Episode 7 – 7th Time Loop: The Villainess Enjoys a Carefree Life

Can we all agree that Rishe is really bad at living up to this show’s premise? I’m not talking about the villainess bit, because that’s just a buzzword to get eyes on the book, but rather about her stated goal of doing nothing during her seventh time around. Rishe’s good at many things, as the show to date has amply demonstrated, but “doing nothing” is not one of them. She’s not even good at pretending to do nothing: Arnold’s reaction to Theodore “holding her hostage” last week showed that he’s got her number, and virtually every interaction he has with her is colored by his expectations that she will do something, well, unexpected. Take this week, for example – Rishe’s hardly been lounging around the house, she’s been preparing (because you know she wasn’t just letting the maids do everything) a bedroom for Arnold, planning out how to make it best foster relaxation, and planning to get ahold of a wig so that she can join the knight cadets’ training. I’m not sure when I last saw someone be so bad at relaxing.

But that’s part of what’s likely to save her in the end, and Arnold along with her. Rishe’s gotten this far because she’s unwilling to sit back and let things happen; with each new loop, she’s taken a different direction and learned new skills. Sure, it was, and continues to be, all in the name of not getting killed by her current fiancé (either directly or indirectly), but it shows that ambition and intellectual curiosity are two of her defining traits. And really, I think that this time saving Arnold from his future is just as big a part of her drive as keeping her head attached to her body. It’s cute that he’s jealous of his future self when she talks about the best swordsman she’s ever met, but it’s more important that she’s forcing him (gently) to take better care of himself. When Oliver tells her that Arnold hasn’t slept, she entices him to take a nap, even going so far as to do the patting gesture that’s known as “ah-ah baby” in my family (after the chant that, for some reason, everyone says while doing it). She wants him to be comfortable, to rest, and to be well.

How aware she is remains unclear. She has a few anime heroine blind spots, like when she offers to let him touch her neck since he let her touch his – and undoing her collar also reveals a healthy amount of breasts to his gaze. Arnold’s made it clear to those of us who aren’t anime heroines that he’d very much like to touch her more frequently (and possibly more sexually), but Rishe’s not picking up his clues, even as she’s getting less strict about her initial no touching rule. Romance doesn’t appear to have been a factor in any of her previous lives, or at least not significant enough that she’s mentioned it in her reminiscing, so she really may not be picking up on Arnold’s signals or even be fully aware of the ones she’s kind of sending back. She could just be so focused on survival that she’s not cognizant of anything else, or at least is convinced that all of her actions are done strictly to save herself rather than to save Arnold as well.

In any event, this is a lovely, lighter episode after the Theodore storyline. Seeing Rishe and Arnold simply exist near each other is sweet, and that’s just as important to their future as Arnold not becoming a warmongering maniac trying to wash his pain away with other people’s blood. And even if he does still go down that road, Rishe will be there to stop him – with or without one hand tied behind her back.


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