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Mizura
(updated as of ch. 205)

This is not an otome story. This is a military story.

At 2 the MC poisons her whole family. (and yes, she did hesitate. 40 people died in the meantime). At 6 she gets caught up in her first battle.

Her guardian, well aware that her lands are in proximity to an increasingly belligerent country, makes her undergo harsh governance and military training, which she accepts without questioning because she's smart enough to realize the reality of her situation, and also because she feels that it... more>> is her responsibility to restore the domain that was devastated by her family.

The fact that she's a reincarnator? Irrelevant to her, mostly just 'someone else's memories'. The otome setting? Give it up, the MC is more on the path of becoming a cold-blooded military leader than a fluffy love interest.

The story details the MC's life year-by-year as she assist in restoring her devastated territory, faces increasing military aggressions, navigates the world of aristocrats (having taken over her father's title), and deals with conspiracies within the territory, all while hoping her guardian doesn't keel over of old age or overwork too early, as she's still a mostly powerless child.

Although good-intentioned, the MC is unfortunately also too smart and calculating for her own good, resulting in serious trust issues and an inability to accept goodwill and compassion when it's actually present, even though she thoroughly needs it. As a result, she becomes increasingly cold-blooded... hence the summary of the story.

The story starts slow and is hard to get into at first, but it's quite a poignant read. Be prepared to read it for what it actually is: a psychological/military story, or you'll be seriously disappointed when you don't find any fluffy otome romance nor easy achievements.

Update: At ch. 205, the story is finally moving into the period of the 'otome game'. That may sound like a long time to get to that point, but the development until now is truly worth noting.

Unlike your average Isekai story, the MC isn't a stand-alone genius. On the contrary, it is quite clear that she was propped up by people more experienced, better connected, stronger or more skilled than her (and they still are), and they themselves only came into contact with her in the first place due to geopolitical and military circumstances surrounding her territory (like her Guardian). In fact, even now, it is clear that some of the people around her are pushing their credit onto her.

But that does not diminish the MC's accomplishments. The MC was trained and supported by monsters, only because she showed the corresponding hard work and tenacity. Even if the military family she is close to were the ones to come up with a particular military strategy for example, she was still the one charging and executing the strategy at the frontlines. Even when she got subordinates to help her with territory management, she was still working hard to research new ways to help her territory. Even when a plan of hers involved the participation of another noble, it's okay, she came up with the plan, she personally faced several of the people involved.

Most importantly, this method of development connects her more closely to the characters, the world and the plot. The MC isn't just some otherworldly tourist here to play Sim City with her superior knowledge. She's a part of this world. She is deeply affected by the plight of the people in her territory, the wars and the deeds she has to accomplish on the battlefield, the political machinations and the loss of people close to her. For everything she accomplishes, she's also had to give up something, and to protect her territory, she paid the price in terms of reputation and what she was willing to do with her own hands. And yet, as she faces all these, the bonds of bonds of trust, friendship and family that she does develop with the people who stand by her side feel that much more concrete and precious.

The story isn't perfect: there are ups and downs, slow moments, and some interactions feel a bit forced. But they are followed up with intriguing plots, shocking moments, poignant interactions, satisfying accomplishments and even some hilarious misunderstandings, that make it well worth the 200+ chapters just for the 'main' plot to start. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura rated it
The Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich
February 2, 2017
Status: Completed
I've read the entire series in Chinese. The following review will give you a global picture of what's ahead, without spoiling specific occurrences.

... more>>
Spoiler

There's a lot to say, so I'll just focus on what really makes this stand out:

1. A solid and diversified world that resists easy, 'one-size-fits-all' solutions:
- The world is full of characters more powerful than the MC, not to mention in the grand scheme of things, numbers do matter. In fact, many of the MC’s companions surpass him in their domain of competence. The MC can't just beat up one person after the other.
- The world is quite advanced. In his first life, the MC tried to use his modern-day knowledge, only to realize that a. anything worth inventing had already been invented and b. the rest has better alternatives in this world.
- Complex and diversified societies. There are over a dozen socio-political models across races, with further fractioning into different factions/individuals with their own agendas as well as open or hidden alliances across factions. Also, it makes -sense- for things to be the way they are. This means MC can't just replace everything with a modern-day social model and be done with it.
- A ruthless, profit-based underlying backbone. In a war for survival, anything goes if there's profit involved, be it land, resources, power, belief or even souls. Allies will betray you if it’s in their interest to do so. Petty internal interests will block your allies' actions. Open lies will be propped up as the 'truth' as long as it's convenient. It's not that 'good people' don't exist here, but profit moves the world.

However, the MC's 'system' has already revealed to him where all this is heading though: several waves of upcoming conflicts, each larger than the last, then boom, game over for everyone. With no easy solutions at hand, the MC is an ant trying to prevent a series of car crashes. This leads to...

