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

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  • Adorkable: There is something simply refreshing and endearing about Catarina's sweet and outgoing personality, lack of aristocratic pretense, and her sheer cluelessness as to the positive effects she has on everyone around her.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • In-Universe example. To many of her close friends, Catarina acts like she's gone mad after her bump on the head. Though the truth is known to the viewer, the idea of insanity is reinforced by the council of alternate personas (some of whom appear from nowhere) she regularly maintains to review events.
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    • What motivated Mary's decision to step aside and let Alan get together with Maria in the good ending to Alan's route? Was it selflessly accepting her beloved's decision? Was it because she couldn't bring herself to object despite being unhappy with the outcome? Or was it because her feelings for Alan weren't nearly as strong as her feelings for Catarina in the main series?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Geordo is very popular in Japan, with him being the most favored and most marketed choice for Catarina over there. He's much less liked in the West due to his questionable behavior around Catarina and recurring lack of regard for her boundaries, which bothers Westerners more than it does Easterners (who are more inclined to handwave extreme physical imposition by males as just how romance is supposed to work).
  • Awesome Music:
    • Both the opening and the ending of the anime are simply amazing.
    • The piano solo Alan plays for Catarina in Episode 6 is beautiful to hear, as heard here.
  • Broken Base:
    • The story after the official "game end" is mostly a rehash of plots from the first two volumes mixed with general silliness and worldbuilding, which has split the main fanbase in two. One side thinks that this is a major disservice that just drags things out and introduces less-interesting new characters, while the other side enjoys seeing more of the comedy and Catarina's wholesomeness, see the new story as different enough to not be a complete rehash, and find the new characters entertaining enough to get invested in. Consequently, the same differing opinions reappeared regarding the announced second season that will adapt Volume 3 and beyond, with one side happy about it, while others wish it stayed one season.
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    • While initially the fandom was united on enjoying the story, even if a decent chunk of the fanbase felt miffed about the route later volumes went, with the introduction of the Verge of Destruction spinoff, especially after it started Growing the Beard, the fandom gained a massive split between those that like the main story more, those that like VoD more, and those that enjoy both. The split comes from the fact that Verge of Destruction takes a much more serious turn than the main story, as Catarina being a massive bully to everybody before regaining her memories around the start of the game means that not only is her "doom" a genuine possibility, the rest of the cast aren't immediately deeply in love with her and retain their game personalities. Those that prefer the main story see VoD as way too serious and not as entertaining, those that prefer VoD see the main story as too boring and formulaic, while those that enjoy both either simply see each of them as good ways of telling two different versions of Catarina's life or VoD being the "Hard Mode" or "New Game+" of the main series story, justifying their different tones.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • There is a lot of this going on, considering how many suitors Catarina has. Keith and Mary have many detractors, due to the possessiveness of both and the manipulativeness of Mary in particular; some fans also see Nicol and Maria as too passive and/or bland and Sophia as too "needy" or "fake"...but no one gets it as much as Geordo. He is considered, both in and out-of-universe, to be the biggest threat in the harem, since he is the crown prince (with all the influence and privilege that entails), is arguably just as smart and manipulative as Mary and just as possessive as Keith, and is practically standing at the finish line as Catarina's legal fiancé. Fans who ship someone else, don't like heterosexual shipping, or just don't like Geordo want him out of the picture.
    • The only character who largely avoids this reaction is Alan, who is instead considered an Ensemble Dark Horse. This is largely because he is the last of the main cast to realize his feelings for Catarina, has amazing onscreen chemistry with her, has relatable and interesting character flaws and development, and is too earnest and sincere to resort to the same scheming/manipulation as half of the other cast.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Anne is absolutely adored by almost all of the readers/viewers, especially after her Day in the Limelight that showed exactly what Catarina means to her, with her utter devotion to Catarina, tragic-turned-uplifting backstory, and snarky attitude making her a very compelling character. Many are hoping that she eventually gets a bigger role in the story.
    • Alan experienced a massive surge in popularity due to the anime. His friendship with Catarina, where the two maintain a Friendly Rivalry and also their one-on-one interactions made viewers look upon Alan as a classic case of "best friend turned lover". His denseness regarding his feelings for Catarina, giving them a big thing in common, also endeared him to many viewers.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • Catarina's friends and family learning about her past life/Fortune Lover, often ending with them reassuring Catarina that they would never kill or exile her.
    • Catarina becoming homesick for her past life, becoming melancholic and sometimes includes her having an emotional crisis over forgetting her past self's name.
    • OG!Catarina fics, i.e., stories about the Catarina of the in-universe otome game Fortune Lover. Despite being a bully, OG!Catarina seems to suffer rather excessively in the story of Fortune Lover—light novel/anime protagonist Catarina even notes that she's treated far worse than any of the other love rivals—to the point that many fic authors write stories where OG!Catarina redeems herself without needing memories of her past life/meta-awareness of Fortune Lover's plot line, such as a Peggy Sue after she suffers one of the bad ends that lead to her death. The premise also lends a bit more dramatic weight, since OG!Catarina is deeply flawed compared to her isekai self's unrelenting kindness and goodness.
