The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System

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“Can’t I properly read stallion novels anymore!”

Shen Yuan transmigrated into someone who’d tormented the young male lead almost to death, the scum villain Shen Qingqiu.

It must be known, the original Shen Qingqiu ended up being carved alive by his disciple, Luo Binghe, into a human stick, a human stick!

Ten thousand “f*ck your moms” rampaged through Shen Qingqiu’s heart:

“It’s not that I don’t want to cling to the male lead’s thighs, but who made him so f*cking black. The type who seeks thousand-fold retribution!”

Why have all the female lead’s scenes been forcibly given to him.

Why, as a scum villain, does he need to constantly sacrifice himself, blocking knife and gun for the protagonist!

Shen Qingqiu: “…I think I can still save him, one more time.”

Associated Names
One entry per line
Chuan Shu Zijiu Zhinan [Animation]
Hệ Thống Tự Cứu Của Nhân Vật Phản Diện
Scumbag System [Animation]
SVSSS
ตัวร้ายอย่างข้า...จะหนีเอาตัวรอดยังไงดี
人渣反派自救系统
穿书自救指南 [Animation]
인사반파자구계통
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Transmigrating into a Mob Character to Rehabilitate the Villain Plan (33)
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The Reader and Protagonist Definitely Have to Be in True Love (30)
The Founder of Diabolism (22)
Who Dares Slander My Senior Brother (13)
Quickly Wear the Face of the Devil (12)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Fav bl <3
  2. Complete BL
  3. Short bl fully translated
  4. Shou Picked Up the Gong
  5. Currently Reading

Latest Release

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Review
338 Reviews


Melili500
New Melili500
Oct 21, 2021
Status: Completed
After completing this novel, the first thought was... what the heck did I just read?

Okay, I liked how it was in the beginning where Shen Yuan treated white lotus Luo Binghe really well, and everything was fine and dandy. I can see the appeal of their relationship. And Shen Yuan's inner monologue in comparison to how he looked outside as a austere immortal made me laugh.

Then the Abyss happened. And everything derailed from there.

Many times I want to shake Shen Yuan because hello! Shen Yuan, your misunderstandings are not helping,... more>> they're aggravating! Especially to the protagonist! Who is mentally compromised by trauma, instincts and a bloody, demonic sword!

Their relationship then went down the yandere road and I know I'm gonna be in for a rough ride because dude, they usually don't handle things healthily. Plus other factors.

I'm kinda sad towards Yue Qingyuan, because that love he had towards his childhood friend was pure (and hindered by, yes, misunderstandings) but his friend is gone and his love will remain unfulfilled. This is one pairing I can get behind, even above Luo Binghe and Shen Yuan, if all misunderstandings are resolved.

So moral of this whole story? COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT! It'll save you a lot of heartache and unnecessary work. <<less
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azure-san
New azure-san
Oct 20, 2021
Status: Completed
So, I see many complaints from the reviewers about Luo Binghe. The thing is, I myself am not really fond of Luo Binghe (ML), but when I see others criticizing him I feel like it's indirectly criticizing MXTX, which I feel annoyed about.

Like, you know, disregarding Binghe's flaws and unlikeable character, I think MXTX has successfully written a character suited to the identity he has. Luo Binghe is a Demon. A f*cking Demon in Genes, status, and identity.
Now, don't you know that actually Demonic Cultivators, most of them have... more>> the mentality of:
"If I can't have it, you can also stop dreaming to have it! Destroy!"
"If I like something, I will forcefully take them whether the person wants me or not!"
So, not to mention the mentality of a REAL DEMON! They must have a queer and unorthodox mindset.
Binghe's possessive, obsessive and manipulating personality is actually, very much in line with his identity as a f*cking REAL DEMON. See? Isn't MXTX actually is very successful in creating a character to be in line with their setting?

Secondly, many readers seem to be repulsed by Binghe's decision of sleeping with Shen Qingqiu (MC) 's corpse for 5 years. Like, okay, that's indeed morally disturbing. But, let me remind you again, what is Luo Binghe? He is a f*cking Demon! REAL DEMON! His morals and mindset can't be compared to our comfortable mindset nowadays! Especially, in a fantasy setting like SVSSS where resurrection is something Available, Being Dead or Alive, being a corpse or living human, all of them are just a MERE STATE. We should not use our common sense nowadays in the fantasy world setting, because the culture is different. And lastly, because Luo Binghe is a f*cking REAL DEMON. If anything, his action of preserving SQQ's corpse is very much in line with his identity as again, a f*cking REAL DEMON.

LOL
I can't believe how much I repeat the words of REAL DEMON, because Luo Binghe's identity as a demon is indeed something that makes all of his disturbing and unlikeable characteristics rise. While the actions might make us dislike him, it is also proof that MXTX is successful in portraying a character with the identity of a REAL DEMON.

Now, some people might immediately compare Luo Binghe to Hua Cheng from TGCF. Yes, I know, Hua Cheng is a Ghost King, that in some sense is also a Demon Lord. But Hua Cheng is a lot more lovable than Luo Binghe.
BUT! Did you guys forget a f*cking important factor here??? Hua Cheng is a f*cking THOUSAND YEARS OLD DEMON LORD!
What about Binghe? HE IS JUST A DAMN 20 SOMETHING BEANSPROUT DEMON!

Hua Cheng's maturity is a matter of fact.
While Luo Binghe's immaturity and Chuunibyou tendency are actually also in line with his status as a Beansprout Demon Lord.
Luo Binghe is like a 12-year-old boy equipped with a gun.
He owned a terrifying power level, but lacked in mentality and experiences, leading to the irresponsible action that he had done in SV.
See? MXTX is again, very successful in portraying a character who was given a dangerous power while still lacking in mentality and experience.
I don't like Binghe's Chuunibyou tendency, but I absolutely would hate it if people use to criticize MXTX, because, MXTX in fact has done her best in HONESTLY PORTRAYING A CHARACTER BASED ON THEIR IDENTITY AND STATUS, regardless of likes and dislikes.

In the end, though I actually am not really fond of the MC/ML romance dynamic, and even though Shen Yuan (Shen Qingqiu) is not in the category of those protagonists whom I admire and fascinate toward, I am sorry about that, BUT! I absolutely would hate it if people use it to criticize MXTX's creation in Luo Binghe and Shen Yuan (Shen Qingqiu) characters, because NOPE, the way MXTX wrote LBH and SY is very much in line with their identity, a REAL DEMON, and a Transmigrated Otaku. <<less
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NyxEclipse
NyxEclipse
Jun 14, 2017
Status: Completed
So I'll be careful to no spoil anything here at least.

Honestly? The MC and his student are a hilarious pair together. Sure things get a tad bit angsty in the future, but what's a story without some good old drama?

The system never fails to disappoint. I swear it's so troll about its point system and quests that I feel like slapping it sometimes. It's a good reminder that our MC is actually not from this world.

So read this for the humor, sassy characters and hopeless puppy love. Yes,... more>> there's plenty of that is this novel.

