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Literature / I'm the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire!

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Once upon a time, a middle-aged Japanese salaryman thought he led a decent life. He had a job, a loving wife, a child, and even a house, but somehow everything went wrong eventually: his wife divorced him and denied him his daughter in the belief that he had an affair, he lost his job after he was accused of embezzling money from the company he worked for, and debt collectors took everything from him due to money that he never borrowed.

On the verge of his death, he wonders what he did wrong, when he is visited by a mysterious man, who introduces himself as the "Guide". The Guide reveals the truth of what happened: the man was deceived by his ex-wife, who cheated on him, helped his boss embezzle money, and foisted her debts onto him. Now knowing the true reason for his misery, the Guide promises the dying man a second, happier life in another world. However, what the dead man didn't know was that his life's misery was actually orchestrated by the Guide himself, who feeds on negative emotions, and he set him up for failure in his next life as well.

When Liam Sera Banfield turned five, he started to remember his past life. Reborn as the heir of the count house Banfield of the Intergalactic Algrand Empire, Liam's parents leave their planet to him to rule as his "birthday present" (including all their debts), while they enjoy a carefree life in the capital. With his maid robot, Amagi, and his butler, Brian, by his side, Liam decides to live his life to the fullest as an evil lord, who tramples on others' lives like they trampled on his… The only problem is that most of the things he does to benefit himself end up benefiting the empire as a whole as well, and the gratefulness Liam feels for the Guide only makes the Guide want to crush him and throw him into the depths of despair.

I'm the Evil Lord of an Intergalactic Empire! (俺は星間国家の悪徳領主!, Ore wa Seikan Kokka no Akutoku Ryōshu!) is a science fiction Web Serial Novel written by Yomu Mishima (Seventh, Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs), originally released on Shousetsuka ni Narou in 2018 (which can be found here). It began publication as a series of Light Novels by Overlap in 2020, with illustrations by Nadare Takamine. A manga adaptation by Kai Nadashima began serialization in Overlap's Comic Gardo magazine in 2021.

Since September 2021, the light novel series is published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment. They added the manga to their lineup in November 2022.

