5 Best Villainess Manga
For years, the isekai and fantasy genre has been dominated by shounen heavyweights, but no longer! Shoujo and josei fans are spoiled for choice these days, particularly if you're a fan of the 'villainess' trope.
Popularized by the fantastic Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shite shimatta... (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!), villainess stories are all about escaping your own fate through kind actions and a little knowledge about the future!
From characters sucked into the plot of an otome dating game to being sent back in time to avoid their own demise, there are plenty of new series ready and waiting for you to read.
Join us today on Honey's Anime as we discuss the 5 Best Villainess Manga!
5. Higeki no Genkyou to naru Saikyou Gedou Rasubosu Joou wa Min no tame ni Tsukushimasu. (The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen) [Manga]
Mangaka: Tenichi (Story), Matsuura Bunko, Suzunosuke (Art)
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Josei
Published: April 2022--present
Kicking off our list today is a relatively new series based on the light novels of the same name: Higeki no Genkyou to naru Saikyou Gedou Rasubosu Joou wa Min no tame ni Tsukushimasu. (The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen). When the insufferable princess, Pride Royal Ivy, hits her head at the tender age of 8, she recalls an entire past life spent playing an otome game very similar to the world she's in now!
In the original game, Pride was a truly wicked villainess, inflicting pain and suffering on her adopted brother, and doling out cruel punishments to whomever crossed her. Sickened by her character's actions, the reborn Pride endeavors to right the wrongs of that alternate future, and use her memories to help her kingdom.
The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen is unapologetically dark, and puts a heavy emphasis on Pride's actions to save the day. If you're looking for a story that puts our protagonist front-and-center, then you'll love Pride's journey of repentance and conquest!
4. Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami (Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter) [Manga]
Mangaka: Reia (Story), Umemiya Suki (Art)
Genres: Fantasy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Published: August 2018--present
An office-working otome game addict meets an untimely demise when she dies in a traffic accident. She's reborn as "Iris," the villainess of the otome game she'd been playing...moments before she's about to be shipped off to a nunnery to atone for her crimes!
Desperate to avoid her fate, she abandons the game's script and sets out to revolutionize her father's failing fiefdom using her real-world knowledge. Stepping in as acting-fief-lord, Iris introduces banks and commerce, and tries to change not just her own future, but the future of her people, too!
Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami (Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter) is far more political than other entries on our list, and the first few volumes of the manga adaptation can feel a little slow, but we highly recommend pushing through to see Iris in all her glory!
3. Tensei Akujo no Kuro Rekishi (The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess)
Mangaka: Touka Akiharu
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
Published: February 2021--present
Konoha Satou penned a dark story throughout her middle school years--a fantasy adventure of magic and romance, starring Konoha Magnolia and her knights. But after a terrible traffic accident, Konoha awakens inside the world she created...as the series' villainess, Iana Magnolia!
Reincarnated as her own worst creation, now-Iana attempts to stave off the doom flags she wrote for herself...and to do that, she'll need to protect the Konoha Magnolia she created! Once a self-indulgent fiction, Konoha Satou is living out her own Dark History, and she'll need to use all her wits to escape the future she accidentally wrote for herself!
Tensei Akujo no Kuro Rekishi (The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess) is a manga-only series, unlike the other entries on our list, and currently has five volumes available in English.
2. Tearmoon Empire [Manga]
Mangaka: Mochitsuki Nozomu (Story), Morino Mizu (Art)
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, School Life, Shoujo
Published: September 2021--present
Taking a break from the otome game setup, we have Tearmoon Empire, a surprisingly light-hearted fantasy given its initial premise.
As the flames of revolution sweep across her empire, Princess Mia endures a miserable end to her life locked away in jail, before eventually being executed via guillotine. Mia awakens years earlier, in her 12-year-old body, carrying with her the bloodstained diary she kept all the way until her demise.
Armed with knowledge of the future, Mia will do anything and everything to avoid that scary guillotine! Despite the gory setup, Tearmoon Empire is an incredibly funny and light-hearted romp, focusing on Mia's school life and her increasingly desperate attempts to secure her future against the oncoming revolution.
Of all the series on our list, Tearmoon Empire's manga adaptation is the most similar to My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, and is a great entry point into villainess manga! An anime from studio Silver Link has also been announced, and is expected to air in 2023.
1. Akuyaku Reijo nano de Last Boss wo Kattemimashita (I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss) [Manga]
Mangaka: Nagase Sarasa (Story), Yuzu Anko (Art)
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Volumes: 3 (Complete)
Published: October 2021--February 2022
And now we come to our top pick of villainess manga!
How do you avoid a bad ending and escape your villainess fate? By getting engaged to the demon lord, of course!
Akuyaku Reijo nano de Last Boss wo Kattemimashita (I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss) is a brilliantly comedic take on the otome game storyline. Reborn as Aileen, the princess-to-be, our protagonist realizes she's on the path to her own doom when the prince breaks off her engagement.
En-route to losing her life in the game's "bad end," Aileen uses her scattered memories of the original game to change her fate. She sets her sights on the demon lord Claude, intending to wed him and stop him from falling to darkness--and killing Aileen in the process. The only problem? This demon lord wants nothing to do with marriage!
I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss's manga is complete at 3 volumes, but the original light novel goes much farther. An anime adaptation from studio Maho Film has already started airing, so we're hopeful that we'll see more manga volumes soon!
These are just five of our favorite villainess manga! From otome game isekai to time-traveling fantasy, there are plenty of unique takes on the villainess setup. With more anime adaptations, we predict that this sub-genre will soon outgrow its niche and become even more popular!
What's your favorite villainess manga? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading!
Author: Brett Michael Orr
I'm a writer, gamer, and reviewer of manga & light novels, from Melbourne, Australia. When I'm not creating a new world, I'll be absorbed in a good JRPG, watching some anime, or reading up a storm!
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