I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss Volume 2 is an Isekai manga, the second volume in a newer series published by Yen Press. The first volume introduces Aileen, the wicked Duke’s daughter, who regains her memories of her past life; she realizes she’s quickly headed to the bad ending where she meets her doom! This second volume continues Aileen’s quest to take charge of her new life. The series is published in English by Yen Press with an original story by Sarasa Nagase and art by Anko Yuzu and character design by Mai Murasaki. It is translated by Taylor Engel, and features touch-up art and lettering by Rachel J. Pierce.
Coming off the energy of the first volume, I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss proved to be an attention grabber with the charming characters and narrative that I found myself starting to be completely emotionally invested in. At the end of the first volume, we are treated to new faces arriving at Prince Claude, the Demon King’s castle. Most of them are there to help repair the place to its former glory and a few of them that Aileen knew from before have special talents and connections like former classmate and merchant Issac and former acquaintance and journalist Jasper. There’s even the architect and doctor she’s worked with previously before on projects that bettered the land that they lived in, projects that the crown prince took credit for or derailed.
Adding to the cast, these new names and faces help to improve not just the castle where Claude lives but the land where the demons are forced to reside. Aileen had a hutch that Claude still wants a connection to humans and this is just the start to help dispel the awful rumors about him and fix up the place he lives. This new workforce, particularly the named characters all know Aileen from before and know how brilliant and motivated she is. They also get to work on helping strumming up products to raise income for this new place and make busywork, the way they were under Aileen’s leadership before she was denounced as a wicked noblewoman and had her title as the fiance of the crown prince snatched from her. It was so intriguing to see all these moving parts come together and new life be breathed into Claude’s domain.
Perhaps my favorite scene in this second volume of I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss, is the ballroom showdown between former fiance, the Crown Prince Cedric and Aileen. Attending in a dazzling dress, our villainess is able to voice some of her frustrations. It is a scene not to be missed and certainly one that gives a much needed win to this character who continues to be misunderstood and defamed. If you loved the variety of demons and creatures that made appearances with their hilarious personalities in the first volume, they make a return in this volume, even though they take a backseat to the human characters. If you love art in the manga that picks at your heartstrings–there’s plenty of that in this volume too: from panels of innocent children lead astray to disillusioned people stuck on fantasies of their own, the artwork by the creative team doesn’t disappoint but instead picks up with the flashbacks and side stories.
There is still a lot to love for those who love Isekai and female regressors getting another shot at life and happiness in this manga that continues with Volume 2. If you loved Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter for the world-building and the brilliant female protagonist and The Case Study of Vanitas for the fun times and jokes, you’ll love I‘m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss Volume 2.
Alieen’s main mission has been to just survive, yet the once cold world is starting to become kinder to her. She’s finding allies, a support system and, dare I say fun? This volume shows us the hidden motivations of a few characters including the one who is pressed that they are the main character. Keeping raiders on their toes, the creative team ensures that this is a manga to reread as we wait for the next volume. Also a plus: seeing Claude fleshed out: not just a hottie with demon blood or a tragic figure because of his upbringing. We, readers, get more insight into his responsibilities, the ones who serve him, and his budding feelings for Aileen who has utterly disrupted his whole life.
As president of Aileen’s fan-club, I’ve been rooting for her to avoid the bad ending at all costs, yet the consideration she shows to nearly every downtrodden and underappreciated person and creature in this world means she recognizes this is all bigger than just her. She’s working for more than just her survival and happiness now. Her seeing the humanity in Claude when most of the population won’t or hasn’t had the chance before is great character development for the both of them. Female agency in this genre of Isekai varies from series to series but with every volume of I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss continues to raise the bar and make me laugh while doing it. For anyone who forgot to pick up the first volume or heard about it and you’re on the fence, this is your sign to pick up a copy.