2. The diversified plot writing

At first glance, the MC appears to be a silly, goofy, happy-go-lucky guy (skeleton). He even views his past revenge streak (where he nearly destroyed the world) as an ‘embarrassing chuuni phase’ (not often you see That sort of attitude).

But the story increasingly reveals that he is, in fact, a ruthless manipulator. Faced with a world where the strong oppress the weak and where his own country was destroyed by war, betrayal, and lies propped up as truth, the MC decided to become more ruthless, more cunning, more underhanded than his opponents, and does not hesitate to resort to experimentation/dissections, scams, stealing, threats, betrayal, blackmail, negative propaganda, assassinations and conspiracies.
- Lack power? Okay, he's slowly building up his power the normal way. His ‘creations’ are far from normal however.
- Lack people for your new system? Shamelessly poach the followers of other religions.
- Lack technology? Steal it. And steal the researchers. Then sell the resulting technology back to the country you stole it from.
- A group of internal decision-makers are giving you a hard time? What, just find a reason to kill them.
- The decision-makers of allies X are taking their time? lol, drag the trouble straight to their doors, see whether they'll drag-out their decision-making process then.
- Want to stop the successive waves of conflicts which will end in the destruction of the world? Change some of the opposing factions from within from the grounds-up. Form alliances (willing or forced) where you can. Beat up immediate threats, then forcefully integrate them. Identify sub-factions within opposing factions, make deals, then let them handle the rest of their side. Ignore factions that either don't need help or don't benefit the cause. Having thus preserved Eich's forces as much as possible, force them all to face the real threats.
- Reputation in the drains? Apparently being notorious is convenient too!

What’s interesting in all this is that the MC is actually an idealist, who wants to save the world and make it a better place. He just refuses to do it alone. He knows that the means he’s chosen are despicable, and he fully expects to be punished for it, this last point being something he's completely serious about.

In parallel, he 'sows seeds' for a better future:
- He releases the information he has about the future in steps.
- He sets up new systems of beliefs or new mechanisms that will either protect the weak, gradually erode the problematic Church of Light, or simply coerce third parties into fighting the just fight thanks to pure incentives.
- He accelerates technology/magic advances. Sometimes, this is by sharing the fruits of his own research. At other times, it's by setting up new bases of development: he uses the system to identify key researchers, points them in the right direction, gives additional ideas based on real-world technology trends, provides them unconditional resources (often knocked from ally countries), then lets them do their thing.
- He sets up all sorts of nations and alliances. The world is full of old foxes, some of whom oppose his plans, but also some who, once they are convinced that their interests are aligned, make even bigger contributions to the MC's plans than the MC himself.

The MC never copy/pastes knowledge from our world, instead everything is custom-made for Eich. The result is the foundations of a veritable series of social, technological and political revolutions, except once he’s painstakingly set up the foundations... he lets go.

The MC doesn’t want to become a hegemon himself, he wants his creations to grow on their own (only giving advice from time to time), even if he isn't sure whether the ‘seeds’ will grow, or how exactly they’d develop. However, this enables his systems to truly become independent forces, and for his subordinates/allies to truly mature as leaders, some even walking further than the MC on the paths the MC had set up. This is his answer to changing the flow of ‘history.’

Even with all this, there’s still more to the plot: the MC also goes on quests to further his own power, or has to participate personally in wars. His opponents are often quite cunning too: the MC’s many back-up plans often prove to be necessary when a whole string of troubles and opportunities pile in at the first signs of war. The story also often goes in-depth into the worldbuilding or the situation of individual characters. All this makes for a very diversified story that never becomes repetitive.

3. Daring, weird characters designs

That all sounds quite dark so far, right? It is, but the story is also quite hilarious. The author cheerfully deconstructs and reconstruct your usual fantasy stereotypes, leaving you laughing at the worldbuilding (holy knights are poor blokes who can't get a girlfriend because they're broke, magicians in their tower are basically geeky shut-ins, that powerful ancient undead dragon is still alive because he's an expert at shamelessly su**ing up to whoever is most powerful at the moment), not to mention the characters themselves are so boldly weird themselves that you'll soon find your standards for what's acceptable falling lower and lower (when there's a 'Beifeng' standard, everything else seems so tame!) The MC laments at the fact that there are no normal people around him, blatantly ignoring the fact that he’s quite abnormal himself.

The story is cheerfully narrated through the POV of the MC, who is in constant comedic skits with the 'System' and later with his 'pet' Harloys. And there’s always something to whine about, since the MC happens to be a walking magnet for bad luck (broke/virgin/huge bounty on his head) and weird people. The MC himself is full of antics, whether he’s laughing gleefully at the misery of others, conducting experiments with the enthusiasm of a mad scientist, shamelessly running away from opponents stronger than him (‘Shame? What’s that? Can you eat it?’) or diligently avoiding paperwork. His companions, in turn, feel a mix of respect and ‘want to beat him up’ towards him, and although he can’t lie, he’ll frequently mislead allies and opponents alike with half-truths.

