My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Series Review – Another Sequel Without The Charm of the Original

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Series Review

What is it about 2021 and sequels? Is there some kind of curse over the anime industry at the moment that means all sequels have to lose what made the original season so entertaining? Then again, I’ve always had a bit of an issue with sequels not measuring up for one reason or another so it is no surprise really that a story focused on comedy, such as the isekai My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X didn’t quite end up hitting the same sweet spot as the original.

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My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2

That isn’t to say that the charm is entirely gone from Catarina’s life as this isekai female lead meanders obliviously over her harem’s emotions, gets kidnapped, eats a lot of food, rescues her brother from being kidnapped and then eats more food. However, season one of My Next Life as a Villainess felt like there was a purpose in Catarina avoiding the death flags from the game she had played. No matter how loose the plot got, there was always the basic premise to fall back on to hold things together.

So what went wrong for My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2?

Season two lacks that and it isn’t until the final episode that we even really get directed back to the game in a sequel or movie bait moment that actually kind of made me interested in watching more even though I had more or less decided not to continue with this franchise after this season. Given the best part of this season was discussing each episode with both Crow and Irina despite having gone in excited for more of Catarina’s story, I came to the conclusion that more was not necessarily better.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

That isn’t to say that My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is actually bad. It really isn’t. But nor is it infectiously charming and silly in the way season one was. Instead we’re left with an anime that has short arcs where the stakes might seem high but they aren’t, plots that could be dark but will be resolved too swiftly to be taken seriously, and a cast that is actually suffering from bloat because while each character is charming none of them get enough time to really sell their charm to the audience.

Its a bit of a shame when there are some delightful moments along the way.

Early on we were introduced to a ‘villain’ who had kidnapped Catarina. He was a fun character (you know despite being a kidnapper and all) as he verbally sparred with Catarina, sat and ate cakes and had tea with her, delivered a heart-wrenching back story that really went nowhere, but he had a bit of spice as a character and the glasses and butler outfit kind of worked for me.

Villainess S2 Ep3 3

While he wasn’t toppling Nicol as my favourite in the harem, Sora’s introduction had the potential to shake up a group that had fallen into fairly predictable patterns and routine repeats of jokes we’d seen before. There’s only so many confessions, acts of jealousy, and friendly verbal sparring you can watch before it all feels like you’ve seen and heard it all before.

But…

Instead My Next Life as a Villainess has Sora’s character ending up working at the department of magic with Raphael. Fine. However, the next few times we see him there’s no spice or entertainment to be had. He’s just another generic nice guy who kind of crushes on Catarina. Instead of mixing things up and giving us some new beats, Sora just eats up screen time from other cast members but contributed nothing particularly new.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2

It didn’t help that he ditched the glasses and went for a more casual and forgettable wardrobe in the final arc. Ultimately, Sora just blends in to the background of My Next Life as a Villainess and I couldn’t help but feel it was a waste of a character introduction. He had the potential to be so much more.



And while we’re on the topic of wasted potential, we had not one but two kidnapping plots this season. How often do nobles in this kingdom get kidnapped that both Catarina and Keith from the same family can be kidnapped in two separate incidents?

Catarina’s abduction was definitely never intended to be taken seriously as she uses it as an excuse to enjoy not having to get up on time, to eat as much as she wants, and generally be quite lazy. It also did bring Sora into the story and seemed like a decent enough arc. Furthermore, this arc did some solid heavy lifting in world-building as it introduced anime viewers to the complex political relationship between the four princes when really they just want to get along.

Catarina kidnapped? My Next Life as a Villainess

As always though, the conflict is resolved pretty easily and Catarina is rescued without ever really being in danger.

Keith isn’t so lucky as he doesn’t have protagonist plot armour in My Next Life as a Villainess and his kidnapping is actually quite a painful ordeal, not that the follow-up episode would in anyway support that. Despite being tortured for days, Keith seems entirely mentally fine and not at all traumatised by the experience, because you wouldn’t want reality to be a downer on a rom-com (which makes you wonder why bother putting the sub-plot in at all if you aren’t doing anything with it).

Keith kidnapped - My Next life as a Villainess

There are some solid moments of entertainment sprinkled around the messy plot. The play the characters put on early in the season is a delightful return to the world of My Next Life as a Villainess. Also, Gerald finally just telling Catarina straight out how he feels and kissing her was a pretty show-stopping way to end an episode, but then Catarina just plays it super dense so this also goes nowhere fast.

Perhaps my favourite stand-alone plot point was Nicol’s episode where he decided to actually have some marriage interviews. In terms of characters actually being entertaining and charming, this was the episode highlight of the whole season. It felt like it was moving Nicol’s character forward, deepening our understanding of him, and just giving him and his potential matched partner space to really shine. That there were so few other moments like this for the rest of the cast is a little bit sad as Mary and Sophia more or less become background chorus for the majority of the season.

My Next life as a Villainess S2

Visually, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is still the same bright and bubbly affair that season one was with some nice contrasting colours, great character costumes, and some beautiful anime food (oh, the food). It isn’t exceptional in terms of the animation, nor does it need to be when a lot of the time that characters are being pretty still, but it does enough in the few action sequences throughout.

