I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! is a fairly self-explanatory title. This review will look at volume 1 of this manga series based on a popular concept.
This manga is based on the light novel by Sou Inaida, with illustrations by Ataka. The author is mostly known for this title. The English localization is by Katie Kimura, who is credited in several manga by Tokyopop. The publisher has been around for quite a while; I used to buy their manga about fifteen years back and still have some of their titles!
Welcome to Student Life
Unsurprisingly, while I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! starts with Mystia, the ‘villainess’ protagonist surrounded by boys interested in her. This is just to set the scene though. It explains how she has just started school and has a month before the main character of the otome game will appear.
It shows that unlike our true protagonist, the original villainess in the game is a horrible person. She does a number of tricks to try and win the heart of one of the characters. Along with that, she treats the main character terribly. The start of school is implied to be dangerous for her – the fate of the villainess isn’t good in the game after all!
The game is meant to start as they enter school, but most of volume one actually takes place long before that.
Hit by the Isekai Truck
When Mystia was ten years old, she awoke to memories of her past life. Much like several other light novel protagonists, she was a somewhat introverted student who got hit by a truck at age sixteen. This included playing ‘Kyun-Love World’, an otome game she was convinced to play by a friend, that she now lives in the world of taking the role of the villainess. It’s an overdone setup, but I don’t hold that against it. The isekai concept is common for a reason.
The Mystia we see is a kind girl, unlike the villainess in the game. We see her going out of her way to help strangers who are down on their luck or worse. She picks up a number of strays to work as servants for her family and the staff absolutely adore her. Though this does end up putting her in dangerous situations, so they’re incredibly overprotective.
Soon on we meet Raid Nocter. He’s a ‘prince’ type character. The son of another wealthy noble family, Mystia’s father decides on an engagement between the two of them. This happened in the game too but didn’t turn out well in the end.
This is where we start to see an attempt to change things. Avoid the engagement or make it easy to break – no problems, right? It doesn’t go quite that smoothly, but it’s fun to see how things can change or stay the same. We see a few instances of ‘future knowledge’ being used. I wonder if things will change enough that it won’t help in future chapters. It does note at the start that personalities are different from the game. That might be because of the past events that Mystia influenced.
While there are some humorous moments, the tone and events are quite serious at times. This isn’t a comedy unlike many in the genre.
Worldbuilding and Love Interests
We get to spend time with one of the other love interests later in volume 1 of I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! There’s a bit of a surprise involved, so I won’t say much about it here. I certainly enjoyed that part of the story though.
Most of the rest of this volume is spent on Mystia’s history and building the world around her. Living as a noble, it’s filled with social events, dealing with other wealthy people, and having servants to take care of you. Alongside this, we also get a hint at some of the darker sides. Slavery is briefly mentioned and we see some people in rather unfortunate circumstances.
I’m curious to see more of the world. I hope we don’t get confined to only the school setting at some point, as I would enjoy seeing it expanded further.
I really enjoyed some of the detailed character art in I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! It mixes it with more standard art in the typical shoujo manga style.
I actually picked up this title because of how much I enjoyed My Next Life as a Villainess. It’s very similar in concept, but this seems to be taking it much more seriously. I’m enjoying I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess in an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! so far and I’m interested to see where it goes.
VOL.1 I WAS REINCARNATED AS THE VILLAINESS IN AN OTOME GAME BUT THE BOYS LOVE ME ANYWAY! IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to Tokyopop who provided a pre-release review copy of this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.