Back in May, Yen Press began releasing the Rascal Does Not Dream of light novel series in English to the delight of its many fans. Today I’m here to take a look at the second entry in the series, Rascal Does Not Dream of Petite Devil Kohai to find out if it continues to be as captivating a read as the first book.
After a month of asking out love interest Mai, Sakuta finally has her agree to become his girlfriend. However, his happiness is short-lived when he finds himself caught in a time loop! Now Sakuta is stuck reliving the day he asked Mai out, with no idea why he’s been caught up in this supernatural event.
As Sakuta searches for answers, he finds he’s not the only one looping this day, as first-year Tomoe is too. Tomoe is struggling with turning down a student who asked her out, especially as this is someone one of her friends has a crush on. To avoid earning the wrath of her friend, Tomoe asks Sakuta to be her fake boyfriend until the end of the term to prove how disinterested in this boy she is! When Sakuta agrees, the day stops looping – but how and why is Tomoe connected to the situation…?
Readers may remember Tomoe popping up in Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai where she intervenes with Sakuta helping out a lost child. She’s a feisty character who relentlessly teases Sakuta while hiding her true feelings deep within. It’s not long before our protagonist figures out that Tomoe is willing to do anything to keep the peace with her friend group, which is unusual for someone who is otherwise so stubborn and forthright.
If you’re a fan of Mai, then it’s certainly going to feel a bit disappointing for the focus to move away from her so soon. Although she still pops up here and there throughout the book, she’s understandably side-lined because of Sakuta and Tomoe’s fake relationship. Fear not though, as she’ll make a return next volume!
Having watched the anime adaption and knowing what’s to come, I can’t help feeling Rascal Does Not Dream of Petite Devil Kohai is one of the weakest stories in the series. Perhaps it’s because time loop stories are overused in Japanese media or maybe it’s simply because I’m not a fan of Tomoe. Whatever the case, the book is by no means a bad read but it’s not quite up to the standard of the first entry.
The dynamic between Tomoe and Sakuta is an enjoyable one, but ultimately he works better alongside Mai. Tomoe’s story feels somewhat stereotypical and it’s hard not to believe there was a better way to solve her problems than to pretend to date Sakuta. I suppose in the end that’s the aim of the story, to show her that, but it’s just lacking the punch that Mai’s story had.
Having said that, if you enjoyed this arc in the anime then you’ll certainly not be disappointed with the book. Hajime Kamoshida’s writing remains as witty and entertaining as in Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai and it’s difficult to not find yourself reading the whole light novel in a single sitting. Hamoshida’s style of writing is engrossing, filled with small details that set the scene wonderfully.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Petite Devil Kohai comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Andrew Cunningham. The translation reads well, but there are a couple of instances of missing words which break up the flow of a sentence. They’re incredibly minor issues but are worth mentioning. The next book in the series Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch is currently scheduled for release in November, so we won’t have long to wait to read more!
Overall, Rascal Does Not Dream of Petite Devil Kohai is less impressive than the first book in the series but not without its charms. The strength of author Hajime Kamoshida’s writing manages to keep an otherwise stereotypical tale engrossing and existing fans of the tale from the anime will certainly be happy.