“A Must-Read Female-Led Fantasy”
- Mangaka : Sato Mato (Story), Mitsuya Ryo (Art)
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Action, Drama, Fantasy, Seinen, Shoujo Ai
- Published : October 2022
Shokei Shoujo no Ikirumichi (The Executioner and Her Way of Life) makes an art form out of misdirection. At first appearing like a normal isekai, it subverts your expectations by delivering a dark fantasy reverse-isekai that’s steeped in politics and complex character motivations.
The manga adaptation of the light novels, handled by mangaka Mitsuya Ryo, is a more streamlined take on the original source material, but it’s otherwise an excellent foray into this twisted, action-packed universe.
Join us today on Honey’s Anime as we discuss Shokei Shoujo no Ikirumichi (The Executioner and Her Way of Life), Vol 1!
As with most isekai, the summoned heroes—almost always Japanese, of course—typically gain prodigious strength upon their transfer. Perhaps it’s a latent magical ability they never knew existed; so powerful that, if left unchecked, could grow to make them into a calamitous force capable of laying low entire continents.
That is the reality of The Executioner and Her Way of Life. So-called “otherworlders” were once more frequent, but after four particular Japanese summons turned into the “Four Calamities,” the Church stepped in with their trained Executioners. These fierce priestesses fight using the world’s natural mana, called Guiding Force, and utilize holy scriptures to unleash magical attacks; but when it comes down to doing business, they’ll use knives and blades to make sure the job gets done.
Menou is one such Executioner, tasked with the eradication of one Akari Tokitou—a high school girl summoned by a heretical king. But when Menou assassinates Akari, this otherworlder’s power kicks in, and rewinds time to before her injury. Nothing Menou does could possibly kill Akari, except perhaps to take her to the Church’s holy capital, where the Archbishop may have the tools to eradicate her for good.
But Akari is more than just a dangerous newcomer—she’s adorable, affectionate, and a complete ditz. Menou might be hardened by years of killing, but even she’s not immune to Akari’s charm—much to the concern of Menou’s loyal servant, Momo. With new threats emerging and a dire political situation brewing, Menou and Momo soon have their hands full with dangerous terrorists, rogue princesses, and the unknown nature of Akari’s time-manipulation power.
Mitsuya Ryo has done a brilliant job bringing this world to life, with a combination of charming characters and gory battles. The pacing feels just right too, taking up only about a third—or even less—of the original light novel. Considering the vast worldbuilding of the series, both from a magical and political perspective, this was definitely the right call.
Why You Should Read The Executioner and Her Way of Life [Manga], Vol 1
1. Isekai Fantasy Redux
Let’s face it—there are a ton of isekai fantasies out there, and over the years, some of them have started looking pretty similar. The Executioner and Her Way of Life cuts straight through the mundane mess of so-so fantasy, delivering a cruel fate for the summoned and a bloody burden for the Executioners.
If you’ve read the light novels or watched the anime, you’ll know how much the story ramps up, with some mind-bending consequences. For the uninitiated, trust us when we say this is one ride you’ll want to strap yourself in for!
2. Girls Kicking Ass
Despite a deliberate misdirection in the opening chapter—something that earned the anime some ire online—this is a story that almost exclusively features women. More to the point, the cast of girls are very rarely (if ever) sexualized or used as fan service bait—they are here to kill monsters, infiltrate regimes, and use awesome magic.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life is the perfect female-led fiction, refusing to compromise on its own ideals to suit the expectations of the male-dominated isekai marketplace. Throw in the subtle girl’s love plot simmering in the background, and this series strongly makes its mark amidst its competition.
There’s really no reason not to read The Executioner and Her Way of Life. Its fantasy elements are heavily grounded in its own worldbuilding, the characters are well-executed and have clear goals, and although the first volume of the manga takes things a little slowly, we can promise you that the story will twist and turn your emotions.
If you’ve any interest in dark fantasy, or seeing the isekai genre get shaken up, go and pick up The Executioner and Her Way of Life’s manga right now. And if you’re still looking for more, we also highly recommend the light novels.
Are you going to check out The Executioner and Her Way of Life, Vol 1? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!
by Brett Michael Orr