- Mangaka : Amekawa Touko (Story), Kino Hinoki (Art)
- Publisher : Shoujo, Romance, Fantasy
- Genre : Seven Seas
- Published : September 2022
In the past few years, the number of fantasy-themed shoujo series has practically exploded. Amidst the myriad new tropes and subgenres, the “otome game villainess reincarnation” has become a frequent—and dare we say, overused—storyline. So getting our hands on a proper, honest-to-goodness shoujo fantasy was a real treat, and something we greatly looked forward to.
Loop 7-kaime no Akuyaku Reijou wa, Moto Tekikoku de Juukimama na Hanayome Seikatsu o Mankitsu Suru (7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy!), which we’ll refer to simply as “7th Time Loop,” is a brilliant manga that’s bursting with charming characters, excellent humor, and an engaging main character.
Don’t let the ‘villainess’ subtitle confuse you—there’s nothing otome-game about this, so if you’ve been looking for a proper shoujo fantasy, 7th Time Loop is definitely the manga for you.
Join us today on Honey’s Anime as we review 7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy!, Volume 1!
Adapted from the light novel of the same name, 7th Time Loop opens with a strong and surprisingly dark premise. Our main character, Rishe Irmgard Weitzner, is currently on her seventh life, having died six previous times. Each of those lives truly began when her engagement with the crown prince ended, and she was cast into exile; in her various lives, she became a traveling merchant, a doctor, and even a trained swordsman.
Rishe, however, is seemingly fated to die on her twentieth birthday, caught up in the devastating war begun by Arnold Hein, the heir apparent to an enemy nation. With every death, Rishe reincarnates at exactly the point her engagement is annulled, and every time she pursues some new dream that takes her fancy, before inevitably dying. With each life, she gains more experience and becomes more proficient than before—but her seventh time is going to be different!
A chance encounter with Arnold Hein sees her become a hostage princess—or at least, that’s what the crown prince thinks. In reality, Rishe is done with stressing about living and dying; she’s happy to be an enemy prince’s hostage and live the good life, being treated well as a political bargaining tool. But although she wants to laze around, she can’t help using the knowledge from her previous lives to help people, and her strange actions will only attract unwanted attention…
The artwork in 7th Time Loop is some of the best we’ve seen recently, and lines up perfectly with the modern shoujo style. The character designs and action comfortably sit somewhere between the goofy humor of Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shite shimatta... (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom) and the polished linework of Tearmoon Empire.
1. Excellent Pacing and Style
Oftentimes, manga adaptations of light novels can feel a little stilted, as though the storyboarding process was waging war between adapting the story and making an appealing manga.
Thankfully, no such problems exist here; mangaka Kino Hinoki has effortlessly created a manga that confidently stands on its own. In fact, if we didn’t know any better, we’d never even know there was a light novel—and that’s a great thing for readers who prefer manga over novels.
As we mentioned earlier, the art style really stands out and the character’s expressions and interactions are worth the price of admission alone!
2. Real Shoujo Fantasy!
Honestly, we do love the “otome game reincarnation” subgenre of shoujo fantasy, but after a certain number of villainess storylines, they all blur into one indistinguishable mess. For readers who actually want to see a young girl taking charge in a fantasy world without the forced otome-game tropes, 7th Time Loop gets full marks.
Additionally, the story’s gimmick—Rishe having lived multiple previous lives—adds a (sometimes dark) layer of intrigue to her character, and shows how she’s grown through the challenges of each failed life. In that regard, 7th Time Loop feels very much like a shoujo-inspired take on Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero -Starting Life In Another World-).
Despite the misleading subtitle, 7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy! is a brilliant shoujo fantasy that offers a refreshing change of pace from the otome-game villainess stories that have recently dominated the shoujo fantasy space.
With a strong female lead and an overriding message about taking charge of your own dreams and fate, 7th Time Loop’s manga has quickly become one of our favorite new releases of the year.
Are you going to check out 7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life Married to Her Worst Enemy!, Vol 1? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!