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Light Novel / My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

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"There isn't just one otome route!"note 

"It can't just can't be true! But the more I look into it, I think it is. This is the world of Fortune Lover! And that means I'm...I'm on the path to doom!"
Catarina Claes, realizing she's a Self-Disposing Villainess in a Romance Game

Eight-year-old Catarina Claes had it all—as the only child of a prominent duke, not only does she almost always get what she wants, but is set to be engaged to Geordo Stuart, the third prince of the Kingdom of Sorcier. All that changed one day when, during a visit by Geordo, she slipped and hit her head on a rock, knocking her out for five days. And when she awoke, she had an epiphany:

In her past life, she was a seventeen-year-old otaku schoolgirl from modern-day Japan who has apparently been reincarnated into the world of Fortune Lover, an otome game she played before her death. And, more alarmingly, she appears to have reincarnated into the villainess of the game, condemned in seven years' time for harassing Maria Campbell, the protagonist of Fortune Lover with whom the male cast is destined to fall in love. No matter which of the boys Maria falls in love with, or how well the relationship goes, the stories almost all end with Catarina either dead or exiled from the kingdom.


Of course, Catarina is not going to take her ordained fates lying down, and thus spends the next seven years taking measures to save herself including changing her personality for the better.

That simple decision, however, will begin a string of changes to the world of Fortune Lover—love interests, rivals, etc.—in ways far beyond her wildest imagination. And it doesn't help that for all her intuition about the situation she finds herself in and her insight into improving herself, in other ways Catarina... might not be the sharpest tool in the shed.

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった… / Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijō ni Tensei Shiteshimatta... / I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess With Only Destruction Flags..., also shortened as HameFura or Destruction Flag Otome) is an ongoing 2014 web novel series written by Satoru Yamaguchi and published by the website Shōsetsuka ni Narō ("Let's Become a Publisher"), later adapted into an ongoing 2015 light novel series illustrated by Nami Hidaka and published by Ichijinsa. It also has an ongoing 2017 manga adaptation, also illustrated by Hidaka and published under Ichijinsa's Monthly Comic Zero Sum imprint.


An anime adaptation written by Megumi Shimizu and directed by Keisuke Inoue for SILVER LINK. began airing in April 2020, with a second season, My Next Life as a Villainess X, premiering in July 2021.

A manga spinoff, My Next Life as a Villainess Side Story: On the Verge of Doom! (乙女ゲームの破滅フラグ スピンオフ…絶体絶命!破滅寸前編 / Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shite shimatta... Zettai Zetsumei! Hametsu Sunzen Hen / I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess With Only Destruction Flags... In a Dire Situation!? Verge of Destruction Arc), illustrated by Nishi and also published at Monthly Comic Zero Sum, ran from 2019 to 2021, set in an Alternate Timeline where Catarina didn't hit her head and regain her memories until the time the Fortune Lover game's plot starts.

Two anthologies with various contributing mangaka were published starting in 2020 under Ichijinsa's DNA Media Comics imprint. A manga anthology focused on the female cast (乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった… GIRLS PATCH / Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijō ni Tensei Shiteshimatta... GIRLS PATCH) was also published in 2020 under Ichijinsa's Comic Yuri Hime imprint.

The special edition 7th volume of the manga adaptation was bundled with a brand-new original anime Blu-Ray Disc on September 30, 2021, which adapted a story from the original light novel series' first volume about the main characters' early childhoods.note  The 11th light novel volume also includes an original story linking to episode 5 of Villainess X.

A 4koma crossover, HameFura x Arte (はめふら✕アルテ), ran on Twitter in 2020, done as an official collaboration by their anime studios.

The main series is currently licensed in English by J-Novel Club, with its manga adaptation handled by Seven Seas Entertainment. Seven Seas have also licensed On the Verge of Doom! and the GIRLS PATCH anthology.

A visual novel set after graduation came out on December 23, 2021, in Japan only, titled My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! The Pirate Known as "Trouble". Trailer here.

A theatrical film is due in 2023.

Tropes in this series:

