Forum › The Fed Up Office Lady Wants to Serve the Villainess discussion

67763073_p3
joined Dec 18, 2013

Is amazing how fast Rubeus went down the villain route, and I can't be the only one getting some serious repressed gay vibes from him, can I? He's coming off as a mirror of sorts to Diana's attachment to Natori, in the sense that they're fixated on the person they built in their mind but not on the real person.

As an aside, I don't get why so many people want a poly ending, I feel like that would cheapen the themes of the series and feel like a cheap copout.

Khancrop
joined Feb 18, 2013

The "Nat" in "Natalie" stands for "Natural 20 on all rolls involving rizz with crazy girls".

joined Jan 14, 2020

As an aside, I don't get why so many people want a poly ending, I feel like that would cheapen the themes of the series and feel like a cheap copout.

We want everyone to be happy. Also it'd be hot. And I don't see what themes would be cheapened.

Subaru
joined Jul 31, 2019

I really like this direction, it's very interesting (even though the Rubeus thing did develop unusually fast), but I also feel I'm losing the plot a bit - why did Vino-kun even speak in code words to Lapis about Diana fighting some random commoner as if it's all according to their plan? I thought if anything, they're scheming with some nobles or whatever :P And if it's not some kind of spark to begin the evil scheme or purge or whatever the fuck is she even planning at this point, why didn't the servant simply say that Diana is stirring some shit up and you should take a look (not like that's a secret at this point, they're clearly making a public scene?) It's extremely minor but just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

... but I guess it may be explained in later chapters?

last edited at Feb 29, 2024 2:27PM

Patreon_post_image-42_50_1_50
joined Sep 10, 2022

As an aside, I don't get why so many people want a poly ending, I feel like that would cheapen the themes of the series and feel like a cheap copout.

We want everyone to be happy. Also it'd be hot. And I don't see what themes would be cheapened.

Not themes (at least ones that we can discuss right now) but rather the personalities of the characters. It's unlikely for individuals to simply stumble into a poly relationship, and I don't believe any of these three characters have demonstrated that inclination. In fact, I'd say they've shown a lot of opposing qualities and I don't see that taken into account in discussions like these.

It mostly seems like a desire not to have any character suffer a "loss," more than anything. That's fine too and I get the idea; but I can't personally support it unless the characters seem like they'd be the type.

Ratana Satis' "Beast Knights" is an example of an evolving poly relationship that made sense because the characters were the type, long before it happened. It made sense in-text.

last edited at Feb 29, 2024 2:29PM

joined Dec 5, 2018

i'm suddenly remember Natali is an adult probably at her late 20s and Lapis and Diana is just a teen. Everything get weird since then... but i need to know how this end so...

67763073_p3
joined Dec 18, 2013

I really like this direction, it's very interesting (even though the Rubeus thing did develop unusually fast), but I also feel I'm losing the plot a bit - why did Vino-kun even speak in code words to Lapis about Diana fighting some random commoner as if it's all according to their plan? I thought if anything, they're scheming with some nobles or whatever :P And if it's not some kind of spark to begin the evil scheme or purge or whatever the fuck is she even planning at this point, why didn't the servant simply say that Diana is stirring some shit up and you should take a look (not like that's a secret at this point, they're clearly making a public scene?) It's extremely minor but just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

... but I guess it may be explained in later chapters?

I think the game is adapting to Natori's interference to keep the plot from going off the rails, plus, Lapis' coming to Diana's aid puts Lapis closer to getting Diana's gem, that is the entire reason she approached Diana in the first place.

Couple_under_the_stars
joined Nov 7, 2022

As an aside, I don't get why so many people want a poly ending, I feel like that would cheapen the themes of the series and feel like a cheap copout.

Because that's a reasonable interpretation of the whole "Diana is in love with Natori" part of the story. It's not shown as especially unhealthy (despite some jealousy) and doesn't really progresses the story, which could work as well without romantic feelings. It also refuses to actually address it (confession, rejection), hinting that the continued existence of this stalemate is important.

I mean, anyone who has read manga before can probably realize that the real point of that was to have a cute girl fall for the MC for no reason, to have multiple women fighting over Natori, the OL. Which is stupid and degrading, classic anime and manga trope. Construing this as a setup for a poly ending gives a broader, more mature meaning to that part of the story, with only a moderate amount of stretching the interpretation of the characters by viewing the affection between Lapis ans Diana as romantic and assuming the characters would be okay with it.

The idea that Diana's crush is meant to be seen as unhealthy and one-sided, and that she doesn't have a chance to have Natori fall for her because of it, is interesting (making Diana a flawed and mistaken ally instead of a love interest), but it's not the vibes the writing gives. Diana scenes don't send the message "her attitude is unhealthy and she's doomed", to the point that we actually have to draw parallels with Lapis to view Diana as not having a chance. So again, back to the previous paragraph.