The opening theme wasn’t quite as entertaining as season one’s, but the ending theme for episodes 1-11 “give me ♡ me” was one of my season highlights. I didn’t ever stop the episode without watching the ending which is kind of rare for me with anime as I usually get hooked on openings but find most endings fairly skippable.

Overall thoughts on My Next Life as a Villainess:

All Routes Lead to Doom! X

Honestly, I didn’t hate this follow up season to My Next Life as a Villainess, I just kind of found it a little lacking and there were so many moments where it felt like it didn’t make the most of particular opportunities. The end result is it becomes pleasant enough watching characters you like going through the motions of a ho-hum plot with a lot less humour but it also isn’t something you could recommend as a must watch.

Images from: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Dir. K Inoue. Silver Link. 2021


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 12 Discussion with Crow, Karandi and Irina.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9 Review
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Karandi: We’ve reached the final episode of season 2 of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X and I’m feeling a little bit flat overall around this season, though I’ll save that discussion for when I get to reviewing the whole season. 

For now, I’m left with a feeling like this episode more or less did a very weak tea version of Ouran High School Host Club’s encounter between protagonist Haruhi and club Vice-President Kyouya Ootori between Catarina and Keith, celebrated two years of Catarina eating, and then left us with a very ho-hum story to be continued. But maybe I’m being a little harsh.

Before we get right into that though, Irina, Crow, how are you?

Irina 2020 4

Irina: I’m doing good. It’s a TGIF sort of week, but it is Friday so everything’s great! This said, I’m pretty much with you on the harsh side. ‘Ve sort of been over this season of Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X since the very early episodes and although I do think going back to its roots might be a good idea for the show, I’m afraid I no longer have the enthusiasm for it. But maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of this post.

I have a bad habit of just going section by sections and replying instead of reading everything before putting my part in. It sometimes leads to a bit of redundancy.

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Crow: Gotta say: Irina, you just took a lot of pressure off me! I reply section by section, too, and to be honest, I like the spontaneity it brings to the posts! But maybe I’m just rationalizing things!

It’s a TGIF sort of week for me, too. But the work week is over, unless there’s some kind of after hours disaster. It’s an occupational hazard when working in computer security — and boy do I have a lot of respect for police and firefighters, among others, whose disasters threaten life and limb! I just have to log into a VPN and type.

My Next Life as a Villainess S2

What happens this week on Villainess?

Karandi: I will admit, I took way too many screen caps this week as we cycled through most of the main cast, though I note that Sophia and Mary only really got to be on screen together to echo others and had very few moments of their own. Still, right from the opening conversation between older brother Jeffery and Susanna, taking place in front of that glorious wall of Jeffery’s, this episode was very pretty.

Of course, the fact that I’m discussing prettiness rather than plot or characters probably sums up my feelings about this episode. It kind of brought all the characters together for one last turn about the dance floor and then we were left with a to be continued style conclusion.

Villainess S2 - Jeffrey

Irina: Seaking of Jeffery – Yes I know Karandi wasn’t actually talking about Jeffery but humour me here you guys! – I couldn’t help but notice his equally glorious mullet in that opening sequence. That thing was downright majestic! Fitting for a crown prince and all. It was all I could do to concentrate on anything else for the rest of the episode. 

OK, I may be exaggerating a bit. But of all the aime mullets that are trying to convince me that mullets are sexy, this was up there in the top 10. Great mullet! I have one other fun thing to say about this episode so I’ll keep it for later.

Also, was it just me or were Lana and Jeffery on that scene basically stating that the mirror thing was a very hard to believe deus x machina and Catarina is a massive Mary Sue. Because it sort of sounded that way to me. And if the show had been a bit more into the self-aware humour up to this point, I might have thought this was on purpose and rather witty.

Crow: Karandi, you mentioning Sophia and Mary made me realize how much I’ll miss those two characters — and how much I wish they would have played a bigger role this season! 

Irina, I choose to believe that Susanna/Larna indeed saw through the plot device. How cool would it be if she began to suspect that they were in a space/time parenthetical? For the third season, she could put the pieces together and realize her world changed at certain intervals that she eventually tied to some event outside of the world. Then she could discover that Sophia and Catarina were bridges to that other world! 

Yeah, this episode didn’t really capture my imagination, so I had to keep it busy. Though I had to laugh when Catarina’s Council of the Wise-ish was self-aware enough to realize most of their flashback footage was of food.

Villainess S2 - All about food

Karandi: In case it sounds like I’m being a little too down on this episode, let’s discuss the bouquet of sweets! Can someone make this a real thing? 

So much better than flowers. Okay, I actually like receiving flowers but inevitably my cat eats or destroys them and either way eventually they wilt and die, usually still on my table or kitchen counter and there they stay until I finally get around to turfing them out a window. Of course, that could just be my lack of maintenance of flower vases.

Then I started thinking about what else you could get a bouquet of. I mean, Stranger Than Fiction had the main character deliver flours because the girl he liked ran a bakery. I could do with a bouquet of note books or really funky pens and post-it notes (okay, I’m boring and I like stationery but at least I’ll use it). If we were going for food, a bouquet of pocky would be kind of fun.

What about you two?

Irina: I wouldn’t be opposed to a bouquet of manga or maybe kittens. Provided both are unharmed in the process.

