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"Reborn as Villainess" Story

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"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!"

A subgenre of works which adds new twists to Otome Game tropes, with a protagonist who inscrutably understands their fictional world's plot, mechanics or setting. Most often, an Ordinary High-School Student or Office Lady from Japan (or whatever country the story originates from) will die and reincarnate in the game world with Past-Life Memories, although some stories have the protagonist gain a new set of memories or personality some other way. It's unnecessary for the setting to be from a video game either; many have her transmigrate into other forms of media such as books or comics.

Usually, the protagonist takes the role of an Ojou "villainess" (called "Akuyaku Reijou" — 悪役令嬢 lit.: "Antagonistic Noble Young Lady" in Japanese): a stock Disposable Fiancée of one of the Love Interests who terrorizes or harms the more innocent heroine for being a threat, and who, of course, is fated for a bad ending if the story continues as-is. This gives her motivation to do whatever she can to take the story Off the Rails and secure a better ending, often demonstrating that she is highly kind, intelligent, and/or skilled in the process.

The character archetype is actually a Dead Unicorn Trope: otome games with such a "villainess" are exceptions rather than the rule. The genre originated as a girl reincarnated as the villainess of a shojo manga rather than an otome game. The genre later added gameplay mechanics from otome games such as event flags, branching paths, and multiple love interests to the shoujo manga villainess base. The reincarnated as an otome villainess still follows most of the conventions of the reincarnated as a shoujo manga villainess genre resulting in a Dead Unicorn Trope as otome games don't typically have such a character. The otome villainess genre became the genre equivalent of a More Popular Spin-Off greatly overtaking the shoujo manga villainess genre in popularity causing most people to not even know that the shoujo manga villainess genre even existed.

Also contributing to the genre is Small Reference Pools as the primary otome game that the genre references is Angelique, the first and most famous otome game. Despite its pedigree, Angelique is rather unique amongst otome games in making heavy use of shoujo tropes including having a Stock Shoujo Heroine and stock shoujo villainess. Angelique is one of the very few otome games with the gameplay mechanic where the villainess will compete against the player for the capture targets. Also, Angelique is the source of the magical aristocratic setting where characters have a unique elemental magical ability common in the reincarnated-in-a-otome-game genre but rare in actual otome games.

In some variations, it's the "heroine" that has Medium Awareness for one reason or another. Sometimes she's reincarnated, or a story character that somehow became sentient, or a Physical God. She is often a Foil or an antagonist who is determined to see the story through to the original unaltered conclusion. In stories where the heroine is evil, questions may be raised over who truly deserves the title of "heroine" after all. Other times, the heroine becomes the villainess' closest friend, often laced with Homoerotic Subtext, or even becomes the love interest, thus still sending the story Off the Rails right into the Yuri Genre.

Other variations cast the protagonist or Point of View character as that of a supporting character with close connections to the "villainess," such as the male lead, a maid or butler, or even a complete unknown who was an unimportant character (aka a "mob") in the original story. They may end up becoming a friend/advisor to the villainess, seeing her for who she truly is, and falling in love with her. These variations are often not about being reborn as the villainess, but still have her playing a pivotal role in events.

This genre became increasingly popular starting in The New '10s, particularly in Shoujo and Josei Web Serial Novels and Light Novels, followed by many Manga and Manhwa adaptations. By definition, this genre is very meta: the reader is expected to recognize the situation on sight even if they aren't familiar with romance novels, old shoujo manga tropes or otome game mechanics.

Subtrope of Perspective Flip and Next Life as a Fictional Character, as well as a very specific variant of Stock Light-Novel Hero. Frequently overlaps with Peggy Sue and Trapped in TV Land. Inherently involves Fate and Prophecy Tropes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • I Got My Wish and Reincarnated as the Villainess (Last Boss)! presents an interesting variation where the readers, but not the protagonist, know the latter's reincarnated as a villainess. The protagonist was born Delicate and Sickly and died at the age of 16 without any experience of a "normal" life, so she doesn't hesitate when God offers to reincarnate her into a healthy body, blissfully unaware of the rest of God's description that she's reincarnating as Elizabeth Maxwell, the villainess of the Romance Game The Saint and the Four Knights.
  • Villain to the Rescue! is about Rena Sato, an office clerk who dies and gets reincarnated as Folletto Stacia, a villainess in her favorite game, "A Whisper of Love in a World of Darkness." Rena's favorite character among the capture targets, Matthias August, dies in virtually every ending, and so her goal, once she's born as Folletto, is to ensure Matthias' survival, even if it means pairing him off with the heroine.

