The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 Is a Fascinating Look At Happy Revenge

The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 cover of Aria holding an hourglass between her hands.

The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 has some flow issues; however, the main character, Lady Aria Roscent, is compelling. It’s another story from the villainess’s perspective, but there’s a uniqueness, given her resentment and how her story unfolds. It also raises questions about responsibility. While adults are responsible for their actions, it’s another thing when it’s a child. Even moreso when scheming adults manipulate a kid to become their worst selves. The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 enthralls thanks to its leading lady and her twisting schemes. 

With an original story by Sansobee, art by Antstudio, translation by Kakao Entertainment, and lettering by Adam Jankowski, the volume begins with a glass shattering at Aria’s young feet. Servants whisper criticisms as they await Aria’s outburst. Instead, she quietly excuses herself from the dining table where her mother, stepfather, stepbrother, and stepsister sit in surprise at her restraint. However, only readers of the Yen Press comic are privy to why there’s a drastic change with Aria. 

The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 Crafts Another Level to Do-Over

Arguably, Aria’s possession of this blessing is questionable; however, given her end, it’s understandable. Think if Hamlet could go back in time to redo everything. Aria is adept at adjusting. After all, she was dead right before that glass dropped at the table. Aria’s stepbrother, Cain, executed her for attempting to kill her stepsister—Cain’s sibling—Mielle. 

Before they behead her, her sister approaches and confesses how she always hated Aria, had the staff lie to and manipulate Aria, and even murdered Aria’s mother. Somehow, as they execute her, and Aria wishes to return to the past, save her mother, and seek vengeance, she is suddenly at the dining table, now a young teen rather than her twenty-four-year-old self. The hourglass represents time, but it can also represent the opportunity to try again–all one has to do is turn the hourglass over. The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 captures that, and some dramatic and funny moments ensue. 

Cat and Mouse, But Which is Which?

While Aria was the villainess and those around her manipulated her from a young age, Mielle is no better. As it stands, Aria plans to repay Mielle for everything while ensuring her mom’s safety. But if the servants around Aria pushed her as a kid to behave like she did, it could be the same for Mielle. Still, as Aria remembers certain occasions and twists how it plays out now to come out sparkling, it’s impossible not to admire her skill. 

The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 cover of Aria holding an hourglass between her hands.
The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 cover. Yen Press.

However, cracks are already showing as situations change outside her control because of her interference. Some of these sections have pacing issues where the story should flow. It grates instead, building a disconcerting “blink and you’ll miss it” feel. Hopefully, the pace of the next volume and plot points move more organically instead of feeling jammed in.  

The Adult in a Kid’s Body to Excuse a Predator is Tired

More stories are having women travel back in time to inhabit their teen or preteen bodies. Meanwhile, the love interest pursuing them is often a grown man. These tactics seem like the latest workaround, diminishing the horror of a twenty-something man pursuing a teenybopper child. But whether a story claims he secretly senses her maturity does not matter. There’s no real difference between that and “she’s mature for her age.” But there’s little focus on this part in this volume. So, hopefully, it remains that way. Although it’s apparent the story is paving the way for at least one, likely two, love interests. 

Despite some kinks, The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 possesses excellent potential for a story with intrigue on a skilled chess player level. Its crafty lead character has enough anger yet world-class acting skills to beat the other players at their own game. But as she faces more than one opponent, there’s room for surprises. The Villainess Turns the Hourglass Volume 1 is an exciting story as Aria one-ups her nemesis and watches her squirm to maintain her facade of innocence. Still, revenge might not prove as fruitful as Aria believes, but it will still be thrilling to watch. 

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