My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! ep 2 with Crow and Irina

Rini 2020 (3)

Boy that title is a mouthful. I was going to find a spiffy little post title but you know what, there’s enough going on there already. So instead, let’s get right into it. Oh and I made an executive decision to go bold this week even though I’m hosting. Why??? I forgot that host was plain and now the boldness has gone to my head – Mwahaha!!!

And I have to say, as the OP of Villainess started this week, I realized that I have been looking forward to this all week. I was actually actively waiting for 1:30 (which is when the episode comes out here). It’s just a little sunshine of a show that really hits the spot right now. Any thought before we start Crow?

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I was wondering how long it would be before the power went to your head! Now it’s only a matter of time before you begin your campaign to become Empress Irina the First. And may I be among the first to say I welcome our new anime-positive overlords…

Glad you’re bold from now on, though. Takes a lot of pressure off me! As far as thoughts go, I started checking about the same time, too. And Catarina’s voice actress Maaya Uchida? Absolutely nailed it again!

I don’t think we talked much about the OP last week. I really enjoy seeing all the characters all grown up for a second. I wonder if we’ll actually get to see it in the show. And I particularly love the fact that there seems to be quite a few lady characters and they might actually have a genuine role in the series. I really really want Catarina to find a great friendship. That’s something that’s sorely lacking in dating sims. I guess that’s not the point. We should have friendship sims… I’m not sure if what I just said is super sad or not but I would still play them…

It’s not sad! It’s super hopeful! For the generations that come after, anyway… We should move on…

Keith and Caterina seem to have settled into a very nice dynamic. They get along quite well. We didn’t get to see much of him this week but from what we did see, he has settled into his new house splendidly and is getting along great with his new family (not just his new sister). There was a little love triangle moment at the beginning but it was played for laughs rather than romance and Caterian is very determined to ignore it which I like.

In any case, I was just glad to see how relaxed and generally happy the young man seemed. And I was really happy that Catarina gets to have such a great brother sister relationship. Were you relieved that it’s working out so far?

Relieved and happy for them both! Now, she has a hope of going to a dinner party and not stuffing her face until she gets sick! Well, at least she has a chance of Keith reminding her what a bad idea it is. It was cool how he insistently told her not to disgrace the family and she slammed food into her mouth, and even when she ignored him, he didn’t wilt or get all mopey. He stuck with it! I think he’s someone she can depend on. I think she’ll need someone (or someones!) like that.

I loved watching Catarina stuff her face in the ballroom scene. I probably would do the same….

You know, right from the first conversation between Mary, I knew something was up. When we find out from the council scene that Mary is actually a main character in one of the routes, I immediately wrote down two things. 1) The routes in Fortune Lover sound super cliché and I love it, and 2) Mary is just gonna fall for Catarina instead….

I thought they would keep it super tongue in cheek, maybe some light shoujo-ai fanservice to convince the people that might have started the series thinking it’s a CGDCT to keep watching after they realize it’s a reverse harem. I did not expect to just lay it out there right away with Alan basically accusing Catarina of actively seducing his fiancée. It made me laugh! What did you think, Crow? Would you have reacted that way?

I think he should have read the room, realized that fate just dealt him a royal flush, and rolled with it. He’s a prince. His fiancée has fallen for another woman — think of the possibilities!

But he’s just a kid, and he probably has morals and stuff.

Backing away from the world of ecchi, I actually thought that the show was playing with my expectations in a frolicsome way. The fallout was fun to watch, too! Did you see how Catarina’s maid covered her face in her hands at how Catarina berated Alan? Then even Catalina covered her own mouth when she realized what she’d said.

So she’s not completely dense. Just a little slow in social situations. 

This said, I did end up feeling a little bad for Mary. After the first act, we really don’t see her anymore, and Alan is showing up every day and visibly warming up to Catarina. The poor shy girl who lost her mother and now feels bullied and left out by everyone has just been pushed aside by her new and possibly only friend AND her fiancée. And Mary is such a sweetheart. (That’s why her routes work out so much better for her). It’s going to be real though for the show to create a believable romance between Catarina and Alan without making them seem a bit callous.

They better not go that direction! Like you said, Mary is a sweetheart. She deserves to be happy!

