Story by Milli-gram
Illustrations by Yuki Kana
Translated by Emily Hemphill
Edited by Meiru
I’ll Never Set Foot in That House Again! is a series that’s foreboding from its title alone. Despite being the daughter of a baron, the young Chelsea has been regarded as a failure by her family and is regularly abused by her mother and sister. That said, when a young man named Glen discovers that Chelsea has a new magical skill called [Seed Creation], her life is turned on its head and she’s invited to live in luxury at Royal Research Institute. This Cinderella-esque story covers some difficult subject matter, but its underlying themes are compelling and heartwarming.
The majority of this novel is told from the perspective of Chelsea herself, which makes it a brutal yet fascinating read. Having been abused since her birth, Chelsea’s entire perspective on society is warped. She genuinely believes that she is worthless and that her presence will only bring trouble to others. This makes her life at the Royal Research Institute hard to grasp, and she initially tries to understand it with the logic of her previous life. It’s hard not to get depressed hearing Chelsea ponder why she’s no longer cleaning rooms at dawn or getting whipped for her mistakes, but it also emphasizes the significance of her current situation: she’s free.
The series’ cast is mostly composed of fellow inhabitants of the Royal Research Institute, the majority of which actively support Chelsea’s new life. The most notable of them is Glen, an appraiser with powerful abilities. Glen is the first person to help Chelsea in the series, and he remains a positive influence in Chelsea’s life moving forward. Several of the interlude chapters in this volume are told from Glen’s perspective, and they help portray him as a secretive but well-meaning person. Helping Chelsea does benefit his own endeavors, but it’s clear he cares for Chelsea beyond his obligations. Beyond that, Glen is incredibly grounded in spite of his royal connections. Having Glen around Chelsea, who was raised with a high emphasis on power and status, helps break the cruel worldview instilled in her. Glen is an admirable mentor and friend to Chelsea, one that supports a better future for our heroine.
It’s hard to ignore that the early parts of this story are related to themes of abuse, and though it will turn away some readers from checking out the series, it handles the subject matter appropriately. No one at the institute takes Chelsea’s previous abuse lightly, and while that should be expected, it’s refreshing to see the series take a hard stance against the issue. This is further emphasized during an Interlude chapter that is told from the perspective of Chelsea’s sister Margaret, where she tries to defend her abusive behavior. Without hesitation, all her peers condemn Margaret’s actions and sympathize with Chelsea. The deliberate choice to not humanize Chelsea’s abusers gives further weight to her development, as she learns to open up emotionally and find value in her life.
I’ll Never Set Foot in That House Again! is an incredible read that depicts its protagonist grappling with her past trauma, while also looking towards a better tomorrow. The series’ first-person perspective uniquely frames the story’s narrative, and you’ll quickly become attached to its characters. Go give Chelsea a hug!