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The Villainess Stans the Heroes: Playing the Antagonist to Support Her Faves! Vol. #01 Manga Review

4 min read

A hard-core gamer reincarnated as her favorite game’s villainess embraces her antagonist role to make her faves shine!

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Yamori Mitikusa/Tsubasa Takamatsu
Translation/Adaptation: Leighann Harvey

What They Say
What’s a girl to do when she’s reincarnated into a game full of her biases, and as the antagonist to boot? Simple—do whatever it takes to make them shine, of course! When I’m reborn into the body of the villainess Eldia, I’m determined to play my role to perfection for the loves of my life…but how was I supposed to know that one impulsive mistake I made years ago would bring such drastic changes to the story!?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
When a 20-something gets crushed by a pile of merch, she abruptly wakes up as Eldea Euclair, antagonist of her beloved game Emotion Fantasy. For her, it’s a dream come true to see her favorite characters in the flesh! So she’ll do all in her power to keep the story on track–even if it means playing the villainess. There’s just one problem. Some early interference on her part has caused the game’s top assassin to become her personal butler.

I’ve read/watched a few of these “reincarnated as a villainess” isekai, and the reincarnated individual is usually trying to maneuver through their real-life game without triggering a bad end or death flag. However, this title doesn’t follow that formula. Primarily because the story begins right as the villainess exits the game.

Eldea is the early-game antagonist who is only involved in the initial part of the game. However, the manga doesn’t bother including that in this story. Rather, it opens with Eldea’s final scene in the game where she’s found out and stripped of her rank. All of her diabolical doings are only mentioned in retrospect. And after 26 pages of playing up her villainous role while internally geeking out over her faves, our reincarnated antagonist’s part in the game is done.

So, no death flag hanging over her head. And because she’s made preparations in advance, no bad ending either. She just has one niggling concern regarding her number one fave, Albert the assassin. Because she interfered early in this character’s storyline, he wound up as her butler. In other words, living a completely different life than he was supposed to. Moreover, he knows that she possesses knowledge about the heroes of their world that normal people don’t.

This combination of fangirl plus hot favorite character of course sparks romantic tension between the two. Despite his loyalty, she maintains emotional distance because she assumes he’d eventually move on. Albert, for his part, assumes he’d never truly capture her heart. However, all that swiftly gets cleared up with the confessions in Chapter 2.

Therefore, our main character is not in fear for her life. She’s taken measures to change her identity (to the financier Ellua) and set up a comfortable estate in another kingdom. And all the romantic tension between her and Albert gets taken out at the end of Chapter 2. With so much resolved, where is this story going?

For now, it seems like she’s simply going to enjoy the world of her favorite game. Because she’s no longer responsible for acting out a role, she can indulge in stanning the heroes (which, since she’s well-versed in their storyline, she can do easily). So yes, the title totally describes the book. However, the subtitle (Playing the Antagonist to Support Her Faves!) not so much, because, again, we don’t witness her committing diabolical deeds.

In terms of illustrations, they do the job for the most part. Character expressions are on point, and costumes have a lot of nice detail. However, action scenes, like when Anson draws his sword or when our main character uses shadow magic, are difficult to follow. Also, when Albert removes his shirt, his bared chest comes off more as blocky than tantalizing.

Extras include first page in color, artwork on the inside covers, three pages of bonus comics, and author afterward.

In Summary:
It’s every fangirl’s fantasy–stanning your faves in real life! And for the most part, our reincarnated main character is simply geeking out over her heroes, whether they’re dutifully playing their assigned role or acting out of character because our reincarnated fangirl introduced doujinshi into their world. For now, it’s sort of interesting, but without a tangible goal for the main character or any information on the ultimate goal of her heroes, it’s hard to tell where the plot is going.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 21st, 2023
MSRP: $13.00