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I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss
Episode 9

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 9 of
I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss ?
Community score: 4.3

Of all the classic romance tropes, amnesia (especially after the main couple has gotten together) has always been my least favorite. Not only is it a cheap trick to reset everything to zero, it always plays out the same way, with tons of cheap drama and heartbreak as the heroine wavers between letting her lover go and trying to win him back—and it's often made even more complicated when a potential lover she rejected the first time around gets to shoot his shot again.

So, when the amnesia plot started in this week's I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss, I was less than enthused. The setup is all the things I hate: we start with a contrived reason our lovers are being broken apart (he has lost his magic and isn't the Demon King anymore—and thus doesn't need to “settle” for Aileen). Then we get the equally contrived reason the two can't meet (Lilia has used her knowledge of the games to trick the Empress Dowager into helping her force Aileen and Claude apart). Finally, we even get the rival woman, who lost the first time around, making moves on the amnesic man. Yet, both Lilia and I forgot something vital that sets this anime apart from other stories that use this trope: Aileen isn't the heroine; she's the villainess.

While your typical heroine would angstily await the promised date when she can once again meet her lover (only to then be embarrassed in public by his uncomfortableness/indifference) Aileen jumps off a cliff, breaks a magical barrier, and bursts into Claude's room—knowing full well she'll get the death penalty if she is caught. She wakes him up and lays the situation out for him.

But what's really great is that Aileen doesn't treat him like they are established lovers—getting hurt when he doesn't reciprocate. Instead, she defaults back to how she was when they first met. She is the villainess after all, with all the ego and drive that implies. She won his heart once through her no-holds-barred efforts and will do so again. After all, it wasn't her knowledge of the future or of his past that made him fall for her. It was her personality—that she is a woman of action tempered by kindness. She never needed to live a lie or play a character like Lilia does to win Cedric's heart.

And speaking of Cedric, it's clear that the logical part of his mind has started to see through the cracks in Lilia's façade. She treats him like an afterthought—someone she has already “won” and is completely under her control. While she was able to do the right things and say the right words, she never actually cared about him or loved him as a person. Claude's advice to Cedric, to do the unexpected and keep things interesting for her, is basically saying “go off script and make her see you as a real person.” Though it's questionable if Lilia can let herself see anyone else besides Aileen as real people—because if she were ever to admit that fact, she would have to see herself as the completely unethical monster she actually is. And this is likely the reason why Aileen will win in the end. She views everyone as complex people instead of one-note characters. She knows that they can go off script just as easily as she can—and that's something Lilia can't even let herself think.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• I mean, the mage guy has to be both behind the amnesia bit and working for Lilia, right? Why else would he just show up?

• It's interesting that Lilia was able to activate the non-canon “fan disk” game's story. Something tells me that she's not as in control of the plot as she thinks she is—too much has already happened that contradicts the alternate universe events of the fan disk.

• While being largely ignorant of the fan disk's plot seems like a disadvantage for Aileen, something tells me that she would act just as she does this episode regardless of any futures she might be aware of.

• Even without his memories, Claude understands the responsibility of a king.

• I'd like to know the current king's motivations. What makes him suddenly think Aileen, the bearer of the holy sword and the person who stopped two potential wars with the demons, is not worthy of being queen? Is he an idiot or is he still living under Mommy's thumb?

• Cedric messed up so badly that even when his brother has no memories and is completely unfit to rule, his father will still choose his brother other him.

I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.



Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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