An isekai that SMASHES typical isekai tropes.
The FL has a realistic (for most people) previous life, and thus, has incredibly realistic feelings when she's transported to a whole new world. We are shown a lot of her inner thoughts and her regrets. They aren't just regrets like "urgh I should have stood up for myself when my best friend betrayed me", then the author throws some sad scenes in there and never talks about the trauma again until they need something to excuse the misunderstandings their FL had dragged out.
Instead, this author shows us FL's point of view, then shows both sides of the situation FL thinks back to. Something about FL's thought flow just feels very realistic to me. In my view, they give her a lot of depth, and show us she is just another flawed human trying to stay afloat in a very strange world.
FL misses her family. She muses about her past life, the "should'ves and would'ves". She's suicidal (partly because she's depressed in this new world, and partly because dying is the only way to return to her previous world. Spoiler: this new world doesn't allow dying by suicide).
She comes up with plans, not the oh-so very cunning plans that authors just throw in your face to prove how smart their FL is, but sensible ones that a typical flawed human might think of. She is level-headed, but still has breaking points like a real human and has spontaneous actions. She brings a mature, muted air to the story. It's just very interesting to see her navigate the world.
FL has different mannerisms from the previous owner of the body. The father and maid of the original owner of the new body notice the differences right away in the first 11 chapters. I am relieved that characters in this story won't be dense people.
Also, I don't mean for this to come off as promoting tokenism or anything, but this is the first isekai I've seen that includes a dark-skinned priest. It might not matter much, but I really like that the manhwa is diverse.
Not much to say about ML yet (just know it's not the asshole prince). There are novel spoilers if you want some info: https://forum.novelupdates.com/threads/kill-the-villainess.118265/. At chapter 22, combined with knowledge of endgame spoilers, I can say I love the pairing. The ML will be *SPOILERS* the FL's personal knight (first appearance in chapter 12). It's the first time I've seen a commoner ML. He's also a sensible person. I like his character design because it's the first time I've seen a ML with just... hazel eyes and brown hair. His face is handsome and quite stoic. The half-lidded eyes and stable eyebrows make him look unwavering - which he is. He's a clever person with morals, which is why he's such a great match with FL.
The dynamic between FL and ML is done well. It's interesting to see the normally-typical power imbalance between knight and lady still be somewhat implemented, but the FL and ML still have a good understanding of and sympathy for each other. Their conversations are enjoyable to read.
Another trope the webtoon somewhat subverts is that the original protagonist (Helena) in the novel didn't turn out to be a villainess at all. She's just a very naive person and actually wants to be friends with FL. Reading this brought me complex feelings about Helena. It's the grey-ish stuff - I am annoyed but don't dislike her greatly. I liked the way that FL interacts with and handles her relationship with Helena.
Also, I really like the sorceress in the story. She's so cool and her character design is also awesome.
The art is top-notch. The outfit, hair, and glowing eyes are gorgeous.
I recommend you read this if you want an isekai with substance and some serious air to it. It's an excellent story where you don't feel like it's all bouncy and carefree. Not sure if this has a bittersweet ending or not, but even if it does, it's well worth the read as the FL is a great character to read.
So far it seems like one of the best stories in the isekai genre, because it shows the MC difficulty to get used to her "new life", her feelings of guilt and hopelessness and her plans to go back to her original life. She actually thinks about her family and misses them, making it feel ages more realistic and interesting than the usual MC that just fits in whatever life she got isekai'd. Definitely recommend.
Story 7/10: Kill the Villaness is about an average working Korean woman suddenly waking up inside the body of the villainess character named Eris. From this you get to experience what the mc goes through and her way of coping in a world she's not a part of. The unfamiliarity of her surroundings and the hateful treatment she receives from strangers she's never met before in her life helps strengthen her resolve into getting back to where she came from, no matter the cost.
This, honestly, I feel is a better villianess manhwa than most carbon copy, boring and overused ones. Through Eris they genuinely show the difficulties of trying to adapt to a new world, especially in a body that isn’t your own. It’s not “oh, I’ve suddenly become the villainess where i completely forget my past life (or not acknowledge it at all) and get used to it quickly while people begin to notice me?!” because even though Eris would outsmart the people that disliked her they STILL don’t stop disliking her. And unlike other manhwas, people who start to notice how different Eris is begin to suspect her and know that she isn't the person they knew and that it’s not just her “suddenly maturing” out of nowhere.
In most FLs, they get used to these worlds so fast that you can’t help but realise how unrealistic it is. Obviously, it would take an average person months (if not years) to accept their deaths and reincarnations. The way this manhwa approaches this trope, i personally find really refreshing and interesting.
But it seems this manhwa can't break free from all stereotypes. Realising this story had a romance sub-genre was a bit disappointing to me. I was hoping we would prioritise the mc's development in this world and how she will achieve her goal of returning home rather than a blossoming love between her and some other dude. Adding a love interest, to me, would only hinder the mc and the story (and I'm already sick and tired of all the romances in reincarnation manhwa enough). I genuinely want the mc to return home and a love interest would just distract her from her goal that she's so desperately trying to achieve. However, this is only a minor preference and I'll continue reading. Who knows? This love story might not end the way I expect it to.
Art 6/10: For me the art is just fine, not anything spectacular but not too bad either. I feel like many other manhwas suffer from this mediocrity as well. The art always seems the same and the characters don't really fit into their enviornments. It always frustrates me when I see 3D modelled backgrounds in manhwa because it shows just how lazy the artists can be that they can't even bother with adding more details to their own worlds. Although a bit disappointing, it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story.
Characters 8/10: I loved the characterisation in this manhwa. Instead of everyone feeling 2D and cartoonish, they were given more depth and actual personalities. They weren’t perfect at all and each had their own flaws and struggles to get through, unlike in other webtoons where they keep recycling the same character archetypes. It’s quite refreshing and I would recommend it to anyone who’s sick of the same stereotypical characters associated with this genre. Each person had their own stories and perspectives to tell that was relevant to Eris in some way and I really enjoyed it.
Overall 7/10: A really good read with well thought-out characters and plot. Would recommend to anyone looking for something different :)
Honestly, this might be one of the best isekai bc its so realistic. The female lead feels guilt for taking the life of the original owner of her body and she desperately wants to go back to her original world. Unlike most of these types of stories she actually feels empathy for the lower class and she doesn't fall for good looks.
Really recommend, this might be my fav manhwa with a female lead ^^
the fl is so refreshing unlike many other isekai genre leads, one of the few who actually cares about her loved ones back in the real world and I love how they showed us her struggles to adjust to this new world, she just feels so real.
also she's pretty cool, I love how she's not the "oh i reincarnated into the villain I gotta start acting like a saint so I can avoid the death flag", she's unapologetically level-headed and honest, she's not a villain nor a saint.
the fl has so much depth that a lot of us will feel that she's so real and relatable.
Totally recommend it, only few chapters have been released so far but I can't help but keep looking forward to each chapter.