While isekai stories are incredibly popular, I’m surprised time slip tales where the protagonist returns to their younger self after a major event haven’t also exploded in popularity. While reincarnation light novels and manga tend to have the main character be reborn with incredible powers, most time slips require thorough scheming to avoid their destructive ends.
But in Reset! The Imprisoned Princess Dreams of Another Chance!, the titular royal’s plan is rather simple: go to school.
Princess Annabel is looking forward to her wedding to her betrothed, and she’s completely taken aback when she and her knight, Edoile (Ed), are imprisoned and her kingdom conquered. As the days take their toll on them, Ed uses the last of his powers to give Annabel a Magic Stone, and this causes Annabel’s latent magical abilities to awaken.
Not only that, Annabel soon awakens as her twelve-year-old self, living happily in her kingdom. With this second chance at life (and carrying Ed’s Magic Stone), Annabel decides to do all the things she couldn’t do the first time around. So the princess heads to the academy, and who else is a student there but Ed.
I listened to Reset! right after Cross Infinite World’s Reincarnated as the Last of my Kind, and while this one only features one reader, I felt like this release was slightly stronger. A big reason? The tracks are more balanced here. Reset! has seven more tracks, and only one is over 22 minutes long. The majority are between 10 and 20 minutes, which makes it easier to decide to listen to a chapter or find where you left off. This is connected to the different approaches of the original light novels, but it’s much easier to stop and start if, say, you have 20 minutes of free time here or 30 minutes there versus Reincarnated as the Last of my Kind.
I enjoyed Sura Siu’s narration, and she strikes nice tones both in the expository text and the monologues/dialogues. Whether I was reading along or just listening, I didn’t have a lot of things to note besides I enjoyed it. The original novel does have problems handling the passage of time, and the audiobook does compound that a bit. The characters in Chapter 1 sound the same in Chapter 12, and with Reset! focusing on school-related events (with magical twists), it’s easy to forget that the novel takes place over years instead of months. There just aren’t enough reminders to explain the passage of time even in regards to Annabel’s feelings for her once and future knight.
Most of Reset! The Imprisoned Princess Dreams of Another Chance! is rather slice-of-life-ish, and so those who want a little more exciting tale may find it disappointing Annabel isn’t doing a little more to prevent her kingdom from falling. I don’t plan on holding off on finding out what happens in volume 2 until the audiobook version is released, but if volume 1’s audiobook is anything to go by, I wouldn’t mind re-experiencing it in audio form.