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  • Abandoned Pet in a Box: During the meeting inside Catarina's mind after Keith is introduced, one of the Catarina personas briefly suggests Catarina should subject Keith to this so that he would have nothing to do with the Claes. Eventually, however, they decided that, owing to his backstory, her doom flags with Keith can simply be averted by her being nice to him.
  • Accidental Hero:
    • During her attempts to avoid the fate the original game had her slated for, Catarina ends up affecting things she never even thought of or considered for the better. Her parents' marriage for one.
    • Part of why Sophia likes Catarina so much is because she leapt out of a tree and scared away a bunch of kids about to start bullying her. She thinks Catarina was being a gallant hero, but she had only climbed the tree to escape a dog and then needed to get to a bathroom as soon as possible, though to be fair Catarina would have intervened anyway.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The manga removes or brushes over chapters in the light novel. Most of these instances have different characters' points of view but some plot-important events are given little detail, like Catarina's parents fixing their strained relationship (the On the Verge of Doom! spin-off oddly enough shows a version of this event play out).
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The anime shows the events leading up to Catarina reawakening her memories in the first episode, which also contains an Early-Bird Cameo by Alan.
    • S1E03 includes extra scenes with Sophia and Nicol, with one scene at the tea party highlighting the annoyance the latter feels about people seeing him as pitiful for protecting his often bullied sister.
    • S1E07 adds an entire original segment involving the first year students going through a dungeon for an exam. This segment allows several of the characters to show off their magical and mental skills, along with heavily hinting at the use of dark magic, and thus Sirius' eventual antagonist role, before it comes to pass officially.
    • S2E02 adds an original plot of Sophia manipulating the School Play to allow Nicol to seduce Catarina.
    • S2E05 uses Geoffrey's backstory as a Framing Device to animate Geordo and Alan's backstories in their light-novel POV chapters. Many scenes in that segment are expanded from the novel, the most prominent being the part when a young Geordo was repeatedly denied seeing his mother.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Because neither the manga and the anime adapted most of the Switching P.O.V. chapters, some content from the Recap Sequence when Catarina is under a dark magic-induced coma—which both adapted in full—becomes completely non sequitur for people who haven't read the novels. Specifically, the fact Mary hated herself or Sophia was a Hikikomori before Catarina entered their lives were first mentioned during the recap in the adaptations.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: An In-Universe example. Catarina remembering her past life causes some character relationships to be different from the original Fortune Lover game, mostly involving how other characters see her, but also relationships she's no part of:
    • In Fortune Lover it's implied that Catarina likes Geordo, but Geordo doesn't like her back, and only keeps their betrothal as a convenient shield to keep other girls at bay. Here, Geordo doesn't want to break their engagement because he is genuinely in love with her, while she honestly couldn't care less, though primarily due to being ridiculously Oblivious to Love.
    • Catarina originally bullied and tormented her adoptive brother Keith for most of his childhood. Due to her radically different treatment of him, Keith ends up falling in love with Catarina while maintaining close ties with her as siblings.
    • Catarina in the game also bullied Maria at any opportunity. Now, she defends Maria from bullies, and is on very good terms with her. Maria appears to be in love with Catarina as well.
    • Similarly, Maria could fall in love with either Geordo, Keith, Alan or Nicol. Now she doesn't show any hints of being attracted to any of them, and none of them display any romantic interest towards her in return, since all of them are in love with Catarina.
    • Due to barely appearing in Alan and Nicol's routes, Catarina had no relationship with neither Alan, Nicol, Mary or Sophia. Now she's friends with all of them, and all four of them are in love with her, especially Mary.
    • Alan and Mary are betrothed in the game, and are initially in love with each other. Due to Catarina's unwitting interference, while they're still betrothed, they don't show any romantic feelings for each other, mostly due to being in love with Catarina as seen above.
    • Originally, Geordo and Alan had a pretty tense relationship, due to the latter feeling overshadowed by the former's talent at seemingly anything. Due to Catarina finding that Geordo is terrified of snakes and sharing said knowledge with Alan, and encouraging Alan to develop his talent for music enough for him to snap out of his self-esteem issues and his reckless need to prove himself, their relationship is much smoother. Due to Alan seeing his own worth, he doesn't develop a rivalry against Maria, who is second on the academy's ranking to enter the Student Council while he's below her, simply content that he's one of the best.
  • Age Cut: The first season's opening includes a montage of short scenes showing Catarina and one of the other members of the cast as children, then cutting to the two of them as teenagers, often performing the same activity as their child selves. For example, Sophia's scene has her and Catarina holding a book up over their heads while starting to read it. The book then gets tilted down by the teenage version of the pair.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Geordo mentions his decision to propose to Catarina is to defy this. He has been under pressure from Ian and Geoffrey's supporters to engage with their daughters, so engaging with the daughter of a high-ranking and politically neutral noble not only acts as a shield from others, but also keeps himself from being involved in court politics for the time being.
  • Alternate Timeline:
    • This story is an alternate version of that of the otome game Fortune Lover, where Catarina regained her Past-Life Memories after hitting her head on a rock seven years before the period covered by the game. In her efforts to avoid her "doom flags" Catarina unwittingly created a ripple effect that ultimately changed the personalities and dynamics of the game's main cast and indirectly improved the outlook of others such as her parents, Maria's mother and the Claes family gardener, Tom.
    • The On the Verge of Doom! spinoff, in turn, is an alternate take on this story, with Catarina's fateful head-bump occurring only early into the Fortune Lover timeline (and in the middle of bullying Maria, no less), meaning she had an even shorter timetable to avert her fate. (The first head-bump still happened seven years beforehand, but it didn't bring Catarina's Past-Life Memories back.)
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite Fortune Lover being set in a medieval feudal society with nobles ruling commoners, as a result of the creators of the game either having no idea of the period or Rule of Cool, there are a lot of anachronisms:
    • Everyone in this universe dresses like they're from the late 19th and early 20th century but still use horse carriages as transportation, candles for light, and medieval weapons like swords.
    • Maria, a commoner, attended a public school, something that only existed in Europe in the 19th century.
    • In Maria's first bullying event, she baked quickbread muffins. Quickbread muffins were invented in the United States in the 19th century and were only introduced into Europe during World War II.
    • Most of the sixth novel is about the cast's first few days at the Magical Ministry, involving an onboarding event for all new staff, as well as a group test to determine their job assignments. This is based on modern Japanese hiring practices which originated in 1895, where large numbers of college graduates receive job offers from the same employer without a specific position and report to the company on the same day (and thus justifying a large onboarding event), only to be assigned positions after onboarding.note . In most other places, it'd be strange for a person like Maria to not be given a specific position in the Ministry and (theoretically) have to compete for positions with people with completely different talent profiles, such as Catarina.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending of On the Verge of Doom! is this. Catarina and her friends were able to successfully foil all of Noelia Flores's attempts to have Catarina either exiled or killed. However, Noelia was never truly punished for her crimes, and Catarina acknowledges that there are people who still hate her within the Magical Academy that want her gone. Catarina also points out that she hasn't truly avoided all her doom flags until the second year students' graduation ceremony, which is still a ways off. On top of that, many of Catarina's friends seem to have each had their own Love Epiphany (namely Geordo, Keith, Maria, Mary, Sophia, and Sienna) when they realized that they can't stand the idea of losing Catarina and will now start to actively pursue her romantically. The manga concludes with Catarina resolving to keep her guard up until the graduation ceremony, when she knows for sure that she has successfully avoid all her doom flags.
  • Arranged Marriage: Nobles in Sorcier are expected to get this done during their teenage years, or earlier. Keith and Nicol's lack of it (due to their crushes on Catarina) are considered highly unusual.
    • All four princes of Sorcier are engaged as children, and their situations are all a bit unusual:
      • Catarina is engaged to Geordo both in the game and during the plot of the story. The inciting incident remains the same: Catarina has an accident which causes a scar on her forehead. In the game's timeline, Geordo became disdainful of being forced into the engagement, and the only reason he has yet to break it off was because it acted as a barrier from girls, and he figured that Catarina would be adequately attractive and nothing more. The story's Catarina accidentally gets engaged to him because she wasn't paying attention to the conversation at the time. However, Geordo quickly falls in love with the new Catarina and insists that the scar hasn't faded so the engagement can't be called off. In On the Verge of Doom!, it follows the game until Catarina tries to break off the engagement herself, and Geordo refuses because he still wants Catarina as a shield.
      • Mary is also engaged to Alan in both the original game and the story. The difference is that in the story, Catarina ends up unwittingly winning both their hearts, so when Alan realizes his feelings and tries to break off his engagement to Mary, he discovers Mary will absolutely not allow him to break the engagement and let him have free rein to pursue a woman she also loves.
      • Geoffrey, the first prince, is engaged to Suzanna Randall. However, both of them agree that the engagement is only out of convenience; they have little interest in romance and only use the engagement to avoid their parents bugging them for it.
      • Ian, the second prince, is engaged to Selena Berg. However, because Ian wants to maintain some level of propriety between them, he refuses to be openly affectionate towards Selena. This makes the nobles, in general, see them as very distant, and Selena, because of her self-image, thought Ian didn't love her, despite this being very much not the case.
    • A story in the fifth novel, animated in S2E08, is about Nicol trying through an entire omiai process to try to forget Catarina. And yes, other than the clothing and the decor, they're animating the Japanese way of doing it.
  • Artifact Title:
    • Zigzagged in the original light novel:
      • Since Catarina gained knowledge of the game's events years in advance, at no point does she act like or is considered a villain, and most of the doom flags are completely in her head. This is even more so after the second novel / first season of the anime, as Catarina fully realizes she already has her "doom flags" overturned.
      • However, during the sixth novel she realized the timeline moved to that of Fortune Lover II—not only does she have no knowledge of it beforehand, being released after the "monkey girl"'s death, but in the sequel, Catarina will meet her doom in literally all routes—the design of the sequel is that Maria must find out where Catarina is hiding with her Love Interest, thus it'd always end with a duel between the two.
    • Averted in On the Verge of Doom! where she regains her memories at the time of the game's original story, meaning she's now a Hero with Bad Publicity who has to do something with her reputation really quickly to avoid the worst outcome.
  • As You Know: The elder princes and their fiancees were introduced to the audience this way. When they first appear in the School Festival event, Geordo reminds Catarina who they are and the fact that she must have seen them on an off-screen event previously. There're some in-universe justification, though: Catarina's extremely short attention span means it is very likely for her to forget who those people are.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The setting's use of Supernatural Elite is explained with this trope. The people of Sorcier respect those few that have magic powers, and since magic is mostly genetic in this setting, wealth and power eventually flow to the families that have magic powers. Some of this continues to the Present Day, as it is implied that princes are required to engage with a magic user, presumably to guarantee their offspring will be likely to be magic users.
