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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1128
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:50 pm Reply with quote
The bit about Kenkyo, Kenjitsu wo Motto ni Ikite Orimasu! never having gotten a publishing deal is still surprising to me -- pretty sure it's by far the most popular Narou story not to have done so. I'm sure there are publishers who would've been interested, so I have to wonder why.

I may be pulling this out of my rear end, but I have to wonder if another Narou story was a sort of stealth influence on the genre -- It Seems Like I Got Reincarnated Into The World of a Yandere Otome Game. It was never anywhere near as popular as Kenkyo, Kenjitsu or My Next Life as a Villainess, but it predates both and reads weirdly like a drama-focused prototype for the latter.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 5115
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:10 pm Reply with quote
This is hte kind of content I like to see. Awesome write up
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 563
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Yes! Liselotte's Live Commentary needs more attention!
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 235
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:17 pm Reply with quote
If you think isekai are samey, you aren't ready for otome-reincarnation. They share isekai's penchant for introducing a single gimmick/take to differentiate a given story and then mostly ignoring it, but the worlds have no real variation or much room for gimmicks that matter. Creativity in the gimmicks is also generally low, to the point that I have yet to see someone reincarnated as anything other than the designated villain (as opposed to iekai, which has a large number of monsters and randos) or large departures from the norm in personalities.

The only exception I can think of is an isekai that tries to imagine what kind of world and society would have to exist to create the dynamics seen in otome games and then inserts the male main character into the worst role that society has to offer. He eventually gets to the otome-school to do things, but it seems to be more isekai than otome.
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Mr. Nescio



Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Posts: 157
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For people who keep up with anime based on light novels these days, My Next Life as a Villainess may feel like a breath of fresh air. Sure, it's one of those "isekai" (transported to another world) / "reincarnated into a video game" stories, but it's set in an otome game with a female protagonist, and somehow that makes all the difference. Or rather, it's Catarina's personality that makes the difference, because unlike so many male protagonists of isekai stories who are (let's face it) flavorless potatoes baked into human form, Catarina is funny and endearing. You can totally see why all the guys and the girls are smitten with her.
I might have taken this more seriously if I hadn't watched the first two or three episodes. Catarina may not be the heroine of Diabolik Lovers, but I didn't see anything particularly interesting in her. Furthermore, the show more generally seemed to lack energy and sharpness. Humor for example seemed to be of the variety of "the main character is acting in a little bit silly way".
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:10 pm Reply with quote
"It's Catarina's personality that makes the difference, because unlike so many male protagonists who are (let's face it) flavorless potatoes baked into human form, Catarina is funny and endearing."

Quite frankly, I don't feel like it is, at least not the first 3 episodes I saw before dropping it, let me explain:

"Main Character is different than everybody else for having special knowledge nobody has, MC does something nice for somebody, that somebody gets linked to MC if they are the same gender and they fall for MC if they are different just for that random show of kindness and gets an harem".

Villainesses has the little twist of even same gender characters falling for MC, but that just make it more obnoxious and just because Catharina funnier than the average moron that populates these isekai series doesn't make it different enough.

As people described it to me years ago I thought this would be a political drama/comedy with Catharina maniobrating the political atmosphere to save herself, it was a monumental letdown.

Bookworm is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping it was so I am happy at the end.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 878
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:53 pm Reply with quote
Really cranking out the "well I don't like this show/character/genre, bah humbug" comments on this one, aren't we... don't worry, people, the male-protagonist fantasy-RPG style of isekai isn't getting displaced out of existence anytime soon.

Anyway, I guess the only real counterpoint is that I do like this one, for basically the reasons stated in the article. Catarina seems to navigate the world with several layers of strategizing and obliviousness piled on top of each other--something most people can probably relate to--but ultimately succeeds just by being nice and genuine. (And by accidentally performing romantic gestures. Multi-gender harems are pretty unusual, and this one scores extra points just by not drawing attention to itself with "even though we're both girls" comments or whatever.) The other characters are all interesting in their own ways, and it's easy to see how they all get attached to Catarina; a little kindness goes a long way. (Unless you're Geord.) Nice to see a comedy that isn't packed with mean-spiritedness, for once.

Didn't know there was already a whole genre of reincarnated-as-the-villainess, but I guess that's just how these things go.
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Cloudywind



Joined: 14 Jan 2018
Posts: 27
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Great article and I am glad that Kenkyo Kenjitsu got brought up! I am slightly sad however that Deathbound Duke's Daughter, which has its first volume releasing in just 2 weeks, didn't get mentioned. I have been reading the prerelease weekly parts on J-Novel Club's website (and they are currently still all available) and it's a legitimately great adventuring story under the otome game isekai banner. It was recently announced to be getting a manga adaptation too.
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Uchay



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:15 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
The bit about Kenkyo, Kenjitsu wo Motto ni Ikite Orimasu! never having gotten a publishing deal is still surprising to me -- pretty sure it's by far the most popular Narou story not to have done so. I'm sure there are publishers who would've been interested, so I have to wonder why.