    Fan Works 

  • In Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter, young noblewoman Iris suddenly recalls her past life as an accountant who loved playing otome games. Unfortunately, she's become the villainess of the story during the downfall event, but with some quick thinking manages to get the crowd on her side and manages to avoid exile, instead getting "sent to the family estate to reflect on her behavior" and put in charge of developing the area, quickly becoming an up and coming business tycoon and administrator. The otome game cast is not happy to hear about this, setting up the story's plot as they keep trying to harass her. As a further twist, Iris was actually a pretty nice girl even before recalling her memories, and she only caused some minor harassment out of jealousy of having her fiancé stolen that was blown out of proportion. As for the "heroine", she's actually a foreign spy manipulating her way into the royal family to help leave the country open to conquest.
  • Akuyaku Reijou no Naka no Hito: The story starts with a woman named Emi Kobayashi reincarnated as the Villainess Remilia Roze Glaupner from the Otome game app "The Star Maiden And The Knight of Salvation.". The twist is that the actual Remilia is still around and they are in a Sharing a Body state with only Remilia aware of this fact at all, and when the canon heroine, who turns out to have been a reincarnated person as well, renders all of Emi's previous hard work to avoid Remilia's canon ending to moot due to her strong desire to ensure that things stay the same and that she can get her harem ending fantasies, Remilia herself finally steps in to take revenge on the reincarnated person behind the canon heroine for Emi's sake.
  • The Banished Villainess Living The Leisurely Life Of A Nun Making Revolutionary Church Food: An event planner died and was reborn as Elizabeth, the villainess of an otome game. Despite her best attempts to derail the story, she was railroaded into being exiled to a monastery... a fate she takes in stride, pleased to be away from noble society. However, the handsome knight who played a role in her banishment has followed her to her exile, being only the first of the otome game characters to keep intruding on her peaceful life of making new foods.
  • The Beast Tamed By The Villainess: After reading a webnovel about a young man escaping brainwashing and sexual slavery at the hands of a wicked noblewoman, finding love with a heroine who heals his emotional and physical wounds and eventually ascending the throne as an emperor, an unnamed reader sends the author questions about the novel's Ambiguous Ending. After receiving rather cryptic reply, she wakes up the next day to find herself as the villainess in the world of the novel a few years before the start of the plot. To avert the terrible fate awaiting her, she does everything to make amends, secure her position and distance herself from the court. However, due to the villainess' character being quite underdeveloped in the novel she doesn't know much about herself, which makes her situation quite complicated. And then her slave escapes before she has time to properly de-brainwash him...
  • Charmed Life is an Unbuilt Trope example. The villainess is the deuteragonist for the first half of the book before she is replaced by her nice alternative universe equivalent and even returns for the finale. The heroine has no knowledge of the new world, and gets into trouble from her ignorance and fear of confessing her situation, more than she gets into trouble from the villainess' actions.
  • The Cost Of A Broken Heart: A young noblewoman, Yulia, suddenly hears from her fiance that he intends to break their engagement and marry another girl. Yulia is completely fine with it since their engagement wasn't out of love in the first place, and she intends to claim consolation money.note  However, she can't help but notice recent events in her life are similar to a popular romance story, and her counterpart in that story is a petty, jealous woman who is the love rival of the heroine—not to mention the author happens to be a member of a prophetic race. In precaution, she's taking steps to gather evidence that she has done no wrong.
  • Cross Dressing Villainess Cecilia Sylvie: A Japanese high schooler reincarnates into an otome game as Cecilia Sylvie, the villainess who competes against the heroine for the position of shrine maiden, but dies in every ending. To remove herself from consideration, she poses as a male cousin, Cecil, but during the prologue event, she defeats a monster, something which only the candidates and the knights charged with protecting them were supposed to be able to do. To maintain her cover as a male, she takes her step-brother's position as a knight, but that also means she already has one of the symbols of support the candidates were supposed to compete for, making it all the more important that the heroine hooks up with the love interests. And in her male persona, she often ends up spending time with the person she most wants to avoid: her fiancé, crown prince Oscar.
  • Endo and Kobayashi Live!: Endo and Kobayashi, two Ordinary High School Students in the broadcasting club, decide to play an otome game as commentator practice. In the game, the villainess Lieselotte is the jealous love rival who ends up being possessed by the Witch of Yore and dies in most routes. However, supplementary material reveals she's not an evil person, just a misunderstood, massive tsundere who can't help but act harsh. While Endo and Kobayashi are playing and providing commentaries, however, somehow their voices can be heard by an in-game character: Prince Siegwald, one of the capture targets and also Lieselotte's fiance. While bewildered at first, eventually the two of them try to use their ability to communicate with the game characters to guide all of them to happy endings, especially Lieselotte, the tragic villainess.
