Sunday, November 27, 2022

REVIEW: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, Season 1 (anime TV series)

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is a fantasy comedy with romantic aspects (but, just to be clear, it is not a romance, so don't expect it to be). It's based on a light novel series. I bought my copy new.


Catarina Claes is a spoiled child who bumps her head and suddenly remembers her past life as a Japanese high school student who'd enjoyed playing an otome game called Fortune Lover...which very much resembled Catarina's current reality. The only problem: in that game, Catarina Claes was the villainess, and just about every ending resulted in her either being exiled or killed. Realizing that she has only a few years to ensure her own survival, Catarina attempts to deal with as many of her future death flags as possible - if she has to have a bad ending, she'd rather be exiled with marketable skills under her belt than killed.

What Catarina doesn't realize is that her decisions have, from the start, deeply affected the story. Instead of being the villainess, she's now unwittingly the character everyone loves. But will even that be enough to help her escape her doom?

This first season of the anime (will there be a second? I kind of hope not) covers the events of the first two light novels, which allows it to end at the perfect spot, with the whole "can Catarina defeat her death flags?" storyline dealt with.

The light novels and manga are both fun but, in the end, mediocre, so I was expecting pretty much the same from the anime, and it didn't disappoint. I did think that the comedic aspects were handled best in the manga, but overall the anime was light, fluffy fun. 

And...there isn't really much more I can say than that. The deepest this series gets is when it explores Japan Catarina's friendship with Atsuko, the girl who introduced her to Fortune Lover. It was kind of nice to see a series that paid more attention to the emotional impact of friendship than to developing any of its possible romantic relationships. Although if you go into this series hoping for anything to come of Catarina's various accidental conquests, the friendship aspect might turn out to be disappointing.

This is one of those series that I think is fine as it is at only one season. It doesn't need another one, just like the light novel series would have been fine ending at Book 2.


Clean opening and closing animations.

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