First Look: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

Alternative title(s): Otome Gēmu no Hametsu Furagu Shika Nai Akuyaku Reijō ni Tensei Shiteshimatta…, HameFura
Light Novel Adaptation by Silver Link
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

After a nasty fall, spoiled child Katarina Claes suddenly remembers her past life: she was a teenage otaku and the world she lives in resembles “Fortune Lover”, a visual novel game she played before she died. To make matters worse, she realizes she has been reincarnated as the game’s antagonist that meets a terrible end in every route. Can her extensive knowledge of the game help change her fate or will it only make things worse?

Jel’s verdict: Going Somewhere

I am enjoying the recent resurgence in isekai anime with female leads. Kind of interesting how most of them are fun shows starring kind, reasonable people in contrast to the popular male dominated power fantasy type isekai that often features sexual assault and slavery… ANYWAY, this series seems to fit right in with other recent surprises like Ascendance of Bookworm and BOFURI, both of which would fit that description.

What makes this show particularly unique is the format. I think they are going to split time between Katarina as a child as she is trying to reverse her fate and then as a teenager as she’s dealing with the consequences of her actions. We don’t see that in the first episode, but I feel like that is the direction they are heading. Even if they just stay with Katarina as a child, it’s still a different perspective than what we would usually get with this kind of premise. It’s more like a time travel story than an isekai plot.

I think my biggest issue with this first episode is that it wasn’t funny enough. It’s clearly meant to be a comedy, and while it was silly and charming and even a little heartwarming toward the end, the humor was kind of flat and predictable. That said, even if it didn’t make me laugh it did make me smile. That’s enough to deserve another episode or two.

Iro’s verdict: What’s the opposite of revenge porn? Kindness porn?

This is firmly in that time-travel-adjace isekai subgenre of “I’ve reincarnated and I’m trying to avert a bad future with my foreknowledge” (honestly a plot device I have a soft spot for) and all told it seems mostly harmless. To my understanding, there’s a fair amount of girl-aimed isekai that doesn’t make it westward and the “you’re in an otome game as the villain but become the heroine” is pretty bog standard, but I’ll still take it over the usual teenage boy faff. Rather than being some unstoppable, cheat-skill-wielding badass taking revenge upon their former enemies, Katarina seems to decide the best way to avoid her doom is to be very nice and encouraging to everyone she meets. I figure The Joke is going to end up being that all of the boys fall in love with her instead of the “real” main character, so I guess time will tell if the show falls face-first into the tropes it’s meant to be parodying.

4 thoughts on “First Look: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

  1. Not directly related to this show (which I agree is charming, though it could be funnier), but I’ve been wanting to ask one of BOFURI’s many admirers why it’s not just as much of a dull power fantasy as any other isekai?

    Sure, it starts out promisingly, with the emphasis on defense – and obviously there are no disagreeable elements of slavery, misogyny, or the like in it – but it ultimately spins up to having a super-overpowered protagonist who I frankly found dull as dishwater, completely unfunny, and totally predictable.

    But clearly, I’m in the minority, as everyone seemingly really likes this show (and it even got a second season).

    So I ask, what am I missing?!

    • For one, I think you might be downplaying the lack of slavery, misogyny, etc. as that is a huge difference in itself. But aside from that, the fact that BOFURI is framed as low-stakes fun gives the overpowered abilities completely different context. When Maple pulls out a new power, it’s like “ha, that’s so ridiculous!” as opposed to the more common power fantasy shows where you’re supposed to think the protagonist is some cool, invincible badass that gets all the ladies and you want to be just like him.

      By extension, I also just like watching people have fun. People just hanging out and enjoying playing video games together creates a very different vibe than whatever male teenage angst those other shows are trying to tap into.

      I’m not going to claim BOFURI is a masterpiece and yeah it has some kind of boring stretches, but it’s more like boring in the way slice of life can be boring than a power fantasy thing.

      • I understand what you’re saying, but I guess I just don’t see “low stakes fun” as being different enough from “cool, invincible badass” to amount to anything meaningful in what they’re conveying to the viewer. Neither, to me, is particularly engaging. BOFURI didn’t offend me like many isekai do, but I still found it to be a stone-cold bore.

        Hopefully, however, we can all agree on the awfulness of RE:ZERO!

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