A Spin-Off, I'm the Heroic Knight of an Intergalactic Empire! was also released on Shousetsuka ni Narou from 2021 to 2023 before being officially published by Overlap in 2022. This Spin-Off centers around a girl named Emma, who wishes to serve the Banfield House as a knight in his army. However, her initial performance ranking gets her sent to a remote planet for her assignment.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: A Running Gag with each Con Man Liam trusts.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Early in the story, Liam captures a Black Box that can turn junk into rare metals, which essentially lets Liam print money for himself and his feudal holdings. He abuses it so much that it ought to cause an inflation crisis a la what happened to Spain in the 1600s, but this never occurs to anyone.
  • Author Appeal:
    • In line with the author's hatred for the little sister characters, Cecil and Cleo is this for this story similar to Marie from Trapped in a Dating Sim and Celes from Seventh. Unlike Marie or Celes, who has Freudian Excuse and/or underlying reasons for their actions and has a big role on the plot, Cecil is more or less treated as an amusement by Liam and her plans spectacularly backfiring at her though it is played straight for Cleo who was an Ungrateful Bastard and plans to kill Liam due to envy.
    • Yomu Mishima really likes buxom blonde heroines as shown with Rosetta and Christiana, similar to Angelica/Olivia/Noelle from Mobuseka and Novem from Seventh.
    • The Main character again is a noble with severe flaws (either in status or personality) in the beginning of their story but a life changing event turned their lives around like Rudel (Dragoon, one of Yomu Mishima's early works), Lyle (Seventh) and Leon (Trapped in a Dating Sim).
  • Almighty Janitor: Inevitably, when Liam is posted under others as part of his government required service. Once he is put on administrative duty, this results in Liam being a Bad Boss to his (corrupt) boss.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The main way Liam is Wrong Genre Savvy. When it comes to his assessments of people's morality, he always judges people to be their exact opposite, which is a Running Gag usually contrasted by another character's (more accurate) POV, and making him an Unreliable Narrator. In the military academy, he even judged that the aristocrats loved him and the commoners hated him, while it was the other way around.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Liam becomes one as part of his military service in the Logistics Division, more than willing to break some bones to make sure funds aren't wasted due to the many sheltered and evil aristocrats making petty demands of them, as well throwing his own resources in, to make up for shortfalls.
  • Benevolent Dictator: Liam. Technically.
  • Blood Knight: Liam collects a number of dubiously sane lady Knights, that are always chomping at the bit for a chance to go Ax-Crazy. Claus is the main exception, being a professional soldier who finds the ladies' behavior intimidating.
  • Bullying a Dragon: People who confront Liam usually have some logical reason to believe they can overcome him or his forces, just Underestimating Badassery. Not so for a certain boastful Marquis House, who run in fear to the Empire for protection after pressing Liam's Berserk Button by insulting his mother-figure gets their heir split in half.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Justified. With the Attempted Rape of Rosetta in a public hallway, the witnesses know that the perpetrator is a member of their Empire's largest Mafia, and the victim isn't someone from a family with enough power to reward helping or cover for the retribution.
  • The Caligula: All the Emperors to date have been real pricks prone to Disproportionate Retribution and festering corruption, the current top candidates are no exception. Liam cleans up quite a few of their messes and really looks forward to shaking things up, hard, trying for a Dark Horse Victory, albeit because it benefits himself.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Con Man Master Yasushi's Clap Your Hands If You Believe Way of the Flash swordsmanship, which manages to be taught to people besides Liam as well via Training from Hell. It took decades for Liam to master it.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Master Yasushi is a Con Man. However, he tries so hard to set impossibly tough training to try to make his disciple give up, in order to be free of needing to train him, that it ends up working, and thus the Way of the Flash sword-style was born!
  • Conscription: Starts to become an issue in two separate ways: When Liam conquers worlds that have had it enacted, it breeds resentment towards him, due to his Leave No Survivors policy. Additionally, eventually his administration is forced to resort to it somewhat themselves, which infuriates Liam, who considers himself the only one allowed to oppress his people.
  • Decadent Court: The truth of the Imperial throne. Succession is determined by having the many, many children scheme and plot to kill each other until only one is left, with the female siblings rarely getting a "vote." Woe be to the aristocrat that backs the wrong candidate.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Claudia House backed a losing candidate for the Imperial throne. So, the son who won it, to Make an Example of Them, created an organization dedicated to making their lives a living hell for 2000 years and running, with the tradition of dragging them to parties in the capital just to laugh at.
  • Dystopia Is Hard: Liam truly wishes to be a genuine evil lord, but what constantly stops him is the fact he realizes that many of his evil deeds he wishes he could implement are either Awesome, but Impractical and would bite him in the butt, or are considered competence under the sometimes-skewed morality of this Feudal Future. Among other things, he fantasizes about forcing beautiful women into his Royal Harem for him to do with as he pleases, only for Amagi to spell out for him that Imperial noblemen are practically expected to be screwing their female subordinates silly and the female members of his staff were hired with that in mind (which in Liam's mind takes all the fun out of it).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • After generations of suffering and all their troubles finally dealt with, Rosetta's grandmother holds on long enough to see her granddaughter happily engaged and passes away Peaceful in Death.
    • Even when Calvin lost the right to succeed the throne and countless women later divorced him, he ended up doing well when he moved to Banfield territory along with the only woman who married him for love, where he began to take an honest worker life far from the toxic environment that was the imperial palace.