But don’t get me wrong, even though the MC scams his companions, he is also extremely generous, and his allies always do end up profiting much more than they lose thanks to the enormous amount of work he puts in. Told through his POV, the story alternates between a mix of humor and epic, with you occasionally realizing what the heck it is you’re reading and mourning for your falling morale standards. After all, according to the MC, people who are insane don’t realize that they are insane, and the MC has very much become insane.

Now for the negative points:
- There are a few plot points which... developed differently from what I expected. In particular, it feels like Karwenz just pops up every several hundred chapters just to make things more difficult for the MC, which is frustrating to read (I’m quite satisfied with the conclusion though). There are a few other plot points like that: the conclusion is a rare non-rushed conclusion (for a Chinese novel) that ties up all the elements that need to be tied up, but there are a few points you wished you could see more of. Maybe they’ll get addressed in the sequel.
- There are a few points where I lacked confidence in the direction of the story. It did always pick back up however. Some readers have also noted the huge amount of info dump. There were a few moments where they did feel annoying to me, but that’s usually when they occur at particularly tense moments. Overall, I’ve found them entertaining, not to mention crucial to understanding the plot of the story. I like this a lot more than when authors gloss over something and expect us to accept it ‘just because.’
- The romance feels like it’s incomplete. Again, perhaps this will be addressed in the sequel, but if feels like there’s a lack of closure on the MC’s side.
- The story is not particularly ‘politically correct’ and makes fun of just about everything, which may make some readers uncomfortable. To such readers, I recommend taking a step back and noting that just about all the characters in the series are weirdoes, but that specifically in this story, such weirdness doesn’t matter (unless you’re at Beifeng level) : no matter what your personal preferences are, you can still be a high-ranking, respected and contributing member of society, not to mention kick ass.

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Despite the weaknesses, the sheer scale of the characters, worldbuilding and plot that the story offers makes it one of the most incredible things I’ve read so far. Even though I had marathoned through 800+ chapters while setting aside most of the other stories I was reading, I, for one, jumped into the sequel right after. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura
Single Player Only
November 6, 2016
Status: c27
This is the story of a gamer who suddenly finds a game installed on his computer that he has no way of deleting. The character stats are the same as him in real-life, and he assigns the extra points into charisma. Soon enough he finds out that his charisma points apply to the real world too. He thus starts his journey to become OP in both worlds and get a lot of girls... is not what this story is about.

Instead, the character freaks out.
This story is, surprisingly, a... more>> psychological/mystery/survival set in a Xianxia game setting.

The most interesting part about the protagonist is, paradoxically, that he's completely normal.
- He feels disturbed at the events happening in both the game and in real life, just like a normal person.
- He comes up with ways to test his hypotheses, just like... a normal person with brains. But his intelligence is still normal, and the author never tries to pass him off as exceptional in anything except gaming.
- He sometimes loses his cool too, and gets mad at the one person he shouldn't... which is just like a normal person too, because his whole reality is going haywire.
- He seriously considers unplugging his computer, like a normal person. But doesn't, because he doesn't know what'd happen, like a normal coward.
- And when he starts thinking that the characters in the game are too much like real people, he feels very disturbed, again like a normal person.
He's a normal person, not a Xianxia hero. This actually makes this a rarity in this genre.

The story proceeds very, very carefully. The player doesn't have an easy time with the game, it's very realistic and he needs months of training and all his attention just to gain a couple of stat points and survive the next event (and he realizes that he Must not let his character die). He finally finds one person that seems to know what is going on, but she is evasive and heavily implies to him that he must never speak the game's terms, only adding to his growing anxiety.

I've also read a bit ahead, and I can say that the mystery isn't something that gets answered in one chapter, instead it's something he progressively unveils about as he progresses, all while facing very difficult situations and fighting a dreaded battle against time.

So this story is surprisingly unique. It does give you the uncomfortable feeling that it'd become a typical xianxia anytime now, but that actually has not happened (not even in the raws out so far). So try it out, it's surprisingly interesting. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura
This MC Is Kickass
August 22, 2017
Status: Completed
The summary is actually slightly misleading.

... more>>
Spoiler

It isn't really a story focusing on an ugly character who gets a lot of hot guys to fall in love with her in the game despite that. Rather, it's about a beautiful girl with a top family background in real-life who hooks up with a good-looking guy with similar family background. They're playing the same game, and he's the #1 player in-game. The guy eventually recognizes her in-game but she doesn't.

She logs into the game from time to time and triggers a few core quests in-game thanks to that. That's it.

