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Valentine’s Day Manhwa Pick: Villains Are Destined to Die Vol. 1

1 Feb

Isekai manga and light novels have exploded within the last year or so. In almost every genre now, you can find stories where the protagonist is transported to another world through various means and circumstances. High among the isekai boom has been within the shojo category (comics geared towards a female audience) under what is becoming known as “Villainess Isekai” in which the protagonist finds themselves in the role of a ‘villainess’ from an otome game (game involving a romantic story arc) and they must use their wits and knowledge of the game to avoid a deadly ending.

One such example of this is the manhwa (Korean comic), Villains Are Destined to Die by Gwon Gyeoeul and SUOL. Starting as a popular webcomic on Tapas, it has only grown in popularity due to the Villainess Isekai boom. 

With just a few glances at the pages alone, it’s easy to see why readers have taken so quickly to this story. The art by SUOL is gorgeous, every page filled with eye-catching art of the characters and the setting of the world. 

The story itself follows the above mentioned pattern, a girl wakes up in the world of an otome game and finds herself in the role of the villainess, Penelope Eckhart, whose route also happens to be the most difficult in the game. One of the takes on this plot that  makes it more unique is that our protagonist actually empathized with the villainess due to her own circumstances in the real world and thus she wanted to see the character find happiness.

Volume one does a remarkable job of setting up the stakes for the characters and the plot, introducing us to the characters of the story and the game within the world of the manhwa. Penelope is shown to be quite the sympathetic character, but the actions that made her a villainess to begin with are actually acknowledged within the story rather than just having her actions be misunderstood like you might find in some variants of Villainess Isekai.

One of the other interesting parallels is in regards to the girl who awakens as the villainess is that her own past is actually mentioned quite frequently. Other versions may have a brief flashback to their former life, but for the case of the protagonist who becomes Penelope, we get tidbits of her backstory that connects her to the villainess and that there are hints of a mystery regarding her family from that life.

The other interesting take we see is that she is determined to escape the world of the game and go back into her reality. More often than not, the usual take on this genre is that the protagonist died before awakening in the game world. 

For those seeking to dip their toes into the Villainess Isekai genre or for anyone curious about this manhwa, Villains Are Destined to Die Vol. 1  is an engaging and fun read that holds much promise for future volumes.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Information and Digital Services Assistant

Top Notch Action and Eye Pleasing Art: Demon Slayer Manga Volume 2

16 Mar

After facing the loss of their family, Tanjiro and Nezuko continue their journey to become Demon Slayers and find the ones responsible for their tragedies. 

Koyoharu Gotouge once again pulls us back into the world with a new series of adventures, new characters, and new challenges that the protagonists must face head on if they wish to succeed. The action is still top notch, with artwork that continues to be a pleasure to the eye. Things pick up immediately after the events of volume one and introduce us to the one character who will become the center point of the series and the primary antagonist of the series.

It is through this volume (HPL patrons login with your card to access series) that we learn what it will take to restore Nezuko’s humanity and just how dangerous the main antagonist and his followers are as well as a hint of things to come going forward.

Over all, this is a good follow up to volume one and the ending leaves you wanting to read volume three as soon as possible. You can also read my review of the previous volume here.

Written By:
Lauren Lapinski
Access Services Assistant

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