I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss, Vol. 2

By Sarasa Nagase and Mai Murasaki. Released in Japan as “Akuyaku Reijo Nanode Rasubosu o Katte Mimashita” by Kadokawa Beans Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Taylor Engel.

Given the sheer number of villainess novels and other similar “this is the same world as the game I played!” scenarios, it’s surprising that we’ve had so many of the protagonists accept that this is their new reality. Admittedly, VR technology has not gotten to the point where this sort of thing could be faked well, but “I’m dreaming” is probably a valid response. Of course, the main reason that we don’t see this too often is that if you think that you’re just inside some game world, you start to think of the world as not having real people but ‘target characters’, and that death is irrelevant because you can restart and they’ll all be alive again. That’s not true in these books, and the villainesses usually know it. But this is one of those ‘good villainess = evil heroine’ books, so it should come as no surprise that, when the heroine gets her OWN memories of Japan back at the start of this volume, she decides to send things off the rails.

Having successfully avoided her doom, Aileen is safe within the demon lord’s domain. Unfortunately, the game she played back in Japan had a sequel, which she also played. New heroine, new love interests, new bad guy. And now it seems someone is trying to make events in that game happen, which will be very bad news for the demons in this world. To try to prevent this, Claude is going to the duchy of Mirchetta to investigate. Aileen is told to stay behind. A ha. A ha ha ha. Disguising herself as a boy, she infiltrates the academy where the second game took place, then inveigles herself onto the student council and establish a guard unit to protect the students (mostly from each other). But investigating is going to be a little hard when her fiancee is the school principal. A clever disguise is needed. Or, failing that, the most bizarre disguise ever.

This book is more well-written than a lot of the villainess novels I’ve seen, and you really find yourself drawn in – I can see why an anime is coming. Aileen is a combination of clever and too-clever-by-half, and she gets a new cast of characters in the student council, who are all fun types. Given that the second game had a different heroine and a different villainess (though it takes place in the same world), it’s no surprise that Aileen quickly makes friends with said villainess, who turns out to be a sweetie pie with poor self-esteem, as you’d expect. This doesn’t really break new ground – mind controlling drugs as the main threat has been seen before, and the evil church being behind it surprises no one – but it’s fun to read, and Aileen is a hoot. If I had a complaint it’s that we only see one picture of her in her masterful disguise. More art was needed.

The end of this book established that we’re going to be seeing evil heroine vs. good villainess for some time to come, so it’s a good thing this is ongoing. Even if you’re tired of villainess books, this is worth the read.

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