The game itself, if it were real, is hilariously badly designed. The core quests and quest items essentially get monopolized by the main character and a few other players, so if any of these players were to decide to stop playing, the whole story would be ruined. It doesn't really help that the main character herself (and even the male lead) only log on from time to time, and always log off at very timely hours (like, what about all those players who play non-stop? Is this a pay-to-win game for rich guys to be hoarding so many top spots?).

[collapse]

It's still entertaining though. The female lead does kick ass and the male lead is quite sweet to her. A lot of the story focuses on brain-dead rivals (most of whom are aiming for the male lead and not the female lead, oddly enough) or spending paragraphs describing how good-looking the two leads are though. :S <<less
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Breaking Off the Engagement… Bring it on!
March 23, 2017
Status: c37
This story is all over the place. It starts off interesting enough: as the empowering tale of a woman who happily accepts the breaking of her engagement, when in fact the other party just wanted to test her. After that though, the MC is suddenly this strong adventurer who fights monsters (sure, cool), then this whole slew of people smitten with her abruptly show up one after the other (um...), then there was this half-assed coup that ended as abruptly as it started and appeared to serve no other purpose... more>> than adding a few More admirers (?!), and the characters increasingly devolve into being mere gag characters (...). It's all becomes terribly confusing, and it feels like the author is just winging it at this point. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura rated it
Bringing The Farm To Live In Another World
October 4, 2016
Status: --
I've read several hundred chapters into the raws before dropping it in disgust. Let's ignore the fact that the Chinese raws themselves are grammatically horrible and full of repetitions.

I was initially drawn-in by the concept of a farming story. But in the end, this isn't about farming at all. The 'farm' he brings over is more of an all-purpose brainwashing-machine, self-enhancer, poison and pest producer, you-name-it. The farming aspects become comparatively negligible, and soon enough the MC is more focused on being a necromancer/magician/whatever/God. Whenever he encounters some challenge, instead... more>> of facing it in a clever way, he does some asspull from his farm and that's it.

Did I mention the insipid, poorly developed harem members? They're just there to worship how awesome and capable the MC is. Then the MC moves onto the next cardboard female. The MC himself is no better, as he's a huge hypocrite who'd merrily kill other people for his own purposes, which normally I'd be fine with if the story didn't keep trying to push how awesome the MC is every few paragraphs.

If you want a typical but badly-written xianxia, go ahead and read this. But don't get fooled into thinking this has anything to do with farming. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura
Invisible Dragon
October 29, 2016
Status: --
What a novel experience! Reading this is truly eye-opening as to the power of the human mind.

This is an ode to the human mind's ability to adapt and make sense of the worst of spelling and grammar. It is an epiphany regarding the human imagination's remarkable ability to fill in the blanks with the most minimalist of descriptions ('it was awesome'). It is a testament to how little it takes for the human spirit to find satisfaction, as you find yourself strangely moved when the author finally spells 'continue' correctly,... more>> like a single light in a desolate graveyard of the English language.

And once I finished reading this, I realized that it felt like I had developed brain cancer.

(Thumbs up to the translators for bringing this story 'faithfully' to us in the English language) <<less
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Mizura
Mizura
Reincarnator
February 13, 2017
Status: c257
Reincarnator is a mixed bag consisting of brilliant elements combined with dregs of mediocrity. Overall, I'd rate it 3.5/5. I'll start by giving two pieces of advice to new readers to make the reading experience more tolerable:

1. It is better to read this on a mobile, or with narrow columns, than on a normal computer screen.
2. If you reach a part where the dialogue is particularly jarring, try to skip the dialogue, and only read back if the next sentence doesn't make sense when you skipped.

The reason for the... more>> first item is because of its very fragmented writing style: not only does it make a new line for every sentence, it also has a bad habbit of cutting up most sentences right in the middle, an issue I haven't seen in any other Korean translation. As a result, a huge number of paragraph/sentences are short strings of text starting on a new line with 'Because', 'Since', 'And', 'So' or 'But' as part of a continuation of the previous sentence. This is especially jarring when you're switching to a new paragraph for that. By reading it on a mobile or in a narrow column, you can at least pretend that everything is part of a proper paragraph or sentence.

As for the second advice: the writing has this baffling tendency to switch randomly between SFX, dialogue, thoughts, third person POV limited to one character (i.e. It appears to be describing that character's thoughts, though it's hard to be sure) and third person omniscient POV, often switching one element per line, thus cutting off any sense of continuity. During this process, the author often only expresses the most basic sentences in dialogue/thought form, most of which are in the form of swearing, screaming, complaints, threats or otherwise stating the obvious. At one point, I isolated the dialogue and thoughts from the rest of the text, and literally got a string of "Aaaah!", "F**** B****", "I'll kill you!", "Must get to the exit."