  • Axe Before Entering: Early in the story, Keith ends up hurting Catarina with his magic and locks himself in his room out of fear of doing so again, even taking the spare key and the master key so no one else can get in. Catarina, worried that this will cause him to follow the path of his game counterpart, tried in vain to get him to open the door by speaking to him. When this fails to work, she decides to take a more direct route in breaking him out of his emotional bubble: grabbing a battle axe and smashing down his door. It works, at the cost of getting a scolding from her mother.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Not only did some of Keith's adoptive siblings bully him, but they were also shown throwing stones at a bird for fun in a flashback.
  • Balanced Harem: A perfect example. Fortune Lover's male love interests, female romantic rivals and the original protagonist all fall in love with Catarina. Of course, Catarina is incredibly clueless because her character was originally the game's villainess, so she thinks it's impossible for any of the other characters to love her instead of their intended love interests. Everyone who loves Catarina has the same amount of focus and interaction with her and Catarina loves hanging out with all of them.
  • The Beautiful Elite: By accident or design the current student council during Catarina's first year at Magic Academy falls into this, which's Lampshaded when she wonders if they were chosen for their looks as much as their grades; it has two members of royalty (Geordo and Alan), one betrothed to royalty (Mary), both children of the sitting premier (Nicol and Sophia), a ducal heir (Keith), and the son of a marquis (Sirius). Thanks to Catarina's efforts, they fit this trope even better than their Fortune Lover counterparts because most of them are fairly good-natured as well, which also provides a stable and toxic-free environment for their other student council member Maria, who unlike them, is a commoner.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Most of Catarina's love interests fall for her because they were all bullied or troubled in some way, and Catarina was there to show them kindness and friendship.
  • Best Friends-in-Law: Catarina and Mary would be this if they actually had any intention on going through with their engagements to Geordo and Alan. Sophia also tries to hook up Catarina with Nicol.
  • Big "OMG!": The manga localization has Keith do this twice, once after Catarina smashes down his door with an axe, and once after Catarina explains what she meant by "hit on" when she asked Keith whether he has "hit on" Maria upon seeing her.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Catarina does this as part of her act as the evil stepsister losing the Prince to Maria in the school play.
  • Boarding School: The Wizarding School's students are required to stay in its dormitories; it has multiple dorm buildings and wings, each one meant for a certain rank of nobility.
  • Bookends: The first season of the anime begins and ends with Catarina standing in front of the school's front gate talking about her scripted doom.
  • Book Smart: All members of the Student Council are very book-smart people, owing to the fact that the school selects its members solely out of academic merit.
  • Brick Joke:
    • At the start of S1E04, just before they head for the Magic Academy, Catarina and Keith’s mom explicitly warns her against eating food off the floor. When she scares away the girl bullying Maria for making sweets, this is immediately what she does with the fallen sweets.
    • Several episodes after the last time Catarina's snake toy was mentioned, The Stinger at the end of season 1 reveals that she now has a higher-quality version for sale in a shop.
  • Bullying a Dragon: This trope is frequently seen among the nobles.
    • Since Maria got into the Magic Academy despite being a commoner, is one of the best students in her grade and possesses the rare ability to use light magic, some of her noble schoolmates are jealous, while some commoners in her hometown spread rumors about her being the illegitimate child of a nobleman. In the original game, Maria also attracted the ire of Catarina, the villainess of the game (and the protagonist of the main series), by virtue of winning the heart of Prince Geordo or Keith, respectively Catarina's fiance and adoptive brother. While Maria is not the type to retaliate against her bullies, someone with her magical talent is likely to become powerful and respected, especially when the universe is effectively a magocracy, and especially if she marries into the royal family or she enters the Ministry of Magic, so the bullies should know better than to get on her bad side. Of course, in the game, Catarina doesn't know any better, which gets her exiled in Geordo and Keith's good endings and killed in their bad endings. Even Sirius lampshades how foolish nobles and commoners have to be to bully someone who may one day enter the Ministry of Magic and have an influence on par with the ruling family in a few years.
    • In the series proper, the cast realizes that those who falsely accused Catarina of bullying Maria had been controlled through dark magic, because the accusers would know better than to antagonize a daughter of a duke (and from her mother's side, she is also the granddaughter of a powerful and influential duke as well).
    • Sorcier is a Magocracy where people with powerful magic are highly respected, such that if a minor noble had a child with powerful magic, the child would be seen as an very important political pawn for their parents. So what happened when Keith unintentionally activated his magic and injured some of his half-brothers? He was forbidden to leave his room unless absolutely necessary, and every other family member treated him as a literal monster. Now he is the heir of the Claes duchy. This also applies to Mary as well. Her older half-sisters bully her due of being the daughter of the marquis' second wife, who was a commoner. They pay no attention at the fact that she is the only one among their family who has magic. This enables her to get betrothed to Alan, the fourth prince of the ruling family, and can possibly outrank them if the marriage proceeds as planned.
  • Cain and Abel: In the game, Catarina was obnoxious, petty and cruel and took it out on her adopted little brother Keith, who was a sweet little kid. He ended up growing into a playboy, but still basically a decent guy. In the bad ending for his route, he kills Catarina in retaliation for wounding Maria.
  • Call-Back: S1E11 has a sequence where each of Catarina's friends remember the day that they met her and monologue stating how their lives have changed for the better thanks to her. Geordo, Mary, Keith and Alan all reminisce at places that correspond with these memories. Geordo remembers at Catarina's bedside, which is where he first proposed to her. Keith remembers while huddled next to a door, which mirrors when Catarina burst down his bedroom door. Mary remembers while in Catarina's vegetable garden, recalling how the two bonded over their mutual gardens. And Alan remembers while standing underneath a tree similar to the one he and Catarina used to compete at climbing as children. In a similar way, the camera cuts to a few books before cutting to Sophia, which reminds the fact that Catarina and Sophia initially bonded over their love of romance novels.
  • Call-Forward: S1E07 of the anime starts with a flashback to when Atsuko and "the monkey girl" first met, which happened because she landed butt-first onto Atsuko, causing her to worry that she accidentally killed somebody with her butt, exactly like what would happen "later" between Catarina and Keith.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The only ones who even come close to confessing how they feel towards Catarina are Mary and Maria. Sophia instead seems more content to have Catarina date her brother while the others feel like she should have figured it out because of how obvious they are. Geordo eventually gets tired of the status quo and kisses her twice to get the message across. At first he's pleased at her apparent sudden shyness, but eventually realizes that he's still not really a blip on the radar. Geordo and Keith finally confess directly without any room for misunderstandings at the end of Volumes 3 and 4 of the light novels respectively.
  • Chick Magnet: Keith and Geordo are noted to have loads of fangirls. Nicol has fangirls and fanboys.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Because she took over the story, most of the cast are now Catarina's childhood friends and are completely unable to get through to her regarding their feelings.
  • Childhood Friends: In her efforts to avoid the doom flags Fortune Lover had in store for her, Catarina has cultivated early friendships with most of the game's cast, resulting in them becoming her intimate friends by the time the game begins. This is in stark contrast to the game's original Catarina, whose relationship with the other characters was distant and frosty at best.
  • Christmas Cake:
    • The novel recognizes this trope as a Discredited Trope in Japan by stating the 23-year-old Anne would have been considered young in Catarina's previous life, but Catarina then states this trope is a Sorcier custom.
    • Because she wasn't particularly attractive, focused too much on work, and wasn't good with people, the head maid of the Claes family (named Joana in the anime) lost her chance to get married before she knew it. However, by opening up to Catarina without even meaning to, her good side is shown to the staff and a nervous young gardener eventually bonds with her and asks her out.
  • Cinderella Plot: The School Play the student council makes during the School Festival is explicitly mentioned by Catarina to be just like Cinderella on Earth, but without the use of magic.
  • Closed Door Rapport: Catarina briefly does this with Keith after he locks himself in his room out of fear of hurting her with his out of control magic. Since him growing up as a shut-in leads to one of the death flags that she's trying to avoid, she quickly decides to take a more... direct approach in getting him to open up to her.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Zigzagged. When their friendship began, "the Monkey Girl" was a friendly Outdoorsy Gal which shares some traits to the Lovable Jock archetype, while Atsuko is a loner shy bookworm. However, it's Downplayed later as "Monkey Girl" got converted to Atsuko's hobbies later on.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • The fundamental drive behind the series is that the "monkey girl" has realized that she is now in the body of Catarina, the villainess of Fortune Lover, and knows there's only a bad future ahead of her if she follows the script. At one point she asks herself why of all the rival characters only Catarina ended up exiled or dead on all routes involving her, but it becomes clear when she doesn't act like the original Catarina that the answer is because the original never did anything kind or sympathetic. Since that's basically all the new Catarina does, she's saved herself from every bad ending except Sirius' within about half a year of first regaining her memories.
    • Catarina basically never gets the point when anyone is in the slightest bit indirect. Like when Mary is talking about how difficult it is to be married to a prince and how she'd much rather run away with Catarina instead, the latter just thinks she's complaining about her own engagement rather than trying to get her to break off the engagement to Geordo. Even when Maria explicitly states that she adores Catarina when asked who she likes, Catarina thinks Maria is the one who missed the point, and is talking about friendship rather than love.
    • When Catarina is accused of bullying Maria, her friends argue she's too dense to have come up with the elaborate plans required. It works, although Catarina doesn't quite get how they managed it, aside from a vague sense she's being badmouthed that she forgets about once it's all over.
    • She finally meets her match with Selena, who interprets everything Catarina does as brave stoicism rather than sheer stupidity and indifference and then comes to view Catarina's friendliness as the kindness and forgiveness of a saint rather than oblivious affection.
    • Even Nicol has his moments. When he interviews his first prospect in an omiai, the girl gets an increasingly heavy Crush Blush, and eventually collapses with a nosebleed. Nicol thought the girl was sick.
  • Continuity Nod: In the first story in the anthology, during which everyone is demonstrating how their magic can help with Catarina's farming, Keith brings up that his earth golems would increase manpower. Years earlier in the main story, Catarina had thought up the same thing in her early planning to avoid her doom flags.
  • Cool Toy: One of the short stories in volume 5 was how Katarina's toy snake sells like crazy by a merchant when Katarina decided to throw away her other creations due to being afraid of being found out by her mother.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Alan and Catarina's tree-climbing race to the top of the tree. Catarina is at the top by the time Alan takes his first step. Their rematches follow the same pattern.
  • Custom Uniform: Fitting the fact that many of the Department of Magic's staff are Bunny Ears Lawyers, they also wear some rather unusual clothing:
    • Nix wears a very sparkly and glittery suit with very deep cleavage. According to Lisa, Nix is a bit of a narcissist.
    • Guy Handerson is effectively the Medieval European Fantasy equivalent of a trans woman, so she wears a highly customized form of Departmental uniform that is full of frills and ribbons.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The story has an In-Universe example, with Fortune Lover 2 following off the "Friendship" route of the first game, specifically because it's the only route that doesn't conclude with Maria either hooking up with any or all of the suitors or experiencing heartbreak from losing them due to the rivals, leaving the door open for more chances at romance, both with the original suitors and whatever new ones might get introduced. It's also the only route where Catarina stays around without being ignored completely, allowing for her continued presence in the story in order to please the game fans that enjoyed having such a vile rival to hate.

