In Volume 2 of The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess, we saw protagonist Iana’s peaceful life come crashing down around her when new boy Yomi arrived. Now with that over and done, maybe she’ll finally get a chance to relax in Volume 3?
Of course, Iana’s life is never that simple and this book opens with rumours that several beautiful girls have gone missing in the town. This, naturally, puts Iana’s sister Konoha front and centre as a target, but there’s just one problem – Iana doesn’t remember writing this storyline!
Up until now, Iana has managed to dodge death flags by following the storylines she remembers and keeping Konoha safe. To start with, she wonders if Konoha is perfectly safe and the cases have nothing to do with her, but when police officer Clematis Cheneau turns up, things take a dark turn.
As always when a new character is introduced in this series, they instantly spell trouble for Iana and Clematis certainly lives up to that! He quickly reveals that he thinks Iana is the culprit behind the cases and intends to arrest her for the crime of kidnapping, so now Iana must both solve the case and keep her sister safe before something horrible happens!
The interesting thing about this instalment is that we’re beginning to see things spiral out of Iana’s control. Because her storylines weren’t always fully fleshed out, the world has had to fill some details in itself and that’s both interesting to us readers and horrifying for her as she struggles to figure out how to survive. As lazy as Iana may have been with her storytelling in her past life, she still always wrote everyone to be against her when something bad happens.
One somewhat problematic aspect of Volume 3 is the introduction of a female character and the reveal that our protagonist always wrote them as lesbians so they weren’t competition for Konoha’s love. In fairness to the book, Iana does regret this decision and vows to repent but of course, the damage is done and I think it’ll be difficult for readers to wave it off as a teenage girl being an idiot.
Although I still hesitate to readily recommend The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess, I do at least still find it interesting and often fun. There are numerous problems you can pick at throughout these volumes, but somehow author Akiharu Touka manages to deliver something entertaining despite the flaws.
I also think Volume 3 does a good job of bringing us back to the charm of Volume 1 since Iana spends less time being chased around by a boy and more time figuring out what’s going on and how she caused it. She genuinely has no idea who’s behind the missing girls which leaves her as much in the dark as us, which pays off as together we figure out the mystery. If the books after that continue to capitalise on the strengths of the series, then it will become just that little more recommendable to fans of the genre.
The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess Volume 3 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Lisa Coffman. The translation reads well with no issues to note and the lettering (handled by DK) continues to be an improvement on Volume 1. Volume 4 of the series is scheduled for release in December.
Overall, The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess Volume 3 capitalises on what made the series fun in the beginning to deliver an improvement on the previous book. It’s still a far cry from being perfect, but there is certainly enough here where I find myself coming back to it just to check in on Iana’s adventures.