So without any further delay,

Spoiler

The romance of the MC and ML can be said to be built on misunderstandings. Although, that is not entirely the case. The ML appears to have fallen for the MC quite early on, but the MC only really decided to accept the ML quite late, somewhere around chapter 80 or so? At that point the MC proved his decision to stay with the ML through some... really painful sexy time...I winced inwardly at that part.

It was quite touching to see the ML's dedication towards the MC. (Dude hugged a corpse to sleep for 5 years wtf.) The earlier parts (before the system forced the MC to push the ML into the abyss) was this mutual happy daily life arc. Both parties were content with life as teacher and student. At this point, ML was a really devoted student and his fondness might not have crossed into love yet. Either that or he just hadn't realised his feelings yet.

Then came the 'I'm back from the abyss!' arc. It kind of threw the MC of guard since the ML came back faster than expected. But oh well, he went with it and tried to awkwardly avoid the ML as much as possible thinking that his student hated him for kicking him into the abyss. (As per the original story) The two kind of fell out because of this, so when MC was being framed for some crime ML failed to defend him, resulting in the MC being thrown into jail. After escaping with some help, the MC travels to a city and has a dream along the way. In the dream, he abruptly realises the cause for the strange the point gaining method thus far. This part was honestly gold. The rationalisation that the MC used to figure it out plus the ever so helpful kiss from the ML had me rolling on the ground in laughter for a good while.

Then MC fakes his death, leaving our little puppy devastated. Of course he returns after 5 years, but many thins have changed by then. This final arc helps to fill up some plot holes, introduce us to a deadpan father who says ridiculous things and give our side characters a little spotlight. The ending is a happy one despite all the hardships our MC and ML had to face. The troll system continues to troll, but at least it was kinda helpful towards the end. We are also treated to some extras including an interview where 'interesting' questions are asked about the MC and ML's relationship, as well as a an occasion where the original ML (the one from the harem stallion novel) and the puppy love ML are swapped. No, original ML didn't kill MC on the spot, but it was so damn funny how the MC realised that the ML was a different one. (Really? Your technique in bed is too good to be him?)

Come to think of it, a lot of the misunderstandings stemmed from the MC's initial over reliance on the original story's plot. Because of that, he kept misreading the ML, causing much suffering on both their parts. The MC also realises this near the end, thinking that if only he understood how the ML actually felt all this time, they could have avoided so much pain and suffering.

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I wish the translators all the best in translating this wonderful novel so that more can enjoy it! <<less
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Attica
Attica
Jun 17, 2018
Status: Completed
Reading the Scum Villain's Self-Saving System is a ticket onto a true rollercoaster of emotions: heartwarming fluff, depressing angst, and of course lots and lots of laugh-out-loud humor. Like any good parody, it simultaneously makes fun of common tropes while also triumphantly embracing those very same tropes.

1) Story

The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System is predominantly a parody of the infamous power/revenge/harem fantasy genre of books, nicknamed "Stallion novels". You know, the whole "OP Protagonist is tormented and abused as a child, then gains a sudden boost in magical power which he... more>> uses to exact merciless revenge on his old tormentors--while also amassing a giant harem of beautiful ladies."

In fact, the protagonist of Scum Villain is a reader who detests one such particularly poorly written Stallion novel (starring the male protagonist Luo Binghe (LBH)). This reader's hatred of the novel is so great that when he dies, he gets transmigrated into that very same story. Unfortunately, he happens to be given the role of Shen Qingqiu (SQQ) --the "scum villain who tormented the child protagonist and cast him into hell, and was later brutally tortured and murdered by the grown-up protagonist."

As you can expect, our main character, the newly reincarnated SQQ, is very eager not to get brutally tortured and murdered like the original SQQ was in canon. He also has all his knowledge of the original book's plot to help him survive (and poke fun at the cliches). Unfortunately, he cannot act freely. His transmigration comes with a "System" which forces him to act in character and maintain at least some of the canon storyline--including the crucial turning point where SQQ traitorously casts LBH into the equivalent of hell.

The result is a perfect recipe for both hilarity and angst (though mostly hilarity). The story is vaguely split into a fluffy beginning (where SQQ serves as a Tsundere teacher to the adorable teenager LBH) vs. a second half that's both humorous and sad (where SQQ navigates a complicated/uncertain relationship with the powered-up LBH who returned from hell).

On a more general level, Scum Villain's Self-Saving System creates a vibrant high fantasy setting while parodying it at the same time. The use of magic and demons follows the usual tropes, but having SQQ giving silent audience commentary makes everything feel fresh all over again. SQQ successfully fills in many of the original story's plot holes along the way :P

Overall, "Scum Villain's Self-Saving System", is a cohesive and beautifully written story that uses even the smallest of details. Of course it's not absolutely perfect. I'd say the 2nd half of the plot has quite a bit of angst resulting from miscommunication, and the pacing can sometimes move at a breakneck speed. However, I personally find these to contribute to the story's uniqueness, as opposed to detracting from it. (ex: The miscommunications in question actually made sense in-character. The story definitely does not drag.)

2) Characters

I think it's fair to say I love every single character in the Scum Villain's Self-Saving System. It's funny because the original novel's characters were almost entirely 1-Dimensional, but the world of SQQ's revised story truly feels alive.

First, let's look at our main character Shen Qingqiu. I find his character to be super interesting for a MC. He manages to put on a "calm, smooth, badass" appearance, but we as an audience can see his inner monologues where he is always secretly freaking the hell out, swearing at novel cliches, and smashing the fourth wall. SQQ is a rare protagonist who falls under the "stoic sagely mentor" character archetype but hilariously subverts it at the same time. (Makes you wonder what all the other stoic sagely mentor characters in other works of fiction were always thinking beneath the surface...)

On one hand, SQQ shows himself to be incredibly intelligent, driven, kind, wise, powerful, clear-headed, and easygoing. On the other hand, he has clear flaws that naturally stem from those very qualities! His stoicism successfully hides his inner freak-outs, but also prevents other characters from seeing his true thoughts/feelings. His biggest strength (using the plot of the original Stallion novel to his advantage) also becomes his biggest weakness (thinking the living people around him are still the stereotypical characters they were in the original novel). And yes, it is extremely fulfilling and satisfying when he realizes and overcomes those flaws <3

SQQ is probably the first Isekai protagonist I've ever loved, and I adore his character. (... legit the only thing keeping me from cosplaying him is how he doesn't have an official design yet)

Now onto the other main character--the male lead of the original novel, Luo Binghe. LBH is a really fun character, with two obvious faces: the "innocent hard-working lamb disciple with a maiden's glass heart", and the post-hell "ruthless overpowered genius demon lord out for revenge". But instead of how you'd expect these two faces to contradict each other, they actually co-exist perfectly!! Given the unique way these two sides interact with other characters, every scene with LBH is a joy to read. (Interestingly enough, he technically falls under the trope of Male Yandere. But when reading the novel I never once thought of him as a tropey character, simply because his thoughts and emotions were written so naturally.)

