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Literature / Only Villains Do That

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In which the Dark Lord plays with fire
While waiting on an Akihabara train platform one day, ordinary high schooler Yoshi Shinonome was suddenly plucked from his normal life in Japan and whisked away by a beautiful goddess to Ephemera, a world of magic and adventure, to serve as her Hero and drive back the evil Dark Lord.

This is not his story.

Standing nearby at the moment Yoshi was isekai'd was a man named Seiji - a rude, cranky, misanthropic musician who was not at all pleased to find himself also snatched up and transported to Ephemera by the goddess's wicked sister, Virya. According to this self-proclaimed Goddess of Evil, the whole fantasy adventure thing was a game she and her sister played to stave off the boredom of immortality, and since the good goddess, Sanora, had picked her Hero...well, Virya needed a Dark Lord.

Only Villains Do That is a web serial novel by D. D. Webb (of The Gods are Bastards fame) updating Tuesdays and Fridays. It is an Affectionate Parody of the isekai genre, and while generally light-hearted the alternate world of Ephemera is not a nice place. Expect lots of Mood Whiplash.


Only Villains Do That provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Seems to be Seiji's preferred approach.
    • “As it happens, I am allergic to poison. Not to impugn your hospitality, good sir; clearly you could not have known.”
  • Anti-Villain: Virya won't let him be too nice, but neither does Seiji actually want to be evil.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Seiji's not necessarily likeable, but compared to Virya he's a saint.
  • Divine Assistance: Both Yoshii and Seiji, as chosen of the goddesses, are given extra abilities not available to the inhabitants of their world. Additionally, neither goddess is above stacking the deck toward their chosen when they can get away with it.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Seiji has shown disgust at the sexism and racism present in Ephemera, and judging by the reactions of the other bandits he treated the goblins considerably better than most do.
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  • Even Evil Has Standards: Seiji is trying to retain as many of his as possible. Circumstances are unlikely to be cooperative however.
  • Familiar: Seiji is given Biribo, a sarcastic flying lizard as a familiar, largely to act as a Mr. Exposition for Seiji.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Elves are at the top, and beneath that your social rank is determined by how much elf heritage you have, with pure humans at the bottom.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: Ephemera has a doozy. The author has stated much of the world-building exists simply to be as annoying as possible to its protagonist.
  • Friendly Enemy: Yoshi and Seiji aren't friends, but Seiji's long-term plan is basically this so they can jointly take the fight to the goddesses, who Seiji considers the actual Big Bad.
  • Instant Expert: One of Seiji's early acquisitions is an magic sword that comes with the expertise to use it.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: All the chapters from book 1 are titled in this manner.
  • Mood Whiplash: The early chapters are almost slapstick. Enter Immolate.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The ones we've met so far seem to be of the Proud Merchant Race version, specifically a Knowledge Broker.
  • Powers as Programs: Seiji describes the feel of spells in his head as code, as if they are literally instructions to reality as to how it should behave.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Seiji would claim Even Evil Has Standards. Being entirely unconcerned with the fate of annoying girl in the train station however suggests he leans more towards this than he'd like to admit.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Seiji really does not want to be a dark lord, and is sickened by the way the goddesses treat the whole thing as a game. He very quickly decides that it needs to stop.
  • Trapped in Another World: A pastiche of isekai stories, of which the protagonist is well aware. He even refers to the experience as being isekai'd in his mental monologue.
  • Villain Protagonist: What the goddess Virya intends to happen.

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