  • Expecting to Fall into Ruin, I Aim to Become a Blacksmith: Kururi Helan is reincarnated into the world of a game he played, as a minor character who only had two gag scenes in the game: Being insulted by, and then married off to the game's villainess Eliza as poor farmers. Accepting his fate except for poverty, minor noble heir Kururi learns to smith to support the two of them in the future. Befriending the game's protagonist and others in the academy, Kururi proceeds to break down the barriers of the tsundere and Spoiled Sweet Eliza, preventing her conflict with the game's protagonist, learning magic, and getting caught up in political struggles.
  • Fake Saint of the Year: Niito is a Hikikomori otaku who rages that the main girl of a Galge game he played, Eterna, will have a "Shaggy Dog" Story no matter what the player does, and falls asleep raging at the game's fake saint Abhorrent Admirer villain Ellise, only to wake up as her. What follows is a comedy in which the overpowered Ellise goes to great lengths helping people to protect her reputation, being subject to Hero-Worshipper reactions contrasting with her wicked internal thoughts, all while the mystery of why she keeps returning to her past-life apartment plays out, and she suffers from Gender Bender Angst from being Reincarnated as the Opposite Sex.
  • Falling in Love With the Villainess: In a Darker and Edgier tale, Rion, from Japan, dies and finds himself in the body of a child in the slums, whose life is miserable until he encounters the Villainess Ariel Windhill and her brother, being hired as their valet (Battle Butler). Unaware that he's in a world based on a game, Rion is teased by her and forms a Lady and Knight relationship, using subterfuge to protect the siblings and their reputations, and encountering the world's Designated Hero Maria. Maria, from earth but having played the game, and seeing the actually innocent Ariel as her greatest enemy, spreads rumors and conspires to bring the two siblings down, earning Rion's wrath, only for Rion to find that she has In-Universe Plot Armor, and You Can't Fight Fate.
  • Father, I Don't Want to Get Married: The protagonist is hit by a car and is reborn as Jubel, a novel villainess so hated by everyone that even her lover and father left her to die a pitiful death. In order to avoid the tragic end she knows awaits her, Jubel breaks up with her lover and gives up trying to win her father's love, instead focusing on using his wealth to enjoy her new life to its fullest. But when her father begins looking for a new suitor, Jubel asks her father's student to enter a contractual relationship until she can live independently from her father.
  • I Became the Wife of the Male Lead: The protagonist reincarnates into Fiona Green, who is the Final Boss of the story instead of the regular villainess. However, the protagonist who reincarnated as Fiona is instead, the author of the original story instead of being a reader who followed the story from start to finish reincarnated into the body of a villain, and her goal is to make a better outcome for the world and the characters that she created.
  • I Fell Into A Reverse Harem Game: After receiving a strange phone call, the main character wakes up in the body of Elvia Violette Cecelia, an evil princess who uses her power to attract or force many men to sleep with her. She doesn't know the plot of the world she's in, but she can see the game interface that guides and prompts the heroine, Arielle, with decisions. This helps in keeping ahead of Arielle's mission to kill her and seduce members of the harem.
  • I'm In Love With the Villainess is a yuri take on this, where an office lady reincarnates as Rae Taylor, the protagonist of her favorite otome game, "Revolution" and, instead of aiming for the romance targets (which she finds lame) chooses to romance the villainess, Claire Francois.
  • I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss: After having her engagement to the second prince annulled, the villainess daughter of the prime minister, Ailene scrambles to find a way to maintain her social position and avoid death at the hands of the secret capture target and first prince, Claude the Demon King. Her solution? Propose to him. Unfortunately, the heroine is trying to keep things going on script, and the prince who spurned her proves dangerously stupid and unstable.
  • I Swear I Won't Bother You Again!: Noble lady Violette is imprisoned due to the evil deeds she has done towards her younger half-sister Maryjun. Regretting her actions in her cell, she's mysteriously sent back to the time she first met Maryjun. She's decided this time just to leave her sister alone and have a peaceful life. Nevertheless, this new, aloof Violette only attracts more people to her, foremost of all Maryjun herself.
  • It Seems Like I Got Reincarnated Into The World Of A Yandere Otome Game: Throughout her entire life, the protagonist has suffered from a strange sense of deja vu. Then, after seeing a portrait of her fiancé, she realises that she is the rival character of a yandere otome game she played in her old life, and even in the heroine's good ending, she would die a bloody death. Mustering her courage and scattered recollections, she does what she can to avoid such a dreadful downfall.
  • Lout of Count's Family: A gender-inverted and Shounen-esque variant occurs. Kim Rok Soo, a Korean man in his thirties, was reborn as Cale Henituse, a minor villain in the novel The Birth of A Hero and wanted to avoid his ill-fate from his encounter with Choi Han, the original protagonist of the novel and soon proceeded to prevent much of the misfortune that occured in the original story, changing a lot of things in the long run.