TL;DR: because that interpretation is more satisfying that the harem romcom vibes the Natori / Lapis / Diana triangle give.

last edited at Mar 1, 2024 5:23AM

joined Apr 10, 2023

As an aside, I don't get why so many people want a poly ending, I feel like that would cheapen the themes of the series and feel like a cheap copout.

Because that's a reasonable interpretation of the whole "Diana is in love with Natori" part of the story. It's not shown as especially unhealthy (despite some jealousy) and doesn't really progresses the story, which could work as well without romantic feelings. It also refuses to actually address it (confession, rejection), hinting that the continued existence of this stalemate is important.

I mean, anyone who has read manga before can probably realize that the real point of that was to have a cute girl fall for the MC for no reason, to have multiple women fighting over Natori, the OL. Which is stupid and degrading, classic anime and manga trope. Construing this as a setup for a poly ending gives a broader, more mature meaning to that part of the story, with only a moderate amount of stretching the interpretation of the characters by viewing the affection between Lapis ans Diana as romantic and assuming the characters would be okay with it.

The idea that Diana's crush is meant to be seen as unhealthy and one-sided, and that she doesn't have a chance to have Natori fall for her because of it, is interesting (making Diana a flawed and mistaken ally instead of a love interest), but it's not the vibes the writing gives. Diana scenes don't send the message "her attitude is unhealthy and she's doomed", to the point that we actually have to draw parallels with Lapis to view Diana as not having a chance. So again, back to the previous paragraph.

TL;DR: because that interpretation is more satisfying that the harem romcom vibes the Natori / Lapis / Diana triangle give.

I agree with all this. Natori, Diana, and Lapis all seem to genuinely like and even be attracted to each other, with the possible exception of Diana's feelings towards Lapis, except Diana would absolutely go along with a polycule if it meant she could be with Natori. Sure, they might not seem overtly poly inclined up front, but who is? It's not a common character trait to be expressed ahead of time by characters, especially ones who aren't older and with a bunch of relationship experience. This series has already had a running theme of the true inner selves of both Lapis and Diana to be dramatically different from how Natori expected them to be based on how she viewed them as a member of the audience, so our standard expectations of them as readers for them to behave in "normal" expected ways are already compromised by the text.
And the alternative, of Diana just being a third wheel who is doomed from the start in her surprising love that Natori didn't see coming? That would be a pretty awful character arc for her TBH. She pulled a knife on the prince and has repeatedly acted with reckless determination on her feelings for Natori, so for her to end up a jilted ex or turning on a dime to meekly give up would both be disappointing and depressing.

last edited at Mar 1, 2024 8:09AM

DschingisKhan
Khancrop
joined Feb 18, 2013

The biggest thing I'm worried about right now is Diana becoming an actual villain in the plot.

joined Feb 20, 2023

Not far enough along, so I probably won't be on the lookout for replies yet, but as a quick aside I like the spirit intermediary magic system. Reminds me of MagiRevo. In general spirits add some flavor to typical fantasy magic, and avoids the currently overdone video game stat system.

https://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/the_fed_up_office_lady_wants_to_serve_the_villainess_ch07#18

2
joined Apr 14, 2022

I mean, anyone who has read manga before can probably realize that the real point of that was to have a cute girl fall for the MC for no reason ... Which is stupid and degrading, classic anime and manga trope.

This is a really shallow and cynical view of a story that has had nothing but excellent writing. Her love for Natori serves a specific purpose in the plot: get her on Natori's, and by extension, Lapis' side against the commoners. This has already resulted in the first opportunity Natori has had to divert Lapis' fate, although in the end she doesn't wish for Diana to meet that same fate either and is now attempting to chase two hares.

Moreover, if you want to talk about stupid and degrading, we can talk about the conflation of "poly" with "harem". In what way, exactly, is giving Natori a harem ending "more mature"? Diana has shown minimal interest in Lapis, and Lapis has shown less than zero romantic interest in Diana, viewing her strictly as a tool. Ergo, there's nothing poly about this, you just want to see a harem ending... which is exactly the kind of degrading thing you accuse the story of by having two characters fall for the MC.

(y)
joined Jan 9, 2017

The "Nat" in "Natalie" stands for "Natural 20 on all rolls involving rizz with crazy girls".

I that what we are calling charm this season?

Patreon_post_image-42_50_1_50
joined Sep 10, 2022

with only a moderate amount of stretching the interpretation of the characters by viewing the affection between Lapis ans Diana as romantic and assuming the characters would be okay with it.

