Volume 6 of The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess saw protagonist Iana and co. visit the Land of Ninjas, where Iana got herself into all kinds of trouble! The volume ended in a dramatic battle involving Sol and his old mentor Ognis, which may have changed Sol’s fate forever…
As we reunite with our cast for Volume 7, we find that they’ve returned home to the Royal Capital of the Rose Kingdom. After the events of Volume 6, Sol no longer has any desire to kill Iana nor suspects her of wrongdoing, which our protagonist hopes means she’s now on a ‘survival route’ rather than destined to meet a bad end. In addition to this, Sol even lets slip that he might have romantic feelings for Iana, but before she can respond, a new crisis is afoot!
Iana’s sister Konoha has been invited to visit Lalala Temple, which sets off alarm bells for Iana as this is the place in the original story where Konoha is declared a saint and that leads to the ultimate bad end for our heroine! As it turns out, Iana’s fears are right on the mark. The chapel has been attacked, leaving many dead and others fearing for their own lives should the culprits return. In order to to raise the morale of the population and put their minds at ease, the head priest decides to move forward with a plan to select someone with divine powers to become a saint, which is an event that has historically happened in times of danger.
Just like in Iana’s story, Konoha has been selected as a candidate for sainthood and must stay there in the temple while undergoing trials to decide on the saint. Each candidate is allowed to bring a retainer, but the priest has a grudge against Iana and deems her unsuitable, given her reputation as a villainess.
Iana knows that if she’s sent back home then there’s nothing to stop the bad end from coming to pass. Still, at the same time, Konoha will need the support of her fiancé Ginoford, so instead, Iana pledges herself as the retainer to a new character: Isaac Casablanca. Will she be able to get him chosen as the saint, thereby avoiding a terrible future for all those she cares about?
While The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess tends to throw in a complete mismatch of genres and storylines from volume to volume, here in its seventh entry it feels like we’ve returned to the main plot. At the very least, Konoha becoming a saint is something we’ve known about since the beginning of the series so it makes sense for author Akiharu Touka to return to it at last.
And as usual, we have just as many questions as answers. Just who is Isaac? If he’s not a character that Iana originally created (or at least remembers) from her past life, then why is he holding such a pivotal role in the story? Familiar face Detective Clematis arrives to warn Iana to stay away from the temple and Isaac who she doesn’t know anything about, but Iana is determined to see this through in a bid to save her sister from fate.
Isaac is yet another handsome addition to the cast, who’s very likely to fall in love with Iana as she’s his only support for becoming a saint. And I’m sure readers are growing tired of characters being introduced who immediately swoon for Iana, but I admit I find myself more interested in Isaac simply because he’s an unknown quantity. Rather than someone Iana created in her past life as a love interest, Isaac is someone that both we readers and Iana are getting to know as the story progresses and at this stage in the manga that’s a refreshing change.
This is clearly intended to be a multi-volume arc given there’s no end in sight here in Volume 7, and that’s even despite a higher page count than usual. Previously the series has been at its best when following a longer plotline, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the story will progress from here, particularly as this feels less haphazardly thrown together than what we’ve seen before.
The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess Volume 7 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press. It continues to be translated by Kei Coffman (previously credited as Lisa Coffman) with lettering by Rachel J. Pierce.
In Japan, this instalment was originally released with a limited edition version, but here in the West Yen Press has only given it a single release. However, at the back of this edition, they’ve included the bonus content from the special edition so we’ve ended up with the best of both worlds! This includes colour pages as well as a collection of extra stories, so certainly, the kind of thing fans will be eager to read.
Volume 8 of the series is currently scheduled for a release in October, so the release pace is slowing down as we get closer to catching up with Japan (who are at #10). Still, good to have more on the near horizon.
Overall, The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess Volume 7 kickstarts a new arc that looks to be here to stay for the foreseeable. With plenty of twists and turns that tie into the original premise, this feels better thought out than usual and that leaves us with a release that showcases some of the better sides of this manga. It’s not perfect but every volume is improving on the last and that’s the best place it can be.
Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.