  • May I Ask for One Final Thing?: The story opens with the standard introductory scene to such a plot: Noblewoman Scarlet finds herself accused of false charges by her fiance Prince Kyle, and her engagement ended at a royal ball filled with corrupt nobles, in favor of another woman. Things take a turn, however, when she responds by asking, "May I ask for one final thing? May I send this stupid bitch flying?". Scarlet, who turns out to be a Blood Knight, then proceeds to send everyone in the entire ballroom Punched Across the Room, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery, and arresting them. Receiving help from the crown prince, her brother, and others, she proceeds to investigate corruption in the government and church, trying to solve all of her problems with a Talk to the Fist approach, while others try to convince her to be more subtle, with mixed results. However, Scarlet subverts the "Reborn" part as everything indicates that she is a true blue native of the world. It's Terenezza, the girl Scarlett was accused of bullying, who is the reincarnate.
  • Modern Villainess: It's Not Easy Building a Corporate Empire Before the Crash: Most works of this subgenre are set in a Medieval European Fantasy universe. This one breaks the mold by having it set to 20 Minutes into the Past—the first chapter is outright titled "September 15th, 2008".note  An Office Lady died rather unceremoniously after being made redundant by her employer and reincarnated as the villainess Keikain Runa from Love Where the Cherry Blossom Falls, an otome game set in Turn of the Millennium. In the game, Runa will meet her downfall from the financial crisis of 2008. So the way to keep herself alive is... being a businesswoman?
  • The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess To Savior: A third-year high schooler dies in a traffic accident and is reincarnated as Pride Royal Ivy, the tyrannical queen and incredibly powerful final boss of the first game of "Ray of Light" (also known as "ORL"). After recalling her memories at eight-years old (the same time she ascends to power and begins running the kingdom into the ground), she also awakens her innate precognition abilities which allowed her to become Queen, and proceeds to alter the plot of the game by using her newfound powers to save her parents from death; and from then she averts the sad backstories of the game's capture targets, starting from her adopted brother Stale, as well as being in a positive relationship with the game's heroine, her half-sister Tiara. However, she still fears falling into evil in spite of this (given her position as the future sovereign), and asks the other characters to kill her should that happen, moreso that both Pride and the capture targets see glimpses of the averted timeline in the form of Pride's crimes.
  • My Death Flags Show No Sign Of Ending: Displays the rare Gender Inversion, where the male main character gets reincarnated into the world of his favorite Mobile Game and he assumes the role of Harold Stokes. Harold is the most hated character for the game and the penultimate antagonist who is doomed to get killed off by the true final boss. Unlike most stories that follow this trend, despite reincarnating and having full memories of his path life, Harold doesn't get to benefit from Death of Personality, so despite his intentions to be a better person and avert his Death Flag, he has to filter his noble actions through Harold's horrible original personality.
  • My Lady Just Wants to Relax: A young woman dies and is reincarnated as Ronia, the love rival of a web romance novel she read before her death. As she already knows the ending - her engagement to the prince is broken and she's exiled from the nobility - she's already made preparations beforehand. Now she's trying to fulfill her dream ever since her previous life: opening a small cafe in the countryside and living a relaxing life.
  • My Motto is Living Honestly and Humbly: Reika Kisshouin, the daughter of a successful businessman, realizes during her primary school entrance exam that she has memories of a past life where she read a popular shoujo romance novel in which Reika was the main characters' love rival. This rivalry eventually led to their shared love interest ruining the Kisshouin family so he could be with the heroine. Reika resolves to live with honesty and humility in order to avoid such a disastrous outcome but soon finds herself being drawn into the love interest's orbit despite her own intentions. The web novel began posting one year prior to the Codifier but failed to achieve the same popularity or publishing deal. The transition of the shoujo romance novel to otome game also created the "otome villainess" Dead Unicorn Trope.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: The Trope Codifier. A young noblewoman, Katarina Claes, hits her head and recalls 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, both silly and serious, to prevent her doom; however, she unwittingly endears herself to the capture targets and even other love rivals and the heroine, to the point that, when the events of the game unfold, the plot is already Off the Rails. The overwhelming popularity of this series led to it becoming the Trope Codifier of this sub-genre. The series was so popular it got a spinoff Alternate Universe manga, My Next Life as a Villainess Side Story: On the Verge of Doom! detailing what would have happened if Katarina reincarnated much later while she's a student at the Academy rather than in her early childhood. Ironically, this change actually makes it closer in template to the slew of series it helped inspire in the first place.