As you can tell, I love both main characters. But the supporting cast also has its share of wonderfully 3-Dimensional people, each with their own badass/touching/heartbreaking/funny moments. My favorite side characters are probably Liu Qingge and Yue Qingyuan. Liu Qingge is absolutely hilarious as the unfortunate straight man to the SQQ/LBH chaos, while Yue Qingyuan is the warm big brother figure with hidden depths.

There's not a single person I can truly hate in this story, even the original "scum villain" SQQ or the spoilery Big Bad. All in all, I honestly have absolutely no complaints about any of the characters. Oh wait, I guess I do have one complaint--I wish the story was longer so we could get more time with all the characters :P

3) Overall Enjoyment

This is of course entirely subjective. But from my personal perspective... reading the Scum Villain's Self-Saving System was the most fun I've had in a long while. It had the perfect blend between drama, fluff, and humor (which I find pretty impressive since the original author seemed like he had a fetish for tragic backstories LOL). It never takes itself too seriously and has a great time poking fun at high fantasy popcorn novels, but it's also not afraid to tell an earnest story that delves into realistic human emotions and situations.

[Miscellaneous Comments: Since the author of Scum Villain also wrote Mo Dao Zu Shi / Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, a comparison is inevitable. I do love both works, especially how each fulfills its own unique niche! I will say that on a subjective level, I find Scum Villain more enjoyable to read. Its humor and fluff is relaxing/easy to digest and pretty much everyone gets a happy ending, while MDZS sometimes ventures into depressing/horror/tragedy territory. Though that's just my personal preference for comedy/optimism showing :P

Also of note, the BL romance in Scum Villain's Self-Saving System is relatively downplayed. While the interaction/relationship between Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu forms the absolute core of the novel, it only become a reciprocated romance near the end. Poor Luo Binghe has most of the feelings, while SQQ is completely oblivious for over half the story. I definitely did not mind this though, and found it felt quite natural.] <<less
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Wisteria1
Wisteria1
Jun 04, 2020
Status: Completed
I finished this novel recently and I am going to give my honest, constructive thoughts. It left me feeling empty at the end, and feeling robbed. The novel prides itself as a gay romance, but the main relationship really does not show romantic interest throughout all ~80 chapters.
Spoiler

The MC SQQ never appears to be romantically interested in the ML Binghe in the main novel. In fact SQQ considers him like a son, and towards the end of the novel he stresses that even more. And before the very last chapter, still considers himself straight. Instead of romantic love there is a savior complex.

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The novel is heavily misogynistic with almost every trope I hate in Hollywood romances is used in this. The MC is constantly compared to as a woman, and is forcibly put into that "role." Whereas the ML acts as the "male" of the relationship. SQQ is constantly sacrificing everything like his friends, title, home life and own feelings to help the ML. The ML's baggage and man pain is thrown onto him. But does the ML ever appreciate it? Never. He is in a constant state of angsting and man pain, and takes it out on SQQ.

Spoiler

SQQ literally dies for him three times, but does this change LBH? No, instead he remains the exact same, complaining and whining. And in the end SQQ basically loses everything for this obsessed and insecure man. He only has the ML who still has the audacity to think that the MC doesn't love him and isn't doing anything to help him.

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I read a lot of hero/villain content and have very dark ships. But this relationship goes beyond unhealthy. The ML goes beyond the typical yandere limits. The ML is constantly obsessing over the MC throughout the whole novel. He stalks him, hunts him down and whines whenever SQQ so much as looks at someone else. And it's painted in a light where we're supposed to pity and coddle the ML.

Spoiler

Tw: r*pe. So in order to stop the ML from going mad, the MC lets the ML r*pe him. And it is the most graphic, disgusting r*pe I've read. SQQ is just suffering the whole time, but it's painted as a sacrifice in order for ML to be okay. It's romanticized, and don't even get me on all of the comments of that chapter of people explaining why SQQ needed to get r*ped. But it doesn't end there, the extras have more r*pe. I understand that this is BL, but the way it is romanticized in this novel is appalling.

[collapse]

The main relationship just feels as though the MC gave up from all the abuse suffered, and decided to give himself to the ML. The novel even acknowledges Stockholm's syndrome at one point. So if you expect fluffy romance, or go in thinking they're like how the fandom portrays them, you will be disappointed.

Outside of the main relationship, the novel feels as though there is never a break. You can never catch your breath, and the moment you think you can relax you are thrown into another big arc. The beginning of the novel starts amazing. It shows a lot of promise but when
Spoiler

the ML gets thrown into the abyss

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it goes downhill fast.

The characters do not feel consistent at times. The MC starts out the novel very smart and wise, but as the novel goes on he seems to get dumber and dumber. The ML after
Spoiler

the return from the abyss

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has the personality of a brick. And his personality remains stagnant. The girl characters seemed very interesting as well, but didn't get many moments to shine.

I gave two stars because the beginning started really good, and for the deep realm extra. That extra seemed to have developed the relationship more than the entirety of the novel.

I wish the main pair had more time alone with each other and actually communicated (God don't even get me on the painful miscommunication throughout the novel!) One simple talk would've drastically changed the relationship, but it doesn't happen. The relationship has no romance as it's base. Instead the foundation is only obsession and s*x. I had to read a bunch of fanfics and look at fluffy fanart to make me like the pair even slightly.

So if what I listed sounds up your alley, more power to you. But I suggest reading it not as a romance story, but rather as a cultivation story as a whole.
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desnichts
desnichts
Aug 07, 2019
Status: Completed
tl;dr: 2 stars for the side characters, 0 stars for the main couple. The summary is a good representation of what you're going to get, so if it sounded like something you might be interested in, go for it. If you want the same kind of funny, intriguing, and emotional world, but without the insane yandere male lead and the cliche "I transmigrated into the villain but why did it turn out like this?!?!?!" main character, go read Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation. Lan Wanji is infinitely a better love interest... more>> than Luo Binghe.

The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System is a great story. The world is a wonderful blend of funny, intriguing, and emotional. I mean, it's a novel about some poor modern dude transmigrating into the worst villain who has a horrific end, and has to somehow survive the plot. The main character's internal monologue is hilarious.

However, there's a major crux to this novel, and its the male lead himself. Yes, he's complex, unique, and brings to the table a greatly comedic dynamic. But he's also one of the most unlikable love interests I've ever seen, and chances are, you probably want to read this for the romantic potential. Fellas, if you aren't into an insane yandere for a male lead, do a hard pass on this, because that's exactly what the love interest is. He's not good male lead material, but the author wants you to think he is. In reality, he's just another psycho protagonist in another Chinese fantasy novel, which is neither compelling or cute for a romance.

The main character is hilarious, but there's nothing incredibly special about him. He's just your typical protagonist who got transmigrated into a very unfortunate set of circumstances and has to find a way to survive while internally screaming. In fact, I find him pretty useless because he touts all this stuff about why the original Shen Qingqiu is horrible, but honestly, he's pretty terrible too. Sure, the main character doesn't outright abuse the male lead like the original Shen Qingqiu did, but amazingly, the main character basically just raises the male lead into just as insane as the original Luo Binghe by essentially neglecting the male lead in other ways.