You know what else though, you just made a way bigger deal about the bouquet of candy than Catarina did. That just bugged me a bit. I figured Catarina would have dropped everything, exploited with glee and proceeded to eat half the thing right then and there. But she just sort of politely accepted it and Fey ended up talking it up and appreciating it more than Catarina did. 

Ok, so I did mention that it was sad to reduce the character of Catarina to being ditzy and liking food but don’t take those traits away as well… Or maybe this is when we find out Catarina was never rescued for the first kidnapping of the season and this has all been a fevered dream. 

Villainess S2 - Boquet of sweets

Crow: Hmmm. A bouquet made up of a six-pack of quality beer sounds intriguing. Though to be honest, a bouquet of pocky does sound appealing! I’m from a time period where men-folk didn’t receive flowers. Just as well — they didn’t keep well in the damp caves we had to live in. Though we did get to be pretty good with charcoal for decorating the walls!

And I have to agree with Irina on this point. I really thought Catarina would be over the moon after the junk food bouquet. Though I do hope it’s not a dream. The last season of Dallas completely killed that trope for me. And I didn’t even watch that show!



Karandi: Right, so episode 12 of My Next Life of a Villainess, the ball sees Catarina dancing with Gerald (has anyone tried to count how many times he sighs throughout this series?), then Keith, then Nicol (loved all the other guests fainting at Nicol’s smile), before Catarina makes her way to the buffet where she feeds Alan meat before Mary and Sophia arrive demanding to also be fed. 

It all works but isn’t exactly fascinating as each character is more or less rehashing previous plot points or character moments and while it is lovely to see the core cast back front and centre, as so many of them have been sidelined for a lot of this series, they don’t really get to do anything other than the cameo at the ball.

Or am I wrong?

Villainess S2 Episode 12 - Nicol

Irina: I’m the wrong person to ask. Like I said, I gave up on the season a while ago. But this, this is the second part. Yes, the fainting. I genuinely laughed out loud at the fainting of half the attendees when Nicol asked for a dance. This was a great gag. I wish there were more of them.

Crow: The fainting scene was really funny. It’s the kind of humor I enjoyed from the first season, too! Mary popping up whenever Catarina did the “Ahhhh!” thing (like with Alan) or the dress thing (like with Ginger) made me laugh, too. But, and this goes back to what Irina talked about in her post about the Flanderization of Catarina, the show just didn’t seem to want to give Catarina or her friends room to grow. More than most shows, that bothered me because I like these characters so much. I want to see more of Mary going after Catarina. I want to see more of Maria confessing her feelings. 

And most of all, I want to see more of Catarina coming to grips with who she is, because I’m beginning to suspect she is borderline asexual, and I would love to see a fictional treatment of that perspective. 

Villainess S2

Karandi: We then get to the moment I mentioned at the start of this post. The most where My Next Life is a Villainess took a page straight out of Ouran’s playbook (though who knows where Ouran got it from) and we had Keith trying to make Catarina aware that she’s actually a girl by pinning her down on a bed. 

I didn’t get too annoyed about this in Ouran High School Host Club, but I know some viewers were absolutely rubbed the wrong way by the scene, however, at least there it felt purposeful. Here it isn’t given the time or focus it needs to be anything more than a random sequence that is kind of horrible if you think about it and kind of blink and you miss it if you don’t, and I’m not sure how that leaves me feeling about Keith given he could have just escorted his sister from the room, reminded her it wasn’t appropriate for a lady to be alone in a gentleman’s bedroom, and wished her goodnight.

Am I just taking things too seriously again in this harem comedy that makes no sense anyway? I think it is more that I’ve seen this scene before done better so in honesty if they wanted a sequence like this they should have just committed to it rather than the half-hearted attempt we get here.

Irina: I don’t think you’re taking things too seriously.

Although for me, it’s more the fact that this scene, more or less exactly, has already been done not only in 99% of romance anime before but in this season of this show… We had Sora do this a handful of episodes ago. At this point I’m just more annoyed at the incredibly lazy writing. 

I’m sure our readers know that all this pushing down and kissing out of the blue stuff is pure anime nonsense and not actually romantic…or legal… It’s just an anime thing like complete lack of parental oversight, being able to eat everything in sight and never gain weight or catboys. 

Karandi: Irina, did you just burst my bubble about the existence of catboys?

ikuto
Ikuto – image from Shugo Chara

Crow: I don’t want to speak for Irina, but catboys are every bit as real as catgirls. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I mean, some of us prefer illusion to despair

The “blink and you miss it” problem with that scene applied to a lot of this whole season. There were glimpses of what could be emotional moments that got glossed over. That scene we already talked about with Susanna/Larna — that had huge potential. I found myself wanting more of that scene, especially with the hilarious background of the Wall of Brothers. This episode, like this season, felt too unfocused and diffused. 

Karandi: Probably the highlight of the episode for me, outside of the sweet bouquet, is Catarina’s dream where she sees her friend from before she was reincarnated starting to play the sequel game of Love Fortune at the Magic Academy. If Catarina was attempting to avoid death flags, her choice not to just marry Gerald has back-fired horribly as she’s clearly plunged herself straight back into the Otome plot she was trying to avoid.

Irina: For me it was the fainting. I loved that gag so much.

However, like I mentioned right at the beginning, I thought this scene was a good move. I really liked the scenes of Catarina’s before life in the first season and this was a good throwback. It also invigorated what felt like an otherwise kind of aimless plot. It almost made me want to see more.

