Original Run: July 3, 2021 - September 18, 2021 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Isekai, Romance Based on the Series Created By: Satoru Yamaguchi and Nami Hidaka
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Reader discretion is advised.***
The once otaku now reincarnated noblewoman Catarina Glaes (voiced by Maaya Uchida) did the impossible. After reawakening as the villainess of her favorite dating sim, Catarina avoided all the routes that might lead to her doom.
Now she blissfully enjoys the peace she has earned. While absorbed in her little world, Catarina remains wholely unaware of the number of people pining for her affection.
The question becomes: How long can Catarina’s superhuman obliviousness hold out?
As soon as I started My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X (Villainess X), I remembered something concerning. This series would need to overcome a significant hurdle. Failure to clear said hurdle would not turn this show into something unwatchable. However, it would be difficult to justify why you would want to watch it, barring the possibility you are a super fan of the Villainess franchise.
What was this hurdle? Well, as a tease, we’ll discuss it once we get to the Series Negatives segment.
For the time being, though, I am finding it difficult to think of anything that impressed me about Villainess X. It was a sequel I couldn’t care less about, both before and after my viewing.
To best enjoy Villainess X, there is a lot you will have to accept. If you take things as they are and don’t put too much stock into the implications, you can “appreciate” this series for what it is:
A standard slice-of-life harem anime that likes to remind you it is an isekai at every opportunity.
Regardless, settling in the hopes of something being good is not the same as something actually being good. Therefore, is there anything I can say in Villainess X’s favor?
Well, aside from the decent animation – this series came from Silver Link Studios, which also gave us the Non Non Biyori series – there was one thing I liked. And by “one thing,” I mean “one moment.”
By definition, this is a SPOILER. Except I have nothing else to talk about.
The moment I am referring to is when Geordo Stuart (voiced by Shouta Aoi) kissed Catarina Claes. Granted, this incident didn’t change my opinion of Villainess X, but it did serve as a massive relief.
This action woke Catarina the hell up – sort of. Her incessant denseness was beyond irritating. There is a difference between someone not realizing ONE person’s obvious affection and someone being blissfully ignorant of the mob of people who were practically kissing the ground they walked on. That level of thickness is not charming; it’s annoying.
To Catarina, believe it or not, the guy you have known since childhood – the one who has saved your life on multiple occasions and has shown intense jealousy towards anyone who has tried to flirt with you AND has shouted to the world that he loves you – might actually love you. And by the way, Catarina, all your friends who saw this happen, their gasps of shock were not of indignation, but rather frustration that they didn’t do it first.
When Geordo kissed Catarina, there was no longer any room for denial. Except, since Catarina initially thought she had dreamt the whole thing, Geordo had to do it again.
With this moment, I am not saying I wanted this series to turn into a romance-heavy harem anime. The problem was Villainess X needed to change into something.
This was a second season that did not need to happen. Or, more to the point, this was a second season that, fundamentally, didn’t make sense. If you were a fan of the first installment (which I suppose I was), were you hoping for more? Well, you got more. So, I must ask, was it worth it?
The time has come to answer; what was the hurdle Villainess X needed to best? Well, if you read through my review of this series’s first season, you’ll find I talked about the very problem this sequel ultimately faced.
Where else did this story have left to go? Season one took care of the very problem suggested by this show’s freaking title. Catarina prevented her doom; thus, shouldn’t that be it?
Accordingly, why should you take time out of your busy schedule to watch this second season? If this installment could answer that question, then all would be well. Too bad Villainess X did not do that. Consequently, it was pretty damn boring.
This show lost all the purpose it once had. As a result, much of this series’s absurdities had nothing to hold them back. It turns out that the threat of potential death can overshadow a ton of BS. But with that now gone, the heart of this show, its protagonist, no longer worked.
Catarina, ignoring her inability to comprehend she was the most popular person ever to exist, was an anomaly. Apart from her next-level obtuseness, she always spoke about her former life as though she had lost it a week ago.
There was a scene in this season that irked me far more than it should have. Nevertheless, it was a perfect indication of why Catarina – and, by extension, Villainess X – fell flat. The only thing Catarina tried to do was make a pinky promise. That in itself wasn’t the issue. No, what bothered me was what Catarina thought to herself when she did it.
To paraphrase, she said, “That’s right; they don’t do pinky promises here.”
YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT!
Catarina had lived her second life as long as, if not longer, than her previous one. This world wasn’t some foreign place to her. It was the home she had been living in for seventeen-ish years.
For some personal context, as of this review’s release date, I have been living in Japan for six and a half years, and my former life in America feels like a distant dream. Moreover, I am acutely aware of the many Japanese-specific customs since I have to experience them every single day. Thus, Catarina’s ignorance of her homeland – because at this point, that is what it is – is inconceivable.
ThAt’S rIgHt; ThEy DoN’t Do PiNkY pRoMiSeS hErE.
Piss right off; you haven’t made a pinky promise in two f@#$ing decades. Don’t act like this is a surprise.
Having gotten that off my chest, let’s stop beating around the bush and say what needs saying:
Catarina Claes is a terrible protagonist. She is the reason why Villainess X was such a tedious watch. Her brand of I-am-a-moron was not a loveable one. And yet, every person she met had fallen in love with her.
And since damn near every character in this show had romantic feelings towards Catarina, you can’t help question their judgment. Everyone in this series was an absolute bore. It was always Catarina this or Catarina that; t was insufferable.
And what the hell is this I hear? A My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! MOVIE. A MOVIE, A THIRD INSTALLMENT!
No, we cannot be doing this again. This story ended; let it die.
There are so many shows that are in desperate need of a follow-up. After all, in anime, sequels are never a guarantee.
So why the hell do we have a season two for a show that had its finale?
At least in the first installment, there was something for our characters to do; there was a goal for them to obtain. By contrast, there was nothing here. Thus, everything inherently wrong – but ignorable – last time was front and center in this season.
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is one you can skip.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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