Dahlia in Bloom: Crafting a Fresh Start with Magical Tools
This is yet another isekai story where an overworked OL (office lady) dies and gets reborn in a fantasy world that is somewhat similar to 19th century of our own, plus magic and fantasy beasts.
However, the isekai element becomes an oversight very quickly because Dahlia has integrated fully in the fantasy world. She was reborn as an infant and thus has fully embraced her new world. The only advantage she has over others due to her vaguely retaining memories of the past and thus her increased capacity in inventing magic tools due to having basically otherworld knowledge.
Yes, she is a magic tool maker in this world. This review will contain spoilers from volume 1.
The story begins with Dahlia’s fiancé, Tobias, breaks off their engagement. This has been made worse by a fact that he is breaking off a day before they’d move in together.
You see, Tobias and Dahlia are childhood friends. They’ve known each other for pretty much forever, and their fathers had decided that it would be best if they got together. Thus the engagement. At this point, both fathers have passed away which makes it easy for Tobias to call off the engagement.
Dahlia asks him why, and he answers that he has found his love of life. She is a noble woman even. Feeling apathy about the whole deal, she readily agrees to end their relationship, and Tobias is forced to pay her off a lot of money in damages since he is the sole reason the whole engagement has been cancelled.
She moves back to her tower which used to be a workshop for her father and resumes her life there. This is basically how the story begins.
Tobias’ insecurity and mistake
Tobias is not a bad man by any means. He is a hard worker and is also a magic tool maker like Dahlia. Sharing the same profession is why their fathers decided that they’d get together because it really helps when a husband and a wife can solve problems together.
Now, there is another reason which Tobias is told later in the story. It was Tobias’ father who literally begged Dahlia’s father for the engagement. The reason is that Dahlia is a far superior toolmaker. However, being a woman and independent (single), she could well be swallowed up by a big company or a noble. Being Tobias’ wife and working in her husband’s name would enable her to be safe.
Tobias is told that later by his elder brother in volume 1 where he begins to realize that letting Dahlia go was a huge mistake. He never recovers fully from this mistake.
His insecurities play a part in letting her go as well. Dahlia is a naturally good-looking woman with her crimson red hair and jade-green eyes. Tobias told her to dye her hair in black because he was afraid that she’d draw too much attention from men. He also told her to dress very plain to deter men’s attention. He even told her to wear glasses to further dent her beauty. Dahlia agreed with all of his demands, yet he still felt insecure. Basically, she was too much for her in spite of her being completely obedient and submissive.
It’s not isekai. It’s slice of life.
Once Dahlia becomes free of Tobias’ control, she reverts back her hair color and begins to dress the way she wants. Furthermore, she is now able to create magic tools without any restrictions (aka Tobias).
This allows her to create magic tools that catch eyes of nobles where she begins to move up in the ladder of the society. She is a daughter of a honorary baron as well. Thus, while a commoner by laws, it gets much easier for her to gain a title of her own later.
She eventually meets Volf, and I think you know where it will go.
However, their romance plays out very progressively, and I consider this story more of slice of life than romance or even isekai. There is barely any mention of isekai elements from Dahlia. Romance is there but it’s very subtle.
The first several volumes are very nice and laid-back, making it a pleasure to read.
Even slice of life stories need a plot. However, Dahlia in Bloom doesn’t actually seem to have a central plot. It has volume related mini plots and that is it.
I began to lose interest in the story after volume 5ish where it was becoming repetitive. To make it worse, Dahlia and Wolf’s relationship does not progress at all after a certain point.
Overall, the whole story becomes a drag later on. But that doesn’t alter the fact that the early story is very relaxing to read. I simply advise you to drop this at volume 5. I am going to say, though, the latter volumes aren’t too bad. It’s just that it circles around without any progression.