My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! – An Anime Review
There are a lot of series in the iseaki genre of anime, and they are often dark and sometimes depressing. If you like this genre and you’re looking for something that’s a little more light-hearted, you may want to check out My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Yes, the story line can be a bit dark, but the series adds a different spin, which makes it a bit lighter and airier than other iseaki series.
An Overview of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
Like the majority of isekai series, in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, the main character is involved in an accident and eventually wakes up in a fantasy-like world. In this case, the character is Katarina Claes, an eight-year-old who is the only daughter of the Claes family, a very prestigious family. Katarina suffers a lethal head wound; however, somehow, after dying, she awakens to find that she has been reincarnated into her favorite otome game, Fortune Lover; however, she isn’t the heroine that she admired so in her previous life, but rather, she is a villainess and attempts to thwart the life of the heroine. Prior to the accident, Katarina was affluent and “uppity”, but in her new role, she has become a tomboy and acts more like a commoner. In the game, everything Katarina’s character did resulted in either banishment or her death. Because she knows the game so intimately, she attempts to change the plot of the story and her fate so that she can have a happy ending.
Unlike a lot of other isekai series, which are dark and sinister, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is anything but. It actually relies on comedy to tell Katarina’s story; however, it does also heavily depend on the tropes that are standard of otome games and the story kind of expects that viewers will be familiar with these tropes. The comedy aspect is actually quite clever and hits the nail on the head, particularly if you are familiar with the otome game tropes, but even if you aren’t, you should definitely find humor, even if the context is a bit difficult to follow.
The first episode of My Next Life of a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Is centered on the main character, Katarina, when she was a young girl. As such, she and the majority of the characters are children in the first episode. Katarina has a winning personality that you can’t help being drawn to; while she isn’t exactly what you would define as “nice”, she is quite charming. In fact, her disposition is unique to other heroines that you would see in this kind of series. While the nature of the series if pretty light-hearted and upbeat, it can also be a bit emotional and tug at the heart strings. For example, when Katarina attempts to become friends with her adoptive brother, who is a loner, you’ll really see her soft side shine through.
With the exception of Katarina, most of the characters are based on common tropes of this genre, such as the prince who has a dark side and a quite one; however, unlike other series that incorporate these tropes, these characters seem to be intentional, not languid. Despite this, we do hope that the characters will develop a bit more as the series professes and highlight the unique personality traits of the different characters, otherwise they’ll remain with the classic traits that they were initially given.
In the beginning, it doesn’t seem as if Katarina is particularly interested in romance, but rather that she is attempting to control the other characters in order to avoid an ill fate. With that said, it seems as if the way she acts inadvertently makes the characters who are interested in her fall even harder. Katarina assumes that all of the characters are either currently interested in or will eventually be interested in somebody other than her. In reality, however, you can tell that they’re all interested in her because at the conclusion of each chapter, the point-of-view switches from Katrina’s to the different characters. Though the views of the characters are abridged versions of what happened in each chapter, it’s interesting to see who will win Katarina’s heart.
While Katarina is intelligent and motivated, she is a bit dense in regard to picking up the messages that the other characters are romantically interested in her.
Assessment of the Graphics and Score
The graphics are an important feature in anime, and My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, the artwork is very well done. It’s whimsical and vivid and tie in perfectly to the otome theme. The animations do an excellent job of bringing to life the fantasyland setting. The score is lively, too. The theme is quite bouncy and actually a bit silly, which also works perfectly with the genre.
As soon as you hear the opening music, your attention will be piqued. Then the vivid colors, artistic drawings, and the bold layout further pulls your attention and really makes you feel excited to see what will happen. It’s obvious from the get-go that Katarina is the star of the show and she does a very good job of being the main character. Whether it’s taking a trip into her thoughts or a round-table discussion of a collection of mini Katarina’s trying to determine which path to take, or even seeing how she reacts to the characters that surround her, the show really is quite enjoyable to watch.
Overall, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Is a thoughtfully designed, engaging, and thought-provoking isekai series. It draws you into the fantasyland and really makes you feel connected to the characters. We’re excited to see where this show leads.