But I love the world this novel takes place in because the side characters are interesting and have so much potential. The original Shen Qingqiu and the original Luo Binghe are horrible people, but the difference between them and the male lead is that the author doesn't try to sell the original characters as good people. You know they're morally deficit from the very start. They don't get any excuses for their behavior. Unfortunately, they all get swept aside for the dream team of insane yandere waifu material and cool on the outside, screaming forever on the inside.

Spoiler

The original Shen Qingqiu is especially compelling because of his tragic backstory. He's a victim of the circumstances he was raised in, and a classic case of wrong place, wrong time. Honestly, I would have loved if the original Shen Qingqiu wasn't treated as some irredeemable villain and immediately offed to make way for the main character. It feels especially cheap when everyone just accepts that Shen Qingqiu magically became a better person overnight so we can just forget what the original Shen Qingqiu was like.

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2 stars for the side characters, 0 stars for the main couple. <<less
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Gav
Gav
May 15, 2017
Status: v1c4
Currently having fun reading this, the main character amuses me very much and the ability to comment on this is pretty much the entire reason I joined the forum in the first place.

I am very intrigued by the spoiler thread for this too. *___*
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solomaize
solomaize
May 22, 2017
Status: c8
Only 8 chapters in, but this story is lit! The releases are a little slow, but it is worth the wait.

The BL tag grab my interest, but the humor sealed it. So far I'm okay with the MC. He got transmigrated into this novel that he hates as one of the villain. He is tasked by an editor-like system to improve the novel while not breaking character. If he does something OOC, he gets penalised by the system.

Fearing for his life and limbs, he is trying his bumbling best to... more>> find loopholes in the system so he can avoid the bad ending (like really bad). Anyway, I can't wait for the story to progress more. Especially to see the relationship progress with the ML.

Translator is doing a great job, I love the footnotes, lengthy as it may be, so jiayou!! <<less
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BitterSweetTea
BitterSweetT
May 30, 2017
Status: v1c6
One of the best BL novels I've read in terms of comedy and plot progression. The MC is hilarious, the ML is such an adorable bun and the side characters are all vivid in their characterizations. I've kept rereading all of the six translated chapters and yet I couldn't get enough of them!
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Ritu
Ritu
May 22, 2017
Status: Completed
Complete and utter crack... The plot is something you might have seen before, the normal human hating the plot of a novel transmigrates into the the novel as villain. In most of the novels the MC strives to change himself and not be like the villain. Now the plot twist in this novel is that he is not allowed to act ooc. If he acts too much ooc then he can die. This plot twist has lead to many interesting situations. Very funny characters till now.

Edit. I admittedly dropped... more>> the novel in between because of slow updates but I picked it back up again and completed it in one go. It's such a gorgeous novel I am speechless.

Someone reviews saying they were confused that the MC forgot his goal of going back to original world ? And no that was not his goal at all. His original body is dead hence is why he is trying so hard to survive here. <<less
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nyerus
nyerus
Apr 22, 2020
Status: Completed
First things first, I wanted to give this a 4.5 but alas, NU doesn’t let me do that. ;__; So we’ll just roll with the 4, though Scum Villain deserves better!

SV is a parody of popular male-oriented harem novels. It’s also a commentary on the nature of commercial fiction which criticizes both authors and readers alike. This is what sets it apart from a lot of novels with a similar premise. It also asks the reader to be willing and able to read between the lines and pick up on... more>> subtleties that are not blatantly explained. But it rewards you for the effort by delivering an unconventionally satisfying story and relationship like nothing you’ve read before.

As for the plot in a nutshell: Shen Yuan (MC) transmigrates into the novel Proud Immortal Demon Way. Once a fan, he hated the unsatisfying ending. Shortly after finishing it, he dies suddenly and is transmigrated into the work by the unexplainable “System, ” which binds him to the role of the titular scum villain: Shen Qingqiu. The original was an abusive master to his disciple Luo Binghe (ML), who eventually blackened, and came back for revenge. This new Shen Qingqiu resolves to simply not be abusive, and is instead a compassionate shizun to Luo Binghe. Naturally, Luo Binghe takes a shine to him. Even after a series of misfortunes and misunderstandings, a half-blackened Luo Binghe still wants the praise and acceptance of his shizun—and maybe something more.

Shen Qingqiu is a brilliant main character for this type of narrative. What he says is equally as important as what he doesn’t say. He’s an unreliable narrator, and not only serves as our witty and clever guide to the world, but our lens into the psyche of a fan turned critic. But given the power to change a one-dimensional story, he does. He turns it from a generic yet over-the-top male wish fulfilment fantasy into a living, breathing world with characters who are complex and multi-faceted. In turn, he stops looking at the world like he’s a player in a game, and instead like his home. The characters aren’t just characters, they’re people. Much like in our world, everyone has a story. From the supposedly one-dimensional original scum villain to, to the equally one-dimensional protagonist of PIDW.

Which brings me to the said “protagonist, ” aka the love interest, Luo Binghe. He’s an atypical love interest for sure. On the surface, he’s easy to write off as obsessive or downright yandere, but the point that the novel makes is that he isn’t. What he wants more than anything, is answers to why things had to go the way they did. He only wants to be accepted for who he is—demon and all—by Shen Qingqiu, who is the one person that Luo Binghe believes genuinely loved him. He wants, at least just once, for Shen Qingqiu to choose him. At the same time, Luo Binghe is wickedly clever—willing to play crybaby in order to get what he really wants, which is generally kisses and praise from his shizun. And while Shen Qingqiu pretends to be exasperated by this, truth is that he’s hopelessly charmed (and he’s just a big tsundere) ~

Along the way, Shen Qingqiu realizes that he has genuine feelings for Luo Binghe. They have a lot of miscommunication between them, for sure, but it’s all believable. Shen Qingqiu is acting on prior knowledge of the original book, making assumptions that Luo Binghe is out to kill him, and acting out of sheer self-preservation. But this prior knowledge serves to be less of a superpower, and more of his weakness. Eventually, he realizes that while avoiding the grievous sins of the original Shen Qingqiu, he also has made many mistakes and deeply hurt Luo Binghe himself--just in a different way. It’s not until Shen Qingqiu puts aside his preconceived notions and listens to Luo Binghe, and seeks to make up for that, that they are able to move forward together.

And furthermore, that’s when things really start to become apparent. Gone is the nonsensical wish-fulfilment plot, replaced by a fleshed-out world filled with complicated characters, because humans (and their relationships with each other) are complicated. Nothing is the same as it was—it’s different, it’s better. And in the process, Shen Qingqiu realizes he’s made the story into something much more aligned with something he would have liked to read all along. Better yet, it’s a story that the original author would have wanted to write, but had been afraid and unable to due to pressure to sell copies. Now free from those constraints, the world is something more satisfying, yet messy and complex—because that’s just reality. And the best fiction has always been a reflection of reality.

