In last week’s review, I predicted that this episode was going to spin its wheels and wallow in Aileen’s heartbroken misery before ending with something causing her to regain her resolve and try to win Claude’s amnesic heart once more—that is the cliché for similar romance stories after all. But once again I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss has surprised me.
While clearly hurt by Claude’s subconscious rejection of her (and worried about the effect it had on the demons), Aileen is not one to curl up in a ball and cry. Rather, she has long since prepared to do things all on her own if needed. Due to her supreme self-confidence (read: inner villainess), she doesn’t need to be a princess or even a noble to make her own happy ending—and she knows it. That said, she can’t simply abandon the demons, especially when they are basically masterless and begging her to stay. Of course, that raises the question of whether that begging is indicative of something that the demons themselves want, instead of Claude’s own subconscious wants.
The big takeaway from this episode is the idea that nature matters much more than nurture when it comes to personality. Things like the way Claude sits and how he likes his tea have not changed even with memory loss. This goes for the women he’s attracted to as well. Lilia has been trying to seduce Claude with her “how can someone be so innocent and pure” act but that’s not the way to Claude’s heart. While that may have worked in the spin-off game where Lilia was the only potential love interest, what he really wants in a partner is someone who can call him on his BS—a woman of action who isn’t afraid to go wherever her heart leads her.
Aileen’s outburst at the end of the last episode showed him that she wasn’t trying to seduce him for her own personal gain. Rather it was because she truly cared about him—enough to lose control of her emotions when she felt hurt by him. This is what he means when he says he “wants to see her cry.” He wants a strong woman to care about him enough that she’ll show him her true feelings—to share not only her joy with him but her pain as well. And having gotten that, he immediately falls for her hard once again. And with a little help from Keith and Beelzebub, he learns the correct way to go after Aileen: pursue her as directly as she was pursuing him.
The rest of the episode is spent setting up the big climax of the series. Aileen is framed, the King orders an extermination of the demons, and Claude is captured to play the “princess” in need of rescue. On a surface level, it looks like Lilia holds all the cards. However, Lilia has made two major mistakes. The first is that the “game characters” are real people with their own thoughts and evolving personalities—they won’t dance to her tune forever. As for the second, well, she has forgotten once again that Aileen isn’t the heroine; she’s the villainess. And a villainess doesn’t need to play by any rules except her own.
• Of course, while going on the offensive might be the most direct way to Aileen’s heart, she doesn’t roll over for anyone. Hence the return of the duck mask.
• Oh look, obvious traitor is obviously a traitor. Who would have ever guessed?
• I continue to be baffled by the King and his mother’s motivations. Summary execution of a high-ranking noble without any time for a defense plus an impromptu war on the demons next door sounds like a real stupid plan if you want to stay in power.
• So, there are two holy swords? Interesting.
• Lilia is so close to realizing that she and Aileen aren’t the only “real” people in the world. But she just can’t make that jump even when she isn’t able to win Claude’s heart despite knowing all the supposedly correct buttons to push. After all, if she did so, she’d have to admit how big of a monster she truly is.
• I hope Rachael staying behind means we get to see her badass villainess moment instead of it simply happening off-screen.
• Aileen absolutely refuses to be the damsel in distress—regardless of any consequences that come about because of it.
• James, you complete dolt. You have wings. Jump off and go after her.
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Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.
Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.