  • An Observation Log of My Fiancée Who Calls Herself a Villainess: Prince Cecil is bewildered when his fiancee Bertia proudly proclaims that she is reincarnated from another world into the world of an otome game and that she, as the villainess, will meet her ruin so the prince can be happy with the heroine. While doubting her at first, the prince slowly believes her as Bertia knows things she should have no way of knowing, like a plague ravaging the kingdom in the near future. Intrigued, he decides to observe her while slowly falling for her for real. The fact that Bertia is really bad at being mean also helps.
  • Please Bully Me, Miss Villainess!: The protagonist is reborn as the lead villainess Yvonne into an otome game that she had beta tested and is pushed by a "villainess system" to bully the heroine Elsa (via quasi-diegetic UI message prompts). When she rebels against this system, however, Elsa falls in love with and follows her into exile, throwing the whole plot Off the Rails. While Yvonne is still pestered by the system to bully Elsa, it becomes a wacky Yuri Genre comedy from that point onward, with Yvonne bullying Elsa in the most harmless way she can get away with.
  • Prison Life is Easy for a Villainess: Rachel Ferguson, a young noblewoman, is accused of crimes she has never done by her own fiance, Prince Elliott, and now her engagement is broken and she is sent to a cell in the castle dungeon. All exactly as she expected. Much to the prince's dismay, Rachel has already transported all of her daily needs into the cell beforehand, and she treats her imprisonment more like a leisurely holiday. A more comedic take on the story, as the focus is Rachel's outrageous Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All behaviors and Prince Elliott's comedic failures in harassing her.
  • Rehabilitating The Villainess: This Korean Web Serial Novel follows Eren, reborn as the fiancee of the villainess of a romance novel Shale, as he suffers from her Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics and gives her A Taste of Their Own Medicine with his own teasing and pranks. Eren sets about the goal of reforming Shale, both so that she won’t murder him like in the novel, and to keep her from angering the powerful novel heroine Ciel.
  • Reincarnated as the Piggy Duke: This Time I'm Gonna Tell Her How I Feel! is a Gender Inverted example. A male otaku finds himself living in the world of the popular Harem Genre anime Shuya Marionette in the body of Slowe Denning, the Fat Bastard Jerkass competitor against the Protagonist for Charlotte, Slowe's own maid. However, Shuya Marionette also reveals Slowe is genuinely in love with Charlotte, and he was intentionally tarnishing his reputation so that he could be disowned, and by extension, able to marry Charlotte without causing a scandal. The anime's director described Slowe favorably, and the fans tend to agree. Slowe tries to avert his unjust fate through his Past-Life Memories, but the very fact that Charlotte is secretly the princess of a recently conquered state means he gets involved in problems of a different kind...
  • The Result of Being Reincarnated is Having a Master-Servant Relationship with the Yandere Love Interest. Having reincarnated several years before the game proper, the protagonist sets about averting a bad relationship with her butler, who is one of the yandere love interests. Once she reaches the age of the villainess in the game, she discovers that she isn't the only one who's reincarnated. Far from it.
  • Parodied in The Rising of the Shield Hero's April Fools' Day chapter. Along with the other four heroes, an Office Lady from a world where the events of Shield Hero are popular fiction finds she's been reincarnated as Malty, one of the antagonists. Just like the other three heroes were based on common fantasy protagonist archetypes, she comes to the realization that she's become the villainess. She debates to herself whether she can turn her fate around or succumb to something even worse, depending on if the version of Melomarc she reincarnated into is based on the main canon (where she ends up punished for her deeds, but once she's been removed from her throne and had her evil deeds exposed to the world, the hero decides he no longer cares what happens to her and doesn't bother taking it any further) or that of The Reprise of the Spear Hero (where the main character is out for her blood). When Motoyasu speaks up at their summoning instead of Naofumi, indicating she's at the beginning of the latter, she has a panic attack.
  • The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong is a Chinese Gender Inverted take of the genre. Shen Yuan, a vocal critic of the trashy xianxia harem Web Serial Novel Proud Immortal Demon Way, finds himself reincarnated as the novel's Starter Villain Shen Qingqiu who was brutally dismembered by the protagonist Luo Binghe for being a Sadist Teacher to him. The new Shen Qingqiu's efforts to prevent his doom inadvertently cause the story to shift from a heterosexual harem power fantasy centered on Luo Binghe and his hundreds of wives to a danmei one centered on Luo Binghe and him.
  • Since I Have Been Reincarnated as the Daughter of a Duke, I, the "Girl Inside," Will Enjoy Being a Girl as Much as I Can!: The male protagonist meets the soul of a young girl, who passes the torch onto him after apparently a "Groundhog Day" Loop, causing him to waken in her five year old body as Miranda. The mostly Slice of Life series sees Miranda acting as an Internal Reformist to manage how her kingdom handles potential for class warfare amongst its industrial revolution alongside her also Reincarnated as the Opposite Sex partner, the Crown Prince.