Villainess S2 Episode 12

Crow: Even clicking on New Game at the last moment was interesting. I’ll come back for a third season, but I’ll make sure I am not excited about it! I have to wonder how much of my reaction is based on it not meeting my expectations, which were really high.

Karandi: I’m with you. This season wasn’t bad but it didn’t meet my expectations.

All and all, this episode does what it needs to do in bringing this season to a close, but like most of this season it was kind of a mixed affair of some good, some not so great, and while there’s been an announcement of a movie I’m not entirely sure if I’m looking forward to that or not. Final thoughts?

Villainess S2

Irina: To me it felt almost entirely like a set-up for another season and was actually sort of lacking in resolution. Sora is introduced super early into the season but his character arc is up in the air. The entire succession thing that they made a big deal of is just sort of hanging. New villain Sarah has no resolution at all, even the state of the harem hasn’t advanced in any satisfying way. 

If there are many seasons to come, and I know a movie has been announced, this episode might be fine as a sort of bridge but as a finale on it’s own, I just don’t think it actually concluded any of the plot threads the season put forward. At all. 

Season 1 had what felt like considerable character evolutions for pretty much everyone and resolutions for all the character arcs. It also nicely tied up the central plot with Catarina no longer being in danger of exile. But this time around, I don’t really see any of that. Maybe I’m the one being too harsh now.

Crow: I don’t think either of you are being too harsh. We can’t say we liked a show if we didn’t. I mean, we have a lot of smart readers, and they’d see right through that kind of thing! The first season was always just a little more than a routine harem comedy, and that’s one of the things that made it memorable for me.

This season almost felt like it was so busy looking over its shoulder at its past success that it couldn’t decide what it wanted to do. And that’s a shame, because the characters still have all the potential they had from the first season! Which proves what Irina just said about the characters not evolving at all this season.

The End?

Karandi: I’ve had a great time this season following My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X with Irina and Crow. Hopefully they’ve had fun as well. We’d love to know what you thought of the season so leave us a comment and hopefully we’ll get to collaborate again on another show in the future.

Images from: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Dir. K Inoue. Silver Link. 2021


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 9 Discussion with Crow, Karandi and Irina.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9 Review
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Karandi: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 9 brings us the case of the missing Keith

I wonder why when Catarina goes missing she gets to sleep in and gets tea and cookies and yet the reveal of Keith’s circumstances seems to indicate he won’t be getting cookies anytime soon. Yet I’m jumping ahead a lot.

Hi Irina, hi Crow! How has your week been?

Irina 2020 4

Irina: The week has been fine. A little busy but I’m sure glad it’s the weekend. And another Friday is here so we get to do another collab! Yay! I actually went to dinner with friends yesterday and it turns out they are also watching this season. So I got an early discussion on the subject.

I don’t get that many comments about villainess this season. Most people mention not having started the season yet. I found that pretty surprising.

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Crow: My week’s going well. Very, very busy at work, but then, I would hate to be bored. I think; I’m beginning to wonder!

I’m getting a few comments about this series, but not as many as The Detective is Already Dead, which really surprises me. 

What happens this week on Villainess?

Karandi: This week our episode of Villainess begins with Keith being a little saddened as he walks in to find Catarina surrounded by gifts sent by her fiancé prince. Part of me wondered why he would be surprised given Catarina claims the gifts had been arriving every day and it seemed weird that Keith wouldn’t have already been aware of them. More than that, part of me wondered if Gerald understands the concept of overkill.

Maybe it was just me but I got a sense from this scene like we had just walked onto the set of Lily Allen’s music video for The Fear (skip to 1.30 and you’ll see what I mean).

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9

Anyway, we soon head off to school, meet up with Alan and Mary and realise that the whole group are more or less conspiring to keep Gerald too busy to hang around Catarina in a not so subtle effort to slow down his advances. It all seems business as usual but episode 9 then takes a bit of a turn with Keith disappearing and a letter being left to say he had run away.

Irina: We haven’t gotten to spend much time with the core group this season. And although it’s not like most of them had anything to do this episode either, it was nice that they were there at least. I was a bit sad that Mary was sort of just brushed to one side and she basically only had a single animation. Then again, the others didn’t really fare much better but because she was at the front it was a bit more obvious, I guess.

I always quite liked The Fear video and the song in general. It’s been a while since I listened to it. That was fun! 

Crow: Gerald might be trying overkill, because let’s face it: Subtle doesn’t work with Catarina! Though I did find it really, really interesting that when Keith point-blank asked her if she wanted to marry Gerald, she didn’t hesitate to say she didn’t.

That video had a great feel to it. I’d never heard it before. 

I was bummed that Mary didn’t get to go with them. She had a few snarky moments this episode with Gerald, but I would have liked to have seen more. 

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9 Mary

Karandi: I’m not sure how I feel about the parents here. When Catarina went missing they were mysteriously absent from any of the rescue attempts and you have to wonder what they thought about their daughter getting kidnapped (given we never actually saw them involved in the situation at all).

Likewise, here Keith has left a letter saying it was the stress of inheriting a title that has caused him to leave (not that anyone believes that) and instead of sending out the servants or seeking help in finding her son, the mother firmly points the finger at Catarina and blames her for causing Keith’s misery and sends her to find and apologise to her brother (like finding him is that easy). 

