Title: I’m the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire!
Author: Mishima Yomu/Wai
Volumes 1-4 (series ongoing)
After a miserable life and untimely death, a man is offered a second life. He reincarnates as Liam Sera Banfield, who inherits his parent’s house as a Count at a young age. But believing this is going to be a blessed second life, Liam somehow continues to turn misfortune into fortune, all the while holding on to his real goal, which is to be an evil overlord. Somehow everyone misunderstands him as a righteous young lord.
This is caught my interest for the usual reasons—it’s a bit of a fantasy/sci-fi hybrid, with the misunderstanding between Liam and his noncorperal “guide” one of the biggest plot drivers. But it does one thing I really like, which is the key misunderstanding. Liam doesn’t know his previous life and this one are under attack by his guide, who is a demonic force that feeds on evil and is hoping to crush him utterly. Instead, Liam believes the lie that this is going to be a better life—and his faith, and most especially his gratitude, end up turning the guide’s deceptions into reality.
This IS a blessed life for Liam. Because he’s always thankful.
I can safely say I never saw THAT plot twist coming. The fact that his gratitude literally tears the guide to shreds is a funny side note the reader is privy to that Liam can’t see. The guide grows ever more desperate to stop Liam from being thankful to him, but since every scheme ends up benefiting Liam in the end, Liam sees it all as machinations to bless him, and responds with even more thanks.
Other jokes fall more in line with Liam’s utterly failed attempts to be an evil overlord. He likes doing things like raising taxes, but since he raises taxes with no idea how he’s going to spend it (he just wanted to tax people), and lets his far more competent staff invest those extra funds, it ends up working out that his staff is spending those taxes to better the lives of the people. So even though he’s raising taxes, he still enjoys a lot of support among his populace.
On the other hand, his idea that he’s an evil lord allows him to make the sensible decisions in all sorts of places where stories usually have protagonists falter—like cutting off his parents, who passed off all their debt to him but come back to relieve him of his future earnings.
I’m not fond of the harem aspects. The major girls all end up fairly brainless in their pursuit of him. I did like how his attempt to win Rosetta came back to bite him—he wanted her simply because she said no to him, but once they’re engaged it starts looking like he’s the one trapped in a relationship he didn’t want.
Overall this is a light, fun read. I hope future novels do more with his friendship with Kurt, and give him more friends who aren’t just trying to get in his pants. I rate these books Recommended.