  • Damned by Faint Praise: When Catarina's friends defend her from the angry girls accusing her of bullying, they all reply that she's far too stupid to orchestrate such a complicated and underhanded plan. While Catarina realizes they're all trying to help, she couldn't help but feel insulted by what they said.
  • Dark Is Evil:
    • Volume two has a dark magic user who gained his powers by sacrificing Raphael's mother in order to get the power needed to transfer the real Sirius' soul to Raphael's body. After believing that the ritual went correctly as planned and hoping that he would get to return to his family, he was killed by the Marchioness to cover up her tracks. His vengeful spirit still remains though, with him encouraging Raphael to enact his revenge against their shared nemesis, leading to the conflict of the second volume. In the Bad End of Fortune Lover, he finally overpowered Raphael, leading him killing everyone. While he was also a victim like Raphael and his mother from the marchioness' deception, his willing involvement in such a horrible ritual cannot be denied, and he later pushes Raphael into committing questionable acts when the boy decided that revenge wasn't worth it.
    • Volume three has another dark magic user who happens to be an unapologetic murderer and all-around criminal. That being said, Rufus turns himself in to get a reduced sentence and genuinely cares for Catarina, so now she has a kind of evil suitor too.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dark magic is the magic of manipulating the mind, emotions, and other abilities such as creating a Soul Jar. However, the first dark magic user who appeared in this series isn't bad at all, all things considered. It is revealed that Raphael is forced to impersonate his half-brother "Sirius Dieke" thanks to a ritual to transfer his half-brother's spirit into his body. The original Sirius had already died, leaving Raphael as the only one in his body, making the ritual a failure. If the marchioness had found out that the ritual had failed, she would have killed him right on the spot. He gained Dark Magic in the process after living as "Sirius" for some time. The only reason why Raphael becomes the antagonist of the second volume is due to the spirit of the dark mage (who was killed by the marchioness after the ritual that granted him dark magic in order to transfer the real Sirius' soul to Raphael's healthier body), amplifying Raphael's anger and grief over losing his mother who became a sacrifice in order to acquire the magic needed for the Grand Theft Me. Initially, Raphael wanted to give up on getting revenge, but the vengeful spirit of the dark mage would stop at nothing to get vengeance against the marchioness who killed him after serving his purpose, using Raphael's anger that makes him commit questionable acts during volume two.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • The bulk of S1E09 is told from the point of view of Catarina's maid, Anne Shelley, and dives into her back story.
    • The light novel gives days each to several of the characters, including side cast like the aforementioned Anne, the head maid, and Tom the head gardener.
    • The bulk of S2E08 is about Nicol struggling to give up on Catarina after looking at the challenges in his way.
  • Death Glare: Every single member of Catarina's harem gives Rufus, aka Sora, a death glare upon meeting him for the first time, unable to see him as anything other than a threat after he pushed Catarina down onto a bed.
  • Debut Queue:
    • The novel introduces one of Catarina's Childhood Friends per chapter, in the order of Geordo, Keith, Mary, Alan, and the Ascart siblings. The manga does this even straighter by splitting Sophia and Nicol's introductions into separate chapters.
    • The Switching P.O.V. chapters is an extended example, since every chapter except the last introduces a different character.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • It's common for the nobles to have a mistress or marry a commoner yet the practice is frowned upon, especially by the noble's first wife. However, this was the cause of many issues for some of the characters who are the result of said relationships, like Keith being treated badly by his biological father's family due to his mother being a prostitute, Mary's mother being the commoner second wife and getting the cold shoulder from her older half-sisters, Anne being the daughter of a noble and his maid with said father treating her like a pawn and Raphael Walt being a Child Of Rape whose noble father forced himself on his mother, a maid. While Maria was born from commoner parents, people falsely assumed her mother had an affair with a noble due to Maria possessing Light Magic which led to people treating her differently and her father leaving the family as a result.
    • This is also why even after Catarina realizes she already safely passed Fortune Lover without getting into one of her "dooms," she is still reluctant to go through with her Arranged Marriage with Geordo—she doesn't dislike Geordo, but being effectively a modern Japanese, living as a medieval royalty is plainly intolerable to her.
  • Dénouement: The trial scene in the second novel was intended as one for the original Fortune Lover, specifically in the endings where Catarina is supposed to be exiled.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: During the meetings inside Catarina's mind in the light novel, Catarina Claes is listed as the meeting chairwoman, representative, and secretary.
  • Derailed Fairytale: S2E02 expands on the Cinderella-esque play at the school festival by having Sophia, the play's writer, add in a sudden romance subplot between the evil stepsister, played by Catarina, and a masked knight/phantom thief, played by Nicol. When Nicol takes Catarina hostage, Geordo (playing the prince) and Keith (playing a villager) bring in their real-world jealousy, ending up in a three-way fight with Nicol for Catarina. As the situation escalates, Catarina tries to get things back on track by declaring she was working with the phantom thief as part of a plan to make herself the center of attention. We don't see how it goes from there, but it ends with the prince finding Maria's heroine and the phantom thief declaring he's always loved the evil stepsister.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: S1's ending song, "Bad End", and S2's ending song, Give Me Me, are both performed by Shouta Aoi, who plays teenage Geordo.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: In S1E06 of the anime Keith leans in to kiss a sleeping Catarina, but she wakes up talking about how she wants tokoroten, or Japanese jelly noodles, before he can go through with it.
  • Dysfunction Junction: In the Fortune Lover timeline, all of the love interests and rivals have significant issues and/or a miserable home life. Thanks to "monkey girl" Catarina's intervention, the current situation averts this.
  • Entitled to Have You:
    • Gets reversed. The original Catarina believed that Geordo belonged to her because he scarred her face even though the scar faded before she entered school. Present-day Geordo believes that Catarina belongs to him because they're engaged even though she's made it clear that she knows the scar is gone, never needing him to take responsibility for it in the first place and would really rather break it off, thank you.
    • In On the Verge of Doom!, Catarina believed Geordo was hers right up until she got her memories back, at which point she started worrying about her impending doom instead. Geordo, meanwhile, is intrigued with the new Catarina, but didn't develop any feelings of entitlement until the last chapter, where he has a Love Epiphany and refuses to not have Catarina in his life.
  • Escapism: Sophia's interest in romance novels comes from her Hikikomori years, as she seeks solace in stories of popular people due to her becoming a social pariah as a result of her albinism. She says it best in her POV segment:
    In my quiet room, I read book after book. The wondrous, beautiful stories within transported me away from my cruel reality. When I was reading, I could forget all my troubles.
  • Escapist Character: A rare In-Universe example appears in Sophia's backstory. This is the reason why she liked to read Sophia and the Emerald Princess back at the time; the Sophia in the novel is how Sophia wanted to be, but thought she'd never be.
    It was a splendid story... one that a cursed child like me could not possibly experience. This was why I continued [...] fantasizing about becoming Sophia — the Sophia in the stories with Princess Emerald. In my imagination, at least, I could be popular and loved by those around me.
  • Event Flag: The Japanese title references to this by referring to Catarina's doom routes as "destruction flags." Catarina also frequently uses this term, by referring to events as "flag-tripping". The wording is kept in the localization of the anime, but modified to "Catastrophic Bad Ends" in the novel and manga localizations instead, probably because "event flag" is not an English-language fanspeak.
  • Exact Words: The dark magic user responsible for transferring Sirius' memories to Raphael asks to be allowed to return to his family now that his task is finished. Marchioness Dieke promises to return him to his family before having him killed, since he's no longer useful and has become a threat to them.
  • Excited Show Title!: Recall the subtitle part of the English title is All Routes Lead to Doom!.
  • Exclusive Clique Clubhouse: Because of the Supernatural Elite inherent to the setting, all but one student in the Wizarding School are teenage Sorcier nobles. The school's housing is segregated by both gender and noble rank, and in the year the story happens, there happened to be an unusual number of royal and ducal children - four of them - causing the children of some lower-rank nobles having to live in quarters below their status.
  • Faint in Shock: Played for Laughs when Duchess Millidiana Claes, while accompanying Geordo in his marriage proposal to her daughter Catarina, finds her daughter farming. The Duchess immediately faints upon seeing such unladylike behavior from her daughter.
  • Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter: This is a major sticking point between Catarina and her mother Millidiana. The original Catarina was spoiled but still well-behaved (when she wasn't being an Alpha Bitch) and active in her engagement to Geordo; "monkey girl" Catarina is the opposite, as her less-than-ladylike hobbies (such as farming and climbing trees) and a complete lack of proper decorum for a duchess (let alone potential Queen Consort) infuriate her mother to no end, leaving her as literally the only person in the story who can't be won over by her simpleminded charm or quirkiness.
  • Fictional Document: Several romantic novels the girls read get mentioned occasionally, the most prominent being The Devilish Count, owing to the eponymous count being frequently compared to Nicol.
  • Fictional Video Game: Fortune Lover, a Romance Game in the "monkey girl" and Atsuko's dimension. After the former's death, she finds herself reincarnated into the game...
  • Food Porn: According to Catarina, in her past life she treated Maria's desserts in Fortune Lover as this, to the point that, once, after a round of the game she sneaked out to the convenience store to try to find something remotely similar to what Maria baked in-game. This is her motivation to ask Maria about desserts in this timeline.
  • Forbidden Love: Every suitor for Catarina aside from Geordo falls into this in some way or another.
    • Half of them are women, with each also realizing that society frowns upon same-sex relationships. However, Catarina also pulled each of them into a romantic literature club, with a heavy emphasis on yuri romance novels. Thus, the very fact that their love for Catarina is forbidden, just like in those flowery novels, only makes it that much more enticing for them.
    • Catarina's engagement to Geordo means that either Alan and Nicol attempting to romance Catarina is also technically "forbidden". Since Alan's also engaged to Mary, this goes twice for him.
    • Keith is aware that as adoptive siblings, their relationship has an extra level of taboo attached to it. But once again, that only makes him want her more.
    • In her denseness, Catarina mistakenly assumes that her friends have the hots for each other; for example, when she sees Keith staring at Nicol (after realizing that Nicol is a rival for Catarina's love), she assumes that Keith has fallen for Nicol (a belief that isn't completely baseless, as Nicol has the power to win over the guys). Later, when Nicol himself says he's in love with someone "he shouldn't be", she assumes that he is in love with either a married woman or another man. She also assumes that Geordo, Keith, Alan and Nicol are in love with Maria just like in Fortune Lover, which is problematic as Maria is a commoner, and the princes are engaged. Of course, she is dead wrong about each of these assumptions.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Catarina visits the Ascart house for the first time, she finds Sophia reminds her of Atsuko, a friend of her previous life, and opines Sophia would have been a fellow otaku in Catarina's previous life. As it turns out, Atsuko is reincarnated as Sophia.
    • Early in the story, Catarina's favorite book is about a noblewoman and her love for a peasant girl. When she, a noblewoman, meets Maria, a commoner girl, the latter falls in love with her.
    • When Sirius is first introduced, Catarina finds him quite adorable, and muses why he wasn't romanceable in Fortune Lover. Sirius is the secret romanceable character.
    • In S1E06, after Alan's recital when Catarina and Mary start to dance with their respective fiancés we get a cut of the bullying posse behind Sirius featuring Noelia Flores looking menacingly at Catarina with a dark aura around them. This cues the coming accusations of bullying against Catarina as well as the influence of Dark Magic.
  • Forgot About His Powers: While excusable when Catarina was kidnapped since the person in question doesn't really have powerful magic, it's more egregious when Keith gets kidnapped, since his magic is very powerful and could be used to attack and subdue his kidnappers immediately. In fact, for a magic school, everyone regularly seems to forget they can do magic. This is Hand Waved in an earlier discussion where Nicol brings up that nobles don't carelessly throw magic around, which Catarina notes could be the reason why Geordo would kill her with a sword in the bad ending of his route.
  • Formula with a Twist: The series follows the "villainess otome isekai" formula, with the protagonist getting reborn as the villainess of a game she played whose normal fate is either death or exile for harassing the game's heroine. Having regained her Past-Life Memories before the game begins, she goes out of her way to avert her fate. The twist is that her efforts inadvertently cause all the love interests, the other love rivals, and even the heroine to fall in love with her instead.
  • For Want of a Nail: Tiny little changes in everyone's first meetings with Catarina totally derail how the story was supposed to go. One little mistimed compliment to Mary, for example, has her go from loving Alan with all her heart to considering him an okay friend while instead falling for the evil-rival-turned-new-heroine.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: As noted in the manga, the four capture targets of Fortune Lover each represent one of the four classical elements—Geordo is Fire, Alan is Water, Keith is Earth, and Nicol is Wind—while Maria, the main character, represents the fifth, rare element of Light, and Sirius/Raphael, the secret fifth suitor, represents Darkness.
  • Friend Zone: Basically everyone. Alan, Geordo, Maria, Sophia and Mary are all in the friend zone and it doesn't even occur to Catarina how they might feel. Keith is in the brother zone to the point that she can only intellectually acknowledge that he's attractive. Nicol is the odd one out here in that he's more in the "my friend's brother" zone, which means he's less off-limits and more someone she rarely speaks to. However, that slight bit of distance seems to balance out a little in his favor as she seems to be less used to him and more vulnerable to his gorgeous smile than she is to most of her other suitors.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Keith starts off addressing Catarina with "Lady", but she says that is too formal for siblings. She insists on being addressed as "big sister", which he proceeds to do. The light novel reveals that at the home he was at previously, he was not allowed to call his adoptive parents "Mother" and "Father," making his formality understandable and Catarina's gesture all the more significant.
  • The Game Come to Life: From the perspective of "monkey girl", she feels like she's still playing Fortune Lover to some extent, albeit from the perspective of the game's villainous rival character, Catarina Claes. The experience causes her to sympathize with the game's Catarina and makes her want to file a complaint to the game's production company.
  • Gender Flip: The omake for volume 3 of the manga has Catarina dreaming about what gender-flipped versions of the main cast would look like.
  • Generic Cuteness: It's basically impossible to tell in the manga that Catarina is supposed to be significantly less attractive than Mary or Sophia. Not a top-tier beauty, but not hideous or even plain.
  • Good All Along: Geoffrey Stuart, eldest brother of Geordo and Alan, really loves his brothers—possibly in squicky ways, but never mind that—and has no interest in the throne. Everything he does is to keep them safe.
  • Good Parents:
    • The Claes family are genuinely wonderful people who allow their daughter to live freely as well as making sure she learns what she needs to know, though her mother has a hard time trying to get her to act in accordance with her status. They also treat their adoptive son better unlike in the game, giving him a genuine home for the first time after eight years of torment by the hands of his Abusive Parents.
    • The same goes for Sophia and Nicol's parents; in fact, the reason Nicol fell in love with Catarina was because she was the first person to share his belief that he was blessed to have such a loving family. Also, as revealed in the fifth volume of the light novel, both parents don't force their children into arranged marriages, are worried over Nicol's unrequited love for Catarina, and hold concern towards his hurry to get married regardless of what he feels. In fact, Dan Ascart seems to be liberated with views that are unheard of in noble society. He finds arranged marriages to be petty and antiquated and his marriage for Radia was out of love. Furthermore, if Nicol isn't interested in his title, his father can simply adopt someone from their relatives who will inherit the earldom (not unlike Duke Claes' situation of adopting Keith and grooming him to become the future head of the Claes duchy).
  • Gratuitous French: The second season's opening theme includes several French expressions, such as "un, deux, trois" or "Je t'aime."
  • Green-Eyed Monster: While Catarina is almost universally popular, some girls do resent her for seemingly snatching up all the pretty boys, especially Geordo. But given that she's a duchess currently engaged to a prince who might take the throne and surrounded by other highly influential figures, there's not much anyone can do and they don't even bother trying to get back at her unless they're brainwashed.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Geordo and Alan have a gold/silver contrast, reflecting the fact that the latter has always felt like he was only second best.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: As teens, most of the cast have the same hairstyle they had when they were children, with the difference often in their hair decorations. The character with the biggest change is Catarina herself, whose hair got a bit longer, and that's it.
  • Happily Married: Catarina's parents in the game had a strained relationship due to two major misunderstandings, but an early incident in the story clears up both and leaves them very lovey dovey with each other.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Played straight when it comes to magic. Training might give a person more control over their magic, but any actual increase in power is negligible at best considering that Catarina spent seven years honing her skills under a personal tutor (something which is noted to be out of the ordinary) and all it did was let her raise the dirt around her by several more centimeters. Indeed, in On the Verge of Doom!, this fact is one of Sienna's major hangups and the primary reason why she initially hates Maria.
  • Hate Sink:
    • In-Universe, Catarina was this in Fortune Lover, being a thoroughly unsympathetic rival character in Geordo and Keith's routes. She averts this in both the main series and On the Verge of Doom!.
    • Marchioness Dieke becomes this for the actual story. She sacrifices Raphael Walt's mother in a dark magic ritual to transfer her terminally ill son Sirius' consciousness into Raphael (the Sirius we know for much of the story). She then has the dark magic user responsible for the ritual killed because He Knows Too Much and is no longer useful, with it being implied that she kidnapped his family, a move that results in the man trying to use Raphael to seek revenge. The character in question is a thoroughly unpleasant individual who causes a significant number of problems in the story despite barely even being seen.
  • Here We Go Again!: In Nicol's POV chapter, this is Geordo's response when he heard from Nicol that Catarina invited Sophia for a visit.
    Geordo:(Mumbles)There she goes after another noble young lady... And to think I believed she had learned some restraint...
  • Heir Club for Men: Averted. Though Keith was adopted to become the new heir to the Claes family, it's only because Catarina would be marrying into the royal family and therefore the Claes family was losing their current heiress.
  • The Hero: In Fortune Lover's original plot, Maria was the central character who improved the lives of those around her (particularly the capture target the player chose) and resolved the story's drama. In the main story itself, Catarina unwittingly displaces her as such for doing the same thing years before the game's story starts.
  • Hero Worship: Some of Catarina's love interests like Sophia seem to half-worship her and at school she gets a reputation for being a saint.
  • High-Class Gloves: Fancy gloves show up often considering the bulk of the cast are nobility. Catarina wears opera gloves at formal occasions, such as tea parties or her birthday party. As a teenager, her default outfit includes wrist length gloves.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: The basic premise is that our heroine is in such a panicked rush to avoid her fate as the game's villainess that she ends up becoming the protagonist instead without ever realizing it. Even the original heroine ends up as one of her harem members.
  • How We Got Here: The anime opens with Catarina and Keith arriving at the magic academy, then jumps back seven years to Catarina's first meeting with Geordo.
  • Hypocrite: It's implied that some of the students falsely accusing Catarina of bullying Maria were, in fact, the ones doing the actual bullying, since they become frightened when Maria offers to name the actual perpetrators. Unusually, the hypocrisy turns out to not be a case of dishonesty, double standards or lack of self-awareness, but because the accusers had been mind controlled through dark magic.