Even if she actually believes Catarina is to blame, surely the mother should be working to find her son before laying blame and demanding Catarina make amends. It is almost as if she thinks he’s just sitting in the back garden waiting to be found. How did you two take the scenes with the mother?



Irina: I think you might be guilty of the same thing I am, namely overthinking this show.

I just thought it was a clumsy hamfisted catalyst to get Catarina into action. Namely going to rescue Keith herself. The thing is, if Catarina’s personalisation was consistent then she wouldn’t need any catalyst, she would have been running out the door before her mother finished reading out that note. Actually if the mom was more similar to last season, she would then have tried to stop her daughter for fear of her getting hurt or lost as well.

The thing is, Keith never actually showed any signs of being stressed out about his responsibilities. He was bummed out because he has a crush on his own sister who’s engaged to someone else… As you do… but that was like one time for like 15 minutes or so. No one at all is suspecting the note to be a fake? 

Great, now I’m overthinking the show. It’s difficult not to. 

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9

Crow: Okay, I’ll try not to overthink it! 

Hmm. As a dad, I’m struggling with that! The best I can come up with is that they’re nobility, so they have people to do the worrying for them? No, that’s not right. I’d actually expect a Duke to have a couple of assassins on retainer for just such an emergency.

That’s getting a bit dark for this show, though. Unless the assassins fall for Catarina, too! Then Mary would have some worthy opponents! 

Karandi: On the bright side we do get the return of Larna and she’s got a newly developed magical tool (living teddy bear) that is going to help them locate Keith. Eventually. For all that Larna talks it up as being able to find anyone its directions are kind of vague and even with a magical pointing bear it seems finding Keith is still going to consist of a lot of walking around and asking people if they’ve seen him.

Crow: It’s a short range teddy bear. It’s obviously a prototype! I’ll bet the next one is twice the size with twice the range. 

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9

Karandi: I did like that Catarina is so caught up in the search that she forgets to be self-conscious around Gerald. It was a nice bit of characterisation and it would have perhaps been a more dramatic moment if the other characters hadn’t felt the need to point it out. It was a case where the audience had already picked that up and smiled and drawing attention to it just didn’t feel necessary. 

Though despite being so worried about Keith she has forgotten her apprehension around Gerald, Catarina hasn’t lost her appetite and there was still time for tea and cookies with Larna while out on the search.

Irina: I wouldn’t put it beyond Bakarina to have just forgotten about the kiss. Seems in line with her character. 

Larna looks like she could be an interesting character if they developed her a little. She was a cutie pie when she was younger for what we saw. And I do like her. But I sort of don’t get why she’s tagging along. Especially since her subordinates are so busy they literally don’t have time to sleep. And I also fear that this is just another way that the main characters are going to get sidelined into basically just being background extras. 

I would watch another season where Larna being around makes sense or maybe even a spinoff with her. I thought her contribution with the bear and the explanations was perfect, and should have ended there.

Crow: A spin-off would be a lot of fun, especially if it delved into the way magic works in this world. Maybe some of the history, too. Be kind of cool if the history doesn’t get back very far, because it’s based on a game! I wonder how that would look in the fossil record?

I agree that I’d like to see a reason Larna tagged along. I hope a) there is a reason and b) it’s more than she just wanted to see the bear in action.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9

Karandi: The final part of the episode finally shows us what Keith was doing when he went missing and a few shots of his current predicament. Poor Keith. As I said, it seems unfair that Catarina had such a cruisy kidnapping when you compare it to what Keith is going through. I hope the group find him next week and I really hope his kidnappers actually get some kind of consequence (though given every villain so far has mostly ended up friends with Catarina it seems unlikely).

What are you two predicting for episode 10?

Irina: Well it seems that a Keith rescue is pretty obvious. Unless they drag this out to three episodes. I know I said I was ok with nothing but filler for the rest of the season but maybe I was wrong. For me this was a meh episode. I’m not mad at it but I was bored on several occasions. I’m not that thrilled that we have to watch another episode of this arc. Especially since it’s not going to make a difference. Catarina won’t suddenly realize her love for him and Keith wont learn that life’s too short to be pinning over an unrequited crush.

However, hearing that you guys loved the episode makes me happy. I’ll get vicarious enjoyment.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 9 - Keith

Crow: What I enjoyed most about this episode was Catarina’s voice actor, Maaya Uchida. There were several spots where I thought she sounded remarkably natural and in character.

I think Irina’s right about the rescue. What’s most up in the air for me is whether Keith’s brother and (apparently) deranged sister get a comeuppance or a massive dose of Catarina-fueled forgiveness. The whole thing with kicking Keith when he was in shackles didn’t sit well with me because it felt so out of context for this show! But we’ll see. 

Karandi: Well, that’s it for episode 9 of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X and we’ll catch you next week on Irina’s blog for our thoughts on episode 10 where hopefully all routes have not led to Keith’s doom.

Images from: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Dir. K Inoue. Silver Link. 2021


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 6 Discussion with Crow, Karandi and Irina.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6 Review
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Karandi: Well, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to advance its plot but at the same time seems to be giving me exactly what I want from this series – super cute moments and absolute silliness. With another episode focused more on the cast when they were younger I have few complaints.

But before we get too into the episode, Irina, Crow, how are you this week?

