While romance-focused isekai anime are some of the most popular types of “other world” fantasies, isekai showcasing positive LGBT+ themes still remain few and far between. However, the upcoming anime I’m in Love With The Villainess is looking to help correct the trend with an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable story that’s sure to be a hit with fans.
I’m in Love With the Villainess is one of the most anticipated anime of the year. Scheduled to premiere on October 2, 2023, in Japan, the official I’m in Love With the Villainess website recently dropped a brand-new PV promoting the series. The trailer gives fans a detailed look at the anime adaptation of the light novel.
If that wasn’t enough, the PV teases short segments from the anime’s opening and ending songs. The opening theme song, Raise Y/Our Hands!!, and ending theme song Optimum Combination are performed by the anime’s main cast members Yu Serizawa, who is the voice of Rei, and Karin Nanami, who plays Claire.
A Love Story That Subverts Every Expectation
I’m in Love With the Villainess follows Rei Ohashi, an average officer worker with a penchant for unwinding after work by playing video games. Her favorite game is Revolution, an otome game where the heroine’s main goal is to romance one of the many princes attending the Royal Academy. One day, after dying from overwork, Rei wakes up in the games as the Ray Taylor, the character she would play in the game. In an unexpected twist, Ray forgoes romancing the male characters of the game. Instead, she decides to pursue Claire Francoise – the main antagonist of the game.
This new anime is a unique combination of yuri romance and traditional isekai storytelling. Outside that gateway incentive to watch I’m in Love With the Villainess, there’s also the fact that the show is a legitimately great LGBT+ rom-com. First, there’s the essential “love at first sight” element. Ray is interested in Claire as a fan from the real world, but once she becomes a part of the game’s story Ray falls hopelessly in love. She needs no time to think or consider her situation. From the start, Rei/Ray knows Claire is the one for her without really knowing her personally. Second, there is the comedic aspect of how Ray knows that Claire is her soulmate, despite the fact that she knows she’s the bad guy. While every other otome game-inspired anime, the protagonist is choosing among the many male characters, Ray is after the person meant to be her biggest rival. As such, there’s a necessary rom-com element of opposite attraction and the funny complexities that often develop as a result.
A Unique Isekai Experience
Perhaps the most important element of making I’m In Love With The Villainess so compelling is the original creator, Inori’s, thoughtful presentation of a same-sex relationship. Inori delicately addresses the very real relationship struggles between Ray and Claire, tackling their differences in personality and the fact that same-sex relationship options weren’t “programmed” into the game. Naturally, I’m In Love With The Villainess offers a unique look into a sapphic love story, while still being an infectiously fun rom-com. The fact that it openly explores yuri themes an isekai makes it something unique and worthy of a viewing.
Source: I’m In Love With The Villainess