Somehow, while I’ve been diving back into reading manga after my stint of using novels as escapism from a bad boss (I’ll talk about that another time), I’ve only now come across the genre of otome-game isekai! It’s a very oddly specific genre but is so much fun to read.
There may be some spoiler-related things in this post just because of how the genre goes. If you’re not into spoilers, skip this post. I’ve hidden it under the Read More if you’re on the main site. 🙂
Personal note: I know we haven’t had any updates for quite some time! There’s been a lot of changes at home so we haven’t had a lot of time to devote to the site. Hopefully next year will be better! Stay tuned!
August 2020 update: one of the above series got an anime series — check out my review here!
August 2020 update #2: somehow this is one of my most popular posts because there’s a lot of you fellow fans out there! I’ve updated the below with a BUNCH of suggestions to read and started to separate them out — cos there’s a lot of differences!
The basis for the genre is this: a girl/woman is reincarnated into an otome (dating sim aimed at girls) game she’s really into or has played… as the villain or heroine’s rival. This makes for an interesting turn-about because these folks realize and remember that they’ve been reborn in another world at some point during their new life as a villainess, and usually remember what happened in the game. This includes the paths for romance and flags for different events in the game. Remember, these are dating sims. 🙂
At this point, there tends to be a divide on what happens when they come to realize that they’re reborn and they attempt to avoid the bad-end as the villain by (1) actively working against story and character plot points or (2) utilizing their isekai skills/knowledge from the past in the new world in their favor. It can be one or the other or both, which helps to make the manga in the genre not always feel totally copy/paste. Though there are some totally similar manga, there’s enough of a difference to enjoy reading multiple manga at once.
Two additional sub-genres that I’ve seen in otome-game isekai is either that (a) the heroine of the game was ALSO reincarnated in that world and knows (but don’t always know the villainess was as well) or (b) there are other reincarnated characters.
Here’s a list of some interesting ones that I’ve been reading:
- Reincarnated as the villainess:
- An Observation Record of my Fiancée – A Self-Proclaimed Villainess
- As a Result of Breaking an Otome Game, the Villainess Young Lady Becomes a Cheat!
- Beware of the Villainess! (novel)
- Death Is the Only Ending for the Villainess
- Deathbound Duke’s Daughter and Seven Noblemen
- I’m a Villainous Daughter, so I’m going to keep the Last Boss
- I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess With Only Destruction Flags…
- Survive as the hero’s wife
- The Daughter of the Albert House Wishes for Ruin
- The Evil Lady’s Hero (novel)
- The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen Who Will Become the Source of Tragedy Will Devote Herself for the Sake of the People
- The Small Village of the Young Lady Without Blessing
- The Villainess Is Adored by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Kingdom
- The Villainess, Cecilia Sylvie, Doesn’t Want to Die so She Decided to Crossdress
- The Villainess Falls for the Notorious Noble
- Though I May Be a Villainess, I’ll Show You I Can Obtain Happiness!
- This one is a FANTASTIC anthology of this genre’s one shots!! Highly recommend!
- Villainess Level 99 ~I May Be the Hidden Boss but I’m Not the Demon Lord~
- Reincarnated as the villainess at the end event:
- Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami
- Lady Rose Wants To Be A Commoner
- Milady Just Wants to Relax
- Of Course, I’ll Claim Palimony!
- Reincarnated as the friend:
- I Reincarnated as a White Pig Noble’s Daughter from a Shoujo Manga (manga)
- I’m the Male Lead’s Female Friend (novel)
- Reincarnated as family:
- I Became the Villain’s Mother
- It Seems My Lady Is the Villainess with Only a Bad End, so I’m Thinking of Saving Her
- Living as the Tyrant’s Older Sister
- Reincarnated as the main character BUT with a focus on the villainess:
- I Favor the Villainess
- This is such a good one for yuri lovers.
- I Favor the Villainess
An additional spin is that the characters are yandere/dangerous/dark or have a bad history that makes them who they were in the game.
- Reincarnated but with yandere:
- I Am Troubled That My Fiancé Is a Villain
- The Reincarnated Princess Strikes Down Flags Today as Well
- The Result of Being Reincarnated Is Having a Master-Servant Relationship with the Yandere Love Interest
- Yandere Otome Game
A unique manga is a different spin on the villainess otome-game isekai — two characters are able to interact with the otome-game world! This one is also just as fun to read:
- Endo and Kobayashi’s Live Commentary on the Villainess.
There’s also another genre of (usually webtoons) that have become seriously popular lately: the villainess reincarnating or going back in time! It’s similar to the otome game isekai given that she knows the future and is trying to do something about the (usually poor) future she lived.
- The villainess is reincarnated/goes back in time:
- I Swear I Won’t Bother You Again!
- Tearmoon Empire Story
- This one is just really funny because of all the misunderstandings 🙂
- The Villainess Lives Twice
- The Villainess Reverses the Hourglass
- Virtues of the Villainess (an additional spin on the genre because it’s not reincarnation but it’s in the same theme)
I haven’t seen this genre really come out in the U.S. yet, but you can find scanlations online. If you happen to find any of these manga in-store, support the author and buy it!
Do you have a manga that you like and want to share? Let me know below!