  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode of the anime uses the past tense copula "-teshimatta..." in Japanese. In English, the title usually has Catarina describing what she did in the episode, except for S1E09 ("Things Got Crazy at a Slumber Party").
  • I Need to Iron My Dog: Once rescued from the Book of Desires, Catarina's friends learn that the book was playing out said fantasies for witnesses...and the next few seconds are dominated by sentiments like "I need to get going" and "oh, look at the time." (Alan, whose romantic fantasy never got beyond the opening bars of his song, is mostly just confused why everyone is acting so embarrassed.)
  • In Love with the Mark: Catarina is kidnapped as part of some noble's petty schemes. Her kidnapper is another dark magic user who, unlike the first, genuinely killed someone for their power and feels no remorse for it. However, Catarina finds him cool and interesting and he ends up falling for her as well even though his job clearly would have ended with assassinating her.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Catarina gets confronted at the end of the school year for bullying Maria, just like her game counterpart due to Sirius manipulating the accusers with dark magic. Of course, since Catarina hasn't actually bullied Maria in this timeline, everyone quickly speaks up in her defense.
  • Inner Thoughts, Outsider Puzzlement: When Catarina learns that Sophia is actually Nicol's little sister, she goes Oh, Crap! and desperately tries to recall what she knows about the Nicol in Fortune Lover, even convening a Council of Catarinas in the anime. To the Ascart siblings, they were puzzled as to why Catarina gets a Stunned Silence when Nicol introduces himself.
  • Insult Misfire: Early on in the series Catarina asks Anne why her mother seems so angry at all the time, to which Anne responds that it's probably having to deal with such a difficult child. This just leaves Catarina even more confused. After all, Keith is so well-behaved.
  • Interclass Friendship:
    • Invoked. Catarina brings Maria into her circle of friends in order to keep people from bullying her for her commoner status.
    • Catarina's late grandfather was close friends with Tom, the family's head gardener.
  • Inter Continuity Crossover: A gag manga crossing Otome Villainess with Arte is due out on July 2020. Fans rapidly started pointing out that Catarina's harem black hole was so strong it was now gathering people from other series.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Catarina makes friends with Tom the head gardener and the head maid. The gardener is old enough to be her grandfather while the head maid is probably in her thirties.
  • Irony: Long story short, Catarina is obsessed with avoiding her fated doom and goes to great lengths to train and plan ways to avoid her terrible fate, but is too dense to realize she's already done that by simply being a nicer person, the very thing that the original Catarina didn't do that lead to her infamous doom(s).
  • Japanese Honorifics:
    • The original Japanese has nobles and royals addressed as "-sama," while "-san" is more often used on commoners. Oddly enough, the former is used by people who would be the addressee's equals or even superiors. The localized version replaces the former with appropriate noble or royal titles (for example, Lady Catarina, Prince Geordo and Duke Claes).
    • The localization of the light novel uses honorifics for the parts set in Japan. The monkey girl initially calls her friend the formal and polite "Sasaki-san," before switching to "Acchan," (or "Acchan-sama" when doing particularly exaggerated expressions of gratitude).
  • Joke and Receive: When Mary met Catarina for the first time, her first thought was that she was like she had come from another world.
  • Karma Houdini: Thus far Sarah has completely evaded her well-deserved Laser-Guided Karma, making her the only villain in the story that has yet to recieve proper justice for all the horrible atrocities she helped commit.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Maria and Sophia's backstories involve being bullied by children of their respective communities, for different reasons.
  • Late for School: While Catarina is trapped in a coma dream involving her past life, she winds up running late for school. However, instead of grabbing a slice of bread to put in her mouth, she grabs a cucumber, which has its own, different, insinuations from the Toast of Tardiness.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end of chapter 1 of the On the Verge of Doom! spinoff, Catarina basically just declares the entire concept of this Alternate Timeline vs. the main story, thinking to herself "If only I'd hit my head and remembered everything like seven years earlier!"
  • Lettered Sequel: The anime's second season is called Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijō ni Tensei Shiteshimatta... X / My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X.
  • Light Is Good: Light magic is used for healing and dispelling dark curses.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Catarina's parents both fell in Love at First Sight, but each of them had no idea the other felt the same way. They were completely unaware of the other's feelings even after many years and a teenage daughter (and adopted son) later in the original timeline. It's only because of Catarina's actions in the altered timeline making them confront each other that they realize this. Denseness seems to run in the family...
  • Limited Wardrobe: While it's downplayed, since they're occasionally shown in other clothes, the majority of the time the entire cast wear the same outfits for everything they do, with there only really being any real differences between their childhood outfits and their academy outfits. This is justified, however, since their world is based on a Romance Game, so them only having outfits different from the norm for special occasions is believable.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Brutally Deconstructed with Sirius Dieke. That is, the real Sirius Dieke. His mother was deeply unhappy with her life, being married to an indifferent philanderer, so she based her entire life around her son. When he became terminally ill, she went off the deep end and decided to resort to dark magic and Human Sacrifice to save him. Sirius, on the other hand, was so emotionally burnt-out from dealing with her his whole life that he wanted to die, which made the ritual glitch and allowed Rafael to keep his own body.
    Before Sirius had even become aware of himself, all he had to listen to were his mother’s complaints and grudges. This carried on even as he fell into the clutches of an incurable illness. The boy had no choice but to listen, and now he only wished to be set free. Despite his age, this child was already tired of living.
  • Long Title:
    • The entire series, following the conventions of 2010s light novels. The English title, albeit shortened, still has 11 words.
    • S2E01 is titled "I Avoided my Doom Flags, So I Got Carried Away at the Cultural Festival..."
  • Look Both Ways: The monkey girl was killed in a traffic accident before becoming the loveable idiot we know her as.
  • Loophole Abuse: Catarina is not allowed to continue her habit of gardening at school, since that doesn't fit a high-class lady such as herself. She asks if she can grow flowers instead. When they agree, she starts a plot filled with cucumber flowers, eggplant flowers, and so on. Too bad her mom invokes Rule Zero, and scolds her anyway.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • S1E08 of the anime features an ancient magic book that feeds off of human desires. It traps Catarina, Sophia, Geordo, Keith, Alan, and Nicol inside it, with the preface of the book saying the trapped will only be freed when one of their desires is fulfilled. Catarina ends up breaking everyone out when her fantasy has her gorging herself on sweets, though interestingly, it's not because her desire was fulfilled, but because it was too strong for the book to handle.
    • Sirius's arc shows that after being put to sleep by Sirius, the comatose Catarina ended up dreaming about her past life in Japan, with little tics from her life as Catarina slipping through, but she herself not fully remembering. She's shown to be happy here, if not nostalgic. It takes a talk with the spirit of Acchan for her to remember what happened and break the dark magic.
  • Love at First Sight: Catarina's parents fell for each other the first time they met, but didn't realize the other felt the same way.
  • Love Confession: Catarina accidentally causes her parents to admit they always loved each other. Shockingly, neither of them were aware of the other's feelings until then.
  • Love Triangle: Keith and Geordo make up the primary triangle as the two that get the most focus and are the most aggressive in pursuing Catarina. There's also a Sibling Triangle with Geordo and Alan and an odd triangle with Alan and Mary, both pairs naturally going for Catarina.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: This is used as an excuse for the Student Council only having two seniors with the rest being freshmen. Specifically, other seniors who were supposed to be in the Council enter into fights over Nicol, forcing Sirius to pick the top students of the freshmen year—which all happened to be close enough with Nicol that they're immune to his charms.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: After being kidnapped in volume 3, Catarina is taken care of even better than she normally is, which leaves her feeling so totally relaxed that she makes quick friends with her kidnapper and then goes on to accidentally seducing the real mastermind.
  • Magic is Feminine: In S2E06, Catarina, Mary and Sophia recall a time they were trapped in a thunderstorm and took shelter in a house within the palace grounds. At one point there's an Imagine Spot sequence from Sophia, where she imagines the lightning as a dragon, Catarina as the heroic swordsman, and herself as a mage.
  • Magitek: It isn't widely used, but the Division of Magical Instrument Research that Larna leads sometimes involves items that can be described that way. For example, in S2E09, Larna communicates back to the Headquarters using what looks like a two-way radio but powered by wind magic.
  • The Magocracy: Sorcier is ruled by a magic-wielding noble class.
  • Marry Them All: Catarina offhandedly mentions once that there is a "Reverse Harem" route within the game, where Maria winds up with all four romanceable targets. However, she still wishes to avoid that route because it still leads to the in-game Catarina's doom.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Catarina, who is widely known by the Magic Academy as the Lady Saint, does a chilling performance as the stepsister in the play in book 3.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Peaceful days with my friend" for the first chapter in the second novel. Catarina's POV segment ends with her wishing to overcome her doom flags and "look forward to peaceful days with my dear friends." Acchan's POV uses this phrase several times: she first described her uneventful early high school days with this, the death of "Monkey Girl" is marked by "[t]hose peaceful days that I thought would go on forever suddenly ended", and she wished for Reincarnation Friendship so that she could "live those peaceful days, together with her... Just one more time." The repeated use of "peaceful days" precisely defines Catarina's Humble Goal, as well as the nature of "Monkey Girl" and Acchan's friendship.
  • Meaningful Name: "Sorcier" is French for "sorcerer," reflecting the fact that the country is ruled by a magic-wielding noble class.
  • Media Transmigration: The monkey girl was originally an otaku playing the otome game Fortune Lover before she is killed in a traffic accident and awakens her Past-Life Memories when she was reincarnated as the game's villainess.
  • Meet Cute: A major theme of the story. Catarina knows pretty much every such scenario in Fortune Lover, and does her best to avoid them, as they almost always involve a bad ending for her. In the process, though, she ends up usually turning them into romantic encounters for herself. Ironically, when the actual scenes come, Catarina has unknowingly sabotaged them to the point that they no longer have any impact. For instance, Maria originally met Geordo while climbing a tree, which caused him to strike up a conversation and then learn that she was Not Like Other Girls, but when he'd been growing up around Catarina, who climbs trees fairly regularly, he saw it as no big deal.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: In the anime, when Selena is subject to Rufus' mind control, her brown eyes are shown to turn purple with a rather ominous aura from the irises.
  • Mistaken for Cheating:
    • Keith's introduction causes Catarina's mother Millidiana to believe that her father Luigi cheated on her. In Fortune Lover, this turned the duchess into a bitter woman who despised Keith, and tear her family apart. In the story, though, Catarina's antics cause Luigi and the duchess to discover that their love wasn't unrequited like they thought it was. This is glossed over in the manga and anime, however, in order to bring forward the axe incident.
    • Maria's father thought her mother had cheated on him after Maria's light magic emerged. He couldn't be convinced otherwise and quickly abandoned them both.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • One side story flips to the perspective of the "monkey girl's" best friend Atsuko, and how heartbroken she was to hear her best friend had suddenly died in an accident. It does have a happy ending with her reincarnating (kind of) as Sophia. It is only separated from a lighthearted chapter about the cast's school preparations by a single dividing line.
    • Near the end of S1E05, Catarina says goodbye to Maria and her mother, the latter of whom encourages Catarina to be friends with Maria. Catarina, touched by this, decides to go see her mother. Unfortunately, Catarina's mother not only doesn't like that Catarina is dressed like a commoner (as a disguise of sorts), but is also displeased by rumors that her daughter started a farm, resulting in her being comically angry and Catarina comically screaming in terror.