Irina 2020 4

Irina: I’m pretty good. Work has been a bit horrendous but that’s nothing to complain about. And Montreal is almost suspiciously nice this summer. I am a little bummed about the inflection numbers being back on the rise. I hope no one loses a loved one.

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Crow: Hi, Irina and Karandi! The infection numbers, plus the reaction of some Governors in the US has me worried. I drove home tonight past about 30 people with signs and much yelling outside of a pharmacy. It was an anti-vax protest. But my family’s still safe, and that’s a big plus!

Karandi: Glad to hear you guys are both safe. QLD is also going through another wave though I’m a long way away from it (one advantage of living in the middle of nowhere). I am worried about family though.

So how did we find Villainess this week?

Karandi: I really did love this week’s episode even though the plot more or less stalled and the characters spent the majority of the episode reminiscing about the time they went ghost hunting as children. Then again, the kid versions of all these characters are super adorable and honestly there was something just innocent and cute about how all of this came together.

But let’s start at the beginning. Does anyone else worry about Catarina’s sense of self when her own inner-council seem to be pretty condescending (or at least gleeful about her short-comings)? While the Catarina Council are adorable, the joy with which they declare she’s hopeless at romance is a little disheartening even if undeniably accurate.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Irina: The council is a bit different this season. Last time they were united and had a specific goal so whenever we saw the council they were debating on the best course of action and all had their own particular views but ultimately, they were all aiming for the same result. I think that without the motivating factor of “avoiding doom” the narrative doesn’t always know what to do with the council anymore. 

Now they just sort of pop up to keep the joke going and are more scattered.

It is a little odd that a girl that has dedicated so much time to otomes in her life is that hopeless when she’s in one. One that she’s actually played even. Maybe her inner council was a bit worried.

Crow: It has felt odd, hasn’t it? This episode, in fact, is the first one where she thought about marriage. There was a shot of her imagining how she and Gerald coming down the steps after their marriage ceremony. She seemed almost melancholy about it, which felt like an interesting feeling to project within comedy. Then later, her main reaction seemed to be regret at not being able to climb trees or garden after marriage. 

This might sound like I’m trying to be salacious, but I’m being serious: I don’t think Catarina has played any eroge games. She seems completely clueless about that dimension of human interaction. Which sounds like the way Spock would say it… 

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Karandi: As the framing device for the flash-back, Gerald invites Catarina to the Summer villa and rather than just refuse the invitation (Catarina freaking out over the kiss still) she brings along her trusty brother, Keith. Of course, Catarina isn’t the only one worrying about her being alone with Gerald and Alan takes it upon himself to invite the whole gang to the villa. Sorry Gerald, you aren’t going to be getting any alone time with Catarina any time soon.

Crow: Alan as Mary’s wingman is fantastic!

Karandi: I also enjoyed that Catarina wasn’t quite the usual flippant self as she’s seriously considering the implications of her getting older and potentially closer to actually having to marry Gerald. Again, she doesn’t dislike him but the idea of having to behave like royalty is freaking her out, though one suspects most of the other royals already know exactly what she’s like and probably won’t stress too much about it.



Irina: I have to say, this episode’s Catarina is the best I have seen this season and closest to the character I remember. I don’t know about becoming a royal, but I do have a feeling that becoming a mother might calm her down a bit. Priorities do tend to change when you grow up.

I’m not a big fan of traditional marriages or anything but I have to admit, the image of Catarina and Geordo as bride and groom was really nice. They both suited their respective rules very well and the outfits looked good on them. Although they were a bit boring. ‘Cmon Catarina, you can do better than that for your wedding dress!

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Crow: Seeing Catarina as a mom is almost beyond my imagination! Though given how she approaches life, her kids would have a different than that society’s usual perspective on life!

Karandi: Naturally this leads to the girls getting caught in a sudden down-pour and taking shelter where Sophie, Mary and Catarina recall the time they went ghost hunting as children and also got caught in the rain. Maria listens in fascinated as they recall the tale. 

My favourite moments had to be Alan waving the stick around in fear before the bunny jumped out of the bush and then Sophia’s little daydream about her and Catarina fighting a dragon. That was awesome. 

What moments did you like or what didn’t work for you here?

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Irina: I really like the kids so I was happy with the entire flashback. I’m not sure how any of it fits into the main story but I thought it was cute. I felt a bit weird recognizing Anne before Catarina did.

I guess realistically, this episode felt mostly like filler. I don’t think it advanced the storyline much and we didn’t learn anything new. It seemed to be putting the story on hold. But it was also one (if not the) of my favourite episodes this season. Seeing little Catarina rush up a three to catch a beetle while everyone else is freaking out was just so nostalgic. And charming.

Although my favourite moment is the one coming up…

Crow: Sophia spontaneously composing the dragon story was great. I also thought the shot of her marrying Caratina, with Catarina wearing the tuxedo, was a nice touch. 

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Speaking of Sophia, did you notice she wore her hair differently? Or did it happen before and I’m just now noticing it? It looked very attractive on her.

Karandi: I actually didn’t notice Sophia’s hair. Now I want to check.

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What I think made this episode work perfectly though was when we found out what the real source of the ghost stories actually was. That was hilarious and a great way to bring the little story to a close. The fireworks and even the post-credit scene where Catarina seemingly ret-conned her own memory were just kind of icing on the cake because I was perfectly satisfied with the episode on finding out the secret behind the ghost.