I can’t believe I’m already so invested in a character I just met…

I think that says something about the show, though. The characters are just delightful. It’s like Catarina’s mere presence has begun to elevate them from NPCs to actual people. They’re growing away from their game roles to become individuals. I wonder if that’s intentional?

You know what I noticed about this series, two episodes in? Tree climbing comes up a lot! And there is some really beautiful scenery. It looks like rich saturated watercolours or watered down acrylics maybe. In any case, more than once the characters look like they’re walking through beautiful paintings. The clash between that and the simplistic but very cute character designs actually works really well. I’m sorry, I’m a bit all over the place. I’m actually referring back to Mary’s garden. Last week there were similarly gorgeous scenes when Catarina was showing Keith the garden. 

Um, maybe I pay attention to weird things.

I think your segue worked well. I mean, seeing Catarina shimmy straight up the tree was hilarious. The tree was way more detailed than she was! The flowers in Mary’s garden were absolutely beautiful. The details on Catalina’s eggplant (at least, that’s what I think it was) were impressive, too.

Even though I think Alan and Catarina’s friendship is potentially a bad idea, I also thought it was pretty cute to watch. When they switched their contest to piano, I first thought Catarina would not know how to play at all and that she just chose something random so that he could win. When it turned out that she was pretty good and it was Alan’s turne, I quickly switched my thinking and was rather convinced that he wouldn’t be able to play at all and that would solidify his admiration of Catarina while giving him an excuse to go all tsundere.

Basically I’m always wrong. 

The piece was actually quite lovely and I’m glad I got to hear it. I get why everyone was smitten. Music is sort of magic.

Did you see how proud Alan’s maid and butler were in the background? Even Catarina was amazed and impressed. I was a bit surprised that even Gerald praised his brother, though we know that Gerald’s black-hearted with the face of an angel — he might be faking it.

You bring up an interesting point, too. The show knows its tropes, and it’s dancing around them. I really like that!

All in all, it was another light hearted and sweet little episode. Nothing much to add as it really just kept right in line with the first episode and introduced us to new characters. I figure we have a few more of these episodes coming before we get into the action of the series, as we need to meet everyone we saw in the OP. I have to admit, I’m most curious about meeting the main character (Maria). I really wonder what type of person she will be. 

If they go by traditional otome tropes, she has to be the dullest, plainest and most obvious character ever. Basically an empty vessel for the players to self-insert as easily as possible. But this little series has so far proven a lot whittier and more full of heart than I expected so I have a feeling Maria will also surprise me. 

What did you think of this episode Crow? Are you looking forward to anything? Do you have something you hope to see?

Another enjoyable episode seeing Catarina’s hilarious combination of astuteness and actually being able to hear the “woosh!” as an act or concept flies over her head. I mean, she’ll say something like “Excuse me?! That’s a blatantly false accusation!” — then immediately repent when she realized she stepped way out of bounds. And deciding that if she can’t take all the desserts home that she’ll have to eat them instead? I’m looking forward to more Catarina. And you know, I think I would like to see the older versions of the characters. Kids are fun and all, but the really interesting character dynamics start at an older age. The potential for more humor will be immense!

My Next Life as a Villainess ep2-9 (5)

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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9 Responses

  1. Justin says:

    “It’s like Catarina’s mere presence has begun to elevate them from NPCs to actual people. They’re growing away from their game roles to become individuals. I wonder if that’s intentional?

    Yepppp. It’s pretty creative in that sense. And this is all because she’s doing her best to actively avoid the worst endings for her (which also turns out to be her issue in picking up social cues lol)

    Still will forever wonder if she can really save herself with a toy snake…

  2. foovay says:

    I am really enjoying this little romp of a show. Enough to simulcast, yes, even enough to be eagerly awaiting the next episode. I wonder if she really can change her fate?

  3. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    I’m really enjoying this show so far! (And I love that her betrothed told on her at the end. . .smart guy, buttering up to the future mother-in-law early!)

  4. Dawnstorm says:

    Looks like the show’s going to be a mixed harem. It’s a really fun show, isn’t it?

  1. April 14, 2020

    […] Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I review “A Prince Challenged Me to a Fight…,” the second episode of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! It’s Irina’s turn to host, so if you’re the impatient sort (and I won’t think less of you!), you can read the post here! […]

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