By Eiko Mutsuhana and Yuki Nezozuki. Released in Japan as “Shi ni Modori no Mahou Gakkou Seikatsu wo, Moto Koibito to Prologue kara (※Tadashi Koukando wa Zero)” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by Cross Infinite World. Translated by Alyssa Niioka.
You’ll notice that the title has slightly changed between the first and second volume. The first volume was dedicated to Oriana trying her best to alter the present so that she can once again be together with the man she loves, and earning a hard-won victory (albeit for herself, not for everyone) that is promptly destroyed by a nasty little cliffhanger. And now it’s time to try again… only this time it’s Vincent who has the knowledge of Life #2, and Oriana who doesn’t remember Life #1 *or* #2. Needless to say, he’s a bit bummed out by this, especially since this Oriana, who is not really driven to study hard to be near her beloved, is in a different class. Still, he is here to try to win her love anew and also find out why they keep looping back in time. This particular volume focuses far more on the first part of that than the second.
To be fair, that’s probably because it’s a lot harder for him to pull off the first than it is the second. He rather handily discovers that there’s a curse associated with the Dragon Tree that explains (unsatisfactorily) why he and Oriana have now died twice and why they keep “starting over”. He’s even more of an academic in this life (due to a promise he made with his father), so I think he’s got this in the bag. Sadly, romancing the love of his life runs right up against being a teenage boy, and the fact that he’s doing it for the third time (though he does not remember the first) does not really help him, he’s still a bit clueless about girls. Things are not helped by the fact that he is a duke’s son and Oriana is the daughter of a merchant… albeit a very successful merchant with noble connections, thanks to Vincent’s machinations.
This is still cute and sweet, and has lots of teen romantic agita if that is your thing. As with the first book, I found the teen agita a but *too* realistic. I also appreciated getting a bit more backstory regarding Yana and Azraq, which helps explain a lot of what was happening in Volume 1 that we couldn’t quite wrap our minds around. The main issue with the book is the fact that it’s clearly Book 1 of 2 in this arc, and is no doubt based on a webnovel, so it does not remotely have the exciting cliffhanger of the first book, but simply comes to a stop. Presumably to pick up in the third and (I presume) final volume. What’s more, as noted, this is mostly all romance, so any “why is this happening?” is also left by the wayside.
So yes, if you want to see a teenager in love trying to get the girl he loves to overcome class consciousness and feel the same, this is a good book. If you want to figure out why they both died last volume, not so much.