I may be pulling this out of my rear end, but I have to wonder if another Narou story was a sort of stealth influence on the genre -- It Seems Like I Got Reincarnated Into The World of a Yandere Otome Game. It was never anywhere near as popular as Kenkyo, Kenjitsu or My Next Life as a Villainess, but it predates both and reads weirdly like a drama-focused prototype for the latter.


Tbh, I do believe it may have to do with the author.

Actually, I have been following the English translation of the webnovel and it looks like it's fallen into a hiatus? People been saying it's been 2-3 years since the last update, so it's possible the author either has real life problems or dropped Kenkyo, Kenjitsu wo Motto ni Ikite Orimasu completely.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 455
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:06 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
The bit about Kenkyo, Kenjitsu wo Motto ni Ikite Orimasu! never having gotten a publishing deal is still surprising to me -- pretty sure it's by far the most popular Narou story not to have done so. I'm sure there are publishers who would've been interested, so I have to wonder why.

I may be pulling this out of my rear end, but I have to wonder if another Narou story was a sort of stealth influence on the genre -- It Seems Like I Got Reincarnated Into The World of a Yandere Otome Game. It was never anywhere near as popular as Kenkyo, Kenjitsu or My Next Life as a Villainess, but it predates both and reads weirdly like a drama-focused prototype for the latter.


Considering most Narou authors would pounce at the chance for a publishing offer, I'm guessing Kenkyo's author just wanted to keep things casual - they treated it as a leisure hobby and didn't want to be burdened with the responsibilities of being a professional author and the downsides that come with it.

I suspect also that Kenkyo's author has dropped the webnovel too, likely to move on to other things in their life.

Yandere Otome Game got published into 4 light novels by Arianrose, and also has an ongoing manga adaptation too.
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FinalVentCard



Joined: 28 Oct 2018
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:02 pm Reply with quote
I really enjoyed this write-up.

I haven't started watching the Bakarinabowl yet, because I'm horribly behind on crap, but I've never heard anything about it that doesn't mark it as a show that would be, as is known in scientific circles, "my [expletive]".

Glad that there's a whole host of similarly-themed shows, too. This is a concept that, even if you're gonna just xerox the thing, lends to a lot of fun shenanigans.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1128
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:01 am Reply with quote
Uchay wrote:
Actually, I have been following the English translation of the webnovel and it looks like it's fallen into a hiatus? People been saying it's been 2-3 years since the last update, so it's possible the author either has real life problems or dropped Kenkyo, Kenjitsu wo Motto ni Ikite Orimasu completely.


Yeah, it followed the typical web fiction pattern. 224 chapters in the first six months, 4 chapters in the next six months, 16 in the next year, 8 in the year after that, 40 in the year after that... then 7 more in the next few months, which brings us to October 2017, the date of the last chapter.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2482
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:43 am Reply with quote
I am really enjoying this series but I do think some of the fillerish episodes have brought it down a bit for me

I don’t think it’s complex or even all that original but it’s charming and fun. And I think that’s something I really needed right now.
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poltroon



Joined: 26 Sep 2018
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:50 am Reply with quote
I enjoyed this review and the way it connected Doom to other titles.

I find Catarina's story uneven, but it does have some really great moments. My favorite may be when she rescues Keith - full on in the most unladylike way possible - delightfully and effectively.

I too enjoy that she's ended up with a full harem of both boys and girls and everyone is kind of great with it, even as I wonder how all of them reconcile that with the fact that she's actively engaged to the Prince, which would seem to put a damper on everything. Only Nichol has shown any awareness of it. That the story sort of enforces its class-based society in some ways and then completely glosses over it on such an important point (and others) does sometimes drop me out of the story.

It's funny to see how she inadvertently ends up taking over all the love interest scenes from the game, for every character, and that really works.

One of the questions I had was about what was happening to the other characters - do they still have the same characteristics of the original game characters, or have they changed because Catarina has changed the story? That was answered in the current episode, which I found quite satisfying.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4509
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:17 am Reply with quote
poltroon wrote:

I too enjoy that she's ended up with a full harem of both boys and girls and everyone is kind of great with it, even as I wonder how all of them reconcile that with the fact that she's actively engaged to the Prince, which would seem to put a damper on everything. Only Nichol has shown any awareness of it. That the story sort of enforces its class-based society in some ways and then completely glosses over it on such an important point (and others) does sometimes drop me out of the story.


They are all aware of it, and in fact fear that the Prince will take her away to the castle, never to be seen by them again. Personally, I don't think the Prince will be that mean. He no longer is the man he was in the original game. That said, the engagement is a sword hanging over all their heads.
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