Scum VillIan is absolutely worth a read, and it ended up exceeding all my expectations. From Shen Qingqiu’s hilarious inner monologue and constant memes, to the heart-wrenching pleads of Luo Binghe, you’ll be entertained for sure. Watching the two of them understand their shortcomings, and witnessing them grow from their mistakes is deeply satisfying. The only reason I couldn’t give it a perfect 5/5 was because there are some plot holes left unresolved, and the pacing is a little inconsistent at times. But as I said in the beginning, it really is more of a 4.5 than anything. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. <<less
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srrrahim
srrrahim
Dec 13, 2017
Status: Completed
I am not a fan of BL stories, but this one looks interesting

AND IT IS. I am totally hooked (I even went as far as reading raw using MTL that gives me brain cancer, but I don`t regret it (●≧ω≦) 9)

The system love to troll the MC, and the plot is really good. The comedy is the one that cheer me up to keep reading it. And the romance and misunderstanding give me shivers

... more>>
Spoiler

The ML hug The MC dead body for 5 years. Creepy!. I am not a fan of Yandere, but The ML puppy love towards The MC really cute and I can`t really hate him. I love him even more ƪ (♥ﻬ♥) ʃ

The Original Shen Qingqiu has a really sad past *damn ninjas cutting onions! (ಥ﹏ಥ)


I cry a bucket of tears when I thought his elder brother had died. The original Shen Qingqiu thought that his elder brother is abondoning him, but he didn`t. And because of that, his elder brother is so loyal towards him (I won`t spoiler who he is, but you can totally guess it ?)
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Just read it. You won`t regret ?? <<less
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Chelsea-__-
Chelsea-__-
Oct 11, 2019
Status: c70
The comment made by 'idlehands' previously has worded my thoughts out exactly but in addition.

... more>>
Spoiler

Initially, when I started reading I was smitten by the ML and the MC's interaction. Until the first time, Binghe choked the MC and had him drink his blood. I wasn't okay after that part.

[collapse]

I read a lot of comments under the novel sympathizing with Binghe and calling the MC dense, blaming him for how Binghe grew up to be.

In defense of Shen Yuan, he was merrily playing his part as the antagonist, I admit dense is an understatement but it's realistic that he went about with the plot and didn't just come to the conclusion that Binghe may have obsessive feelings for him, considering he claimed to be straight.

As for Binghe, he's not okay. He is this emotionally immature kid with a traumatic childhood that grew up to overly obsess over his teacher who showered a little affection towards him. That, mind you is not okay.

Spoiler

As I proceeded to read in hopes that maybe something would change my mind over this toxic relationship it grew worse. For someone who's a crybaby, he sure does play with Shen Yuan pretending like he didn't know he was in his dream. Getting the MC to sympathize with him. I despise such emotional manipulation.

Further, the ML proceeded to kiss the MC without consent, and can we just talk about the r*pe. I've also read so many comments stating how it's not r*pe. As for that, please educate yourself on what's r*pe and what isn't, forcing yourself on someone and getting their clothes off and so on. I stopped after chapter 70. I can't comment on the other smut scenes because I haven't read them but judging from other's comment I can safely assume it wasn't anything like 'making love'.

[collapse]
I just want to say that this isn't love. You don't abuse the people you love just because you're angry, using childhood trauma to explain your actions isn't justified, for all I can say is that Binghe is extremely immature. I would prefer him receiving mental health treatment and sorting himself out instead of getting into a relationship with Shen Yuan. This being one of the most toxic, unhealthy and inconsiderate relationships I have ever read about.

Before reading this book I indulged myself into looking at the pair's fan art and videos and I was so much in love with them but after reading how this grew to be like, I was so heartbroken because I cannot get myself to normalize, romanticize or ignore such toxic behavior and pretend that the MC and ML have a loving flowery bond.

I was aware that there was going to be angst but such overly unnecessary angst.

Two stars for the translation, young Luo Binghe, and the effort put into this novel. <<less
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TheLadyWhoLikesBoyLove
TheLadyWhoLi
Sep 29, 2018
Status: Completed
This bl actually has a plot and doesn't immediately go PA PA PA (S*x) it started out mild and then it's actually good because the ML is not blindly in love in middle part because of some misunderstanding.

bit*h this is good so you better read it that's all thank u
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rakuu-en
rakuu-en
Sep 24, 2018
Status: Completed
I loved this so much after devouring all the English translated chapters available I braved the rest of it with my banana chinese. AND I FINISHED IT.

This novel. Is hilarious. Plotwise it is fairly intriguing by itself, if a bit simple; it doesn't compare to the hair-raising plot twists in Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, for example (yes, comparison is inevitable, I suppose), but neither is it glaringly cringey or gaping with loopholes, and it does its job of moving the story and the relationship between the two main characters along.

THE... more>> CHARACTERS. SQQ continually breaks barriers in breaking the fourth wall. The way he does so is just REVOLUTIONARY. He scathingly deconstructs the harem novel cliches of the original book. He scathingly deconstructs the new BL cliches that he is CURRENTLY LIVING OUT. Every time he encounters a character that fits your typical harem wuxia novel role, he scathingly deconstructs every single one. Hell, he doesn't spare HIMSELF when it comes to his immense skepticism. Whatever cliche scenario he's about to land himself into next, you can bet your bottom dollar he's ready to say something hilarious yet scarily incisive about it. I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this book, and thinking back on some of the scenes still makes me smile uncontrollably. LBH just... subverts all the normal cliches associated with the protagonists of such novels, by attracting an alarmingly dwindling number of girls (as commented on by SQQ), by being attracted to approximately none of them, and being a complete failure in building a harem (as commented on by SQQ), and by being, in essence, a Crybaby with a glass heart who hangs on to SQQ's every word (as commented on by SQQ. a lot. SQQ is savage in this novel, and we love him all the more for it.)

Is the romance in this novel ideal? No. SQQ spends a good bit of it being oblivious, which is hilarious, but I didn't really see how his initial horror at discovering LBH's true feelings morphed into genuine affection, when all LBH did was
Spoiler

kiss him several times against his will, lock him in a house against his will, and apparently sleep (or more?!) with his corpse for the 5 years he was presumed dead..... against his will

[collapse]

That being said, the two have their cute moments and I did find myself rooting for these two deeply flawed characters in the end. I'm also glad the novel maintained its hilarity from start to finish- I would read this just for the laughs alone. If you're in need of some laughter in your life, this really is the book for you. <<less
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Jass
Jass
Feb 17, 2018
Status: --
I'd say this is one of the few romance BL novels that is fluffy and comedic enough to have male readers find some charm in this novel. Mainly because this sh*t is not just a romance, but also a gigantic parody of xuanhuan harem novels. Plus it's under 100 chapters which means they won't play out this comedy too much to get stale, and the fillers are practically non-existent as well.

