Every time something happens, we need to hear from every single member of the harem.
— For some reason, Catarina is back in the real world… though it’s probably not a real world if you catch my drift. It’s probably a fantasy constructed from her memories in order keep her imprisoned within her own mind. That Sirius is one crafty fella!
— I want a taiyaki pillow. Hell, I’ll just take a plain ol’ taiyaki.
— This is where the anime starts to exasperate me. Everyone shares their regrets over their inability to protect Catarina, but the problem is that the harem is ginormous. As a result, I have to listen to all of them one after another. That’s Geordo, Keith, Mary, Alan, Nicol, and finally Sophia. That’s six different people going on and on about how much Catarina means to them. If Maria could offer her thoughts and feelings, I’m sure she would!
— The only person I’ll focus on is Geordo. According to him, his world was grey until Catarina brought vibrancy and color to it. It’s definitely nothing original. Nevertheless, Geordo’s backstory did somewhat pique my curiosity. Why was his world so grey back then? For a harem series, My Next Life as a Villainess doesn’t really do a good job in fleshing out its characters. That’s probably because the harem is too goddamn large.
— Eventually, Sophia hears her previous self calling out to her. Y’know, the girl we only know as Acchan. So what happens next? All six harem members telling us how they won’t give up! All six harem members telling us how they’ll stay by Catarina’s side no matter what! Jesus Christ, the episode is already more than half over.
— I love how the goddamn game is featured more prominently than Catarina’s own flesh and blood.
— Back in the “real” world, Acchan has a frank conversation with Catarina about how she has people who still need and love her. She adds that this world — as in the “real” world — is no longer her world anymore, so she needs to go back. Okay, sure. If you have to choose between your new life and a fantasy constructed from your memories via dark magic, the choice is obvious. But I can’t help but wonder what Catarina would do if she could honestly choose between her old family and her new one. If Sirius could hypothetically send Catarina back to her old life, would she really decide against it? Didn’t her family love her too? Didn’t she love them back? In fact, I’m a little disturbed that she’s not torn up about leaving them for the second time.
— Meanwhile, each member of the harem is now taking their turns telling Catarina to wake up. It’s such a chore! All six of them one after another!
— In the end, Catarina regains her memories, so the “real” world starts to crumble around her. And for some reason, Acchan can tell her where Maria is currently imprisoned. Maybe Acchan was the only thing that was real. Meh, I don’t really know anymore, but it’s also not worth getting worked up about.
— As soon as Catarina wakes up, she and her harem immediately march over to the old storage house and frees Maria. Well, she looks healthy enough. For a villain, Sirius sure is kind enough to give the girl food and water… and I assume he even lets her do the business when she needs to.
— Speaking of Sirius, he is currently conflicted. Apparently, he doesn’t want to be evil, but a voice inside his head is urging him on. He has a painful memory of his own mother telling him to avenge her, but memories can be so unreliable. It’s possible that the malicious presence has altered his memories. In any case, it looks like Catarina will end up saving Sirius and add him to the harem like everyone else. Kinda boring, but not unexpected. This isn’t a particularly deep show.