Did I mention the huge amount of swearing in this series? I have nothing against the occasional swearing, but with that amount, it's as though the person sitting across you swore and yelled randomly every 5 minutes, especially when it seems to consist of a third of his vocabulary: after a while you really want to smack him. On the other hand, when it comes to the really intelligent explanations, the author switches it to 3rd person omniscient POV, thus depriving the characters of the opportunity to sound clever. As a result, the characters themselves are left sounding like a bunch of enraged monkeys.

All this improves a bit later on, but not before potentially ruining entire arcs of reading experience. It's not hard to read because it's smart, it's hard to read because the fragmented writing causes seizures.

Now that that's out of the way, here are the strengths and weaknesses of the series.

Strengths:

First, the series starts off with a fascinating combination of worldbuilding, plot and psychology. The 'games' in the tutorial arc are designed to bring out the worst within humans and results in a fascinating read. On the other hand, the protagonist returned from the future after being entrusted with information from a few survivors, all of whom had completely different strategies for survival (ranging from being ruthless to unifying and guiding with morality). The result is a fascinating mix of strategies where the MC alternates between the approaches of the others. The plot isn't entirely predictable either, as the MC's actions result in unforeseen changes, and the MC must navigate zones that he hasn't (and, in some cases, nobody else has) visited before. If the author had managed to maintain this start, I would have rated the series 5/5.

Secondly, the series has some very interesting worldbuilding. Said worldbuilding doesn't really go that much in-depth, but once you throw in a bunch of humans trying to survive, it makes for quite interesting situations. In each zone, the MC must also completely flip around the situation of the zone, which he does thanks to carefully prepared plans that he was entrusted by groups in the previous timelines, while in parallel eliminating the elements that caused the most damage in the original timeline. As a result, this is one of the series that makes the most thorough use of the opportunity granted by a reincarnation.

Weaknesses:

The first weakness is the writing style. As I've already explained, the series' mixed writing style, tendency to cut sentences into two and terrible 'dialogue' makes it near unreadable at times. This fortunately improves after several arcs, but it makes the reading experience much more frustrating than it needs to be.

The second weakness are the characters. Apart from the MC, the characters can all be divided into one of the following groups: obedient people to be herded like sheep, less obedient people who need to be tricked or threatened into doing what the MC wants, or opponents whom the MC needs to beat up, lest their stupid decisions leads to the ruin of the MC's grand plan (and the subsequent elimination of mankind). It's really hard to muster much sympathy for such people, and while you'll cheer for the MC, you'll feel all the more frustrated at the other characters for being a drag on him.

Nearly all these characters are flat as boards, most of whom only seem to care about themselves and power. On the rare occasion the author tries to add some depth to a character, it is in the form of randomly tagging some relative of friend that form the entire basis of their motivation. Sadly, this is accomplished in the form of 'telling' rather than 'showing': we are told in two lines that a certain character couldn't stand the loss of a relative or friend, and that's supposed to explain all the subsequent hypocritical mass homicides, betrayals and back-stabbings (as well as the occasional but rarer positive actions). As a reader, it really makes you want to roll your eyes, and since characters in each arc follow the same template, it ends up being really repetitive. At the start, there were a few promising characters whom you hope to see more of. However, the author then makes them disappear for an entire arc at a time, and you only see them showing up again for a sentence or two per arc to obey whatever directives the MC tells them.

We are also told that the intelligent plans implemented by the MC were the result of the efforts of many hardworking groups, but within the actual timeline, such groups of intelligent planners are sadly absent. This is an issue that could have easily been avoided if instead of implementing everything on his own, the writing consisted of the MC joining up with other intelligent groups, and both sides could form plans together. The only ones who do any sort of planning are some antagonist groups, but it is hard to feel impressed by their efforts when you know from the original timeline that they died pointlessly after causing the ruin of mankind. Basically, there is a serious lack of agency when it comes to the other characters.

The last item has to do with the plot. The games and psychological situations in the first arc were quite impressive the first time, but sadly it gets repetitive at times later. Although the MC chose between multiple strategies at the start, he eventually settles on the single direction he thinks 'suits' him, which greatly diminishes the variety and excitement from him juggling multiple approaches. After a while, the way he forcefully herds people around gets rather old. The methodical way he carries out his actions, as well as the repetitive characters who lack depth, result in the gradual fading away of all psychological depth.

It's a pity, really, because the author otherwise has some really good ideas going on. <<less
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Mizura
Outaishihi ni Nante Naritakunai!!
October 10, 2016
Status: c8
I find this to be one of the few decent smuts on here. The interactions are fully consensual. Both parties are openly enjoying themselves. For some reason, such stories are actually in the minority now.

No, it doesn't have some deep plot or super developed characters. It's smut, what do you expect?
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Mizura
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To Be A Virtuous Wife
November 15, 2017
Status: c123
Like others, I was put off by the summary at first. But I'm glad I read this.