    • In S1E06, Catarina's mother tells Anne that as exasperating as Catarina can be, she's made the Claes household a much happier place. Her remarks are interrupted by Catarina yelling as she brings the hoe down, leading Catarina's mother to once again comically lose her temper.
    • The early portions of the story mostly amount to Romantic Comedy, until things take a rather sudden—and literal—dark turn when a user of dark magic shows up, kidnaps Maria, and puts Catarina into a magically-induced coma. In the anime, the scene leading into this part of the storyline is The Stinger after a Breather Episode.
  • More Than Mind Control: Dark magic can't make you feel anything you didn't feel already, it just amplifies those feelings. So if you weren't jealous to begin with, it can't make you go crazy with envy.
  • Morton's Fork: In Fortune Lover, Catarina's fate is either exile (being stripped of her noble title and banished from the country as a criminal) in the good endings or death (by either Geordo's sword or Keith's magic) in the bad endings. Neither fate is appealing to "monkey girl" Catarina, who does everything she can to Take a Third Option, such as building up her combat and magic skills for self-defense and learning agriculture to give herself skills to fall back on in the event of exile.
  • Muggle with a Degree in Magic: Dewey, who is a commoner with no magic ability, passed the Department of Magic's recruitment exams at the tender age of thirteen and is one of Catarina's coworkers.
  • Multiple Endings: In Fortune Lover, the good and bad endings for the Keith and Geordo routes are Catarina either, respectively, getting exiled or murdered by the love interest—prospects which she's terrified of. For Alan's route, they are respectively Mary letting Maria marry him, and Alan and Mary getting married. The "monkey girl" was never able to finish Nicol's route before she died, so Catarina doesn't know how it ends. The bad ending of the "hidden" route involves all of the main cast dying. According to Catarina, there are also Reverse Harem and Friendship routes.
  • Mundane Utility: The first story in the anthology features all of Catarina's friends demonstrating to her how their magical abilities would be useful for farming.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: In S2E02, when the cast suggests, one by one, that they play the role of the Phantom Thief in the School Play, the background music interrupts every time when Sophia turns them down.
  • Mythology Gag: In the On the Verge of Doom! spinoff, realizing she's got less than a year before Fortune Lover's endgame, Catarina wishes she'd remembered her past life when she was eight instead.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The anime gives the head maid of the Claes family, who was unnamed in the light novel and manga, a first name: Joana.
  • Netorare: Played for Laughs. Whenever Catarina takes the place of the story's heroes in a scene, she realizes what she's done later and chastises herself for stealing their "flag" events. However, she never realizes that this means the person fell for her instead. It gets downplayed in that there's no sex involved, but at the same time it's also exaggerated: Catarina steals the hearts of the game's love interests, rivals, and the heroine herself, effectively NTRing everyone at the same time.
  • Never Trust a Title: The title of the show is a "lie" on many levels; Catarina may have been reborn into the body of the villainess of a game, but the moment that she regains her Past-Life Memories, any sort of villainy becomes an impossibility for her. Also, despite the statement that "all" of the routes end with doom, there are actually only six that do.Spoiler  The routes for Alan and Nicol have nothing to do with Catarina at all, and neither do Raphael's good end or the Friendship route. That means that there's an even six-six split between good endings for Catarina and doom endings.
  • Noodle Incident: The events of Geord and Alan's 15th birthday party, where Catarina got blackout drunk from a single glass of wine. It's never explained exactly what happened after that besides that it was incredibly embarrassing and that Catarina is completely banned from drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • No-Sell: Light magic grants immunity to dark magic.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Atsuko appears in several anime episodes, but she remains uncredited until S1E11, when it is revealed that there is a reason why Atsuko and Sophia are voiced by the same person—Sophia is Atsuko's reincarnation.
  • Oddly Common Rarity: Dark Magic users are so rare they manage to keep running into Catarina and her friends.
  • Off the Rails:
    • Catarina throws off the game script literally within her first scene by acting out of character and attracting Geordo's interest. As a result she quickly morphs into the main character, even going so far as to accidentally seduce all the rivals and the former main heroine herself. A few weak attempts seem to be made to put the story back on track but they just drive Catarina even more firmly into the main heroine role.
    • The play acted out by the student council and written by Sophia goes completely off-script once Catarina loses her cue cards with her lines. Mary at first tries to ad-lib a little to help her retrieve the lines, and when that fails it looks like they might need to take a temporary break, only for Catarina to complete the scene with her own ad-libbing by using her memories of game-Catarina's lines. Following that, Sophia deliberately changes up the next scene to give Nicol a way to experience a romantic situation with Catarina, but that also goes off-script as Geordo seriously fights Nicol over Catarina. Though Sophia decides to engage in some Xanatos Speed Chess by adding more off-script moments like Keith's village-boy role also joining the fray, with Sophia's excuse being to make things more "exciting", though things eventually reach a point that even she couldn't plan for, and Catarina has to take it upon herself to end off the scene in a satisfying way.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Catarina herself is prone to these constantly. Most of the time, they come after realizing she's just done or said something that might anger or upset someone (especially her mother), but she also has this reaction whenever she comes across an event from the game from one of the routes in which she dies or becomes exiled, which she calls "Doom Flags".
    • Catarina has a more serious reaction when the event in which she's accused of bullying Maria seems to play out as in the game, up until Maria denies the accusations. While Catarina has ensured that neither Geordo nor Keith will kill her, she's still worried about a false accusation leading to her exile.
    • Unlike the rest of her suitors, there is little in the way stopping Geordo from bedding Catarina. This, combined with his subtle implication that he will impregnate her at the first opportunity, has led to almost every other character in Catarina's harem giving this reaction whenever Geordo arranges to be alone with her. At one point, when Keith notices that Geordo didn't arrive at a social gathering, he realizes that Catarina is alone at that moment and rushes to her, and sure enough Geordo was luring her away to a secluded beach. That same instance also had Mary give a Two-Faced Aside after realizing how close she came to losing out to Geordo.
    • Some of the students accusing Catarina of bullying Maria panic when Maria offers to name some of her tormentors, implying that some of her bullies are falsely accusing Catarina of what they themselves did.
  • Old-Timey Ankle Taboo: When Catarina goes to the lake one summer, a scandalized Geordo and Keith frantically cover each other's eyes when she removes her shoes and lifts her dress to play in the shallows. The anime version has Catarina lift up her skirt to chase a duck barefooted, leading all the guys (barring Alan) to stare while blushing, with Keith half-heartedly calling out her indecency.
  • One Steve Limit: Two characters, Maria Campbell and Mary Hunt, have very similar first names (since "Mary" is the English form of the originally Latin "Maria").
  • Parental Neglect:
    • Geordo's backstory as animated in S2E05 indicates his problems were at least caused partially by this. Owing to his twin brother Alan being an bedridden and needing to be taken care of, Geordo wasn't able to see his mother even on his birthday.
    • This is a contributing factor for Mary's Dark and Troubled Past. Marquis Hunt still loves Mary, but he is away most of the time for work, giving her stepsisters free rein to bully her.
  • Parents as People: Maria's mother is clearly struggling with the fallout of her daughter discovering a talent for light magic, but is still trying to be a good parent, as well as hostess when Catarina and Keith stop by.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat:
    • Every single conversation that Keith and Geordo have is dripping with very obvious subtext as they battle for Catarina's attention (e.g. Keith "politely suggests" that Geordo doesn't need to come over so often). Catarina being Catarina, she thinks they are just being close friends.
    • It happens with Mary and Keith later during the festival arc. They're trying to get under each other's skin regarding how the other's love for Catarina is forbidden, and Catarina believes the forbidden love is Keith trying to win Mary's affections despite Mary being betrothed to Alan.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Duke Luigi Claes, Catarina's father, basically proposed to Millidiana by going to her father instead after falling in love at first sight. However, both feel a bit uncomfortable because they think their partner was forced into the relationship. Her father in particular feels guilty because he didn't have the nerve to talk to her himself and instead arranged for her to be married without her consent. Doesn't help too that Millidiana has a low opinion of herself. Once they realize that their partner genuinely loves them, however, they become extremely happy and affectionate towards each other.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Catarina mentions that there is a "Friendship Route" for the game, which is considered a "bad end" by the standards of a Romance Game, but is the most ideal ending Catarina can think of for herself, since it doesn't involve exile or death. She believes this is the ending she gets at the conclusion of the first school year, naturally oblivious to the fact that everyone is in love with her and not Maria.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: During the practical exam, the team of Catarina, Geordo, Sophia and Keith all encounter hazards suited to their talents. Geordo uses his fire magic to melt an icy barrier, Sophia uses her knowledge of literature to find a clue in a partially worn away inscription and Keith uses his earth magic to make a bridge across a body of water. Unfortunately for Catarina, the most she can do with her magic is fill in a small hole in their path.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A recurring theme throughout the story is that nobles are often too tightly wound inside their own shells, and this creates intense misunderstandings — especially between married couples. The two best examples are between Catarina's parents, and Prince Ian and his betrothed Selena. On both occasions, the two were deeply in love with each other, but didn't realize it simply because they never dropped their social masks to talk earnestly.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Catarina often causes this, because she comes from our dimension to a different one.
    • After mistaking their Passive-Aggressive Kombat for her attention as flirting, Catarina tells Keith and Mary that she'll support their love and won't let them end up like Romeo and Juliet. Naturally, neither of them have any idea what she's talking about and Keith in particular ends up thinking that Romeo is yet another romantic rival.
    • In S2E08, Catarina describes Ginger as a Tsundere. The listeners don't know what she is saying.
  • Pose of Supplication: Catarina does this as she begs for Keith's forgiveness after she broke open his room's door.
  • Positive Friend Influence: The cast of the game Fortune Lover were originally a Dysfunction Junction, but most of them are significantly better people in the story proper due to Catarina having befriended them when her Past-Life Memories lead her to throw the story Off the Rails (Geordo's entitlement and Mary's manipulative streak notwithstanding).
  • Potty Emergency: Because Catarina tends to overindulge herself with food during tea parties, this happens pretty frequently. That said, her chance meetings with some of the cast has to do with this:
    • Catarina chancing upon meeting Mary comes about because she ate way too many sweets, giving her a stomachache that she quickly needed to relieve herself of, after which she comes upon the flower garden Mary was staying in.
    • Catarina has an Accidental Hero moment where she leaps out of a tree and scares away a bunch of kids trying to bully Sophia. Sophia thinks Catarina was being a gallant hero, but she just needed to get to a bathroom now.
  • The Power of Love:
    • Since Maria isn't there to dispel curses, all of her friends gather by Catarina's side and snap her out of her cursed sleep by calling out to her instead.
    • Catarina also ends up using this when she confronts Sirius. Her belief that he's a good person, her willingness to hear him out, and her offer to be a friend and give him emotional support ends up causing the dark influence controlling him to be broken.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In S1E10, it's revealed that while the students who'd falsely accused Catarina of bullying Maria hated Catarina, they wouldn't dare to make false accusations against the daughter of a duke, who outranks them. This becomes proof that they'd been manipulated with dark magic.
  • Previously on…: After a brief opening, the first episode of the second anime season recaps the content of the first season.

