. I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss, also known as Akuyaku Reijou nano de Last Boss wo Kattemimashita (I’m starting to see a trend here in animes with really long titles), is an anime series by Maho Film (the same studios responsible for titles such as I’m Standing on a Million Lives, If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord, and My Unique Skill Makes Me OP Even at Level 1) and is based off the Japanese light novel series written by Sarasa Nagase and illustrated by Mai Murasaki. It began serialization online in May 2017 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by Kadokawa Shoten, who have published ten volumes since September 2017 under their Kadokawa Beans Bunko imprint. A manga adaptation with art by Anko Yuzu was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s seinen manga magazine Comp Ace from June 2018 to August 2019. The anime series consists of 12 episodes of 23 minutes each. Similar anime recommendations include Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs, Maoyu ~ Archenemy & Hero, and My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
This one managed to slip through the cracks and only made it onto my Fall 2022 Anime Watch List much later than some of the other popular titles. At first look I was skeptical about whether this would be any good as some Otome Game anime have been somewhat disappointing in the past hence, I only picked it up later and decided to give it a try. This was most certainly a blessing in disguise because it turns out it was quite enjoyable and as it had only made my watch list later a bunch of episodes had already heaped up from weekly release and I was able to binge this in one day.
The narrative starts off where Cedric the prince breaks off his engagement to be with Lilia, for the Harry Potter fans out there, I had Professor Umbridge level dislike for this character. Lilia as well as Aileen (our somewhat loveable main character) have both been sent to this Otome Game Isekai and they both played the game in their previous lives. Aileen realizes that this new life is not a game anymore and that this is her life now, whereas Lilia is indifferent and thinks it’s still a game even though she’s physically living it. Throughout the anime, Lilia tries her best to toy with and spite Aileen with a complete disregard for other people’s lives as it is all just a game to her. Technically Lilia should be a lovely, cute background character who by luck becomes the main character through her relationship with the prince. She’s supposed to be the most likable character, but the person who has been isekaied into this character’s “body” is the complete opposite and is honestly just the villain in disguise. I also can’t speak very kindly to Prince Cedric’s character either because he’s not much better than Lilia and treats Aileen terribly. Truthfully, she dodged a bullet, and Cedric and Lilia deserve each other.
Owning her misfortune at no longer being wanted by Cedric, Aileen approaches his brother who is half demon, and as a result ostracized by general society, Claude. She has no intention of being the villainess as portrayed in the game during her previous life as the villainess in every story option meets a horrible demise so her first advances on the demon king are entirely selfish. Claude lives remotely in a barrier of his own making with demonkind and presides over them. At first, he is cautious of Aileen, but she goes on to prove herself by repeatedly making small changes in his daily life and using her knowledge from studying to be the princess to help his kingdom run better. All the while she overcomes Lilia’s plots and gathers proof of the sort of person Lilia is. During her adventures, Aileen starts to fall in love with Claude (and vice versa) and there are more people she starts to hold dear to her by association with the demon king. Aileen continues to desperately rewrite the plot of the Otome Game despite Lilia’s constant sabotage.
As the narrative continues Aileen and Claude become more confident in themselves and the relationship between humans and demons becomes less tumultuous. Aileen and Claude eventually prove themselves to the King and Claude is reinstated as the first prince (this title was stripped from him when it was revealed that he was half demon). Aileen and Claude together expose Cedric and Lilia, although by this point Cedric has only been following along with Lilia’s orders and the story culminates in a happy ending (I still don’t think that the punishment Cedric and Lilia received was as severe as they deserved).
This anime covers a couple of themes such as the responsibility to others, mortality, breaking tradition, and back-to-reality themes. For some, the pacing may have seemed a little fast, but for me, it was perfect for binging. I really enjoyed the moments of romance (yes, the demon king is definitely a new husbando candidate), as well as the comedic and fun moments. The light novel is still ongoing so I’m hopeful that we’ll be receiving a second season of this.