
I Reincarnated For Nothing
July 2, 2019
Status: c110
Artpe is probably the most heroic MC I've seen Toika actually write in that he's genuinely trying to do the right thing even if he's kind of a jerk about it. The downside is that the female lead in the prologue is about ten times more interesting than the girl we actually ended up with and she wasn't that interesting there to begin with. The rest of the cast has that other tendency of Toika's characters in that every single one of them slowly morphs into a tsukkomi for the... more>> MC while craving his **** at the same time, which gets tiresome. As such, naturally the most interesting characters are all side characters who only have to fawn over him half the time instead of all the time.

Halfway through the story and so far it's good enough to keep going but not enough to really impress. I'm hoping we'll get some good payoff when Etna reenters the story and we find out the ~sudden twist~ that the demon king Artpe knows is only the first heavenly king while the actual demon king is, I don't know, a demonic wallaby or something. <<less
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Arha
Arha rated it
The Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich
June 8, 2019
Status: c109
The story is fun, the characters are pretty interesting, the dynamics are solid and the overall plot is good. The world building is cribbed from D&D to the extent that even I can recognize how blatantly the author is copying it and I've never even played D&D. However, I don't really mind that much since if every author had to be original we'd have like twelve stories, so I can generally put up with that so long as there's a fresh spin on the concept and ELCL definitely succeeds there.

However,... more>> the humor is atrocious and occasionally outright offensive. I've come to expect a certain amount of trans and homophobia but it's so bad here that it really breaks me out of the story. I am not even big on LGBT awareness or whatever, I just expect a certain level of human decency, but apparently being gay is far worse than being a horrific mass murderer, people with gender dysphoria are hilarious and being attracted to a pretty girl makes you gay because of factors outside your control that you don't know about. Not to mention characters like Beifeng. As a one off bestiality joke he was pretty funny and as a recurring background joke he was alright. But then he actually seems to be acting as part of the main cast? No. No! Please bring back Elisa and Annie or something, I don't want to hear about a dragon man trying to **** seals and lizards. He should have been left behind when the setting moved to the surface.

Apart from the terrible humor, I have issues with the pacing. Plus, I've been reading for several days now in my spare time but I'm only like 20% of the way through the story. I'll still give it a 4 but I really hope the story's overall quality doesn't decline like other long runners I've checked out. <<less
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