  • Railroading: Near the end of the school year, Catarina hits what seems to be an "event flag" from Fortune Lover, namely a group of girls exposing her crimes of bullying and abusing lower-class students (Maria in particular) in front of the entire student body. At first she's utterly horrified since this was the beginning of the end for Catarina in the game, but then she's utterly confused because she hasn't actually bullied anybody. It turns out to be a gigantic coincidence, as the girls were being manipulated by dark magic; thankfully her friends come in shortly afterwards and dispel the accusations.
  • Raising Sim: Fortune Lover ostensibly lacks this aspect as a game proper, starting way later in Maria's life, but when Catarina is experiencing events first-hand and growing up inside of the game world, it still checks all the boxes.
  • Randomly Gifted: The ability to use magic is most commonly found among the nobility of the Kingdom of Sorcier when compared to the lower class and the rest of the world, but who actually gets powers and what powers they get appears to be random.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: One of the stories in the fifth novel involves a girl called Marsha Catley who was seen to be likely to be Geordo's fiancee, but Geordo engaged with Catarina instead. And soon after that, her father was suddenly reassigned to the countryside, ostensibly to supervise development projects, but "it did not take a genius to figure out that he had been forcefully relegated to as remote a location as possible". She only knew that when she goes back to the capital to attend the Magic Academy that that was under Geordo's orders for her propagating the image that Catarina was a Spoiled Brat.note  Yeah, a nine-year-old exiling another nine-year-old for badmouthing his fiancee.
  • "Reborn as Villainess" Story: Young noblewoman Katarina Claes hit her head and recalled her Past-Life Memories: that of a Japanese high schooler who died in an accident. What's more, the world she lives in now is the world of Fortune Lover, an otome game she played before her death. Finally, her current self Katarina is the evil love rival of the game, who will end up exiled or dead in half of the game's endings. And so she hatches up plans, silly and serious to prevent her doom.
  • Recap Episode: In S1E11, as Catarina lies in a dark magic-induced coma after her encounter with "Sirius"/Raphael, the rest of the cast (sans Maria, who's being held prisoner) thinks about how they met her and what impact she had on their lives, a sequence that serves this purpose. Unusually for this trope, it takes place near the end of the season without being a substitute for a delayed episode, and was lifted directly from the light novel.
  • Regained Memories Sequence: The series begins with Catarina Claes regaining her Past-Life Memories. In the Animated Adaptation, this is presented by a montage of the events in her past life.
  • Reincarnate in Another World: Catarina's case is the "Reborn as Villainess" Story popular in isekai aimed at girls, but acts more like an Affectionate Parody of those plots.
  • Returning the Handkerchief: Discussed and Subverted: In Fortune Lover, Keith meets Maria when she drops her handkerchief, who holds onto it until they meet again. In this story, he returns it to her immediately because Catarina conditioned him to become a gentleman.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: While the story's timeline is prone to In Spite of a Nail in regards to Fortune Lover, the similarities remain within the realm of possibility, such as people first meeting in the same circumstances, but the meeting itself going differently. When the phenomenon extends to the scene in which Catarina is called out for bullying Maria playing out despite said bullying never happening in the story's timeline, one can tell something is really off.
  • Rich Sibling, Poor Sibling: Keith's backstory involved this trope. He's the son of a minor noble related to the Claes family and a prostitute. After he was sent back to his birth father's house at three, he was practically treated as The Unfavorite at best, and at the worst, he wasn't treated as a family member—he wasn't even allowed to call his parents "father" and "mother," and he wasn't allowed to dine on the same table with the rest of family. His half-brothers bullied him, with apparent parental authority.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: During Mary's first visit to the Claes family manor in the anime adaptation, she suggested that the reason Catarina's plants were wilting was due to them not getting enough water and fertilizer and that they should trying moving them elsewhere and increasing the nutrients they got. In reality, neither of those things were the problem, though moving the plants still helped since the original plot of land Catarina was working on wasn't getting enough sunlight due to being in the shadow of a large tree (something which neither of the girls ever pick up on).
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!:
    • Given that this is a story about escaping doom, the opening theme for the anime's first season briefly plays a part from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
    • The opening theme for the second season goes on with this, using Ode to Joy, also from Beethoven.
  • Romance Game: From "monkey girl" Catarina's perspective, the world she now lives in is that of the romance game Fortune Lover, a Visual Novel console game in which the protagonist, Maria Campbell, must choose one of four potential romantic partners to pursue: Geordo Stuart, third prince of the kingdom; Alan, Geordo's younger twin brother; Keith Claes, adopted son of the Claes family, and Nicol Ascart, son of the current prime minister. Each route has a rival who must be dealt with during the story: Catarina Claes, Geordo's fiancee and Keith's older stepsister; Mary Hunt, Alan's fiancee; and Sophia Ascart, Nicol's younger sister. Of these rival characters, only Catarina faces either exile (good ending) or death (bad ending). After regaining the memories of her past life, Catarina tries to recall everything she can about Fortune Lover as part of her efforts to avoid her fate in the game's story. She keeps everything she remembers in a Secret Diary, writing new details and changes as her life progresses. At one time, Catarina dreams about her friend Atsuko talking about the game's secret path, having already finished all the routes, as well as partially foretelling Sirius' actions in the story.
  • Royal School: Played with—the Wizarding School that most of the story takes place in is technically not exclusive to nobility and royalty, as it is required by law that everyone with magic in the kingdom attend it when they turn fifteen. It's just that the ability to use magic is so insanely rare among commoners, it ends up leaning in that direction anyway. As such, Maria is the only commoner enrolled throughout the story, which, combined with her possessing the even rarer Light element, has brought discrimination upon her.
  • Sailor Fuku: The monkey girl and Acchan wore them in high school, but wore blazer-style uniforms in middle school.
  • School Festival: A significant part of the third novel, fifth manga volume, and the second season of anime involves the biannual school festival of the Wizarding School. For some reason, it isn't much different from how it's done in Japan, only adapting the fact that the school neither divides into classes nor has anything similar to the Japanese School Club.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: In the sixth novel, Catarina is surprised to see both Mary and Sophia in the Department of Magic's onboarding. It turns out both requested—in different ways—their fathers to pull strings to get a place so that they can stick close to Catarina.
  • Script Breaking: Catarina knows that the world of Fortune Lover that she lives in now still follows the events in the game that she knows, so she expects certain events to play out as they should. However, due to her efforts to not end up like her game counterpart, she unknowingly changed how the characters would act in the events that involve them. For example:
    • She compliments Mary for her gardening skills before Alan could do so during their first meeting. This leads to Mary falling in love with Catarinanote .
    • Because Geordo is so used to seeing Catarina climbing trees, he didn't see Maria doing the same thing as particularly interesting during their fated encounternote . He only comments with mild amusement that there exists another girl that climbs trees like Catarina.
    • Keith grew up to be a gentleman because of Catarina's influence. Therefore, when his fated encounter with Maria came via Maria dropping her handkerchief, Keith immediately returns the fallen handkerchief to her.note 
    • Alan loses his competitive nature and focuses more on his musical talent because of Catarina's influence. Therefore, he doesn't care when Maria places above him in the school standings.note 
    • Finally, Catarina saves Maria from bullies twice, doing the same things her in-game saviors would've donenote , causing Maria to fall in love with her.
  • Secretly-Gay Activity:
    • The protagonist Catarina Claes forms an Unwanted Harem of both men and women. Ironically, Catarina herself provides the perfect cover for her female suitors to disguise their advances by creating a Romantic Literature Club. Many of the books in said club (again, of Catarina's own choosing) are Yuri stories of two girls sharing Forbidden Love. These stories not only give Catarina's female suitors a pretext to gush about the beauty and allure of girl-on-girl relationships, but provide the means for them to spend time alone with Catarina. Sophia Ascart is the most blatant example, as she was the one Catarina originally started the club for, and Catarina is later taken aback by how much Sophia seems to enjoy yuri stories. In one scene involving a Lotus-Eater Machine, Sophia even tries to use her library of romance novels as an excuse to seduce Catarina with moves straight out of a yuri scene and convince Catarina to move in with her permanently.
    • On a more subtle scale, Catarina's other female suitors (especially Mary Hunt) will use swimming, bathing, cooking and at one point even a possible illness to try and get Catarina alone with them in intimate situations, and directly use the fact that they're "both girls" as an excuse why it's acceptable and why the male suitors won't be allowed to interfere. It still backfires because, as stated, half of Catarina's harem is female, so one girl rarely ever gets to have her to themselves.
    • This trope is also Played for Laughs when the girls all have a slumber party together. When the male characters find out and wonder just what girls would do at such a party, Catarina suggests that the boys have one for themselves. All of the boys (except Nicol) are absolutely put-off by the idea, as they can't think of anything boys would talk about for an entire night. However, Sophia (Nicol's little sister) begins imagining what she thinks boys would do in such a position and turns wide-eyed and blushing. Further, during the actual slumber party itself, all of the girls continue flirting with Catarina and dropping subtle hints about their interest in her.
  • The Seven Mysteries: The Portal Book found in the school library is stated to be one of the school's seven mysteries.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat:
    • Nicol chaperones Sophia when the latter visits Catarina's house for the first time, and Catarina concludes Sophia must be this to require a chaperone. While she is indeed sheltered, the reason is less "being the child of nobles" than "having been bullied too much for her albinism she is afraid of going out."
    • After concluding Sophia is a Sheltered Aristocrat, Catarina then concludes she herself must also be this, since Millidiana always requires Keith to chaperone her on outings. As usual, she does not realize she needs a chaperone because she's always being so unladylike.
    • This trope also affects how The Shut-In and its subtrope Hikikomori is described in the novel. Because young nobles don't leave their manors very often even for a person like Catarina, the usual meaning of "not leaving their houses" loses its meaning. Instead, characters under these tropes refuse to leave their rooms.
  • Sibling Triangle:
    • Geordo and Alan both love Catarina, though Geordo and Mary kept Alan from realizing his own feelings and thus there's no real competition between the two. Yet.
    • Sophia and Nicol also both have a thing for Catarina, but in this case Sophia seems to want her brother to marry Catarina so that she can have them both.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: In the game, Catarina's parents were distant because of misunderstandings about their arranged marriage and the assumption that Keith was a mistress' bastard child. When this is cleared up, they grow extremely close and affectionate.
  • Spare to the Throne: Well, to the duchy, but still counts. When Catarina is kidnapped in the third novel, one of her personas in the Council of Catarinas suggests that Milidiana may use the chance to dispose of her, especially given there's always Keith around...
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Depending on whether you read the manga or the light novel (in the official J-Novel translation), the main character is "Catarina" or "Katarina", the third prince is either "Gerald" or "Jeord", and the prime minister's son is "Nicole" or "Nicol". The manga muddles things further with the covers using "Geordo" for the third prince.
    • The anime ends up mixing the earlier naming conventions, respectively using "Catarina" (manga), "Geordo" (manga cover) and "Nicol" (light novel).
    • The title of an in-universe novel series is translated as "Alluring Count" in the novels, while the anime translates it to the more literal "Devilish Count."
  • The Stinger:
    • The post-credits scene in S1E09 shows Catarina confronted by several of her schoolmates, who vow to bring her wicked actions to light. Since Catarina has not committed any of the misdeeds her game counterpart did, she's utterly confused.
    • The end of S1E12 of the anime shows Catarina's toy snake being sold at a local shop.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics:
    • After the death of Mary's mother, Mary has been subjected to bullying from her elder half-sisters, which included hiding or breaking her things, as well as verbal abuse up to and including comparing her to a Red-Headed Stepchild.