This story is about the perfect wife. Except, the perfect wife in this story isn't an innocent lily waiting to be bullied, nor an obedient vase on display, nor even a hard-to-get cold beauty. The perfect wife in this story is a real woman. And whereas most stories try to make you go, 'man I wish there was a person who'd treat me as well as the love interest treats the MC', this story... more>> makes you feel, 'I wish I'll be able to treat my partner as well as Qing Ju treats her husband.'

Our MC has no delusions that the ML would love only her his entire life without her doing anything, nor that if you're nice to everyone, you won't get backstabbed in return. At first she might even seem a little cold because she doesn't easily believe her husband's sweet promises. But in the end, actions speak louder than words. To sum it up, she takes care of herself. She takes care of her husband. And she does both damn well.

She's a woman with needs and will be seductive to get it. She likes to make herself gorgeous and maintains her hobbies, but won't be excessive to the point of causing harm to others. She's not happy to share her man and will work to keep him interested. She won't show mercy to those who would harm her, but is also extremely generous to those who do her right. She won't meddle in the things she's not supposed to, but is keenly aware of everything needed. She will talk back to people trying to make her lose face, but act virtuous otherwise, and even act innocent and ignorant in front of her mother-in-law which, in a weird twist of reverse psychology, gains her her mother-in-law's affectionate protection instead.

What the husband gains is a wife who is gorgeous and interesting, who makes him feel wanted and a winner as a man and as a provider, who keeps his household harmonious with an iron fist, who manages external relations, who gives him face and will never make him lose face, who won't question the shady things you are doing but will silently but firmly support you in your ambitions and believe in you, who will maintain good relations with your mother, who will take care of you when you're sick or injured, who can be ruthless but who also cares for the common people. Certainly, she may seem a bit cold at first, because the one thing she Doesn't do is reciprocate your professions of love, but when she has done all that, and proven how much you mean to her through actions, and you have done the same for her, are mere words needed? <<less
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The Girl Who Ate a Death God
October 11, 2016
Status: c34
I'll be honest: at first, large chunks of this story felt very dry to me. Although the parts with the MC were always entertaining, the rest essentially described a war between the Corrupt & Incompetent, and The Hypocrites led by a naive puppet leader ignorant of what her own army was up to. The story went out of the way to not provide these other characters with a shred of likeability, and hammered in that the battles were lost because of sheer incompetence. It felt Really hard to feel emotionally... more>> attached to the story at those points, and to make things worse, the extremely long chapters made the thing felt like it was being dragged out. I really felt like rating the story a 4/5.

This changed though. Perhaps the author got better at writing. Perhaps it was because the stakes are higher. Certainly, it was also because the ongoing battles washed away the arrogance and incompetence (as well as cowards and deserters), exposing heroism and comraderie underneath. Even in the parts without Schera, the conflict became increasingly interesting, until at the end, I was hanging on every word. In the middle of all this is Schera, bringing death on the battlefield when paradoxically, what makes her the happiest is just to share a meal with her comrades.

At some point, it hit me. Schera's hunger was perhaps a metaphor for something bigger. Wouldn't it be nice if everybody could share a meal together? Alas, that was not possible, since precious food would be stolen away, either from the excessive taxation by the corrupt, or the pillaging by the so-called liberators. Schera, who is most honest about what matters to her, becomes a rallying point for an increasing number of comrades, however temporarily.

Is it somewhat dry at first? Yes. Is it worth it in the end if you continue reading? Definitely yes. <<less
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Mizura
The Tutorial Is Too Hard
August 22, 2017
Status: c72
As they say, slow and steady wins the race. This story starts quite slow, and each floor takes quite a while to clear, but thanks to that it ends up being a pretty solid story.

When the story starts, the MC is stuck at a higher floor with no possibility of advancing further, since the floor absolutely requires two people to clear, so there he sits, slowly losing his mind. Luckily for him, as the novel starts, another unlucky person chose Hell Difficulty by accident (there were others but they all... more>> died), so now he's slowly guiding her up while recounting his own experience.

The highlight of this story is that the 'Hell Difficulty' is really not just for show. If this were a game, by Floor 2, you'd be chucking your computer out the window, and by Floor 12, you'd be swearing off video games for the rest of your life. The setting is so hilariously unreasonable, and not just in terms of difficulty: from incredibly repetitive to unreasonably trial-and-error-ish to how-the-hell-was-I-supposed-to-find-this-needle-in-the-haystack, in the flashback, the protagonist was only a dozen floors in and had already suffered multiple blows to his psychological health.

It's not all doom and gloom. The story is peppered with a myriad of amusing comments from voyeuristic gods (though probably not as amusing from the main character's point of view), and the main character can interact with those at other difficulty settings through the forums and through special events. Sadly, these are meager distractions. Even though his slow-steady-self-mutilation approach enables him to grow to the point where he can beat-up whatever comes his way, there is nothing he can do about the infuriating scenarios and objectives.