    • Sophia regaining her memories as Atsuko Sasaki AKA Acchan, either partially or completely, through a variety of means.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Episode 8's A Tale By The Name of Desire Tome of Eldritch Lore has generated a lot of fanfics.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: While the novels are still ongoing, a subset of fans would rather pretend that the story has already ended at the end of volume 2, where the end-of-the-school-year banquet happened and Catarina mistakenly believed that this was the friendship ending, due to believing that this is already the perfect end and anything beyond that is just meaningless milking a dead cow. The fact this is where the original web novel ended, with the light novel story mainly continuing because the original got so popular the author decided to keep going, only made these feelings stronger.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • There's a massive yuri audience that genuinely want Maria and Catarina to end up together. It helps that Maria is already considered to be the strongest romantic rival of the harem.
    • On the hetero side, while the preferences are a lot closer than with the girls, a growing number of fans find themselves rooting for Keith, as he's the romantic rival who best understands how Catarina thinks (which still isn't all that much), along with him being a bit more noticeably Adorkable than the other guys. There's also the fact it has a hint of Incest Yay to it.
    • Over in the yaoi fandom, the favorite ship is Keith / Geordo, since their stronger connections to Catarina have them interacting the most among the guys, along with their constant bickering over Catarina making excellent Belligerent Sexual Tension fuel.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: On the flipside to Geordo being less liked, the girls are more popular in the West than they are in Japan, due to the West generally taking girl-on-girl relationships more seriously than Japan (who tend to subscribe to the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship model instead).
  • Growing the Beard: In the Verge of Destruction spinoff, Catarina seems to build up her relationships with Maria, Geordo and Mary quite easily, leading to complaints of It's the Same, Now It Sucks!. Initially, the only difference between the two series was Sienna, someone who wouldn't give a second thought to the Catarina of the main series but is her friend in VoD. However, when Keith debuts, he makes it clear that he has no intention of forgiving Catarina for bullying him for years, breaking the previous trend and showing that Catarina's past actions have consequences for her.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Catarina and Sophia becoming friends gains an extra level of sweetness after the reveal that they were also best friends in their previous life and that the latter's greatest wish after the former's death was for them to be reunited.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Jeannie Tirado, Catarina's English voice, also played the role of another character who was obsessed with sweets.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Readers have had this opinion of Verge of Destruction (along with They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot). Its premise is that Catarina has bad to nonexistent relationships with the core cast and is thus more at risk of her bad endings, but she quickly built up her relationships with many of them, causing the story to pan out to be similar to the original work. Luckily, the introduction of Keith has begun to make more use of the premise, with him absolutely having no intentions of forgiving Catarina for her past actions.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Shortly after the show became popular on Crunchyroll, word-of-mouth began to spread about its "Mixed-Gender Harem" premise. The show garnered a lot of praise for not only building a likable harem of both men and women, but writing a character cute and lovable enough to make their charisma believable. A lot of people who never would have given the show a shot, or would have written it off as "just another isekai", became fans after learning of this premise.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Considering what half of the premise is, this was inevitable. Alongside her actual love interests, Catarina is shipped with almost every other character in the cast that has any meaningful interactions with her, whether the other character has actual romantic interest in her or not.
  • Les Yay: There are a lot of romantic hints involving women throughout this story, both through subtext and straight text, the majority of which involves some of the other female cast showing varying levels of attraction to Catarina. While there are at least three girls that are fully in love with her without any doubt, many of the other women that haven't proclaimed love for her still get a number of scenes that can be inferred as romantic.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "This is what happens when you max Charisma and dump Intelligence." Explanation 
    • Denser than a Black Hole Explanation 
    • Serious Dick.note 
    • "Catarina only has five brain cells." Explanation 
    • "Mary has water magic, but she's still somehow thirsty."note 
    • Geordo's many names. note  Geord-dude is a popular spinoff.
  • Narm: As mentioned under Memetic Mutation, the fact that Sirius Dieke's name is pronounced "Serious Dick" becomes unintentionally funny, especially since he's most often referred to by his full name when the cast doesn't call him by his title of Student Council President. It gets even worse when he turns out to be an antagonist. Thankfully, it's not his real name- the "Sirius" we know is actually Raphael Walt, who's pretending to be Sirius- but one has to wonder what Marquess and Marchioness Dieke were thinking when they named their child Sirius...