Irina: I’m with you, that last act really brought everything together perfectly. 

I gotta say, I do feel a little bad for Crow though. Not only was this a kids episode, which Karandi and I really enjoy but Crow is more neutral on but those new costumes have a very different aesthetic.

Also, we once again didn’t get to see much of Mary. I mean she was there the whole time and she had lines and everything. Probably as much as the other characters. But somehow she didn’t stand out. I feel like the story is giving her less focus this season. Am I imagining it?

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Crow: You’re not imagining it. As a big fan of Mary’s, I’m considering writing a sternly-written letter of protest. 

This week, the kids kind of grew on me. There’s a shot of the three little girls, standing besides their maids, looking out at the lake after the storm, that just looked so adorable. I still prefer the adult-sized women folk, but the flashback story structure worked for me.

The punchline for the ghost fit the story very well. In fact, I thought that was a bit of plot craftsmanship that elevated the episode. 

Karandi: I wonder if next week will transition to a new plot line or if we’ll have another stand-alone kind of story with the gang just kind of hanging out. I’m going to be honest, I don’t really mind either way. Normally the story not really moving anywhere would bother me but I don’t really watch My Next Life as a Villainess expecting a compelling plot in the first place.  

What are you two hoping for?

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 6

Irina: I wouldn’t mind a compelling plot. I like those. The season has been a bit all over the place. I’m not sure what we’ll get next episode to be honest. They started dangling a lot of plotlines and a lot of new characters, I suppose they will need to get back to that soon if they don’t want to leave anything hanging. Then again. Maybe the plan is to continue all of this in season 3. 

I don’t even know if a season 3 has been announced, I’m just saying it’s a possibility.

Personally, I like the slice of life stuff. I kind of hope they drop all the overarching storylines and we just get random adventures for the rest of the season. 

Crow: It’s rare when I like an entire cast so much that just hanging out is fun. But this episode was fun for just that reason. In terms of the next episode, I think they have to start executing on some of the teased plot lines at some point, and this was episode 6. They’re going to run out of runway if they don’t kick them off soon!

Images from: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Dir. K Inoue. Silver Link. 2021


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 3 Discussion with Crow, Karandi and Irina.

My Next Life as a Villainess Season 2 Episode 3 Review
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Karandi: Hi Everyone, Karandi here. This week I am hosting as Crow, Irina and myself discuss the latest episode of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 3… Okay, that title is just way too long and it includes a semi-colon and an exclamation point.

Anyway, before we get into the latest with Catarina’s kidnapping in Villainess, how have you two been?

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Crow: Hi, Karandi and Irina! It’s the end of a very long work week, but there’s hope: I’m on vacation next week! Maybe I can finally get through some of my anime backlog… Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll just end up starting a new series or two!

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Irina: Oh wow! I hope you get to enjoy your vacation. That sounds really nice. And starting new anime is always a great time. You can find something that the whole family will enjoy! I started Hyouka not that long ago and I’m having a really good time with it. I hope you find something just as fun!

So how did we find Villainess this week?

Karandi: I’m just going to say, I was genuinely surprised that this episode didn’t resolve this latest drama and for the most part, all of the characters except Catarina, are taking it pretty seriously. While I didn’t get to the point of actually being concerned for Catarina’s well-being, this is probably the closest to a sense of danger Villainess has given us.

Of course, with Catarina flopping on the bed and rejoicing at the supply of desserts and romance novels it was kind of hard to really take it overly seriously even while every other character sits around tensely and wonders how they can help. 

Villainess - classic Catarina.
Totally forgotten she’s been kidnapped.

Crow: I thought it was hilarious how much fun Catarina was having. So was the maid Lana, who went on about how Catarina didn’t seem worried at all — then realized that Catarina had been enjoying the food and romance novels she much she had completely forgotten she’d been kidnapped!

Irina: Catarina’s love of food is a constant source of amusement. Whenever anything serious is happening you can count on her to stuff her face and break the tension. I am really looking forward to seeing her slowly getting chubbier and having to ask Ann to let her dress out. It’s something we almost never see in anime and it would really set My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X apart!

I know it’s a long shot but it would be a fun running gag. 

Villianess - Geordo and older brother.
Is something bothering him? You know, just the kidnapping of his fiancé. No big.

Karandi: As for the rest of the gang, Geordo is pretty concerned but would happily follow the kidnappers demands if he thought it would actually help but renouncing the throne apparently takes a bit of time and effort. Not entirely sure why you can’t just kind of walk up and declare yourself no longer in line but hey, paperwork is a convenient reason to delay this.

Alan and Mary, as happens more often than not, actually really shine in this episode as they pretty much agree to do whatever they can to help. I loved the flashback where they both pretty much agreed that they both like someone else but they were going to stay together for now. Those two are so perfectly suited for each other.



Crow: They really are! And I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan of Mary. I noticed that of all of them, Mary was the one jumping up and heading out the door to comb the kingdom for Catarina! 

I know that it’s a comedy that relies a lot on misdirection, but I would have loved for the scene where they declared to each other that they loved someone else to be just slightly different. I would really enjoy seeing where the story would lead if they’d confided in each other that they’d both fallen for Catarina. It’s be against tropes, but I think it would have been interesting.

