My Next Live as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is a popular otome-based isekai title, starring Katarina Claes as the well-meaning but notoriously oblivious heroine, nicknamed "Bakarina." Even if she's denser than a black hole, Katarina has a quest and the means to accomplish it: avoid all her potential doom flags as the villainess, and make all her new friends happy.
Katarina was once an ordinary high school girl who loved the otome game Fortune Lover, but now that she's directly in its world, she must protect herself by dodging all her doom flags while also manipulating everyone else's love lives to create a happy ending for them. But she's succeeded a little too well -- now everyone loves her, rather than each other, and Katarina has no idea what comes next. Season 2 should provide some answers.
How Katarina Claes Cultivated The Ultimate Gang Of Friends
Season 1 of My Next Life as a Villainess sees Katarina Claes awake in a new world as a child, but when she accidentally hits her head, her past memories as a Japanese student come flooding back. She realizes she's in the world of Fortune Lover, with no way out. She'd better act fast to form a web of friendships, or the game will proceed according to its original plot -- which means certain doom for the villainess Katarina.
She begins her quest with her very own fiance, Geordo Stuart, working hard to create a healthy relationship with him to draw his eyes away from the actual heroine, the shy but charming Maria Campbell. Along the way, Katarina also builds a stronger relationship with her foster brother, Keith, to prevent him from becoming a womanizer with an empty hole for a heart. She even extends the hand of friendship to Geordo's brother, Alan Stuart.
Once Katarina and the boys are in their teens, they attend a magic high school where she really has to roll up her sleeves and get to work. She meets and befriends Maria Campbell at her first opportunity, and more importantly, controls the flow of Maria's personal life to keep her from falling for any of the potential love interests around her. In the original Fortune Lover, Maria the heroine might end up with Geordo Stuart, or perhaps Keith, Alan or a handsome, dark-haired boy named Nicol Ascart.
Ideally, these characters will enjoy their wholesome friendships with Katarina and each other so much, they won't feel the need to find a lover at all. It's tricky to balance all that, though, and Katarina accidentally becomes the object of everyone's affection, boys and girls alike. Their love isn't gone -- instead, it's all pointed at Katarina, meaning she's built a co-ed harem without even realizing it. What is she to do?
When Katarina Claes Faces A New Bully: Sirius Dieke
In the original Fortune Lover, Katarina was the chief bully at magic school, having an entire squad of cronies by her side as she mocked, harassed and tormented Maria every day. But here, Katarina has been reborn as Maria's best friend and protector, so the cronies are all by themselves, facing their former boss in verbal duels over Maria. Katarina can handle these otome-style mean girls, but can she handle the student president, Sirius Dieke? On the outside, the red-headed Sirius is a smart and charming boy, but he is actually a wielder of dark magic and has become the new archvillain for the reborn Katarina to face. He's got designs on Maria, and Katarina is practically helpless to stop him.
However, Katarina isn't alone anymore. Due to all her hard work, all her friends care deeply about Maria too, and they help confront Sirius in a dungeon to rescue their friend. Surprise: Sirius Dieke is actually a boy named Raphael Walt, who had once been intended as a vessel for the dying Sirius Dieke with dark magic. Katarina isn't angry -- instead, she embraces Raphael and sympathizes with him, since his own mother had tried to sacrifice him for the sake of someone else. Maria is returned unharmed and Sirius departs the school, wishing Katarina well.
It seems Katarina has dodged all her doom flags and created the ultimate squad, but she can't relax just yet. If My Next Life as a Villainess' Season 2 trailer is any indicator, an insidious masked man is on the prowl, and he's got his eyes on Katarina. A whole new set of doom flags has just arrived.