Usually, I can decide which I love more between a light novel and a manga of the same series. But with The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices, it’s impossible to choose. Both are hilarious. The light novel gives more detail. However, with the manga, you see an array of character expressions. Octavia’s, formerly known as Maki, responses as she navigates this BL world are priceless entertainment. The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices Volume 1 manga blends comedy, intrigue, and romance in a page-turning volume filled with fascinating characters and BL eye candy.
With the original story by Mamecyoro, manga by Kazusa Yoneda, character design by Mitsuya Fuji, translation by Sarah Moon, and lettering by Phil Christie, the isekai story begins long after Maki’s rebirth. The first volume has five chapters starting with a young adult Octavia. She gives the cold shoulder to her brother, Prince Sirius, and his love, Lord Sil. As Maki, she was a fujoshi, obsessed with BL, and her favorite series was The Noble King. Now, after dying, she is reborn as Octavia in that series which stymies her joy for the series.
In The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices Volume 1 Manga, Octavia’s Got A Raw Deal
Flipping it where BL is the norm and heterosexual relationships are outliers in high society adds a layer to the isekai manga. That’s probably anti-LGBTQ+ people’s greatest fear. But the world is the same. There are good people, jerks, and predators. The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices Volume 1 manga paints a realistic picture of noble life with the BL element. Octavia’s life as a member of the royal family is challenging. At first glance, she’s living it up in this Yen Press manga. But she retained some memories of her previous life; she knows how this series unfolds for her character. Therein lies the problem.
Convenient plot devices only exist to serve a purpose. They have no value outside of that. However, plot devices can also be people. In The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices Volume 1, Octavia exists to provide heirs to her brother, Prince Sirius. In The Noble King, Octavia marries someone, and her first boy and girl go to her brother. Sirius does not have to cheat on his male partner, Sil, the love of Sirius’s life. Perspectives change when you’re the one in the sacrificial chair. Maki cheered for Octavia’s sacrifice, but now she is Octavia. Marrying a man to give away two of her children is a “hell no.”
Opportunity for Lots of Conflicts
Octavia’s choices alter relationship trajectories compared to her book counterpart. Book Octavia is close with Sirius, whereas this Octavia maintains a combative distance. But she’s tight with her younger brother, Alec, instead. But this dynamic shift presents added opportunities for conflict. Though the first volume focuses on Octavia’s search for a boyfriend, there is trouble brewing. Someone in the shadows uses her distance from Sirius to name-drop her as a mastermind behind attempts on Sil’s life. The Another-style moments, where Sirius and Derek’s memories of Octavia differ, tease an even larger secret. So the question is whether Derek is thinking of how the story plays out in the book or if someone or something is tampering with Sirius’s memories.
The opposing factions of noblemen are another issue. Many people are not content living life their way. They want others to live according to their beliefs. So while true love nobles and adulterous nobles factions seem minor, there’s room for plenty of mayhem. Add in Klifford, Octavia’s hot bodyguard’s secrets, and it’s like Octavia is unknowingly playing the villain role. He emphasizes he’s a special adjutant, and though Klifford now serves Octavia, it doesn’t mean he cannot betray her. Though it’s easy to ship the pair.
Comedy and Characters
Allowing a closer bond to the main character, the manga shows two Octavias. Octavia uses her fan as a shield and displays a chilly demeanor. But the same panel shows Octavia’s internal torment as she gushes about BL or cries and apologizes for her frosty exterior. Octavia is not all light and sunshine. Her death in her previous life was dramatic. It haunts her to the point where recalling it incapacitates her.
The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices Volume 1 manga has characters for everyone. It’s inclusive fun, and so the best of both worlds. Octavia’s outward coolness while she geeks out, rages, and fawns internally is as relatable as comedic. Thanks to an interesting main character, multiple mysteries, the question around Octavia’s trauma tied to her death in her previous life and this series is a must-read. I cannot wait to learn more about this world through Octavia’s eyes. As engrossing as the light novel with hilarious drawings, The Princess of Convenient Plot Devices Volume 1 manga brings laughter, a fascinating world and teases future drama.