The Remarried Empress, Vol. 1 (2024)

Rafaela Sousa

152 reviews71 followers

March 28, 2022

So this review reflects my view of the Web Comic. The art is AMAZING, I have nothing bad to say about it, we can see all the work that the artist put in the comic and in trying to bring the characters to life. The writing is when things get complicated...It doesn't have fluidity, many times I was thinking: no person would answer or say something in that way. More times than I could count it felt forced and superficial although I have to say that there were moments of intelligent and wise discussions and comebacks, they weren't the majority some lines felt even silly. But this comic wouldn't have received this rating if not for one of the messages.

For me...The Remarried Empress was addictive because of its main premise, the first chapter I mean it isn't a big spoiler since we know the title of the comic and I'm talking about the first chapter in it, but if you don't wanna know anything about the beginning of the story skip the rest of this paragraph, anyway in the first chapter we see an empress agreeing to a divorce and then in the next second asking for her second marriage to be approved, it was a great twist and it showed that this could be a refreshing story about a powerful female main character. And in the second chapter, until the one I read, it told the past, how all the characters arrived at that scene in the first chapter.

And in those characters, the potential was wasted in my view, because of a trope that I HATE: when the story pits women against women. The plot kind of creates an environment in which the main source of confrontation is a man (the emperor) and at least I didn't see him exposed as the real problematic thing for those two women. On one side we have the empress on the other the mistress, and of course, the mistress will take 99% of the responsibility, guilt, shame, and villainy in this while it should be divided with that asshole: the emperor, who is pictured mostly as the "fool" and not as the controlling and selfish traitor that he is.

I could see the repercussions of that trope in the comments and I could see that in the fact that the mistress - Rashta - has a "nickname" Trashta within the first chapter in the comments. I'm not a fan of Rashta but I always see more hate towards her and everybody in a way forgetting about how terrible the emperor is. Yeah people don't like the emperor, and he receives a certain level of hate but it's in no comparison close to what Rashta gets - he doesn't even have his own "trash nickname". I'm not defending Rashta's wrongdoings and I don't even like her, I find her annoying AF, manipulative and selfish.

But I like fair treatment, in which if both characters f*ck up then give them both hell, and it's not what I see in this story. I think the comic helps the emperor in his construction and false notion that he is "only" a cheater, a brat, and a blind idiot who we can't take seriously and put real responsibility.

The emperor is the one who is juggling two women: the empress, that he is in a marriage of convenience and grew up with, so we assume that there was a friendship in the start yet at the moment that the mistress appears he sees the empress more like a job colleague and possession and shows no consideration, respect or decency towards her, it's like she isn't a person he could care about when his desires and entitlement always will come first and hers aren't even acknowledged most of the time.

And in the development of the comic (I managed to read it until chapter 58), things only get worse with the emperor using her as a verbal outlet for his anger, someone who he considers more his subordinate with a high title than his equal and someone who he is always creating competition with the mistress sometimes saying that she should be more like the mistress other times internally thinking that the mistress should be more like her. So we have this deep manipulative, volatile, slippery, egocentric prick who should never have the title of man child because he is an adult who knows exactly what he is doing and how much he is f*cking up. Even if the mistress can lie to him and manipulate him on certain occasions, he chooses to believe her because it is easier for him and his selfish desires, he chooses to not even listen to the other side and take his own conclusions after. So why don't I see him receiving his real pound of guilt and shame?

And the mistress, he sees her like a doll that can revolve her whole world around him, what a dream to a self-absorbed f*cker. What he does at first may be portrayed as kindness towards the mistress, as her "savior" but really he treats her as a glorified pet who is there to fuel his ego and soothe all his flaws. His protective conduct sounds more like a control freak and a decision to protect his other possession, I'm not saying that the mistress is an innocent bystander in this, thank goodness she isn't, she is the main antagonist in The Remarried Empress, yet I would like to see the emperor acknowledged as the other main antagonist. He is the one that puts gasoline on the situation in which the tradition pits women against each other, I mean he isn't even a good prize and we all know that, so why all the catfight and the "he was stolen" narrative. I really hope that he ends alone.

I don't know if it was only me, but certain comments were really disturbing

And on another scene, we see that the Empress's brother without her knowing poisoned the mistress's food so she would abort, isn't this something that should be kind of revolting in the fandom? One thing would be if the mistress didn't want the baby the other is someone trying to make her abort. I mean it's something that people may have done plenty of times, but why didn't I see a more negative reaction to the Empress's brother, it's a pretty terrible behavior despite it being done to someone you don't like at all. When it's enough, where is the limit for a character that you hate to suffer and the one who made him suffer to be forgiven, and in this case, even the Empress in the comics chastises this and said they shouldn't have done it. I'm really glad the authors inserted that scene because the Empress's brother was the true villain there this is no hot temper or a protective brother, the dude is a psycho

And although I think the author's intentions weren't to create such a toxic atmosphere in the comment area, I have to say that the combination of the said trope (pitting women against women) plus the whole "It's the woman who stole my husband from me" helped the development of this atmosphere. I hate this "logic" of stealing someone in a "romantic" setting, nobody can steal someone because people aren't things, your partner can't be stolen he can choose to leave you or if this was another kind of story he could have been kidnapped, forced to leave you or coerced, but in this story, it wasn't the case.

The emperor wasn't a faithful person moreover he felt entitled to have two women and took what he wanted, so when the Empress says that the mistress stole her husband she is lying to herself, he was never hers, to begin with, don't excuse him because you care for him...the blame shouldn't be put solely on the mistress. If the emperor didn't want an affair he wouldn't have one, so don't take his responsibility, fault, and blame in the matter with sentences like that, they are dangerous because they give a free pass to people who cheat, they send the message that when two people cheat the one out of the relationship should receive more blame when it's the opposite.

The ones inside the relationship, are the ones who committed to respect the partner, to care about who they constructed a relationship more than the stranger, after all, they were the other part of the marriage or relationship, they were the ones with the bond, the affection, the connection, the assumed loyalty. I'm not excusing the third part wrongdoing, I'm just saying that we see that kind of narrative too much, and more with men that are forgiven too easily while the mistress receives all the guilt, be fair, slit the f*cking guilt between the two sh*theads.

This isn't a review to pit Navier (the empress) against Rashta more, I really like Navier yet I don't see her as perfect as I don't see Rashta as pure evil, I think the story is more complex than that, I know that Navier is our heroine and Rashta our antagonist, I know I'm rooting for Navier to be out of that marriage, and I know that even that bastard of the emperor isn't villainy personified. I know all of that and I can still say that Rashta's treatment is unfair more in the comments than in the story but still unfair, since I don't see most people blaming the emperor equally or even more than the mistress. It isn't like she forced him to cheat his wife, he is the one who started it all, he is the one who allows the disrespect to continue, he is the one who disrespects both of them...this arrogant and weak shell of a man. He is the main asshole in this tale, so shouldn't we curse him on the same level?

The Remarried Empress, Vol. 1 (2024)
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