The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1 Light Novel Review – An Edgy Reversal on Isekai

    Title: The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1
    Author: Mato Sato, nilitsu
    Release Date: March 9, 2021
    Publisher: Yen Press

Isekai is an undeniably popular genre for Japanese works. It’s become so common that it has a few formulas and even some prejudice about how it can be a little generic. Taking that into account, The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1 uses some of its staples to make a compelling, edgy story.

The light novel takes place in a world deeply affected by the coming of otherworlders. Not only has the summoning of people from Earth (and Japan, specifically) happened many times over the years, but it has influenced some of its cultural elements in multiple ways.

People summoned from other worlds gain great powers, which are known as pure concepts. Though this fantasy place has magic spells, those are much stronger than the norm. They’ve even caused tragic events and major calamities in the past that resulted in thousands of deaths.

To prevent that, the Faust clergywomen have a special task force of executioners. This is the story of one such girl, who’s still young, but has already got blood on her hands by taking the life of many otherworlders.

After some twists, she finds herself in the company of one of her targets that she can’t seem to kill based on her current abilities. For that reason, instead of a quick assassination, which is her usual method, she is forced to take care of the otherworlder and act friendly until they can reach a place in which demise can be guaranteed.

The Executioner and Her Way of Life mostly takes on a serious and dark theme with good examples of terrible and inhuman acts and situations. Twists are also common as the volume tries to constantly keep the reader in check. It’s interesting how the volume satisfactorily concludes itself while also hinting at significant events to come.

It’s important to note that the story includes some yuri implications with two girls who would date the protagonist. This is sometimes done in a very stereotypical way, but the volume does have believable reasons for those developments tied to some of the characters’ more depressing backstories. It’s not like the protagonist is likely to act on those considering this volume, though.

While the main plot of reaching the area in which her target can be killed is going, there are also interludes. Those stories in-between and some flashbacks help understand the protagonists’ past and those of other characters, especially tying with some of the reasoning that led her to become an executioner.

Though the volume is lengthy, there are only a few illustrations. However, they’re quality arts and well placed in the story. The first one stands out in particular as it amplifies the shock value of the first big twist.

The Executioner and Her Way of Life Vol. 1 is an interesting beginning to a dark story. It keeps introducing unfair systems and logic to build a sinister world and people whose hopeless outlook towards their own life moves them. I’m curious to see how the series will advance from here.

4/5

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Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.