Kaito has been summoned into another world as a hero, and though all goes well for a time, one day his entire party betrays and mercilessly kills him. So when he suddenly gets a chance to redo his life, starting from the point he was first summoned to this world, he swears to exact vengeance on everyone who stabbed him in the back...
Source: Yen Press
What makes this and other stories of its ilk incapable of greatness is the complete lack of nuance to the characters. The antagonists are 100% irredeemable, bigoted trash that only see the world in black and white terms and are entirely untrustworthy and cruel. And the anti-hero protagonists are likewise all-in with their psychopathic glee, feeling zero remorse or hesitation for any of their actions. This is not how humans normally act, which means that this story must be functioning to satisfy some desires within the readers which aren't satisfied by reality. And all I can say is that I am probably not the type of reader who feels the need for a misanthropic, edgelord, torture-porn power fantasy. It's also pathetic how childish the main character is. Fe is worried about what people call fem--fe gets upset that fe chose such a cringey moniker as "The Second-Chance Avenger." And fe gets embarrassed at people hearing fem humming through the inn walls. You would think that somebody devastated to the point of complete mental breakdown would no longer care about such trivial matters, and the fact that fe does care about them just makes it feel like fe's treating this like a video game or something. A notion that is further supported by the video game screens, the Holy Sword of Vengeance, and the Shared Vengeance mechanic. Fe puts feir hand over feir face and says condescending otaku-esque things like "as expected from..." Fe's a petty, immature asshole. But it feels like the author isn't intending for fem to come across as such. It seems like the author is hoping that fe'll come across as self-confident or (dare I say it) even cool, but obviously doesn't know how to actually write a self-confident character so just falls back on shallow manga tropes. The characters aren't engaging since they're so detached from reality. And the basic story is also not very interesting since it's obviously just a vehicle for the violence. So the only thing this manga could have going for it would be how interesting the actual torture scenes are--how attention-grabbing and unique the grue and gore is. And honestly, this aspect is also not all that interesting. We get an exploded mouth. Ok, pretty cool. But then we just get some decapitations and stuff that don't really stand out and a scene where people are turned into goblins...which just isn't a visually captivating or exciting piece of gore. I do think the last couple chapters might be adding some more nuance to the main character's personality, so that could be a good sign. And there's the possibility of the manga also gaining a sexual aspect in addition to the torture-porn, so maybe that'll add a little more to hook people. I guess we'll see, but I don't have high hopes for it. [Reviewed at chapter 11]
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