Aileen Lauren d’Autriche is shocked beyond belief to find that her future wedding plans have been suddenly canceled—by her own fiancé, the Crown Prince. She then suddenly remembers that she’s been reincarnated in an popular otome game as the villainess character who comes to a terrible, terrible end. Based on the still ongoing light novels by Sarasa Nagase and Mai Murasaki, and adapted into a short manga series, this anime adaptation covers the first few story arcs of the original source material. I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss is an isekai drama/comedy anime produced by studio MAHO FILM. The anime does fit into the reincarnated otome villainess genre of isekai for those who love their fantasy with rom-com vibes.
Aileen’s new game plan is to seduce the Demon King and live happily ever after but that’s harder than it seems. Alas she is not one to bow out so easily as she has from replaying this game multiple times. She has replayed different routes so she has knowledge of what happens but conveniently doesn’t remember all the fine details. The best part of I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss is the fun, sometimes chaotic energy but always welcomed energy that Alieen and the rest of the characters bring to the table. The voice acting is really solid, especially the interactions between Alieen and Claude which really endeared me as it matches the tone of the manga adaptation that I read, reviewed and adored.
Aileen works to actively rewrite the plot to guarantee not just her life and the ones she comes to hold dear but others as well. In the second act of the series, she intrates a school dressed as a male student Ailey. Her undercover shenanigans help to turn the final boss character, a victimized student into an alley, saving his life. Those meant to hunt him become friends and ‘lackeys’ to Claude and Aileen. The two young women who were students at the school who were originally heroine and villainess characters are fleshed out more outside their male counterparts, thanks to Alieen. There is a some subverting happening in the plot because of Aileen and it is quite a fun but plot-layered journey to watch on screen.
While not all reincarnated otome villainess series are equal, I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss has really done a terrific job in entertaining me and being memorable. In regards to tone and main character appeal, I would liken it to My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! A short dance and song number by mostly cute demonic creatures cheers up Aileen when she’s down fits into an episode just as well as her having a heart-to-heart with someone before rushing off to save those in danger.
The anime focuses on narrative threads about responsibility to others, mortality, stepping outside of tradition and facing reality–themes that come back in focus often enough thanks to Aileen’s true enemy of the series who has similar circumstances of how she came to enter this world. I would say that the weakest aspect of the show is the fast paced the animation team has gone by to adapt as much as the source material in the twelve-episode order as possible. Those unfamiliar with the story already through the manga or light novel may feel it is a neck-breaking pace with too many characters on board. However, I loved the supporting cast and believe that they all add more charm and personality into the series.
I do like that this anime adaptation of I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss exists, and I enjoyed the hilarious take on the otome villainess subgenre of isekai that served up plenty of serious moments along with the laughs. Aileen is a character who shines all on her own and helps make this series a solid one. An added plus: with the light novels still currently ongoing, a second season could still be adapted in the near future. I’m not sure if audiences are tired of isekai, but this series is a lot of fun and has potential. A second season could go deeper in the trope and plot subverting and make main characters Aileen and Claude further fleshed out for more adventures.
I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss is streaming now on Crunchyroll.