I don't want to drag out this part of the discussion too much longer but: this would require more than "a moderate amount of stretching of the characters" based on how they've been presented thus far--especially this idea that Lapis has romantic feelings for Diana. That's not a minor stretch that's a major stretch. (Quick Aside: they also don't need a poly ending in order for Diana's role to have purpose and depth. It already has purpose and depth).

And your "assuming the characters will be okay with it," point is also not something that can be so easily brushed off. The portrayal of their personalities and relationships thus far indicates they would actually not be okay with that; in fact, their personalities up to this point suggest the opposite. Your response kind of hand waves the two major, actual issues, and the rest of what you said doesn't work if those two major issues don't work--at least in my opinion. It would take some considerable change over time but people have been saying "poly" since near the first chapter. It just sounds like wishful thinking, which is fine, as long as it's not treated like the text supports it right now. In that case I'd have to disagree.

last edited at Mar 2, 2024 6:33AM

joined Apr 10, 2023

The main thing supporting in the text right now is Natori doing dokidoki for both Diana and Lapis (obviously with the latter having far more emphasis). I just think that kind of unexpected plot development would go in line with the story's recurring theme of their lives being divergent from the otome game in surprising ways. Additionally, given all the emphasis on her and her feelings, her ending up as a third wheel would retroactively feel like a harem manga trope character, a pretty girl who falls for the mc without it going anywhere because that's just what pretty girls with a third place prominence in the plot do.

X2(edited)2
joined Jan 2, 2022

The main thing supporting in the text right now is Natori doing dokidoki for both Diana and Lapis (obviously with the latter having far more emphasis). I just think that kind of unexpected plot development would go in line with the story's recurring theme of their lives being divergent from the otome game in surprising ways. Additionally, given all the emphasis on her and her feelings, her ending up as a third wheel would retroactively feel like a harem manga trope character, a pretty girl who falls for the mc without it going anywhere because that's just what pretty girls with a third place prominence in the plot do.

That's just a question of execution though. That harem manga often has a third or fourth place character that loses reflects the poor writing of the characters, not the idea that multiple people could be vying for the affection of one person. And also, having two people in love with one person is not a harem, that's just a love triangle.

By this logic, is Bloom Into You a shitty harem manga because Sayaka loses? Of course not because the manga does a great job of writing for characters like Sayaka who feel full.

joined Jan 14, 2020

Lapis has shown less than zero romantic interest in Diana, viewing her strictly as a tool. Ergo, there's nothing poly about this, you just want to see a harem ending

If Natori ends up with Lapis and Diana, that's poly, even if Lapis and Diana don't touch each other.

Dark_Tzitzimine
67763073_p3
joined Dec 18, 2013

The main thing supporting in the text right now is Natori doing dokidoki for both Diana and Lapis (obviously with the latter having far more emphasis). I just think that kind of unexpected plot development would go in line with the story's recurring theme of their lives being divergent from the otome game in surprising ways. Additionally, given all the emphasis on her and her feelings, her ending up as a third wheel would retroactively feel like a harem manga trope character, a pretty girl who falls for the mc without it going anywhere because that's just what pretty girls with a third place prominence in the plot do.

I don't see anything that suggests Natori is developing romantic feelings for Diana, her heart only has eyes for Lapis even if she is too dense to realize it. She obviously likes Diana but her affection for her is filial at best, Diana is a beloved friend but not someone she considers as a potential romantic partner. The story also tends to portray Diana's crush on Natori as something negative, pushing her right into Rubeous manipulative hands and potentially taking over Lapis' role as the villainess.

X2(edited)2
joined Jan 2, 2022

Now that I'm thinking about it Natori and Lapis is toxic reciprocated and Natori and Diana is toxic unrequited.

Dark_Tzitzimine
67763073_p3
joined Dec 18, 2013

Well, Lapis is painfully aware that her affections are harmful to Natori and is willing to push her away when her plan starts to save her, making it somewhat healthy, ironically enough. A true toxic relationship would have Lapis care only for her desires without regard for Natori's wishes or well-being, and the goal of the story is to stop Lapis' plans anyway.

Diana on the other hand comes off as the more toxic of the two, making a very interesting subversion of the usual love triangle dynamics.

Fvwhfw_xoaawl_w
joined Feb 16, 2016

I usually am all for poly endings, but I don't think the three ending up in a poly relationship would be meaningful to this story in particular. It feels more just like an easy way out.

I agree that the three together with little attraction between Lapis and Diana does count as poly and yeah that could work out. But in terms of meaningfulness and character impact, I would prefer them to work things out because things are complex and people are complex. I adore this manga so much because of the thought put behind each character.

