“I don’t want to be one of the bad guys!” Kiara fights to change her fate in I Refuse to Be Your Enemy!
Ever since she was a child, Kiara has had a reoccurring dream. In it, she is a typical Japanese girl living in what sounds like modern times. One day, while at boarding school, she receives a disturbing letter from her adoptive father. He tells her she is to enter a political marriage of a man twice her age. Appalled, Kiara has the realization that the dreams she was having wasn’t a dream, but memories of her past life. Not only that, but she has been reborn into the world of her favorite game “Farzia: Kingdom at War.” And, to make it even worse, she comes to the realization that she was a mid-level boss in the game, making her a VILLAIN?! So, what is Kiara to do in this situation? Easy. Time to run away and try her best to not get caught up in everything and survive.
Easier said than done.
I Refuse to Be Your Enemy! is a light novel by Kanata Satsuki and her second story to be published in this format. Known as isekai, where a normal person is transported to, reborn, or trapped in a parallel universe, with a fantasy world being the most popular version. In this story, Kiara is reborn into the world of a game she used to play, but grows up in terrible circumstances. If the game plot had gone the way it did, her transformation into a villain would be understandable.
When she escapes her boarding school, Kiara sneaks onto a carriage that is departing. This causes her to unknowingly cross paths with Alan Évrard, the game’s protagonist. Alan is also transporting Reggie, a boy who’s character reveal and fate pushes Kiara more than she originally planned.
With that said, the first chapter of the story is quite long and slow paced to get the story going. But, a little into the second chapter, I found myself excited to be able to spend some time reading. Kiara is a very determined person due to the memories of her past life. She also sometimes misses glaring signals that people are sending her. And the ones she doesn’t, even as a young girl, she’s able to recognize what it going on, even if it’s unbelievable.
The writing is funny and, at times, violent. Since Kiara’s game is an RPG, not an otome, she finds herself caught up in politics and battles. The translation, done by Molly Lee, flows nicely and is playful. Kiara will dip into her modern vernacular sometimes, at the confusion of the people around her. There is even a game character with a “colorful” nickname due to her preference of watching young boys.
If there is one place I do feel a bit let down, I would have to admit, it’s the illustrations. The color cover and the color illustration at the beginning are very nice. However, the black and white illustrations feel a bit unfinished and empty to me. There is also the case where the author is quite specific about the attire Kiara wears, but when you see the illustrations for her outfit, it’s quite generic fashion that doesn’t really fit in with the time period.
Overall, I highly recommend giving I Refuse to Be Your Enemy! a read.
- A fun, action packed story after you get past the slow start
- A MC who is not a Mary Sue and has to work for her abilities
- Fully fleshed out characters who are a joy on the page
- Beautiful artwork on color pages, but lackluster black and white art
Final Comments: With a total of six volumes in the series, I can’t wait to read more and can only hope that we will get more. I can’t wait to see how Kiara develops and how her potential romantic life will actually work out.