By Bisu and Yukiko. Released in Japan as “Tensei Oujo wa Kyou mo Hata o Tatakioru” by Arian Rose. Released in North America by J-Novel Heart. Translated by Esther Sun.
As I got near the end of this volume, with the appearance of one of the characters I least expected to see, I began to realize that everything about this series makes complete sense if you just remember one fact: everyone in the book hates themselves. Now, sometimes this is obvious. Rosemary has humility as deep as the oceans, as high as the sky, to the point where it’s her biggest flaw. But everyone else, when you dig down into their psyche, also seems to suffer from crippling self-loathing and self-doubt. Even Kanon, the otome game heroine who finally gets summoned in this volume, arrives with a heaping helping of “why me?” that does not go away, though events help to reinforce her worries. Hell, even the CAT probably hates himself. The only, bright, sunny confident person in this volume dies only a little ways into it. That said… this is not a giant depressing. bleak read. Though it’s a downer to an extent.
We pick up right where we left off last time, and unfortunately events do not play out with a last-minute reprieve or God being kind. Now back home again, Rosemary has to deal with trying to live up to her father’s theoretical expectations (which are very different in her head from his ACTUAL expectations), the puzzling fact that everyone seems to lose their composure when she’s around them (especially the men), and of course the small problem of the game’s story starting up early, which means that they’re using ancient untested magic to summon a girl from Japan, who can hopefully be the one to contain the demon lord. All this plus mooning over Sir Leonhart. That said, things actually end up going pretty well… until an assassination attempt manages to screw everything up.
First off, I seem to have lost track of how much time all of this is taking, and somewhere along these six books Rosemary has aged 5 years. Since she’s now 15, and will be “an adult” in this book’s world in 6 months, I will try to complain a bit less about every single man in the cast except her father being in love with her. I do think that it’s laid on a bit thick, frankly, but that is kind of the genre of these sorts of romance books, and so I mostly have to sigh and let the flowery prose wash over me. The most interesting part of the book was near the end, where Rosemary’s near-death experience manages to get her mother, who has spent the entire series avoiding her, to her side. Fans of Endo and Kobayashi Live! might find some similarities here, as it turns out that her mother is merely very awkward and bad at love and emotions – a habit she shares with her husband, who admittedly is nicer to his daughter in this book than in the previous five books combined.
There’s two more volumes in this series to go, so I suspect next time we’ll get the darkness before the dawn. Till then, I am enjoying this book about all these sad little royals who have absolutely no idea how to un-sad themselves.