  • Survive as the Hero's Wife: A girl from our world dies in a traffic accident and finds herself in the world of her favorite fantasy/romance novel, where Prince Caesar must overcome the schemes of his selfish stepmother, the Empress, who wishes to have her own son become the next Emperor instead of him. The reader is incarnated as Carnelia, a secondary villainess who the Empress put in an Arranged Marriage with Caesar, where she operates as a spy and pawn for the Empress. In the original story, Caesar is destined to eventually become a war hero and succeed in displacing the Empress, which includes executing Carnelia before he marries his true love. Understandably desperate to avoid this fate, the reader hopes to have a better relationship with Caesar and convince him to just divorce her instead before he goes to marry the duke's daughter. However, her presence and different actions soon begin making changes to the events of the story, resulting in the relationships and politics of the court being different from what she expects.
  • Tearmoon Empire: Mia Tearmoon, inspired by Marie-Antoinette, is thrown into the guillotine in the Tearmoon Empire's totally not French Revolution, only to wake up 8 years earlier with her memories and her tattered diary from before being executed. She proceeds to try and prevent, and if that fails, at least survive said revolution, but Hilarity Ensues due to her Spoiled Brat tendencies constantly getting in the way. Helping her is the fact that her diary updates as she makes changes. Others see her as a saint-like figure, despite her true thoughts being extremely shameless and corrected by a Lemony Narrator.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: A Japanese salaryman, after being forced to complete his sister's otome game because she couldn't handle the Nintendo Hard difficulty, dies of exhaustion and is reincarnated into the game's universe as Leon Fou Bartfort, a "mob" character. His goal is to merely to live comfortably in his new life, mostly due to his new family being merely barons, but ends up intervening in the game's plot when another reincarnator, Marie, seeks to hijack the role of protagonist from the actual heroine, Olivia. While Leon and Marie derail the story in varying ways, they manage to save the villainess character Angelica by accident: Marie keeps Angelica from getting upset at Olivia for getting too close to her fiancé and Olivia makes a proper introduction for herself with some prompting, allowing the two to end up close friends and Leon's closest allies. She ends up with a crush on Leon after he steps in to save her from an unfair duel when Marie invokes the event that would have led to Angelica's ruin.
  • Villager A Wants to Save the Villainess No Matter What!: The main character is reincarnated as the titular "mob/villager A", with his ultimate goal being to protect himself and his mother by saving the villainess and her family, without whom the Kingdom would be doomed. Complicating matters is that the "heroine" is a sociopathic reincarnator who wants her harem ending no matter what, and most of the capture targets are easily-swayed, snobbish jerks. In some aspects, it basically reads like a Fix Fic version of the above series.
  • The Villainess Flips the Script!: After getting hit by a car while walking home drunk at night, a young woman finds herself in the world of her favorite "revenge novel", The Owner of the Winter Forest, as Judith, the villainous aunt of the main character, Luca. Said aunt got herself killed midway through the novel, but this time Judith is determined to be a good caretaker to her nephew and, after his uncle comes to take him to his rich family, remove herself from the plot and lead a quiet life somewhere else. The plan fails and she ends up entangled in a complex plot between Luca's ducal family and his royal relatives. Not only that, several characters are not acting as they were in the original novel and there's also the fact that it might not even be a novel at all.
  • Villainess Level 99: I May be the Hidden Boss but I'm Not the Demon Lord: Main character Yumiella Dolkness finds herself reincarnated into the world of her favorite game, LMH. The game used a mix of elements from Otome games and regular RPGs, with the protagonist noting that she cared more about the latter aspect of the game. Yumiella's character was a villainess that harassed the heroine during the Otome sections and became a post-game Superboss on the RPG side. Wanting to make sure she doesn't die at the hands of a fully leveled heroine party, she levels grinds herself to level 99 before she's even a teenager. This naturally makes her far stronger than not only the heroine and her capture targets, but also the strongest person in the world, which inadvertently causes the men to become even more protective of the heroine, restricting her growth.
  • Villainess Reloaded Blowing Away Bad Ends With Modern Weapons: The protagonist reincarnates as the villainess in an otome game, who dies in every route. The twist is that in her previous life she was a Gun Nut, so her plan is to recreate modern firearms in the stock Medieval European Fantasy world she now lives in and shoot her way out of the scripted ending.
  • The Villainess Wants To Marry A Commoner: A Japanese woman with a Soul-Crushing Desk Job found her solace in a certain Romance Game's Mascot character that sold items the in-game shop, before being reincarnated as the young villainess Isabella in said game. Despite being a duke's daughter, she declares she will do whatever it takes to marry this merchant boy! Equipped with New Life in Another World Bonus items and abilities, she proceeds to defy her family and everyone around them to spend all the time she can with this boy.