Overall, despite the lack of plot or too much psychological depth, the setting and character reactions themselves are amusing enough to warrant giving this a try. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura rated it
Release that Witch
October 30, 2016
Status: c119
This series is certainly better than what the title and cover suggests. As others have said, it's basically about an engineer reincarnated as a Prince in the middle of a succession dispute, and using the witches' abilities to get a head start in terms of technology advancement. The protagonist works in a logical way and the results are quite satisfying. There is also a decently complex plot in the background, and the battles are quite exciting.

There are several factors that really break the immersion factor for me though.

First, there's the... more>> fact that everything is too convenient, both in terms of psychology and in terms of skills. So the protagonist is from our world, so he is free of the prejudices of that world and is so much nicer to the peasants. No problem. Yet he seems absolutely fine with executing people and starting a war.... what? He seriously never even flinches at the thought of ordering the death of others. At this point, I'm pretty convinced that Roland is no better as a person than his siblings, except he happens to be better at HR, PR and management, and that makes it Really hard for me to want to root for him over other characters.

Also, he is an engineer. He brings about the wonders of cement, steam engines, guns and whatnot. Great, that's Really cool. Trade? I'm fine with that too. And then he proceeds with population census, games, and marching band songs, and let's not forget he's an expert at reading people (except for love matters)..... eh? Of course, the witches happen to have relevant skills, but it's starting to feel uncomfortably like the author went "hey, would it be clever if a witch had ability X and Roland did Y with it?" It also feels like the witches are all pretty just so that they'd make an attractive harem for Roland later on. The fact that the author keeps trying to convince us that Roland is not That omnipotent is seriously starting to feel like a farce.

Finally, there are the frequent shifts of POVs. On the one hand, it's nice that each character gets his or her own background. OTOH, it is Not so nice that most are basically "My life was ****ty, other people were ****ty, only Roland was not ****ty so Roland is great." As I mentioned before, Roland's actions reveal that he's far from a nice guy, so the fact that the author is trying to hammer his greatness into us through the other characters is seriously off-putting. I'm fine with ruthless protagonists, but don't try to package him as a nice guy then. Then there are the other characters. None of them is like-able, save this one person who got killed off quite quickly. I'll reserve judgment for now, as there may be long-term payoff, but in the meantime I really wish the plot were revealed in less intrusive manners.

Basically, this is a solid story, but with 0 psychological depth and too many convenient factors that really break the immersion for me. It's still much better than your average world-building story though. <<less
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Mizura
Mizura
The Man Picked up by the Gods
October 16, 2016
Status: --
The good: Slime Inc. - Slime solutions for all your needs (laundry, cleaning, healing, materials refining and manufacturing etc.)
The generic: everything else.

This story would have stood out more if the author wrote it exclusively as a quirky story about the many ways to use slimes to make money, and cut out the rest of the story.
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Everyone Else is a Returnee
October 16, 2016
Status: c41
The story has a strong introduction and is fast-paced later on, alternating between the protagonist killing monsters, gaining levels/stats/skills and crafting his latest items/weapon, with plenty of comedy in-between.

Despite the fast pace though, most chapters left me feeling unsatisfied for some reason, and it wasn't just wanting more. Eventually, I realized that it's because the story lacks world-building, long-term plot and character/relationship development. Apart from hunting, leveling and blacksmithing, the protagonist literally doesn't do anything else (okay, he's starting to cook too), and most of the characters he interacts with... more>> can be summarized as 'pretty girl #n' (a characterization that feels pointless when the protagonist shows no interest whatsoever).

Like with games, it makes you want to read on because the next milestone is always in sight. The comedy, crafting and action components Are rather entertaining too, so despite what I'm saying, I do enjoy reading it, if only as light reading. Just be aware that it's missing depth, and for now the story hasn't left any foundations to suggest that it will be more developed later on. <<less
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Mizura rated it
World of Cultivation
September 25, 2016
Status: c915
The story was entertaining enough for me to read the whole thing (in Chinese). The positive aspects:
- Hilarious scheming MC
- The MC 'outsources' many of his tasks, so instead of reading just about him, you get to read about his companions kicking ass too (strategist, item manufacturing etc.)
- A nice mix of combat and other types of plotting (like production)
- Pretty good worldbuilding with the three races and an accompanying history
- Decent amount of foreshadowing

On the other hand, the story ends with the... more>> mother of all rushed endings:
- Many characters whose development you'd have looked forward to... don't get developed at all at the end (what happened to the beast-raising guy?)
- Key plot points just get rushed or forgotten (seriously? The MC's background?)
- Key confrontations at the end are rushed. It smelled rather of hypocrisy in the second half too.
- Really? 915 chapters and you could only afford half a chapter of epilogue? It was so short that I was sure there was a sequel somewhere (there wasn't)

Overall, read it if you enjoy the style, but don't read it expecting a great ending. <<less
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Mizura
Otherworld Nation Founding Chronicles
October 16, 2016
Status: c20
The story is still in its early stages, but here's the good and bad so far:

The good part is that the story builds up very gradually. The protagonist starts off as a starving child at first, and is entrusted by a Griffon to take care of other children in a similar situation. Said Griffon provides some resources at first, so you don't have a bunch of children unrealistically building up a village out of nothing. The assistance is limited however, so the children do have to rely on their own... more>> effort, ingenuity and later trade to slowly develop their community.

