Among isekai and other fantasy titles essentially adapted from light novels, a pattern comes up more and more frequently, to the point of also being used regularly in webtoons: The role of the villain, set up as the protagonist of a story. Very fond of reincarnation series at the heart of medieval-fantasy universes, Meian editions have recently been surfing on this current, with the 7th Time Loop series.
Originally, the story is a light novel written by Tôko Amekawa and illustrated by Hachibi Wan since 2020, with four volumes having currently been published in Japan. Today, it is common for these publications to be quickly thought up for cross-media exploitation, so it was the same year that an ate adaptation was launched in the pages of the magazine Comic Gardo from the publisher Overlap, which publishes also the novel. Currently having three opuses in its country of origin, this version is drawn by Hinoki Kino, a mangaka who turned professional in the 2010s after having learned many erotic dôjinshi from the manga Katekyô Hitman Reborn!. A mangaka whom we get to know with this series, and who quickly has something to delight with the elegance of her line.
Rishe Irmgard Weitzner, daughter of a Duke, is the victim of a singular curse: At her 20th birthday, a few years after being disavowed by a young prince, the young woman is condemned to die, before coming back to life at the time of the death. cancellation of her engagement. Each time, Rishe led a different life, from itinerant merchant to warrior through the profession of apothecary, and was able to garner a lot of knowledge about the world around her. But this time, aware of the reincarnation that awaits him, Rishe has a goal: To bask! Except that things don’t go as planned when, during her attempt to run away after the rejection of her “fiancé”, her hand is again requested by Arnold, crown prince of the Galkhein empire. However, in his previous life, the latter was none other than the murderer of Rishe, but also an emperor eager for conquest. How could this boy, so upright, fall over? Once again, the new life of the young woman will be different, and it will be very difficult for her to bask in such a situation…
With this pitch, Tôko Amekawa revisits the concept of the heroine as a villain, in a fantasy universe. But is Rishe really a villain? Not really, the subtitle of the series being quite misleading about it. The bad role of the protagonist is only due to the condition of her annulled marriage, being the initial pretext to launch the whole intrigue. If his behavior does not seem all white, he is only slightly the subject of the scenario itself… Unless the series plans to come back to this point later?
In the meantime, 7th Time Loop has a lot to deal with, as this first volume is teeming with interesting ideas, starting with the story itself. For his new incarnation, Rishe no longer dreams of adventure, but just of enjoying the tranquility of doing nothing. But because showing the life of the young lady without any particular adventures would be of little interest, many aspects of her seventh existence spice things up, starting with her temperament: Because Rishe has acquired a lot of knowledge and skills in her lifetimes, she is capable of just about anything and everything, from preparing remedies to fighting against a seasoned warrior. The field of possibilities is therefore open for the main character who, if he could suffer from marriage syndrome in the long term, is here very well maintained. The young woman lacks neither charisma nor character, and finds a just measure with the presence of Prince Arnold, a character who takes on certain points of enigma. How can this ruthless conqueror in Rishe’s previous lives be a noble gentleman, in this new existence? By this simple question, the story raises some questions, which we necessarily expect answers in the future.
In the meantime, the whole presents itself as a romantic comedy which owes a good part of its interest to the alchemy between the heroine and Arnold, her new fiancé. Despite Rishe’s distrust of him at the start, the whole relationship that develops turns out to be successful, pleasant, piqued, each coming to tease the other, especially the young lady who likes to take her new future husband by surprise when he least expects it. The title is enriched with many notes of humor, effective in this concept, and even when this first volume presents some more nuanced aspects, such as the difficulty the heroine will have in imposing herself in front of an aristocracy who does not consider her only as a “hostage” of the prince.
It is for all these reasons that the beginning of 7th Time Loop is a little surprise that we did not expect, a clever use of the reincarnated “villain”, using the classic tricks of the genre wisely and with character. Between comedy, romance and fantasy, the adaptation of Tôko Amekawa’s novel by Hinoki Kino is a nice find from Meian editions.
And as far as the editing work is concerned, a beautiful copy is delivered to us. Unsurprisingly, the book offers the house’s classic solid paper, all supported by a lovely matte cover with discreet selective varnish effects on the title. Signed Anne Voillot, the translation does a good job in transcribing the important atmospheres of the story, and therefore seems flawless.
We would love to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this remarkable material
Review Vol.1 7th Time Loop – The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life – Manga
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