Villainess - Alan.
So cute.

Karandi: Interestingly enough, other than flashes in Catarina’s own mind, we don’t see the reaction from her parents to her being kidnapped. I mean, it is great that the scooby gang are on the case, but what are the adults doing about the missing noble girl who is also the fiance of a prince? Surely there’s an actual man-hunt going on in the kingdom.

Crow: It was another example of Catarina’s near neutron-star density that she thought her mom would like to get rid of her! I wonder if the omission is intentional, and Catarina’s parents are active  behind the scenes? Maybe working with Sirius Deek? Though that’s probably not going to happen…

Irina: I thought Catarina’s image of her mom, (although I personally do not think she is giving her enough credit and her mom is probably devastated) was surprisingly self aware. She’s usually not that great at picking up on what’s happening around her so the fact that she realized her mom was getting a bit exasperated with her is pretty impressive for Catarina. 

I would have liked to see her parents’ reaction, or at least Anne, since she got mentioned so much this episode. Maybe we’ll get that next week?

Villainess - inner Catarina
Catarina’s internal acknowledgement of her predicament.

Karandi: However, as for the kidnappers themselves, can I just say I fell head-over-heels for the butler as soon as he appeared at the door? I mean, okay, I kind of get he’s evil and he’s certainly doing some jedi-mind-control (dark magic) to lady Selena (though it doesn’t seem like she had all that much free-will to overcome) but wow he’s just gorgeous. Totally blew away all the other pretty boys in this anime in one appearance. Or is that just me?

Crow: He’s not quite my type. Though maybe this is the part where I step back and let you and Irina talk through this point? I’ll go and contemplate screen caps of Mary or something.

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Irina: Not really my thing. I guess kidnappers aren’t my biggest turn on although sadly it’s not a complete turn off either. At least when it comes to anime characters. Please don’t send me weird DMs, this is only good for fictional characters.

Villainess - butler/kidnapper.
Nope not into kidnappers, but he’s still gorgeous.

Like I mentioned, I’ve been watching Hyouka and there’s this character that has the same single swooping strand in the middle of their face (Irisu). So when I saw the guy the first thing I thought of was hmm, that’s a classic KyoAni design. Then I thought of Asuka and it was all over. Not many characters can hold a candle to Asuka!

This said, there was a really weird scene with the butler guy. Over dinner, Catarina called him Sebastian. Then she said that it was just force of habit since she called her butler Sebastian, except that wasn’t his name and she just called him that because he reminded her of a Sebastian. It was this little throw away joke maybe? But it actually makes no sense when you consider Catarina.

The one thing My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! has been pretty adamant about is that Catarina is special because she treats everyone equally and with respect, regardless of stature. It’s one of the aspects that makes her so well liked. A girl like that would not spend close to a year now living with someone and not even bother to learn their name. Not only that but actually just give them a new random name.

That’s pretty awful and it doesn’t mesh with Catarina’s character at all. 

So I think that the scene is in fact pure fanservice. A sort of devilish butler being called Sebastian??? Yeah, that’s going to appeal to a section of anime fans for sure! To me, what’s really interesting is that if I’m right, it gives us a pretty big clue as to who the production team thinks their audience is. Or at least who the target audience is.

And that’s not a bad idea. Black Butler is a hugely successful show, getting a part of that fandom is bound to be a good thing for any new anime.

blackbutler ending
Yeah, the Black Butler fandom is pretty solid.

Karandi: All things considered, I really enjoyed this third episode of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. It wasn’t quite as bubbly and fun as so many episodes are but the slightly darker tone with occasional moments of levity worked and I quite enjoyed this development.

I am curious about what they will do next and whether there will be any long term consequences or whether this will all just resolve itself but for now I’m just looking forward to the next episode.

Crow: I’m curious, too, and I think your phrase “long term consequences” is spot on here. As you mentioned earlier, this is a little different. Catarina is probably not in real danger, but it feels like these events might actually affect the direction of the plot.

And I’m not just talking about adding Selena to the harem. She’s still clearly in love with Ian, but Catarina’s support seemed to move her. No, I’m wondering if we’re taking a step into the kingdom’s political sphere. That could be fertile comedic ground!

Irina: I’m not sure how I feel about My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X turning into a serious political thriller. I do like it a lot more when it’s being goofy and light.

Karandi: Well, that’s all from us this week but we will catch you next week for episode 4 over on Irina’s blog.

Images from: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. Dir. K Inoue. Silver Link. 2021


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Karandi James


My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 2 Review

Crow, Irina and I are back with out thoughts on episode 2 of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X. You can check out our full power over on Crow’s blog.


My Next Life as a Villainness Episode 02 Figure 05 scaled

Review of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 2 Hey, everyone! Welcome to the collaborative review of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X, episode 2, “I Turned into a Villain…” As Irina explained in our review of episode 1, Irina of I…

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 2 Review

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 1

This week Crow, Irina and I have started reviewing My Next Life as a Villainess season 2. You can catch our review of episode 1 over on Irina’s blog.


Villainess 2 ep1

Well hello everyone! We have a special treat in store for you this season. Well, at least I hope it’s a special treat! Turns out Karandi, Crow and I were all planning on reviewing My Next Life As a Villainess this season so we figured why not combine our powers!  This is going to work…

My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 1

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James