Later on however, the development starts to feel a bit unbalanced, as the small village seems to have more trading power and influence than it ought to. Although the author purposely makes the protagonist not automatically knowledgeable in everything, he still seems to unrealistically know too much. It also feels like magic will start to play a bigger role, which may break the flow of semi-realistic development.

As said, we are still in the early stage of the story, so it remains to be seen how the development happens later. It's still a pleasant read so far though. <<less
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Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao
August 31, 2017
Status: c42
Well the protagonist certainly is... different from the usual. To put it simply, she's a musclehead. She has no idea what's going on and how to act, but doesn't even bother trying to figure it out. Her background, which could have been interesting, really only serves as an excuse for her to be so fearless that she doesn't bother thinking at all. She has all these animals who evidently know more about the inner courts than her, and gains a few allies who can excuse her ignorance with the explanation... more>> that she just took the throne so she isn't used to things, but instead of using that by making everyone sit down and tell her everything from A to Z so she can plan ahead, she just stubbornly butt heads with her opponents with a 'hah, you can't kill me anyway, I killed zombies!' attitude, starts smashing things, then pretends nothing happened, which she gets away with only because she's the emperor.

I guess this could be funny if this is your cup of tea. Personally, I can't identify with a protagonist who doesn't even try to understand her surroundings when thrown into a different world. <<less
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Dungeon Hunter
January 24, 2017
Status: c242
Overall 3.5/5 for most of the story, but downgraded to 3/5 for rushed conclusion.

Pros:
- Easy to read: fast-paced, steady stream of progress, and enough variety and plot twists to not become boring. When there's a stat increase, the series even hands you a handy before/after comparison to save you some page flipping.
- Decent amount of plot variety: scheming, fighting, a few mysteries. Despite the fact that the protagonist knows what happened the first round, there are all sorts of deviations that catch him off-guard.

Cons:
- Shallow characters: The... more>> character designs can be quite interesting, but it's almost like most of the characters are one-time use (though they're supposedly plotting in the background, it's only really felt in the story once per character). The rest of the time, they're mostly gawking at the protagonist's accomplishments. The protagonist himself really doesn't develop much beyond getting what he wants, and his relationships don't really get anywhere beyond his new subordinates showing unwavering loyalty.
- Shallow worldbuilding: The author puts a bunch of elements in place (demons, gods etc.), plus there's even the humans trying to survive, but they're mostly there just for the fighting. There is no real hidden meaning behind anything that's going on.
- Convenient plots: the other characters do have their moments of accomplishments, but overall the protagonist tends to hoard most of the accomplishments, with the other parties being Really slow to realize how he's getting ahead.
- Rushed ending: This is probably the main culprit for most of the above. The author apparently shortened his story a lot near the end. With more chapters, he could have fleshed out characters more, written in more interesting revelations about the world, and given a more satisfactory conclusion to most plot points.

Basically, an easy light read if you're bored, but not something that'll blow your mind. <<less
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Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria
October 7, 2016
Status: v7
I found the first arc and parts of the last arc to be quite exciting, but the middle portions to be extremely cheesy.

In particular, the MC (and some other characters) are textbook cases of Chuunibyou, first falling dramatically into despair (... repeatedly. It gets Real old), then making grand speeches about his own ideals, and somehow triumphing magnificently at the end by crushing the opponent one way or another (usually in a not-too-convincing manner, sadly). All this time, there's this creepy guy in the background that's absolutely obsessed over the... more>> MC, even when he's being a whiny kid. There's also this face-palming moment where the MC thinks how much better he'd have handled things instead of a another character, except he spent most of said event moping in self-pity.

Maria? A bland robot who needs some sense slapped into her.

Characters: 4/5 for the first arc, 2/5 for the rest because of regression and chuunibyou.
Mystery: 2/5. The mysteries in the series aren't particularly good. Half of the time the culprit is quite easy to guess, and even when you don't guess it, the answer doesn't feel particularly clever and is within guessable ranges.
Concept: 4/5. In the first arc in particular, the way the time loop is used is quite impressive, and the ensuing arcs at least gain points for originality and complexity of setup.

Overall, I rather wish I'd read the first arc and left it at that. <<less
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