Isekai has really overtaken the anime/manga scene the last several years. My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! added a fresh twist to the genre by reincarnating the main character into the antagonist role. With the series’ success, it’s no surprise similar titles would rise in its wake. The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess is one such story. Read on for my review of Volume 1.
Back Cover Blurb
Konoha Satou has a dark history. Although she’s not the only middle schooler who’s dreamed about romance and adventure, Satou takes it to the next level when she writes herself into a reincarnation fic as the main heroine. But little does she know, her fantasies will become reality when she wakes up in her Dark History! There’s just one small complication…Instead of playing the role of heroine, she’s the most despicable villainess—Konoha’s little sister, Iana. Which means if she wants to avoid tripping her own death flags, she’ll have to remember every last detail of her story.
Unlike many isekai where the main character is reborn/soul-dropped into a videogame world or an unknown landscape, Konoha Satou winds up in a story she herself created. A borderline shut-in when she was a teenager, she actually believed she’d one day be transported to a fantasy world and spent her days writing out the adventures that she, as the angelic heroine, would undergo. Lo and behold, it actually happens – except she’s reincarnated not as the story’s heroine Konoha but the protagonist’s villainous younger sister Iana.
Thus the main character is indeed transported with the ironic twist that she’s having to avoid the death flags she herself planted. What makes her task more difficult is that the Iana character didn’t last beyond Chapter 1 in her story. Apparently, Iana gets caught for her misdeeds in the prologue and is subsequently offed by Sol, a butler intensely loyal to the heroine. Thus the meat of the plot is the main character trying to show she’s not at all evil and protect the heroine (so she won’t get blamed for any ill that falls upon her).
While that aspect of the story is somewhat entertaining, especially the other characters’ misinterpretations of the main character’s actions, the plot is rather predictable, and the supporting cast is one-dimensional. Although the main character is not exactly flat, she is difficult to relate to. An aspect of her that I found particularly troubling is her almost cavalier attitude toward sexual assault. The main character wrote the story with herself as the heroine and with full belief that she’d actually live out its events. However, she has her heroine raped in Chapter 1 and then sexually assaulted in Chapter 2. Illustrations aren’t overly graphic but this offhand treatment of a serious subject means I won’t be recommending this title to my friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter.
The manga also contains a noticeable amount of fanservice. Not of the guys (although they are definitely eye candy in their dapper European-style suits) but the females. Judging from the bonus material, Dark History was published in Lala, but despite it being a shojo magazine, Konoha’s large bosom is the stuff of male fantasies. Iana’s chest is more normal sized, but she’s constantly flashing leg up to her stocking garter despite her long skirts. The rest of the illustrations (flower-filled backdrops, enormous sparkly eyes, etc.) are more in line with standard shojo artwork.
Volume 1 only serves up three chapters before concluding with a fifty-page standalone story. “The High School Necromancer” is a paranormal set in the Meiji Era with a male lead and rival. The plot and action are a little difficult to follow, but if you like bishounen in period clothes, it will give you something nice to look at.
Extras include translation notes, author’s afterword, and four-panel comic strips.
The villainess subset of the isekai genre has been gaining steam as of late. Unfortunately, Dark History feels like a weak pretender rather than a strong representative of that category. While Iana’s efforts to avoid triggering death flags is amusing, the plot is predictable, the premise is lukewarm, and most characters are woefully flat.
First published at the Fandom Post.