Apr 2, 2021
The isekai formula has become one that has become rather overdone in recent times, many considering the story form to be overdone and rather unoriginal. And while it may not bring anything never seen to the table, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta) quickly proved itself separated from the heaps of mediocre similar shows with an interesting premise, a loveable cast, and a generally very enjoyable tone.

Most people would love the chance to be the protagonist of a world full of adventure, in a game or another world. One such girl finds herself recovering her memories of her past life, discovering she was reborn into the world of Fortune Lover, one of her favorite games. Unfortunately, the character she was reborn as is the main antagonist of the game; Katarina Claes, who faces doom in the ending of every route. Using her extensive knowledge of the world and characters, she takes it upon herself to escape her fate, and change her ending for the better.

Despite the somewhat ominous and serious premise, Villainess is prominently a comedy-based show, each episode regarding the many antics Katarina and her friends find themselves in, most often due to Katarina’s own antics in her attempts to avert her fate. Dubbed “Bakarina” by the community, the nickname is quite appropriate, as Katarina...isn’t the brightest bulb, often completely oblivious to the true actions of those around her. Though humorous on its own, the way said obliviousness is placed against other characters’ very clear and direct actions and words are where the true comedy ensues, with a protagonist denser than a black hole.

Another relevant part of the show is simply how heartfelt and adorable the show is. Katarina as a protagonist is kind to everyone she meets in the sweetest and genuine way, often accidentally so. Watching the show will just bring a big smile to your face as the various antics of the cast take place. It’s unavoidable to at least warm your heart a bit.

Even with how light and fun the show is, there are still a few issues that stick out a bit more prominently than others. Primarily that being the rather...shallow depth of the cast. While the story doesn’t quite need deep characters, and the explanation of them being from an otome game gives a bit of a reason why, the fact remains that most of the cast can be boiled down to one personality trait that they stick with through it all. I’d argue it doesn’t detract from the overall experience, but is rather noticeable nonetheless.

In all, while not particularly deep or complex, Villainess is a fun romp with a rather interesting premise, filled with lighthearted moments and laughs aplenty. Though the characters might lack some depth, it certainly doesn’t detract overly from the experience, one of fun that can be enjoyed regardless.

Grade - B
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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