    • Atsuko was subjected to heavy bullying in elementary school, because her classmates saw her as a weirdo. At a minimum, she was ignored, made fun of, and her things got hidden.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Comparing Catarina's and Sophia's POVs on their first meeting shows what goes on in their minds are nearly identical. They both think Sophia and Emerald Princess is playing out, with Catarina playing the Emerald Princess and Sophia playing the fictional Sophia. In addition, both of them don't believe they're suitable for their roles; Catarina finds her face too "villainous" for a princess, while Sophia thinks she's too "creepy" for a dasmel.
  • Succession Crisis: The previous king, i.e. the princes' grandfather, died without naming an heir. This causes a succession crisis that was mentioned to be quite bloody.
  • Supernatural Elite: The ability to use magic is almost exclusively found among the upper class. While it's not unheard of for a commoner to be able to do so, it's so insanely rare that most people just end up assuming that the person's mother must have slept with a nobleman.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Downplayed. Whether a person can be a magic-user is largely depending on their genetics, as the ability is nearly exclusively found among Sorcier's noble class, including their illegitimate children. However, beyond that, Randomly Gifted governs who gets to use magic, and what magic they will be gifted. For example, Keith, who is half commoner, has much stronger magic than Catarina, a full-breed noble.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In the On the Verge of Doom! spin-off, just because Catarina decided to finally make amends and attempt to fix the broken Claes family doesn't mean that the emotional scars that the family suffered would automatically disappear. Keith, in particular, rebuffs Catarina's attempt to make amends and questioned why she bothered to try after so many years of treating him horribly.
  • Swapped Roles: There are faint hints that with the rival becoming the new heroine, the others are having their roles switched around too. Geordo is something like the new Catarina with his claims to entitlement to her while Mary and Alan now view each other as worthy rivals to her instead of Maria competing with Mary for Alan.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The original light novels alternated chapters between Catarina's perspective and whoever she was focusing on at the time, including showing certain scenes from the perspective of the other character. The manga drops all non-Catarina P.O.Vs, which leaves the other characters less developed than they would have been otherwise, while the anime has them as recaps released online, as well as adapting some of the more important ones, such as those of Maria, Atsuko, and Anne, in the first season, while adopting the rest in the second season.
  • Title Drop: The localization of the light novel does this for the latter half of its title.
    • When Catarina thinks about how she ends up in Fortune Lover:
      Hmm...? That’s a little weird, isn’t it? In the happy endings, she gets chased out of the kingdom and stripped of her title... and in the bad endings, she dies... Are there no happy endings for Catarina Claes?! There are only bad endings! All routes lead to doom!
    • In the sixth novel, as Catarina reads a summary of Fortune Lover 2 written by Acchan through Sophia's hand:
      And how come all routes lead to doom for [C]atarina once again?!
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Catarina is the tomboy while her friends Mary, Sophia and Maria are the girly girls. Catarina prefers outdoor activities like gardening, climbing trees and fishing, and she considers dresses too cumbersome for her daily life. Mary is a classical beauty, Sophia loves to read romance novels (as does Catarina) and is gentle and demure, and Maria is very adept at making sweets.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Apart from the heroes and heroines, Catarina also has a good effect on the other cast. Her mother, for example, felt her husband didn't love her and views Keith as proof of it, which in the game resulted in her hating him and growing estranged from her husband. However, when this misunderstanding was cleared up she grew to be very close to her husband, became a nagging mom to Catarina and not only treats Keith like a son, but also supports him marrying her daughter.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: In this setting, the magical power a magic-user has is more or less determined when their powers first manifest at about four or five; any training only gives linear improvements at best. Training, however, improves the user's control over their magic. This is important to people like Keith whose magic is both very powerful and very difficult to control; Power Incontinence is part of his Dark and Troubled Past. The effect of training is also demonstrated by comparing Maria's second bullying scenario in the main series and On the Verge of Doom!. In the main series, Catarina, who has been diligently practicing magic for several years, can accurately apply her earth bump magic to trip a bully who attempts to use fire magic on Maria in the nick of time. This is not the case in On the Verge of Doom!, where she only started doing it seriously for a few months.
  • Trilogy Creep: The story originally was supposed to end in 2 volumes, now it's 8 volumes and running, plus a spinoff.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: In Geordo's flashback in S2E05, young Geordo falls into this as he falls into despair from Parental Neglect.
  • True Companions: Thanks to Catarina bringing them all together and acting as the glue that holds them, while they fight each other over who will be her lover, every member of the main student cast develops strong bonds with each other beyond their relationship with Catarina. When Maria winds up going missing, every one of them worries about her safety and does their best to find her, not just because her disappearance upsets Catarina, but also because they genuinely care about her as a close friend.
  • Unintentional Final Message: The night before she was killed in her previous life, the "monkey girl" had sent a text message to her best friend Atsuko complaining about the difficulty she was having while playing Fortune Lover. Atsuko wouldn't come across the message for several days (she forgot to bring her phone to school the day of the accident and spent the next several days too depressed to do much of anything). Seeing it helped break her out of her despair and resolve to live her life to the fullest in the hope that they could be reunited in another life.
  • Unknowingly in Love: From Alan's P.O.V. chapter, it's quite clear that he already has a crush on Catarina when he is 9, but he only recognized his crush when Catarina was briefly kidnapped when he's 15. And even as a 9-year-old boy he certainly knows what love is; the reason he met Catarina in the first place is to accuse her of seducing his betrothed Mary.
  • Unwanted Harem: Catarina doesn't seek a harem, but gets one anyway. Furthermore, she is so dense she doesn't notice that one is growing around her, of both genders, thinking herself still the villainess.
  • Uptown Girl:
    • Nearly all routes of Fortune Lover involve the commoner Maria romancing one or more of the several nobles.
    • While interclass marriages are allowed in Sorcier, it is always seen with some stigma, if not scorn. For example, Mary was born out of Marquess Hunt's second marriage with a commoner. The marriage was controversial to begin with, and after Mary's mother's early death, Mary's older siblings treats her as a literal Red-Headed Stepchild.
    • A few of the romance novels mentioned in the series involve interclass romances; for example, Sophia mentioned a novel about "the romance between a princess and a common town girl."
  • We All Live in America: Fortune Lover is set in a Medieval European Fantasy universe, but its Japanese roots can be seen from the fact that Keith is adopted as heir — a very common Japanese practice, but virtually unheard of in post-Roman Europe. There are of course also things like tools, architecture details (despite ostensibly having "European" aesthetics) or even such silly things like dessertsnote  - all of which quite blatantly show its Japanese origin.
  • Wham Episode: S1E10 significantly increases the stakes by revealing that Student Council President Sirius Dieke is the hidden fifth capture target. The monkey girl knows very little about his route apart from the fact that the bad ending will result in the heroine and all her friends dying. Worse, Catarina only discovers Sirius' identity as the capture target after he's kidnapped Maria, and just before he puts her into a coma.
  • Wham Line:
    • Early on in the series, shortly after Mary's debut, Keith casually says, "Incidentally, I believe that Lady Mary's engagement to Prince Alan should be settled soon," which is news to both the viewer and Catarina. Cue Oh, Crap! from Catarina, who concludes that by becoming friends with Mary, one of the "rival" characters, she's made her own doom more likely.
    • In S1E10, Catarina recalls something Acchan told "the monkey girl," about a hidden romanceable character who kills the protagonist and her friends in his bad ending. The description of the character reveals the identity of the dark magic user- Sirius Dieke, the student council president.
      Acchan: By the way, this hidden character has bright red hair and gray eyes...
    • In a manga-exclusive example (due to it not adapting a certain side story), there's Sophia hearing a voice in the back of her head when she's despairing over Catarina's coma, revealing that she's Atsuko's reincarnation.
    Acchan: I never want to lose her again!
  • Wham Shot:
    • In the anime, after a flashback showing how "the monkey girl" met Atsuko "Acchan" Sasaki, the scene cuts to Sophia, who is Acchan's reincarnation.
    • As Catarina's accusers flee, you can see traces of dark magic on each of them, the first proof that there's more to their false accusations than meets the eye.
    • After making it through the entire game and getting the "friendship route", a show of a magazine in Catarina's previous world reveals a sequel has been announced, with the in-game Catarina announced to return as well, meaning not only is she not out of the woods yet, she has no idea how to deal with it.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: When the story was just a game some otaku the "monkey girl" played, there were some definitely villainous characters. But since she's now in the body of one of those villainous characters, she instead brought out the best in everyone and there's barely any gray in the story at all. The darkest character who appears in the present is probably a blackmailed magician who loved his family but was murdered after it was rubbed into his face that they've been dead all along.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: After she'd been transmigrated into a video-game character and regained her Past-Life Memories, Catarina had seen hair and eyes that were blonde, silver, brown, red, and black, and thought this trope was played straight in the world of Fortune Lover. So she was puzzled when white-haired and red-eyed Sophia asked her if she thought the latter looked "disgusting"—Catarina wasn't expecting that albinism is a thing here, and albinos are as discriminated here as on Earth, and all the time not only had she thought Sophia's features were normal in this universe, she thought they were beautiful to boot.
  • Worthy Opponent: When Alan has his Love Epiphany, he tries to break off his engagement to Mary. However, at this point she begins taking him seriously as a rival and stops trying to break it off on her end. They come to an agreement that there are advantages to being officially engaged to each other but both secretly being interested in the same person. Interestingly, this seems to put Catarina into the hero position, Alan the heroine and Mary the rival. Or perhaps the latter two have their positions reversed.
  • Wrong Assumption: Catarina has made many of these since she first realized she's living out the life of an Otome game Villain. Most prominently, however, she's assumed that everyone will act just like their characters did in the game she remembers. She does not take into account that, since she is making major changes to the lives they lead as children, she also made major changes to who they grew into.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • Subverted in the first episode. As the credits begin to roll, Catarina discovers to her horror that despite her efforts to prevent Keith from feeling lonely in the future (which indirectly leads to her death), Keith has instead forced himself into isolation for an entirely different reason. As the episode appears to conclude with the lesson that destiny can't be changed no matter what, Catarina takes a literal axe to that notion and chops down Keith's door, falls to her hands and knees and begs forgiveness for causing Keith pain. The episode then ends with the two becoming closer than ever and revealing its true premise: Catarina has already changed her fate, but she's too dense to realize it!
    • Fate has it that Event Flags in Fortune Lover's continuity will play out no matter what: Catarina will always be exposed for her crimes against Maria, Mary's green thumb will always be complimented by Alan, Maria will always be bullied, and so on. However, what changes is the actors in each scene. Catarina often bumbles into saying things other characters were meant to say to someone important before they could, or doing things other characters were supposed to do. This ultimately ends up making it so that more negative scenes are changed in Catarina's favor, since she's often being a genuinely nice person to others, as opposed to the in-game version of Catarina, who was an ass.
  • You Monster!: Keith's I'm a Monster complex when he was a child comes from his internalizing "You Monster!" insults his former family hurled at him after his Power Incontinence incident.
  • Your Heart's Desire: The magical book in the library's east wing pulls people into it and grants their fondest desires. For Geordo, Keith, Sophia and Nicol, their desire was of course Catarina. Alan's desire started with Catarina watching his recital, and Mary ended the scene before it could progress further. For Catarina, the only thing she could focus on at the moment was the fact that she was hungry, and so that was what the book gave her.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Prince Geoffrey pretends to want to be king in order to gather supporters, especially the more unsavory ones, in order to identify and eliminate them as threats to the realm and so he can help support his brothers in their claim for the throne, while he is content with sitting out.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Destruction Flag Otome


Catarina and Friends

Keith dreams about a world where he, his sister, and their friends are the opposite genders.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / GenderBender

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