Endo and Kobayashi Live! Disc 1 and 2 Light Novel Review

Prince Siegwald is having a rather normal day at school, but he knows that a misunderstanding is occurring when his fiancée, the beautiful, talented, and noble Lieselotte, sees him tutoring the new, talented, commoner, and cute student Fiene. It doesn’t seem like he can quite work out what to say to Lieselotte to make her understand however, but before the situation can really escalate, he starts to hear commentary from the gods themselves! These “gods” seem to be exclaiming over Lieselotte’s “tsun de rais” personality, telling Sieg that yes his fiancée truly is madly in love with him, and maybe their guidance will be the key he needs to melting Lieselotte’s icy exterior.

Meanwhile, high school student Endo wouldn’t consider himself the biggest fan of otome games but his fellow broadcasting club member (and crush) Kobayashi loves them and is determined to make Endo fall in love with one of her favorites, “Love Me Magically! ” Or rather, what Kobayashi really wants Endo to do is to fall in love with her favorite character of the game, the tsundere villainess Lieselotte! So after first playing through the “Liese-tan” focused fan disc, Endo also finds himself firmly in camp Liese-tan and is ready to start playing the main game. But as they start playing the Sieg x Fiene route, chattering all the while, it seems like Sieg can actually hear them this time around and is willing to listen to their advice. With their knowledge of the characters, and with a way to play the game that they’ve never had before, Endo and Kobayashi are going to create a happy end to surpass all other happy ends!

Endo and Kobayashi Live!  The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte Volume Two cover

While this story isn’t quite an isekai (which I’m sure is a point in its favor for some readers), it’s definitely a series I’d recommend to people who want an isekai that plays around with the premise more since it’s a pretty unique set-up! Some anime fans might be surprised to discover that “villainess” stories, like My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, are quite the popular sub-genre of isekai titles right now and Liese-tan’s situation fits the general tropes to a T: she’s the kind of villainess that you don’t actually find very often in otome games (but often in light novels about fictional otome games) and someone who’s given herself the short end of the stick with her tsundere tendencies. While I don’t mind a good “reincarnated as a villainess” story, having the story here instead be the actions of two real-world teens who don’t want their fave to die and will totally use their power as “gods” to make it happen was just a delightful change of pace and I’m so glad it’s getting an animated adaptation so that even more people will experience it.

Seig and Liese-tan

The story bounces back and forth between Endo and Kobayashi’s experience playing the game (and getting closer to each other) in the real world and the world of “Love Me Magically!” and it does a nice job at not neglecting one side in favor of the other. Interestingly, while most of the “game” side of the story happens when Endo and Kobayashi are actively observing, since their “camera” into the world is tied to a specific few characters, the books do occasionally move to another event that the two of them can’t see and aren’t aware of (like Fiene’s mother reconnecting with an old acquaintance). Those moments, in addition to fleshing out some backstory, create a fun sense of “oh, I know more than the characters now! I wonder how my faves will react to this when they find out” which feels so appropriate for a series which is basically a fix-fic made real.

Endo and Kobayashi

The one aspect of the series I didn’t enjoy as much was in the second volume where some of the actual mechanics behind the inter-world communication were explained (which were rather silly) and the new characters introduced along with these explanations who were, annoying to put it lightly. I have little doubt that these characters were deliberately meant to be annoying, and the set-up deliberately meant to be silly, magical-techno-babble, but I still found myself wishing that the characters were less annoying at least.

The good news is that the story kept being inventive with how it played around with isekai tropes until the very end and it was a truly fun all the way through. I really hope that when the anime adaptation comes around that new fans are just as charmed by it as I was!

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