So… has “villainess” become its own genre by this point?
Not that I’ve actually watched any other isekai/reverse-harem villainess anime before, although I do hear My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! was pretty good, and maybe someday I’ll get around to that. In any case, while I know just enough about this kind of story to know that it’s not terribly original, this first episode seemed pretty okay? I’m not totally sure how I feel about the OG’s character’s death (or coma? But probably death) being swept under the rug, along with her entire previous life experiences and personality in general.
However, in contrast, I enjoyed watching Aileen do her thing, mostly because she seems like a woman who can think on her feet, responds well to pressure, and is in general fairly competent and determined at whatever she sets her mind to. Girl gets shit done. Sure, that might seem like a pretty basic ask, but I assure you, when it comes to anime heroines and/or the portrayal of female leads in romance shows, this low bar can be painfully hard to clear.
Also on the upside, Taming the Final Boss doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not a comedy per se (or rather, not in the sense that it attempts to have viewers roaring with laughter), but it is very lighthearted for the most part, and that’s likewise something I appreciate from this genre (the isekai part, anyway, which I attribute to having to wade my way through countless serious af male power fantasies to date). This helps make up for the admittedly somewhat generic story and side characters/character designs (which I realize is at least partially the point, but it still doesn’t exactly make for a riveting viewing experience).
So, will I keep watching this? Possibly, depending on how the rest of the fall 2022 anime line-up pans out. I do have quite a few titles on my to-watch list this time around, so I may not stick with Taming the Final Boss the whole way through, but you never know. Either way, I’d say it’s not a bad start to the season.
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