In addition, the protagonist and male lead have something that I believe makes it stand out from the other chinese... more>> BL I've read - the subversion of the "seme/uke" or "gong/shou" trope. The MC is a man, and he makes it clear he's a man. He's not feminized or emotionally weakened with his developing romance with the male lead and keeps a firm grasp on his choices and freedom, condemning and portraying the ML's insane and obsessive actions when he attempts to obtain the MC's affection. This results in a much more balanced relationship dynamic between the ML and the MC. Much better than other BL that I've read.

The romance is light hearted and built up on a hilarious amount of misunderstandings. Yes, there is a s*x scene, but it doesn't come until the very last chapter. You can just probably just skip it with the extras if you don't want any smut.

For a majority of the time the novel barely takes itself too seriously, and while it does become a lil dark, it still retains the comedy as you read on.

ML + MC pairing is very cute and believable as well, you can see how the MC starts to develop feelings for the ML. <<less
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idlehands
idlehands
Sep 16, 2019
Status: Completed
Oh god, how do I start with this one... you can probably guess that I'm not a fan of this novel, not only due to my personal taste, but because there is so much wrong with it, yet it seems to be a Danmei fan favourite.

Please bear with me.

The story isn't unique, it's your typical "villain transmigration" story that tries to be funny, I read quite a few of those and in comparison, this one is rather mediocre, both the setting and execution – some did it better and some... more>> worse.

I didn't notice any inconsistencies, just some not quite smoothly done changes in the stories logic.

Spoiler

The OOC mechanic is wonky, there is no real explanation why it's acceptable to act completely different from the original character, the switch is very sudden, he just needs to reach a certain point in the story before being given complete independence. There was no transition, he goes from in character to out of character in one sentence, for me it seemed like lazy writing, the author either didn't know how to make it smoother, maybe didn't think it through enough, or simply didn't care.

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Apart from this, the core execution was fine.

Next point, the characters. Although I wasn't a big fan of the MC, he wasn't too annoying, his personality was rather consistent throughout the story, the author tried to make him likeable and some readers might think he is, for me he's very generic, overall there's nothing objectively wrong with him, although the characterisation isn't remarkable, he wasn't too one-dimensional.

Side characters are all forgettable, apart from one or two, I didn't even remember their names due to a lack of personality and significance, they were all reduced to one stereotype/characteristic, felt flat and unreal. When used right this can add to the comedic value, sadly it didn't, it was strangely out of place or had no impact at all, the characters just seem badly crafted.

The love interest, Luo Binghe... to be honest, borders on being absolutely insane to the point that he should be locked away for everyone's safety. He isn't a good ML, not even a good character, the display of his characteristics is unbalanced, switches constantly, sometimes out of the blue, to me it felt like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde without the nuances, they were used as a shallow plot device without sense or reason. Granted, he is a "Yandere", even for that he was just plain bad, not the type of violent romantically obsessed person, but crazy with no substance.

Spoiler

I'm not a fan of "this character turned evil because of abuse", it's the most uninspired and laziest way to justify their actions, there is no depth to it, combined with him deciding that the abuse he faced was for his own good, a sign of love, before switching to absolute hate in the next moment, shows a lack of psychological understanding, which could have been prevented by reading basic information that you can find online in 5 minutes. An adult's or young adult's psyche doesn't work like this, it could have been used, questionably but could have, if he was a child – but he isn't. As soon as an author includes aspects of psychology, they should make sure that what they portray is realistic, especially when it's so easy to research. This might be a minor thing for some readers, for me it's negligence.

[collapse]

Romance. I feel reluctant to call it that, it's downright disturbing and has nothing to do with love, I'm shocked that it was treated like it's normal even after the MC kind of acknowledged that some aspects are immensely messed up – they were swept under a rug and never brought up again.

Spoiler

This brings me back to Luo Binghe, he doesn't love Shen Qingqiu, he's obsessed with him, going so far as to sleep with his corpse. Yes, he sleeps with his corpse even weeks after he died.

[collapse]

I read a lot of questionable stories, I could accept even this kind of "questionable" if handled in the right way, sadly it wasn't. The MC was shocked for a moment, then never really thought about it again, neither did other characters, it's not only in poor taste but crosses a line that should never be crossed; an obsession of this magnitude is nowhere near love, it's madness. The s*x isn't better, the first time was so bloody that the MC could have died from injuries, it was totally forgotten after a simple apology, they even had s*x again later in the story.

I've seen people who justify this with "it's dark comedy", to which I have to say – no it isn't. There are rules for comedy, rules for black and dark jokes, if there's nothing they make fun of, then it doesn't qualify as a joke. I wouldn't be so hard on the Yandere-type of love if the author would have handled it like most do, with a clear distinction between this and real romance, the problem is, this author didn't. She herself categorised it as romance, therefore it's not part of the comedy aspects (not like that would have been better, like I already said, it doesn't qualify as a joke).

"Yandere" is not the problem, the term is used for a wide spectrum of overly obsessive/possessive characters in love, violent and insane Yandere combined with "romance" is the problem.

I want to compare this to a well-known work, "Killing Stalking", that features a Yandere – the artist stated several times that her work isn't a romance but a thriller. If Mò Xiāng Tóngxiù had done the same, then I could have spared myself the hassle to write about this in length.

Now that we have come this far, I personally wouldn't recommend this to anyone, simply because I think it's one of the worst Danmei I read and doesn't deserve even one star, but, for the sake of objectivity, I'll give you some points that might appeal to you.

It's an easy read with little substance, good to wind down after work or on a bad day, whenever your brain needs to rest and all you want is to kill some time.

Apart from one or two instances, nothing really bad happens, violence is minor, no one dies, the story has a happy end.

Comedy is very subjective, the type used here isn't specific to China or Asian, it seemed quite American-TV-show like, not complex or political, it's not for me but I can see that a good portion of people might like it.

So, my final verdict, two stars because it was the authors first work, I don't expect a newcomer to write a masterpiece, and looking at her recent works, it's clear that she greatly improved, I would feel bad if I judge someone who needed to get the hang of it too harshly. <<less
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airynn
airynn
Jun 28, 2020
Status: Completed
Synopsis: The MC hates this crappy harem stallion novel so much that he transmigrates into the body of the novel's main antagonist. Attempts to appease the ML to avoid the OG villains tragic death at the hands of the ML ensues~ Sound interesting, yeah, unfortunately the main pairing invokes zero chemistry and is extremely unhealthy which torpedoes the overall enjoyment of the story.

MC: the saving grace that helped me finish the novel along with my unfounded hope that the main pair would develop some chemistry... Maintains a cool outer appearance... more>> but is constantly fighting with the troll system internally while wanting to pet the ML's head so he doesn't end up dying a painful death. Acts as comedic relief and sadly makes a lot of illogical decisions under the prompting of the system. A huge gripe is that he views everything like he's an outsider to a set storyline and never gets attached to any of the characters, even the ML aside from trying to stay alive. He mainly makes observations and doesn't sympathize with anyone, including the OG SQQ, treating everyone like a cannonfodder NPC.

