I'm in Love with the Villainess

Alt title: Watashi no Oshi wa Akuyaku Reijou

Vol: 7+; Ch: 40+
2020 - ?
4.145 out of 5 from 964 votes
Rank #1,385
I'm in Love with the Villainess

Ordinary office worker Oohashi Rei wakes up in the body of the protagonist of her favorite otome game, Revolution. To her delight, the first person to greet her is also her favorite character, Claire Francois–the main antagonist of the story! Now, Rei is determined to romance Claire instead of the game’s male leads. But how will her villainous lady love react to this new courtship?!

Source: Seven Seas

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Meh. I'm almost entirely unimpressed with this series. It's primarily built around a singular joke of Rei enjoying getting bullied by Claire and Claire not knowing how to cope with that. This makes it so Claire's character ends up coming across as pretty one-dimensional the longer that fe doesn't adjust feir reactions. We do get a few glimpses behind Claire's tsundere over-reactions, like in the bedtime scene in chapter five or Claire expressing concern for Rei in chapter nine, but for the most part fe hasn't really shown growth. Rei's brazen lecherousness and obnoxious attitude toward Claire is probably intended to be funny, but I don't really consider it to be a good joke. In fact, the disrespectfulness fe shows is only bearable in any capacity because of how much of a prick Claire has been (and it's only appropriate to treat pricks with disrespect). Also, I should mention: I've been getting more and more fed up over the years with all these manga that have bystanders observing two other people arguing and commenting that they must get along really well with each other. I don't know where that reused piece of dialogue first came from, but I don't think it works on any level (it's not insightful or accurate and it's also not even ironic or funny). The assumption (I think) is that only people who are close to each other will feel comfortable enough to get into a fight, but that is a completely false assumption considering that complete strangers will sometimes get into fights. And it also ignores the fact that many people who are close with each other will only rarely get into fights, because getting into a fight means that there is some sort of friction or tension or animosity in your relationship. To maintain a relationship, yes, that animosity shouldn't be swept under the rug, but there are also healthier ways to work through it than getting into a fight. The art uses large, pronounced ears. The eyes are ill-placed on the elongated, boxy faces. Rodd's hair looks dumb. The main characters, as I've mentioned, feel boxed into the joke's dynamic. The side characters have felt forgettable more than anything. The general trajectory of the story feels like it's meandering a bit. Obviously, Claire will most likely eventually open up and allow femself to be emotionally vulnerable, accepting Rei's love for fem. It's possible that the two of them will end up together romantically, but I could also see the series ending without that particular development ever taking place. Some other pairings will also occur. But there's no real hook to the plot or sense of long-term plot goals. [Reviewed at chapter 11]

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