  • The Villainous Daughter's Butler, I'll Crush the Destruction Flags: The person reincarnated into the Villainess story is not the villainess herself, Sophia, but rather her butler, Cyril. However, in the endings which feature Sophia's death, Cyril is executed as well for being an accomplice, so his neck's still on the line. To this end, he manages to make himself her butler when they're both six, deals with the childhood issues that would lead to the worst of her later villainy, and tries to get her on the path to marrying a prince. Hampering this is that Sophia is in love with Cyril for all he's done for her, and some of those darker traits he tried to prevent come out when she gets jealous.
  • The Villainous Violet: The protagonist is reborn as Violet, the villainess from the novel, "For Shannon", which she read before her death. Having always felt sorry for Violet, she decides to ditch the story's love triangle and declares her feelings for Earhart are no more. Her next mission is to save Violet's childhood friend Haron from similar heartbreak by making sure he doesn't fall for the heroine, Princess Shannon. But her actions cause both Earhart to develop a renewed love for Violet and the normally kind Shannon to become vindictive towards her. It's later revealed that it's a "Freaky Friday" Flip between the protagonist and the original Violet, who wished that she was in Shannon's shoes.
  • Villains Are Destined to Die: The main character has just escaped her toxic family when she comes across a romance choice game with two modes—normal mode, where one plays as the heroine and has chances at multiple happy endings; and hard mode, where one plays as the villainess Penelope Eckheart, who only has one happy ending to be earned, while all the other routes end in her untimely demise. After failing various times to win hard mode, the real life character falls asleep and wakes up as Penelope Eckheart, and just makes choices like in the game to avoid death, but it’s not easy when the household is just as toxic as her old family, if not more so.
  • The Way to Protect the Female Lead's Older Brother: A Korean college student is reincarnated as Roxana Agriche, a minor character and member of the villainous Big, Screwed-Up Family, destined to die by the hand of the titular female lead. To save herself, and not particularly caring about the rest of her absolutely wretched family, Roxana decides to save the titular older brother, in the meantime becoming a major player among her murderous siblings. Notable for being a quite dark example of the genre, with plenty of adult themes and a heroine who is basically A Lighter Shade of Black compared to the villains.
  • With One Day Left I'll Break All the Destruction Flags: The villainess protagonist, Alexandra, regains her memories of her past life twenty-four hours before her fiance, Crown Prince Alfonso, is set to condemn her for bullying the heroine Lucia and renounce their engagement. Realizing that the heroine is most likely another reincarnator going for the reverse harem ending, Alexandra decides to strike while Lucia is sure of her victory and turn around the condemnation by getting rid of all of the support that Alfonso and Lucia have with the twenty-four hours she has until the event.
  • Young Lady Albert Is Courting Disaster: While having tea, Mary Albert suddenly recalls memories of her past life and comes to realize that the world she is living in was from a visual novel she played in her past life. Despite this, she's actually intent on seeing her Destruction End through, reasoning that it is still the best possible route for everyone's happiness. She enlists the help of her Sarcastic Devotee butler Addie to ensure this route comes to pass. The only problem, all of her efforts to "bully" the heroine Alicia gets misinterpreted into Alicia thinking of Mary as her best friend.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Unexpected is a variation of this formula: Manhua artist He Jie was trapped in the world of his romance manhua series, A Crystal Love. He can only return to Earth if he can redeem Lu Zixing, the villainess of the series.

  • Doctor Elise: Jihyun, a modern Korean woman who is working as a master surgeon, is reincarnated as Elise de Clarence who has a reputation for being a horrible and selfish lady who eventually ruined the kingdom, which would make Elise a typical "Villainess" in personality. The twist is that unlike the common variants of this trope, Elise is actually Jihyun's first life rather than second, before being reincarnated again as Elise, making this an Inverted Trope. So Jihyun reincarnating back as Elise again is seen as her second chance to fix all her wrongdoings in her first life.
  • How to Survive a Romance Fantasy: Three modern day Korean young adults who read a currently popular romance fantasy end up being reincarnated as the Heroine, Villainess, and the Love Interest Male Lead of the romance fantasy novel respectively. However, seeing all the problems that they have to deal with if they follow along with the plot, all three decide to leave and ditch the plot on their own accord. Hilarity Ensues as the story as they knew it officially goes Off the Rails, as the main characters all left before the plot could actually start.
  • Miss Not So Sidekick: The main character dies and is reincarnated as a minor villain in a romance novel. She plots to befriend the hero and stay safe till her doom flag passes by, but she ends up getting noticed by the heroine's love interests.