  • One True Threesome: Beyond some fans that want a full harem ending, the sheer number of viable love interests provides a near-infinite number of possible combinations. Catarina/Geordo/Keith is seen as an alternative for the yaoi fandom which sees their rivalry for Catarina as Belligerent Sexual Tension, and by others as well, since those two are the closest to Catarina amongst the boys. Catarina/Geordo/Alan also gets attention for the Incest Yay and Twin Threesome Fantasy vibes. Catarina/Mary/Alan and Catarina/Sophia/Nicol are also popular, since Mary and Sophia are still close to their former love interests even after falling for Catarina, with some fans believing Sophia is secretly trying to achieve the latter ending by pushing Catarina to marry her brother. Catarina/Maria/Mary gained support after episode 8, where Maria was shown to be just as kind to Mary as she is to Catarina. Catarina/Mary/Sophia is also popular among those shippers since they are all childhood friends and romance novel enthusiasts. And then there are some that don't involve Catarina at all, such as the Catarina-less "full yaoi" (Geordo/Keith/Alan/Nicol/Raphael) and "full yuri" (Mary/Sophia/Maria), which is popular amongst the people that see Catarina as asexual.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: While being one of the forerunners of the "otome game villainess" sub-genre of isekai, by the time HameFura received anime adaptation, that sub-genre was so oversaturated itself, the notion of "fresh breath into overdone cliches" was long gone due to countless copy-cats. However, this only applies if one is familiar with similar manga and light novels, while in anime format it maintains its "fresh" status.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Fans of any yaoi combinations will also encourage the yuri ones as well, since the two are not mutually-exclusive and actively gets Catarina out of the way of their boys-love ships.
    • People who ship Catarina with any of the conquer targets will thus also ship the rival pairings as well; for example, shipping Alan/Mary and Nicol/Sophia gets four rivals out of the way for Geordo, Keith, Maria or Raphael.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Anne and Mrs. Campbell have begun picking up traction as a pairing in fanfics despite the two of them never once interacting in the source material. Them both being supportive family figures of the main cast whose lives have been greatly improved thanks to Catarina's efforts is likely a good contributing factor.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • The series drew in a massive yuri fandom who don't really like the pairings with Catarina and her male suitors.
    • There's a vocal hatedom for Keith/Catarina due to a growing subsect which sees the Incest Yay Shipping unfavorably despite being Not Blood Siblings; Keith is the illegitimate child of one of Catarina's father's relatives, so he and Catarina are distant relatives. On the other hand, there may be some Values Dissonance in this, as Japanese society is more likely to find their relationship acceptable, both due to viewing people's relationships with family as tied to their birth parents and the fact that being adopted and then marrying into a family has been an accepted practice for centuries.
  • Signature Scene: 8 year-old Catarina grabbing a battleaxe and breaking down the door to Keith's room to apologize for worrying him.
  • Squick: Some viewers were disgusted by Geordo kissing Catarina while she was asleep (or to be more accurate, in a dark magic-induced coma) in Episode 11, although in context, he was trying to help get water to her lips.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Fans of the light novels were not pleased by many of the overtly Les Yay scenes (in particular, Maria's rescue from the storehouse) being severely toned down, downplayed or cut entirely in the anime, especially when the gender-equality of the harem is one of the story's biggest selling points.
  • Values Dissonance: Keith's initial adoptive family doesn't consider him to be fully part of the family, with the light novels mentioning that he wasn't allowed to call his adoptive parents "Mother" and "Father," and had to be deferential to his adoptive brothers. Even though that is shown to be an abusive household, he still calls Katarina's parents "Duke Claes" and "Madam Claes," and is surprised when Catarina insists that he call her "Sister." This would come off as unfair to Western audiences, but seems to be at least partly born from Japanese attitudes toward adoption, and partly due to how a medieval society like the kingdom of Sorcier would view illegitimate children.
  • What an Idiot!: Maria gets into the Magic Academy despite being a commoner, is one of the top students in her grade, possesses a rare talent for light magic, and, in the original game, ends up winning the hearts of high ranking nobles and even princes. Unsurprisingly, some of the commoners in her home town, as well as her noble schoolmates, are jealous.
    You'd Expect: Them to realize that Maria is likely to become a powerful and influential individual with a similarly high-status husband, and that it might not be a good idea to get on her bad side.
    Instead: They bully and spread rumors about her.
    The Result: While Maria doesn't retaliate against her bullies, her love interests end up bailing her out of trouble. In the game, bullying/trying to kill Maria gets Catarina exiled or killed in routes involving her, which suggests that she was somewhat stupid even before hitting her head.
  • Win the Crowd: When first announced, a lot of people wrote off the series as another cheap isekai harem knockoff with a silly premise. However, when it debuted in Spring 2020, a lot of people were won over by the extremely sweet and wholesome story and characters, along with the extremely novel gimmick of a mixed-gender harem. Word of mouth quickly spread from there and, combined with the fact that the series was unaffected by the scheduling delays many other anime had suffered due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it turned out to be massive success.
  • The Woobie:
    • Almost every one of the named characters for the game besides Catarina was a woobie in some form, with several of them being ostracized for things out of their control, likely deliberately done by the game developers to get players invested in each of the characters. A big part of the story, besides Catarina avoiding her "doom flags", is her helping heal the wounds of everybody around her and making their lives happier, rescuing them from this status.
    • This is even worse in Verge of Destruction, because Catarina regained her memories while already at school instead, meaning that all of the woobies in the game are still that way in the story, but amplified further because Catarina is a woobie as well. Despite earnestly trying to make up for what she did before, nobody besides Maria and Geordo believe her change of heart, and her relationship with Keith seems broken beyond repair, shattering her dreams for a younger sibling to love and breaking her heart.


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