REVIEW: ‘I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss Volume 1

I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss Volume 1 is an isekai manga and the first volume in a new series. The first volume introduces Aileen, the wicked Duke’s daughter, who regains memories of her past life; she realizes she’s quickly headed to the bad ending where she meets her doom!  The series is published in English by Yen with the original story by Sarasa Nagase, art by Anko Yuzu, and character design by Mai Murasaki. It is translated to English by Taylor Engel and features touch-up art and lettering by Rachel J. Pierce.

When her fiancé breaks up with her in front of the entire student body, an ordinary young woman wakes up in the body of her favorite dating sim game’s villainess and makes haste to change her fate of dying at the hands of the demon king in three months. Demon King Claude is the half-brother of her former fiance, the Crown Prince, Prince Cedric—the two could not be more different than night and day. To avoid an ending where she meets her death, she’s determined to meet the Demon King and make him fall in love with her!

It is a story that we have all seen in similar hands in this popular genre, yet the heart of this manga is the cast of characters and the hi-jinks that they get into for the sake of survival. The girl who is reincarnated into the body of the horrible villainess, Aileen, chooses not to get hung up on the previous actions of the noblewoman whose body she now inhabits. A valid criticism of the genre is that characters who find themselves in these roles in manga and manhwa run the gauntlet of being too frustratingly naive—they tend to be too forgetful of the world and characters that they read and play games about.

However, this time, reading along to see that Aileen is making very logical decisions and getting ahead of the future plot points in the story makes for a character that I want to read more. As a bonus, the original villainess was a very business savvy individual, so I’m looking forward to learning how her original plans will help or hinder the population. It is implied that she was a competent woman while her fiance, Crown Prince, was not as bright and took advantage of her work. The reveal that the person who is now the villainess was terminally ill in the real world, and is not wasting her second chance at life, does play into one of the many tropes of isekai. Still, the emotional bit in I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss will help tie readers to the desperation that often hilariously reveals itself in much of this character’s motivations.

While the first volume of I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss is off to a great start, the ending of this first issue is the weakest part. The newer characters at the end may throw off readers who are questioning the dynamic  of humans and demons as Alieen and Prince Claude are becoming more friendly. We are still getting to know Claude’s backstory, his court, and the fate of the demons that he’s kept safe from humans, so this reveal of other characters in the first volume makes me wonder about his agency and question why he’s so important as Aileen takes center stage. Nevertheless, I still look forward to the next issue because of the budding camaraderie that the characters have built up in such a  short time and the comedy that pops off in each chapter.

There is a lot to love in this manga for readers who adore isekai and female reincarnated characters getting another shot at life and happiness. The stylized artwork ranges from pages of a certain someone’s amazing entrance to fun panels of the chibi versions of characters reacting to different situations. Not all isekai is the same, and the creative team put a lot of heart into this one so fans will be able to see the regular beats of the genre that they love. This new series is worth more than its weight in comedic gold. Bonus: the Yonkoma comics at the end of the volume seem to cement this, and I hope to see more in the next issue.

Fans of My Next Life as a Villainess All Routes Lead to Doom! and Fiancee of the Wizard will love this start of a new isekai series that has plenty of laughs and an interesting cast of supporting characters. I am a fan of this lovable villainess who is working her way to being a heroine in a manga that blends romance, drama, and fantasy in a fun way that makes for a solid read.

I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss Volume 1 is available now wherever books are sold.


I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss Volume 1
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TL;DR

Fans of My Next Life as a Villainess All Routes Lead to Doom! and Fiancee of the Wizard will love this start of a new isekai series that has plenty of laughs and an interesting cast of supporting characters. I am a fan of this lovable villainess who is working her way to being a heroine in a manga that blends romance, drama, and fantasy in a fun way that makes for a solid read.