My Next Life as a Villainess Ep. 4: Sowing the seeds for a harem ending

It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.

— As Catarina gets ready to leave for school, her mother gives her a long lecture on how to act like a proper woman. Man, I wonder if she actually liked the older Catarina better. Says a lot about her if she did.

— This episode will finally introduce us to Maria Campbell, the original heroine of the story. As a result, she’s as cookie-cutter as they come. Naturally, she’s beautiful, but she’s also a commoner blessed with a rare affinity for light magic. The commoner thing is the one that stands out to me most. I can’t tell you how many times I had to watch some sappy Korean drama about a poor girl falling in love with mega princes.

— Catarina’s smart side is right; so much has changed since she’s been reincarnated into this world, so it doesn’t make sense for our heroine to continue fretting over her supposedly inevitable doom. After all, the old Catarina was either killed or exiled because she was a nasty person, right? And the new Catarina is as nice as they come, right? So what is there to worry about? Even if one of the boys falls in love with Maria, why would they suddenly turn around and kill Catarina? It makes no sense. But I guess if we give up on the premise now, we wouldn’t have a show.

— In any case, here’s a status update. Catarina tries to get Geordo to break off their engagement, but he absolutely refuses. Why? ‘Cause he’s probably in love with her. I had to laugh when he lures Catarina to his room by offering up “unusual” sweets. First, these aren’t unusual. Oh no, not an old-fashioned tea party! Second, that’s a strategy right out of a predator’s playbook! Unfortunately, it seems as though our heroine is as dense as your average anime protagonist, so she doesn’t realize this.

— Thanks to Catarina being nice to Keith, he no longer becomes a playboy (hah, it’s that easy). Unfortunately, he’s now a creepy lil’ siscon. I’m not sure which is worse.

— Poor Alan has pretty much been NTR’d by Catarina… but on the plus side, he no longer has an inferiority complex. When Maria finishes higher than him on a test, he just shrugs it off. Hell yeah, who needs a fiancée when you can have character development!

— Then we have Nicol, who is still just dark and mysterious… um, alright. I actually don’t know what’s dark and mysterious about him, but I guess we’ll just roll with it.

— What’s this? Yet another boy to add to the harem?!

— Everything seems to be going smoothly for Catarina until the boys mention their fateful first encounters with Maria. For some reason, these stories keep shocking Catarina. I mean, didn’t she play the game? Then again, she’s been in this world for years. I suppose she’s bound to forget the finer details about the game… but the first time the boys meet Maria? Seems like that’s too important to just slip from her mind so easily.

— I feel sorry for the poor maid who has to silently suffer through this exchange.

— I still maintain, however, that Catarina shouldn’t have anything to worry about, since she’s a different person now. But the girl decides that she has to double-down on farming in case she ever gets exiled.

— Eventually, Catarina bumps into Maria herself, and they have a pleasant enough conversation. Catarina even accidentally lets it slip that she knows all about Maria’s talent for baking sweets. It’s amazing how someone like our heroine can stay so slim even though she stuffs herself silly with sugar. Maybe that’s Catarina’s true talent. Just earlier in the episode, she was complaining about how she doesn’t seem to be too good at this spellcasting stuff. Maybe her true talent lies in turning all those calories into nothing.

— Anyways, our heroine randomly comes a cross a bunch of bullies ganging up on Maria. According to anime, a girl’s biggest enemy is almost always the other girls in her class. When people write these stories, do they really feel this way? Or do we just like underdogs that much?

— So Catarina does her thing and scares the bullies off. Girl, you look nothing like a villainess.

— The girl then absent-mindedly eats all of the sweets that had fallen on the grass. Gross. That’s right, I’m not a proponent of the five-second rule. In any case, Catarina realizes later that she was supposed to be one of the bullies. I guess if she doesn’t do her job, this universe will still ensure that certain events carry out in the same fashion.

— Not only that, Geordo was supposed to save Maria from the bullies. But now that Catarina has done the deed instead — and she even gets caught red-handed by her fiancé — I guess Maria will be falling in love with our heroine instead? Oh, you betcha.

— Hm, the whole villainness thing doesn’t really apply to the story anymore. Nor should Catarina really be afraid of death. In the end, this is still just a harem anime, but I guess the small twist is that our heroine might end up with a same-sex partner… if she ever stops being a dense protagonist.

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