I’m, apparently, continuing to just eat-up the increasingly prolific sub-genre of isekai stories where someone is reincarnated as the villainess in a game or novel.
I don’t know why I enjoy this type of story so much; maybe it’s the appeal of a heroine with insider knowledge of the world, or the tension surrounding whether they’ll be able to subvert the predetermined course of fate?
Regardless, when I heard about I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess of an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway!, by Ataka, I knew that I had to buy it.
Mystia has always been an odd child. She’s eerily mature for her age and is constantly trying to help the less fortunate, never asking for anything for herself. On her 10th birthday, her memories from her previous life as a Japanese teenager resurface and she realizes that she’s been reborn as the villainess of an otome game that she once played. Mystia doesn’t remember everything about the game, but she does remember that the villainess met a terrible fate. Mystia is determined to avoid that outcome, and quickly decides that steering clear of the potential romance targets will be the best way to ensure that she stays alive. Problem is, she’s already engaged to one of them! Still, Mystia isn’t ready to give up just yet. But while she’s trying to think of ways to avoid an untimely death, Mystia’s kind-hearted nature ensures that she can’t help but meddle in the lives of those around her, something that begins winning her the affections of all of the eligible bachelors – much to her consternation.
At first glance, I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway!’s story sounds almost identical to the premise of fellow isekai series, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
And, well, yeah. This manga is actually strikingly similar to that series.
For example, just like in My Next Life as a Villainess, the main character regains her past-life memories as a child, realizes she’s been reborn into the role of a villainess in an otome game, meets many of the central characters from the game while they are all still children, proceeds to befriend them and solve the sources of their angst and suffering, all before they all wind up attending the school that was the setting of the game and meeting the game’s protagonist.
But, just because a series isn’t super original, doesn’t mean it isn’t still fun, and I had a good time reading about Mystia’s adventures, especially when she tries to tap into her inner-villainess in order to accomplish good!
Mystia is a serious-minded character, even before she regains her memories, as she retained her teenaged personality from her previous life. As such, she’s never thrown any tantrums or acted selfishly. Instead, she would constantly find poor or abused people and bring them back to her parent’s mansion, where they could receive aid or a job. This means that her home is now staffed with people who are completely devoted to her, and this includes Melo, a former slave who owes her freedom to Mystia’s intervention and who appears to be nursing a big ol’ crush on her.
Melo is one of my favourite characters in the manga. She’s officially Mystia’s bodyguard, but the two have grown up together and have developed a cute and genuine friendship, where they are able to be at ease with each other, despite their difference in status. Mystia also loves to marvel at how pretty Melo is.
While I doubt the manga will end with Melo and Mystia getting together, Melo’s an interesting and cool character and my current favourite potential romantic interest for Mystia.
My runner-up favourite love-interest is Raid, Mystia’s fiancée. While Mystia is frightened of getting close to him, as she wants to avoid the events that lead to her character’s demise in the game, she recalls details about how Raid’s mother died when he was a child and realizes that she might be able to save her. Mystia’s efforts to try and prevent the murder of Raid’s mother were both exciting and funny, as Mystia pulls out all of the villainous tricks she can think of, including throwing tantrums and making a scene to get her way – something her poor parents find deeply moving, as they’re relieved to see her finally acting like a normal child.
Raid is a princely character, on the surface, but he’s calculating and a little cold underneath the façade. He seems to be quite intelligent and observant, which I think could make him a good match for Mystia, who is abnormally collected and thoughtful for her age, due to having the benefit of another lifetime’s worth of experiences. Raid’s heart has already been melted by Mystia’s heroic, if odd, efforts to save his mother, and he’s quickly falling for her. Meaning, there’s going to be no getting rid of him now, Mystia!
We meet one other potential love interest in this volume and there are at least two others waiting in the wings to be introduced later on in the story. It’s hard to tell which way the narrative plans to take the competition for Mystia’s affections, but I suspect Raid will be the main romantic interest. He is on the cover, after all. Regardless of where her heart leads her, I’m looking forward to following Mystia’s continuing struggles, as she tries and fails to distance herself from her many admirers.
I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! is a humorous and cute manga and I’m glad that I picked it up. This series might not be breaking any new ground, as far as shojo isekai stories go, but it’s a fun read and I’d recommend checking it out if you enjoyed series like My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! or The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess.
Final Score: 8 out of 10.
For more information on this series, visit Tokyopop’s website.
What did you think of this manga? Which of the potential love-interests are you rooting for? Let me know in the comments.
Be sure to check out some of my reviews of other shojo isekai manga:
- My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom (Manga) Vol 1 Review
- The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess Vol 1 Review
- The White Cat’s Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King’s Lap Vol 1 Review
- Fiancée of the Wizard Vol 1 Review
- The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent (Manga) Vol 1-2 Review
- Ascendance of a Bookworm (manga) Vol 1 Review
- I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss (manga) Vol 1 Review
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