As loyal readers of this blog may already be aware, I’m a big fan of that particular flavor of isekai manga where the protagonist is reincarnated as the villainess in a romance game or novel. Anko Yuzu’s I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss falls neatly into that category – I mean, it’s all right there in the title – so I was eager to give it a try.
This manga is based on a light novel series of the same name by Sarasa Nagase, which I haven’t read. As such, this will be a review of the manga version of the story only.
Aileen is a high-ranking noblewoman who became engaged to Cedric, the crown prince of their kingdom, at a young age. Since then, she’s devoted herself to both academic studies and physical training, transforming herself into a formidable young woman who she hopes will be worthy of standing at the prince’s side. Unfortunately, her zeal causes most people to believe that she is arrogant and high-handed; even her beloved Prince eventually turns on her! When Prince Cedric becomes enamored with Lilia, a more delicate and sweet girl, and terminates his engagement to Aileen, she’s so devastated that it triggers the awakening of her memories from her previous life. Turns out, this scenario is identical to a game she played in her previous life – one where Aileen was the villainess doomed to meet an untimely death!
Aileen doesn’t have time to waste moping over her broken engagement if she wants to stay alive. In all of the possible endings of the game, Aileen always dies during the final story arc where the kingdom is attacked by the Demon King. The only scenario in the game where the Demon King doesn’t go on a rampage is in a secret route where the heroine and the Demon King fall in love, something that doesn’t seem likely to happen in this reality, since Lilia is romantically involved with Prince Cedric. What’s Aileen’s solution to this problem? Win the heart of the Demon King herself, of course!
The reason I’m so drawn to these kinds of stories is that I enjoy watching the main character try to salvage their reputation and use their knowledge and wits to forge a new destiny for themselves, and I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss hits all of the right notes for me.
Aileen is smart and proactive to the point of being shameless. She’s not above using guile and manipulation to get what she wants, tricking the Demon King’s minions in order to gain an audience with him and even going so far as lacing some cookies she made with aphrodisiacs in a clumsy attempt at seduction! I’d say her moniker of villainess isn’t totally undeserved, but it was a lot of fun to see Aileen lean into that role when it suited her.
Despite some of her more questionable tactics, Aileen’s not actually a bad person. We see multiple examples of her going out of her way to try and help people, including finding jobs for people who were recently laid off and even risking her own safety to try and rescue a lost baby monster. She’s also very responsible and devoted to the people she cares for, having worked hard to support Prince Cedric and better the kingdom while she was engaged to him. I wound up liking Aileen a lot and I hope she’ll be successful in her courtship. I want to see her rub Prince Cedric’s face in her eventual happiness!
The Demon King, a.k.a. Prince Claude, is actually the eldest prince of the realm and by rights should be the next in line for the throne. Unfortunately for him, he was born with immense magical power and is said to be the reincarnation of the Demon King of legends. He’s so powerful that his emotions can effect the weather and natural world around him. Naturally, this lead to him being feared, and he agreed to leave the kingdom when he was a child in order to keep the peace. Claude went into voluntary exile and settled in the woods, where he now rules over the demons and monsters of the lands. A tragic figure, Claude is a kind but withdrawn young man who’s used to being ostracized by everyone, with the exception of his few loyal retainers and the monsters who are drawn to his magic. He’s a bit awkward when it comes to romance and is understandably distrustful of Aileen’s intentions, especially since she was up until very recently engaged to his brother.
Despite the rocky start to their relationship, Aileen and Prince Claude have a very cute dynamic, with Aileen openly declaring her admiration for Claude’s virtues and Claude starting to tease Aileen in a friendly way as they get closer. The two of them actually have quite a bit in common – Aileen also has a complicated family situation and people are also prone to assume the worst about her. Despite this, Aileen always maintains her pride, and it isn’t long before her earnest efforts start to leave an impression on Claude. Aileen also quickly gains the support of Claude’s trusted retainers, who are all eager for Prince Claude to be happy and welcome a change to their, frankly, dreary status quo. Aileen seems like the perfect person to bring some brightness to Claude’s life, and to help him with rehabilitating his image, since she’s well versed in politics and the intricacies of governing. I see the makings of a brilliant power couple here!
The side characters in this manga are also great. I love Claude’s two main servants, the simple-minded demon Bel and the clever human Sir Keith. They both truly care about their lord and want to see his situation improved. My favourite character in the manga, however, is the easily-manipulated talking crow who acts as the sentry to Prince Claude’s castle. This poor guy is doing his best, but he’s simply no match for Aileen! For a pack of supposedly dangerous monsters, Prince Claude’s minions are hilariously gullible!
With it’s sweet romance and entertainingly wicked lead character, I quickly found myself falling in love with I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss. So much so, that I picked up the first volume of the light novels so I wouldn’t have to wait to find out what happens next! If you’re a fan of My Next Life As The Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom or Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter, but wish there was a bit more focus on actual romance in those stories, than this is the series for you.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
For more information on this title, visit Yen Press’ website.
What did you think of this manga? Are there any fans of the light novels out there? Let me know in the comments!
Be sure to check out some of my other review of isekai manga that revolve around a protagonist who’s reincarnated as a villainess:
- 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
- I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess of an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! Vol 1 Review
- Her Royal Highness Seems to be Angry Vol 1 Review
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