2
joined Apr 14, 2022

Lapis has shown less than zero romantic interest in Diana, viewing her strictly as a tool. Ergo, there's nothing poly about this, you just want to see a harem ending

If Natori ends up with Lapis and Diana, that's poly, even if Lapis and Diana don't touch each other.

the F it is. The modern, sex-positive conception of poly requires equality. If you're going to be with multiple people, those people also have the right to be with multiple people. One person having multiple wives who are monogamous to them is not progressive. It's abusive, and extremely regressive, like, "Islamic harem" regressive, and absolutely disgusting and vile. In the most literal sense, you might be correct being that Islamic harems are called polygamy so it is ""poly"", but the casual sense of poly used by fans of sexual liberation should not be conflated with that antiquated, gross practice.

Nobody goes around describing garbage harem anime with male leads as "poly", but for some reason it's okay if a lesbian does the same thing??? Nahhh, miss me with that.

Funny timing too, because just yesterday there was this article about a study on harem-style polygamy. Predictably, women who had to share their spouse were more anxious, depressed, and less sexually satisfied than women in monogamous marriages. Almost like such a selfish arrangement is a completely ****ed thing to do to someone, and we shouldn't be celebrating or promoting it as a good thing when a queer does it. Really shouldn't need a study to tell you something that obvious, though.

last edited at Mar 3, 2024 4:31AM

Couple_under_the_stars
joined Nov 7, 2022

Moreover, if you want to talk about stupid and degrading, we can talk about the conflation of "poly" with "harem". In what way, exactly, is giving Natori a harem ending "more mature"?

Fuck harems, they can burn in hell. Every comment I've made in support of a polycule route emphasized the need for a romantic relationship to exist between Diana and Lapis, something which could develop from the importance they already give to each other, but is still missing for now.

I've seen people rooting for Natori to end up with both Lapis and Diana without them also having a relationship, both here and on Reddit, and they can burn in hell too. While I don't like the route in which Diana's love is just there to make Natori feel more important, or for her to act rashly while being the doomed jealous romantic rival as in a romcom, that would still be orders of magnitude better than a harem ending. Somewhat uninspired writing turning a character into a doomed love interest vs utter trash, there is no comparison.

Conflating harems with balanced forms of polyamory (both polycules and open relationships) is just an annoying excuse that some people use to defend their degrading fetishes on a linguistic technicality.

Diana has shown minimal interest in Lapis, and Lapis has shown less than zero romantic interest in Diana, viewing her strictly as a tool.

I don't agree with that interpretation. Without re-reading the entire thing to give every example, chapter 13 pages 7 and 9-12, to name the most recent ones, are some of the reasons why I think there is genuine affection between the two. Of course, they are also more focused on Natori, Lapis does see Diana as a tool (like everyone else), and some of that affection might be aimed towards that girl in Lapis' past, but that doesn't preclude also liking her as a person, which is what some of their interactions suggest. In fact it would be more natural, based on previous interactions between the characters, to introduce mutual feelings between Lapis and Diana than to introduce Natori reciprocating Diana's feelings (although manga has a way to just make reciprocation "easier" when someone is already clearly in love).

I know, it's a lot of "ifs". I know perfectly that hoping those interactions existed to hint at a poly ending, rather than making the MC feel "desirable", is silly. I guess hoping that something that was introduced in the story for reason A, would later be revealed to actually be there for reason B, is a bit ridiculous... But I also think it would make the story better and Diana's role in it (or rather, the "in love with Natori" part of her role; there is no issue with the rest, which is not dependent on her having romantic feelings) more satisfying and a writing choice more worthy of respect.

It's also why I'm frustrated that every chapter where Lapis and Diana bond over something is pretty much always given no continuation and walked back within 1 or 2 chapters (e.g., chapter 13 -> 14 did exactly that).

last edited at Mar 3, 2024 5:03AM

Screenshot%202024-01-18%20181127
joined Jun 21, 2021

Conflating harems with balanced forms of polyamory (both polycules and open relationships) is just an annoying excuse that some people use to defend their degrading fetishes on a linguistic technicality.

Funny you say that, bc that's exactly what you're doing here too, hypocrite. Guess me and my two girlfriends can go burn in hell too then just bc the two of two dare to be metamours instead of lovers, right? (and before you try, none of us are men)

Yeah there are abusive practices that shit on women's rights that involve men having multiple wives but maybe don't conflate that with balanced forms of polyamory which include three consenting adults, two dating the third and being friends who care about each other with the other. Because guess what, that's a polycule too.

And a relationship where Natori dates Lapis and Diana, who are friends with each other, can be exactly that.

Fuck you.

last edited at Mar 3, 2024 5:20AM

joined Jan 14, 2020

The modern, sex-positive conception of poly requires equality. If you're going to be with multiple people, those people also have the right to be with multiple people

The right, yes. Which includes the freedom to not exercise that right. If Lapis and Diana aren't interested in each other at the end, but are with Natori, it's still poly, and not a real harem situation.

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