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Sexiled (Vol. 1)

Sexiled (Vol. 1)

Written by C. C. Cooper on 15 Apr 2020

Distributor J-Novel Club • Author/Artist Ameko Kaeruda/Kazutomo Miya • Price £10.99

Womanhood hasn't been the easiest thing for Tanya Artemiciov. All her life, she's put up with misogyny here, there, everywhere. Now she's getting the boot from her adventuring party simply because she had the gall to be born with a second X chromosome. As you would expect, this royally pisses her off, so she vents by blowing up the countryside, but in releasing her anger, she releases the Great Sorceress Laplace from her seal beneath a mountain. With this golden opportunity of a partnership before her, Tanya tag-teams with Laplace to show her former party leader what's what and who's who by completely and totally giving him a just desserts-served thrashing.

The plot of the tortuously titled Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress! overall is about as simple and straightforward as a plot can get. Tanya gets duped, gets buff, and gets revenge, and it hardly deviates from this outline. Things move at a brisk pace, giving exposition the minimalist touch, so we get the breeziest explanation on how the magic system works. In a genre where every MMORPG-inspired story spends pages upon pages expounding on how Bob can take a blade of grass and smash it with a fish eye to create chain mail that'll give him the ability to breathe liquid nitrogen, I can't tell you how much of a relief it is to hear a magic system explained as “it's magic.”

This book takes the light in light novel very seriously (I thought the WorldEnd novels were short reads, but I finished this in two nights), but it doesn't take itself seriously at all. The lead heroines are hilarious for different reasons. Whether you accidentally bump into her or say she can't hold her own in a fight due to the presence of her vagina, Tanya's reaction is unadulterated rage. She's rude and has the filthiest potty-mouth, and I love her for it. Laplace is the wise gal to Tanya's straight woman, being carefree and free-spirited and doing what she wants when she wants. Even the prose gets in on the comedy, delivering sassy commentary and dry retorts to the action onpage.

The world of Sexiled makes me raise a curious brow, though. Much of the setup comes straight from any MMORPG, with magic and classes and dragons, except the most glaring ethnographic construction is the misogyny seeped into every crevice of society. Initially, Sexiled hitting ctrl C & V on sexist bros raised a little red flag—something I griped about once many moons ago—but it has a clear message it wants to broadcast with this wonky civilization, so I can forgive it for the possibilities it's allowing itself. Still, I would like to see more nuance and individuality moving on.

Reading Sexiled can be likened to the eating of the richest slice of cake. It's not the healthiest thing for you to be chowing on, but damn is it good, and once it's gone, you'll be asking for seconds, thirds, and—ah, screw it, just bring the whole cake platter. It's flirty with more intellectual topics, which has me apprehensive as to whether Sexiled will handle them adeptly, but as respectable as it is to tour the astute works of art of a museum, sometimes you just wanna take a sledgehammer and smash everything in sight. It's cathartic, is what I'm saying. Makes me wanna hold bets for if Tanya and Laplace right the wrongs of the world and restore equality or if they demolish the patriarchy and go the way of the New Mexico whiptail.

Short, sweet, to the point, and funny as all hell.

C. C. Cooper
About C. C. Cooper

A part-time reviewer these days of video games.


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