My Next Life As A Villainess: All Route Leads To Doom – First Impression

Studio: Silver Link
Episodes: 5 (ongoing)
Director: Inoue Keisuke
Genre: Comedy, Isekai, Fantasy, Romance, School

Summary

After hitting her head particularly hard one day, Duke Claes’ daughter, Katarina, suddenly recalls all the memories of her past life: that of a teenage Japanese girl. Just before her untimely death, this girl recalls playing an otome game… that is exactly like the world she’s living in now!

She is now Katarina Claes, the antagonist of the otome game, who nastily hounded the protagonist until the end. Knowing all the possible outcomes of the game, she realizes that every single possible route ends with Katarina being murdered or exiled!

In order to avoid these Catastrophic Bad Ends, she has to use her knowledge of the game and her own wiles, starting with breaking off this engagement with the prince… Will Katarina survive while making her way through this world, where bad flags trip at every turn? Find out in this reverse-harem rom-com, led by everybody’s favourite villainess!

Source: My Next Life as a Villainess light novel

What you need to know about My Next Life As A Villainess: All Route Leads To Doom

  • The main character is refreshing compared to other isekai main characters. Firstly, she isn’t reborn as the heroine but rather the villainess with nothing but destruction flags in her sight. Secondly, she’s not overpowered or have any extra-ordinary strength, in fact her magical skills are very bad and she’s willing to work hard on it. Thirdly, she’s romantically dense but is completely justified as she herself as the original villain, the real Katarina Claes instead of her loveable self.
  • As hinted in the photo above, Katarina not only captures the attention of the male love interests but even that of the female characters! The romance, however, is one-sided, minimal and surface-level as Katarina is too oblivious to notice it. She’s too focused on avoiding her destruction flag and is convinced everyone still loves the original otome game heroine, Maria Campbell.
  • The other cast members besides Katarina aren’t that well developed. The first three episodes focus heavily on introducing new characters one after another. So, there isn’t enough time for us to start really caring for each character. They do show off some hints of interesting backstories but each one ends as quickly as it comes.
  • The pacing of the first three episodes are quite formulaic. It goes like this: Katarina meets new character > realises they are the main love capture + rival from the otome game > Katarina gives context on their bad childhood as per the game > Katarina befriends them using her innate empathy skills > they move past their problems and open up > they join her harem. But, after that, the pacing involves more variety and backstory, albeit surrounding the game’s original heroine, Maria Campbell.
  • The overall plot summarized into three words is “wholesome light-hearted romance”. They do get into some dark topics on how a bad childhood can affect the way you think and act, but it isn’t a main part of the story. The overall tone just feels warm and relaxed.
  • The anime has many well-composed and detailed shots that suit the tone of the anime. The backgrounds feel very similar to those you’d find in actual otome games. However, the animation is often minimal, so scenes can feel stagnant at times.

Trivia about My Next Life As A Villainess: All Route Leads To Doom

  • Due to the long title, fans refer to this series as ‘Bakarina’. A combination of baka (a Japanese word for stupid) and Katarina.
  • This series originated from a light novel series that currently have 5 volumes released. Its manga is currently on its 25th chapter.
  • This series also has a spin-off manga which features the same cast BUT with the idea of “what if Katarina fell and hit her head… when she was already bullying Maria at the Academy?” She is thrown right into the battle of Destruction Flags. It currently has 6 chapters and is a must-read!
  • This anime is produced by Silver Link, a studio that has produced titles like Kokoro Connect, Baka to Test and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma series. They are known for their slice of life, romance and supernatural animes.
  • This series carries a lot of otome game references like the term of destruction flags, events and the typical bad, normal and good end.
  • The opening of the anime, “Otome no Route wa Hitotsu janai!” is sung by Angela while the ending, “BAD END” is sung by Aoi Shouta.

Verdict: Watch it!

In a nutshell, the mood and tone of the anime is great for anyone that wishes to watch something wholesome and have a good laugh.

Katarina offers a fresh take on isekai main characters, as she feels very human and makes you wish you had a her natural unique charisma and unhinged personality. She is the main pull of the anime, giving viewers laughs, smiles and a sense of hope to meet someone like her in their own life.

If you’re charmed by Katarina’s character and personality, you will definitely enjoy this series to its max. You could say that you’ve become part of her harem as well!

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