  • Easy Sex Change: Apparently, one only needs to walk into a sex-change machine and done! There are also magic potions that can do this temporarily.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Liam is a firm believer in this, more than happy to pay people over years, banking favors to call in just in case.
  • Expy: Many readers equate the setting with Warhammer 40,000.
    • The supporting character Prince Cedric, is a Ciaphas Cain expy.
    • The ban on super advanced A.I on military robots and the noble's disgust to androids is similar to the Imperium of Man's hatred of A.I. The reason is also the same: the sentient robots tried to eradicate humanity.
  • Fantastic Racism: People in the Empire hate AI's because at one time in the past, they Turned Against Their Masters and tried to kill off mankind. This causes problems for Liam because his beloved Parental Substitute Amagi happens to be one, and he doesn't take insults against her kindly.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What you should expect if you surrender to Goaz. You will be used as a meat shield and a sacrificial pawn at best. At worse he will genetically alter you into a horrific creature for his own amusement.
  • Flash Step: The Way of the Flash swordsmanship technique Liam masters over decades, is a weaponized version of this, combined with drawing and sheathing the sword fast enough to create Razor Wind.
  • Foreshadowing: In Volume 2, Eila warns Liam and Kurt about an STD that causes a man's groin to gradually swell until it eventually explodes. When Peter shows off his ship to Katarina, he off-handedly mentions that his groin is growing bigger. He's later revealed to have caught the groin-exploding STD from all his womanizing.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Thanks to The Guide's warning about an evil behind everything he's faced so far, Liam decides to cut out the middlemen and target the Empire's Decadent Court itself, deciding to start his own faction, offering to help develop member's planets.
  • Guardian Angel: Liam thinks the Guide is this for him, when it's actually a Heroic Dog spirit (strongly implied to be Liam's pet from his past life) who is interfering with the Guide. Said spirit will also guide several other characters to help Liam.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Pirates are so loathsome that Liam cares not a whit about their backers, backstory, circumstances, or whatever Freudian Excuse they may have. He sees them, he kills them, as quickly and brutally as possible, as soon as he can, and he never, ever heeds their pleas for surrender or mercy.
  • Hope Is Scary: The house of Claudia was so horribly mistreated that they don't even have the hope of someone helping them under the fear they are actually going to betray them.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: All the time, when it comes to Liam's view on his people's treatment. He only gets pleasure from peoples suffering when he's the one to inflict it, otherwise demanding those he delegates to practice what he sees as Pragmatic Villainy.
  • Idle Rich:
    • Subverted Trope with Liam, who sees himself as this, but compared to most other nobles, he's the opposite, even having a Charles Atlas Superpower. For example, Liam gleefully arranges for his military post to have luxury facilities on it; he ends up practicing swordsmanship and asking people to tell him jokes in his bedroom, while the facilities are left to his soldiers in their off-hours.
    • Played straight by the Royal Prince Liam takes under his patronage, Wallace, enough to give Liam buyer's remorse.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Liam's top knights Christiana and Marie, and later, his military aide Eulisia and his apprentice Ellen. Not to mention the Banfield maids hoping to be Liam's concubine.
  • Implied Death Threat: When Cliff tries to petition the Empire to reinstate him as the head of the Banfield house, the Prime Minister flat out tells him that the Empire sees Liam far more useful than he ever was and doesn't trust him to now start paying taxes after he never did so before. After pointing out he even tried to push the appeal directly to him, the Minister recommends he should shut it and not bring it up again if he wants to continue to live peacefully in the Empire. From Cliff's reaction, he seemed to fully understand what he means.
  • Leave No Survivors: Space Pirates, and anyone who fights alongside them gets this treatment from Liam. Starts to become an issue when Liam's enemies conscript en masse.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Mafia Berkeley Family have all of their territories ruled by Barons, to limit the taxes they are expected to pay.
  • The Mafia: Colloquially known as The Berkeley Family, The Don is a Baron who conquers a new planet each time one of his massive number of sons comes of age, to appoint them as Barons. They each stay Barons, to limit the amount they need to pay to their feudal masters. Their main export is a Panacea called Elixir, which is made by absorbing the Life Energy from worlds using Ancient Artifact. They are also known as the Pirate Nobles due to backing them, and because of their low ranks, Liam doesn't take them seriously until he's already crossed them.
  • The Magnificent: Liam is widely known as The Pirate Hunter, for obvious reasons. He encounters a thuggish Baron known as The Pirate Noble, and the two get along about as well as you'd expect.
  • Money Dumb: Seems to be a common trait with most nobility, but special mention goes to Liam's parents. The sole reason they gave Liam control over the planet at age 5 was to push their debt onto him, which he has been paying off for decades. Also, despite living in the empire where Liam gives them an allowance, by the time he sees them again they are again in debt, ask him to use his reward money for taking out Goaz to pay it off and to increase their allowance. After that, Liam just fully cuts them off.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Just about every flavor of morality exists in the story.
  • Neural Implanting: Education capsules, which come in the form of Healing Vats, can install years of knowledge directly to the brain in a matter of months while also enhancing the body's strength during that time. However, the user must undergo physical rehabilitation and quickly "use-or-lose" the knowledge they've gained after leaving the capsule, so one cannot just stay inside indefinitely.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Everything "The Guide" tries to do to make Liam collapse into despair winds up helping him, which he notices. Liam in return sends genuine gratitude towards "The Guide" which actually harms the guy.
  • Noodle Incident: The bucket party.
  • Older Than They Look: The human race has much longer life spans to where it isn't unheard of for them to live up to 600 years. Because of this they also age much slower, as Liam looked like a pre-teen despite being 30 years old.