Spoiler

Still sad Yue Qingyuan's storyline had 0 development even after the reveal of a truly compelling backstory between YQ and SQQ. Post-reveal SQQ was just all, don't talk to me, I ain't him anymore. Such wasted potential. #JusticeforYQ

[collapse]
ML: the disciple of the MC who due to being treated "poorly" by the MC turns into a blackened protagonist. Honestly, though he starts off as a lotus like character and then blackens he somehow still manages to come off as extremely one-dimensional. Has many moments of being aggravating (ie. "why don't you notice me senpai, I totally don't believe in your love for me though you keep jumping in front of harms way to protect me" scenarios). Do you see what I mean about aggravating...

Spoiler

MC literally dies for or directly because of the ML 3 times. Can I slap the ML with my slipper?? Oh wait, I can't because he's the golden protag *eye roll*.

[collapse]

Pairing: Extreme Dubious Consent. The MC permits his relationship with the ML because he's the golden protagonist and cannot be refused. MC never shows any signs of attraction towards the ML in all 81 chapters and only has moments of doting on him like a shifu. The s*x scene was extremely dubious and painful for me (and the MC :' () to read. It wasn't even written in a sexy forceful way but instead in an, "omg he's semi-conscious" way. Seems like no one gets any good s*x sans blood in this novel...

Spoiler

The MC literally only had s*x with the ML since there was no other way to calm the ML's anger/crazed state and prevent him from self destructing and destroying the sects...

[collapse]

The MC continuously makes concessions to the ML for the sake of the system and his LIFE in case the ML gets any urges to kill him. ML takes his affection and grows a really bizarre obsessive love over MC

Spoiler

ML forces MC to drink his demon blood (TWICE, even when revived into a new body MC can't escape the cray) so he can inflict pain on him whenever the MC disagrees with him. ML even cuddles with the MC's corpse (!!) body-pillow style when MC "dies". And somehow when MC sees this, the next minute he's just like, "oh he's suffered a lot". Like bro, RUN. The creep factor has exceeded 100.

[collapse]
I know that this novel has many fans that flowed through from fans of FOD. I had high hopes and I honestly love the setting and side storylines have alot of potential but the ML... It hit the point of painful to read after the blackening of the ML and though I continued for the setting and humorous troll system I ended up wondering why I wasted my time at the end of the novel. But no need to take my word for it, go forth and see if the hype was worth it in your eyes. Edit TL;DR: BTW the translation quality was A+, the relationship not so much. <<less
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Hilyantomi
Hilyantomi
Aug 10, 2019
Status: Completed
First of all, please consider reading the review of an username "desnichts" first.

All the 5* reviews and lower rating reviews show a very contradictory view of readers. The 5* mentioned the bright side of the story which is delightful enough for a bedtime story, while the other lower rating went deeper into the core and mostly complained either about illogical or weak development of the characters, the disgust of ML's "period" :D and the unfairness for having replaced the original cannon fodder with someone that in the end, still makes... more>> the ML into a sick psycho :/, in another way :// (The yandere tag is true, please read the extras)

This is my only critic: I find the 5* to be exaggerated, the lower raters to not be tolerated enough.

The author's first and second works are obviously a comedy fish in a sea of tragedy, perfectly contrast with her recent last work "The Heaven's Official Blessing" which is a Pacific ocean of tragedy, so it is very normal to have such two different impressions to the readers.

The novel's plot itself is nothing special but the author has never been known for her plot.

P.S @desnichts nothing offended but I don't really agree when you mention that Lan Wanji is a better love interest than Luo Binghe. They are different in characters, the way how they were raised is also different and how they asked for love is obviously different. <<less
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maramel
maramel
Jun 06, 2019
Status: Completed
Responding to the review below: "Secondly wasn´t MC´s goal to go home to his world? Seems like he just kinda forgot about it in the end and rode into sunset with his boy...." Son, did you forget? Did you even read the novel? (Hell, you don't even remember the reason why he kicked Binghe down?? The system was screaming for him to do it or else he'd lose system points = a death sentence for SQQ)

... more>>
Spoiler

MC has stated again and again: he can't go back to his original world because his original body is dead. That's why he was panicking in one of the chapters where he was about to get sent back to his original world after failing a task. Instead, he exchanged his points and opted for a punishment aka getting transported into the original Luo Binghe's universe and having his limbs cut off.

[collapse]

I've always been a fan of novels where romance isn't the main focus. Scum Villain's Self-Saving System is about an avid anti reader getting transmigrated into a villain role of a famous stallion novel. Somewhere along the way, he unknowingly managed to capture the heart of the supposedly blackened protagonist who was destined to have over 1000 wives. The running gag is that Shen Qingqiu is one dense mofo thinking that Luo Binghe is still the book's stallion novel MC but in reality, he's a crybaby maiden who really loves his shizun.

The author did a good job of balancing the comedy and the drama. At times I'd laugh real hard over Shen Qingqiu's deadpan humor and the side quips coming from the system, other times I'm nearly in tears because of the heartbreaking exchange between Luo Binghe and his shizun. This is my first MXTX novel-- I'm debating if I should read the best of the three for last (mo dao zu shi) but rest assured, I'm gonna check all of their other works out after I'm finished reading the remaining extras of this story. <<less
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agathe
agathe
Apr 14, 2020
Status: Completed
if I had to sum that up, i’d say this book is to Chinese fantasy novel what « scream« is to horror movies
Scream takes the rule of a crappy movie genre, to make the same movie

this book does the same, except the stallion novel will become bl - but the plot holes, the abnormal behaviors, lack of any kind described as the flaws of the original novels, are no better in the new one.

So yes, the character will fill the bad parts of the novel he read... but that... more>> will never makes up for all what is lacking in the story I’m reading

for a starter, it was a bit interesting that the MC was not the only transmigrated person : but -plot hole - the interactions with that other character - are next to none, and instead of adding to the plot, it’s mostly noise (filler - it brings nothing)
Spoiler

The other one being the writer of the universe, you had quite some possibilities for nice interactions - but no, the MC is self centered and so is the plot

[collapse]

theres a lot of filler text, whith monologues that are somewhat repetitive, and you’d expect that a live person would forget more about the book, as years go on, because his life and interactions are what his reality has became : it’ our transmigrated character lives with an abuse child for years, but still can’t realize that he’s a person, and keep rejecting him for the sake of a very bad plot, from his own description - it’s bad but he still abide, not caring one bit about the hurt he gives. His own behavior barely make sense -

when it comes to the ml, it’s even worse, the more quircky and bizarre he gets, the less the whole things make sense. Gone the hero, welcome the psycho, a not the worse version, but, it simply is unbelievable

the relationship between the characters is the worse - all along - because the MC is living in a world of dream (book), his behavior is selfserving and his sincerity always a question -

in the end, he’s also absolutely straight - not just a little bit, and he’s never « in love » with the ml
the world is a bit absurd as promised, (cultivators are strong and weak) but at least the original story had a stallion as promised - now that’s supposedly a BL : but where is the love ?

