Alternative title: Akuyaku Reijou nanode Last Boss wo Kattemimashita
Light Novel Adaptation by Maho Film
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Aileen Lauren Dautriche is the villainess, so she’s taming the final boss.
Euri’s verdict: Subverting the otome genre by being a run-of-the-mill otome show
To tell you the truth, I really don’t care for shows that splash isekai trappings into an otherwise fantasy show. The reasoning for it here is that it gives our protag, a woman from the ‘real world’ reincarnated as the otome game villainess Aileen, the advance knowledge of her character’s death. Don’t get me wrong – there are things you can do with the ‘I’m in a video game’ story that you can’t by just making this classic fantasy, but the show hasn’t made any indication that the isekai elements exist for any reason beyond Aileen knowing she dies.
Her knowledge of the game she’s in essentially boils down to knowing the names of characters though – knowing how the game plays out has had zero impact on Aileen’s actions beyond trying to marry the demon lord. In theory, she should know what the game’s protagonists will do for the entire game, but the show doesn’t go into any of that.
The show is clearly trying to subvert the traditional otome story, where the lead girl would usually get whichever romantic interest she wants, by making the protagonist the love rival that didn’t get the guy. Except, obviously, she’s the protagonist of this story, and she’s going to get the guy, so I’m not sure there’s anything being subverted anymore.
At any rate, beyond the questionable set-up, this seems… fine? It doesn’t bring anything new to the table in this opening episode, but I’m sure you can do worse if you just want to watch an otome show.
Artemis’ verdict: The pitfalls of becoming an actual genre
That’s (sort of) a joke, as I have no idea whether the whole “villainess” isekai concept has become ubiquitous enough to evolve from just a fun theme or trope into its own fully-fledged sub-genre. However, what I will say is that even for an anime where part of the actual joke is that the main character is somehow transported into a generic video game storyline with generic characters, this anime is – you guessed it – pretty darn generic. Again, I do get that this is part of the comedy, but when viewed purely from a “Is this entertaining to watch or not?” standpoint, the answer is unfortunately “mostly no.”
That’s not to say that I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss is necessarily a bad show – or at least, certainly not in every respect. So far, I like the main character herself because this is a girl who wastes absolutely no time in getting shit done, and I can respect that. Sure, asking for a female protag who can think on her feet, responds well to pressure, and is in general fairly competent might seem like a low bar to set. However, when it comes to anime heroines and/or the portrayal of female leads in romance shows of any kind, I don’t take much for granted. I also dig that Villainess doesn’t take itself too seriously, leaning more towards the comedy side of things (again, not something I take for granted when it comes to isekai, which has typically been dominated by overly serious and/or edgelord-style power fantasies).
On the whole though, I can only really see myself staying tuned for much more of this if I don’t eventually end up having that big of a weekly watch-list – and given how stacked this season is, at least on paper, I’m not sure that’s very likely.
Peter’s verdict: All Routes Lead to Competent
My introduction to the “isekai villainess” trope/sub-genre was, like many, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, which this show follows with the “I played this fantasy otome game where the villainess dies at the end so I know what happens” but that’s mostly thrown in the bin aside from brief “oh I remember this” moments, but nothing as plot-shaping as what happens in Doom. However, the way Aileen is instead working hard to support herself and secure a future in this world is a lot like Doom. Catarina in Doom did farming work and then joined the student council, etc while Aileen in Final Boss is helping out the demons with stuff so they can do favours in return. A notable change is a lot of characters are introduced at once and immediately impact the story, rather than the slower burn of Doom. It almost feels a bit of an info dump of people, especially when one of the other demons asks for help in learning human manners, etc.
The big difference here though is quite how straight it is. Doom is clearly a “bisexual power fantasy” to quote someone I can’t remember, while this show appears to be much more of a classic otome “reverse harem” show, which is unlikely to change considering the opening sequence. I haven’t seen many of these types of shows, with the main one coming to mind being Ouran High School Host Club, which I really enjoyed back in the day and have it on DVD and Blu-ray, but that’s really all I’ve got as comparison, so this is really a new thing for me, and I think I like it.
So, I enjoyed the first two episodes, and I expect I’ll like the rest of the show too. I don’t think it’s going to be amazing, it probably won’t get a second season, but I’m sure it won’t be any worse than “competent”. Hopefully it can be better than that.