  • Panacea: Elixir, which is very expensive, and Liam buys to heal people from ridiculously awful physical conditions, usually gaining their Undying Loyalty for it. It's made by draining people's life-force with an Ancient Artifact.
  • Quality over Quantity: Liam's fleets are well-trained with top-of-the-line ships, and often fight battles where they're outnumbered but can outgun their enemies. Deconstructed in later battles when they find themselves stretched too thin against enemies attacking on multiple fronts. Liam is aware of this and tries to have both Quality and Quantity when he can afford to.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The main thing that lets Liam continue to believe he's an evil lord. The Empire he is subordinate to is so rife with corruption and greed, that he never runs out of people to give a Karmic Death to.
  • Propaganda Machine: Liam controls the news outlets in his home territory, including actors playing straw critics of Liam's policies, to intentionally lose arguments.
  • Psychopomp: The dog who assists Liam originally was sent to bring his master safely to the afterlife but the Guide instead ruined that. The guardian spirit now does everything it can to help his master in any endeavor and bring misery to the Guide in every opportunity he can.
  • Reincarnate in Another World: An unnamed Japanese man who had worked himself to death trying to keep up with his alimony, child-support, and other debts foisted unto him by his Gold Digger adulterous ex-wife, who slandered and divorced him, taking the daughter that may not even be his with him the moment she found a new boy toy, is met by "The Guide" on his hospital death-bed and promised a new life. He takes it and is reborn as Count Liam Banfield of the Intergalactic Empire.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: A bit downplayed by the android maids in Liam's territory. While they seem expressionless and silent on the outside, in their special "forum" they are quite chatty and hilarious. They even gamble "accessories" and appearances on whoever poor human schmuck who would try to seduce Liam akin to betting in a horse race. Amagi meanwhile "raids" the chat regularly to stop them slacking off while on duty.
  • Scenery-Based Societal Barometer: In Volume 1, a bartender and his frequent patron make several appearances talking about life on Liam's planet, especially after Liam makes policy decisions that improve their standards of living. The bar becomes more successful over time and the patron goes from Drowning His Sorrows in cheap swill to savoring more expensive liquors.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Empire where Liam Banfield is born is a multi-galaxy country, and it's not alone, there are other inter-galactic countries "nearby," and there have been plenty of armed skirmishes between them. This has been handwaved by the existence of warp-corridors which allow for near instantaneous travel, limits currently unknown.
  • Show Within a Show: Liam's people thought the events of the third novel would make a good drama. Brian let them film at Liam's estate in exchange for an autograph of one of his favorite actresses, and making a cameo.
  • Slasher Smile: The Guide's default expression, unless he's being weakened by Liam's gratitude. Liam and several of his knights, namely Tia, Marie and Chengshi will often sport this expression in combat.
  • Space Opera: A large part of the action involves space-battles with massive numbers of ships, usually numbering in the tens if not hundreds of thousands.
  • Space Cold War: Between Liam, known as The Pirate Hunter, and The Mafia Berkeley Family who have backed a majority of the Empire's Space Pirates. It started with economic warfare, and goes hot. All caused by Liam killing one member of the Berkeley Family in self-defence during an ambush.
  • Space Pirates: Invariably the evilest people in the universe, to the point where anti-piracy measures are a Guilt-Free Extermination War.
  • STD Immunity: Attempted but averted. Despite their best efforts, the doctors in this sci-fantasy universe failed to eliminate STD's. The viruses and other infectious agents mutate far too quickly, resulting in a strain where infected women are completely asymptomatic, but infected men have their groins grow obscenely huge and then EXPLODE. The only known cure for this is the extremely costly Elixir.
  • Take That!: The slogan of the main news organization secretly controlled by Liam in his territory is "Fair and balanced", the former slogan of Fox News.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Parodied. After society in Japan kicked him around, siding with his adulterous ex-wife, slapping him with debts that aren't his, destroying his life by believing her Blatant Lies, Malicious Slander, and false accusations, with unscrupulous debt collectors literally working him to death, Liam promises to spend his new life being an Evil Overlord cackling like a madman as he makes his subjects suffer for his own amusement, and that is indeed his intention... until he sees that his parents and grandparents have already squeezed his subjects dry, left them with corrupt bureaucrats that see nothing wrong with running them over with their cars, and he himself is once again saddled with an unreasonable debt that isn't his. He promises to build them up so he can then smack them down later. He gets to do the first part but never really gets around to the second, winding up beloved by his subjects and becomes a genuine Ideal Hero without realizing it.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Any section told from Liam's POV is going to carry his warped perception of morality.
  • Uterine Replicator: At least among nobles, especially those in a Marriage of Convenience, children are typically produced outside the mother's womb instead of being born naturally. Liam is no exception.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: Justified, for both sides. Liam had to spend literal decades, investing, lowering taxes, and purging corruption, to build up his territory. In contrast, The Mafia Berkeley Family, drain the life from their worlds to produce Elixir, as well as raising taxes and levies to the max to compete with Liam's military forces in a Space Cold War.
  • World of Buxom: Many of the women Liam meets, especially his Amazon Brigade, but Amagi and Rosetta take the cake. Somewhat justified by Amagi not being human, and the maids and saleswomen being specially chosen to appeal to his tastes.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Liam loves to be bribed in gold, still thinking it is a symbol of wealth like in his past life. Though despite it still being a valuable metal, it isn't seen as valuable as a lot of other precious metals. The fact he prefers gold over other precious metals makes merchants see him as benevolent compared to other lords.

Alternative Title(s): I Am The Villainous Lord Of The Interstellar Nation, Im The Evil Lord Of An Intergalactic Empire, I Am The Evil Lord Of An Intergalactic Empire