Spoiler

the lover relationship between the two starts as the obsession of one and the self sacrifice that can also be read as repayment for his hypocritical care.

it feels like pity and duty, not love

The ML has to totally break down and go crazy for the MC to realize how much his half assed everything did hurt the abused boy he pitied so much -

the former hero ends up being a « cry baby with a maiden heart » (sexism please) begging for the attention of the indifferent spectator that his master is : he’s really desperately pitiful, even if when it works !

the intimacy is the worse - it start with consensual r*pe (seriously gruesome !) and goes to enduring the appetite of the other - with pain and no satisfaction - both are described as physically incompatible (!!! Why bother writing about that !)

the « maiden with a heart of glass » has a huge member that is « too big for the small butt of the MC » (who doesn’t in these novels), but despite offering the very straight MC to reverse (yes !) position, it’s a no - (why ??!)

they are immortal cultivators, but s*x is too exhausting and it’s damaging the body (yes go rocket launcher !)

so there you go for the ridiculous and pompous abuse of imaginary « gay » couple, where one his husband, the over is « wife » that of course hate or endure s*x for the sake of the other...

« bored double M » should have been the title Of this book

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<<less
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vinzha
vinzha
Feb 12, 2019
Status: 61
So after reading Mo Dao Zu Shi (The Founder of Diabolism), I decided to read all of the author's novels (thankfully only three thus far). Naturally I decided to read the first one.

Straight away, the plot to this story is very concise and simple. The novel doesn't make the readers jump through hoops to understand what is happening, and I think it's simplicity is well done. Even while transmigration between the modern and historical/fantasy worlds isn't my favorite genre, this one was written decently Partially due to the System. Basically,... more>> similarly to a game system, the System acts as an actual program that gives hints and keeps track of Shen Qingqiu's progress. I think it is implemented into the story fairly smoothly (it honestly could have been disastrous, but in this case it worked wonderfully in my opinion), as it suspends belief and acts as a comedic device for the majority of the story. I would consider the System to be the tutorial/first enemy as well as a recurring enemy/wingman. The places where the System is used is generally well-placed too. The system itself extends Shen Qingqiu's internal thoughts and original personality, and I find it's difficult nature and troll-ness to be better than boring and cheesy while also not stepping over the line into genuinely annoying and frustrating. Well done overall, even if it's not my favorite genre device. I WILL SAY that the plot was a little too simple for me, but I don't think the point of the novel was to become the new Sherlock Holmes. Just that maybe the resolution should have had some more time to reach its peak then settle.

Main characters time: Shen Qingqiu's external and internal reactions are also pretty funny, and he himself is a well-written and interesting main character who has understandable weaknesses but is definitely not weak. Especially in personality, which is extremely important. He's a very good narrator, both to keep the novel light and interesting, but also... he has an actual brain. And his thoughts are actually intelligent and diverse. The original scum villain Qingqiu's backstory is also utilized, which keeps both Qingqiu and the readers on their toes. I would say this story is more lighthearted most of the time due to Qingqiu's near omnipotent understanding on the original's Luo Binghe's life (though that comes at a price) and his lack of strong attachment (that also comes at a price).

Spoiler

From the beginning, one of the biggest themes in this story is Qingqiu's inability to understand that Binghe is different from the original novel's. Even after creating a more positive relationship with him in hopes of saving his own skin, Qingqiu still thinks of Binghe as the original, with the original's tastes, eventual personality, etc. This is the root of basically all of their misunderstandings.

This can be seen early on through how he observed the original novel's members of Binghe's harem even when Binghe and the plot has deviated from that already. I would say that Qingqiu is at least somewhat able to see Binghe as slightly different from the original novel's when he was still a young untainted sheep, though as Binghe pointed out later in the Huan Hua, nothing he does personally after falling into the Abyss could make Qingqiu change his mind, because at that point, he already saw Binghe as the carbon copy of the original. I personally don't believe this started after the Abyss, but rather right at the moment before he pushes Binghe in. Even though the System forces Qingqiu to do it with the threat of his own life (20, 000 points overkill), the fact is that as Binghe pleaded him to listen, Qingqiu was looking into the future and not at the present Binghe.

Sure, Qingqiu could have probably handled it differently. It's possible he could have told Binghe that he is in danger now with his demonic blood released, and if he wants to be able to get more powerful and control it while also staying out trouble from the human world, he must go down the Abyss. But I doubt those ideas even crossed his mind. Qingqiu was already thinking too far ahead, with a concrete idea of who Binghe should be already in his head. Qingqiu even said it himself, that he never really considered himself as part of the story, but rather an outsider looking in. Even when he grew attached, he never truly differentiated novel verse and his verse.

This isn't necessarily criticism, as I'm just stating that these are all the reasons why Qingqiu acts the way he does, and it's part of the story inherently. And I personally cannot fault Qingqiu for it entirely. After all, to him, all of this was just a novel, all of these characters are part of that novel, and all he wanted to do from the beginning was to survive. To him, it was all inevitable. A flaw perhaps, in his character. But that's a pretty understandable flaw.

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Binghe, I like a lot character wise. He is a neat and refreshing subversion of the generic "macho dom masculine over-powered" male lead. He's clingy, sweet, a crybaby, likes doing the chores, a masochist with a praise kink. Even after the many tragedies that befall him, he retains a good deal of what he was when he was younger. Becoming the black lotus doesn't make him completely lose what makes him sheep Binghe, even when he does start committing crimes and fulfilling his demon lord role.

Spoiler

Especially after Qingqiu died which... uh, yeah. Pretty much expected.

One part of the story not to my tastes was the non-con scene, which was non/dub-con for both characters essentially. Warning, it's at chapter 80. Context is that Mo Xin (Binghe's sword) starts to muddle his mind and that happens. However, Binghe stopped in the process and started crying when he realized Qingqiu was in pain which caused the latter to go "... why are YOU crying??? Why am I, the victim, now comforting the assaulter???"

It made sense, or at least had some relevance to the plot/story (Binghe's sword is a bit of a beep) but yeah. Still might be triggering to some so warning right here.

I do wonder why non/dub-con is such a popular thing in the bl community is. I see it in yaoi manga, in c-novels, in webtoons. Wonder why it has become the norm almost? History and society influence? Especially in the Eastern hemisphere. Like, its almost celebrated to an extent, or just very common.

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Side characters as well are fairly well done, though they aren't necessarily my favorites. I think there are many interesting relationships in here, though I'm not as attached to them as some other novels I have read before. The minor characters were a bit flat and not really fleshed out, but with the simplistic style, it's not too glaring.

I would say comparatively to Mo Dao Zu Shi, I do like the latter more personally. I liked the plot, main pairing, and characters more than in this novel. But the novels are in different worlds, both in verse and in terms of style. People who like one may not like the other. I will say I do like them both, however, even if not equally. They have different charms and dynamics, and both can be appreciated separately on a subjective level.

4.0/5.0 <<less
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