Deathbound Duke’s Daughter

Alt title: Shini Yasui Koushaku Reijou

Vol: 3+; Ch: 20+
2020 - ?
3.466 out of 5 from 158 votes
Rank #24,335
Deathbound Duke’s Daughter

One evening in early spring, eight-year-old Erika Aurelia realizes she’s the detestable little villainess from an otome game called Liber Monstrorum: The Winter Maiden and the Phantasmic Beasts. As if that wasn’t bad enough already, Erika’s role in the game is to pester the main character... and then die in order to kick off a mysterious series of events! These incidents are different in each love interest’s route, and seven routes means seven deaths to avoid. Not one to throw in the towel, Erika knows she must take action to destroy her death flags—and since her life is on the line, there’s no time to lose!

Source: J-Novel Club

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It's got that bobblehead look. The characters have thick, popped outlines and the backgrounds are often just cloudy or shimmery screentones. At times, the exposition can be nigh unreadable and the solutions to the problems can feel a bit too linear (oh, here's the problem, and oh, here's what the solution will be). The only interesting hook in the story so far is the way that all of the wands Erica will bring with fem on an adventure have to be chosen beforehand. You see, since fe isn't a mage, fe can't cast spells and must make use of wands with spells pre-stored within them. This suggests some planning and foresight on feir part, and allows for the possibility of tension being created by fem not having prepared adequately and having to make do with the limited wands available. I hope there's more of the latter, the problem-solving, as the series goes on since it comes across as plot armor if the author just has Erica always have the right wands for the job.  Currently, the story hasn't gotten very far and has done a somewhat mediocre job of setting the stage. The dungeon exploration has been the most interesting part and that has only risen to the level of being okay. The characters feel half-baked and the inevitable romantic aspects that are sure to develop don't seem at all appealing at the moment. But there is a glimmer of potential in there (which is why this is a 3/10 rather than a 2/10) and I'm curious to see if it improves as it gains steam. [Reviewed at chapter 10]

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