  • Beware the Villainess!: The main character dies and is reincarnated as the villainess of a romance novel, where the beautiful commoner protagonist is being pursued by four male "targets". However, later into the series, the villainess instead opts to protect the heroine from the four men, who are each Secretly Selfish and have a dangerous obsession with said heroine.
  • Even Though Im The Villainess Ill Become The Heroine: The main character is reincarnated as Dahlia Margaret, a wicked character fated to meet an early demise. To make matters worse, the protagonist of the novel bears a suspicious resemblance to the classmate who tormented Dahlia in her previous life, meaning that in addition to saving her own life, Dahlia is now driven by the desire to get revenge on her former tormentor.
  • Everything Was A Mistake: The protagonist is reborn as Durua Valrose, a villainess who is destined to die at the hands of the male protagonist. Determined to change her fate, she tries to befriend him, but then suspects that he may become a villain himself.
  • The Evil Ladys Hero: The main character is reborn as Yunifer Magnolia, the heroine's former best friend until her love for the male lead turned her into a villainess and lead to her death at the hands of the Crown Prince. To stay safe, she decides to avoid all the main characters of the novel, but things become more complicated when she has a drunken encounter with the male lead.
  • I Became The Villains Mother: The protagonist is reincarnated into her favorite novel as Duchess Roselia Chade, Wicked Stepmother of Einspanner Chade, the evil mastermind destined to kill her. At this point in the story, however, Ein is still just a child yet to reach his cruel awakening, and so Roselia is determined to stop him from becoming a ruthless killer.
  • I Dont Want To Be Empress a.k.a Empress!? Empress!!: The protagonist is reborn as Leana, the empress consort who became jealous of the heroine of the novel and was imprisoned forever after trying to kill her. Determined not to make the same mistakes as her antagonistic story character, Leana vows to stay on the emperor's good side, but for some reason things in the story keep changing, and she has to try and get them back on track.
  • Kill the Villainess: The protagonist is reincarnated as Eris Miserian, the villainess in a romance novel. Finding her new life worse than her old one, she becomes desperate to escape the novel and return to the real world, even if it means dying in the novel, and sets off on a journey with the help of a witch, a knight, and a high priest to find a way back to her friends and family.
  • Little Tyrant Doesn't Want to Meet with a Bad EndOriginal name: A Gender Flip manhua version of the Trope Codifier. The main character was a 20 year-old university student until he died in a traffic accident and transmigrated as Roel AscartOriginal name, the main antagonist of a Dating Sim he once played. Like in Hamefura, he is reborn 10 years before the events of the game, and takes this opportunity to figure out how to avoid his death flags. He can also earn "affection points" and access an in-game shop to purchase bonus items with large amounts of money or affection points.
  • The Villainess Is A Marionette: The main character is stabbed to death and is reincarnated as Kayena, a foolish, haughty, and wicked woman from a romance novel she read in her previous life. Realizing that the original Kayena was used as a chess piece by her younger brother to secure his throne and then killed by her crazy husband, she sets out to change things so that she doesn't meet the same fate.
  • The Villainess Is Retiring: The protagonist dies in a plane crash and is reincarnated as Yveria, the novel villainess who attempted to murder the heroine of said book. She decides not to avoid her fate of exile, believing that she could lead a lazy life from that moment onward, but is sent to an estate in the North. In danger of freezing to death, she calls the Great Demon of Fire to start a fire, but learns that by summoning him, she has made a life contract with him, meaning that he must stay by her side for the rest of her life.
  • What It Takes To Be A Villainess: The protagonist accidentally drowns and wakes up as Satiana Altisee Kaylon, a rude, greedy and spoiled woman who constantly antagonises the heroine. Coming to terms with her new life as sole daughter of House Kaylon, Satiana vows to repair her bad reputation, but when she is chosen as candidate for the next empress, she finds she must become a cold-blooded villainess to win her royal seat by the crown prince or her new family will face grave danger.

    Web Original 
  • Demon Queened adds a Gender Bender twist to the formula. The protagonist casts a spell which will allow her to become the Demon Queen, but flubs the last line and awakens memories of her past life as a bag boy. Armed with new memories, she realises that she has been reborn as the villainess of a porn game, and has less than a year until the heroine comes for her head. Now she has to either find a way to save her people, defeat the heroine or escape the tower.
  • Lady Wants to be a Farmer: A female farmer is reborn as Lata, the sidekick of the villainess in the last novel she read before her death. Trying to keep out of trouble and enjoy her new life, she finds herself unable to do so due to any attempt by her to do even a little farming getting thwarted by her new family. Then she remembers that, in the book, Lata was stripped of her noble status and exiled to the countryside as punished for her actions, so if she follows the plot of said book she'll be able to escape her current life and farm to her heart's content. Downplayed in that Lata is the villainess's sidekick, not the villainess herself.