Anime Comparison: Can a Villainess Really Beat a Princess?

Out of all the anime I’ve been watching, I recently noticed that two of them are very similar. They both feature main characters with flowing golden locks, who are trying to capture the hearts of their prince, and must navigate a treacherous royal landscape to find their happy endings. But to say that these two are interchangeable or that one is just a copy of the other couldn’t be farther from the truth. Though on the surface the series Bibliophile Princess and I’m The Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss are so similar as to almost be the same series, but once you watch even one episode of these two anime the differences couldn’t be more clear. Though the basic description of the main character’s appearance is the same, the character designs are vastly different and each anime’s artwork pairs well with it’s different stories. The background of each of the characters is quite different too, and the anime could even be considered to be in different genre. And the biggest difference is the frame of mind of each of the main characters.

Animation

Elianna and prince

When it comes to comparing the artwork of the two anime, it’s hard not to like Bibliophile Princess a whole lot more than I’m The Villainess . . . Bibliophile Princess is just plain pretty. From the highly detailed eyes to the more complex clothes designs to the lavish castle rooms, every moment of every episode is just wonderful to look at. It’s very hard not to adore the misty, watercolor painting look of the gentle animation at the end of each episode as the outro song plays. In contrast, I’m The Villainess . . . does look rather shonen-esque and low budget. The artwork reminds me a lot of Welcome to Demon School Iruma kun, with it’s highly contrasting color pallet and very very vibrant color schemes, far too many still frames, and very simplistic hair styles, clothes designs, and backgrounds. Though it’s certainly eye catching, the artwork of I’m The Villainess . . . just doesn’t look as polished or carefully crafted as Bibliophile Princess.

cast of I'm the villainess so I'm taming the final boss

Set Up

cast of bibliophile princess

The background of the characters that sets up the stories of Bibliophile Princess and I’m The Villainess . . . are quite a bit different from each other, in fact many fans might say that they are in two different genre and shouldn’t be compared at all. The anime Bibliophile Princess is a classic historic fantasy set in a European-esque kingdom in approximately the mid 1700’s. The main character Elianna is the daughter of a baron and part of a family known for their intelligence and are often advisers to the royal family. She meets the crown prince when they were both young and she had to defend some books in the royal library from the prince’s playful antics. Since then, they have been well acquainted with each other and have often read together or just hung out in the library (Elianna’s favorite place). Once Elianna became a teen, she became the prince’s fiancee.

In contrast, the anime I’m The Villainess . . . is an isekai in which a young woman dying in a hospital gets transported (assumedly after she passes away, but it doesn’t go into details) to the world of her favorite Otome game, but she is now in the role of the villainess Aileen instead of the hero.The world she is transported to is more of a fantasy location than an actual historical time or place. There are demons/monsters, plenty of magic, and sorcerers ect. The story begins as her fiance the crown prince is very publicly dumping her for the hero of the game in the middle of a party. (Seriously, who does that?!) Aileen doesn’t burst into tears or shrink away into the shadows, instead she begins plotting a way to also have a happy ending, and that just happens to include the demon lord!

aileen, demon lord and staff

Characters

elianna and books

Probably the biggest contrast between the two anime is the personalities of the main characters. And this is where I’m The Villainess . . . really shines! The main character of Bibliophile Princess is Princess Elianna, a quiet and unassuming book lover that believes that the only reason the crown prince asked to be her fiance is so he wouldn’t be forced to marry some stranger he didn’t know or like. She is a placeholder fiancee only, and all she has to do is hold that position until the prince finds someone he truly wants to marry.

In comparison, Aileen is a take action main character that isn’t going to let anyone step all over her, even if it’s prince charming or the virtuous hero! Though with an isekai set up like I’m The Villainess . . . , the anime does sound a lot like My Next Life as the Villainess, but those two anime quickly diverge. Because, while Catarina from My Next Life as the Villainess is quite sweet and innocent and is every bit a good girl hero in the story, Aileen from I’m The Villainess . . . seems to revel in being the villainess! She doesn’t try to make people believe that she’s really a sweet girl at heart, she just goes with the role she’s given in the world and makes it work for her! If that means seducing a demonic prince, poisoning a little demon crow, or stealing a holy sword from the hero of the game to get her happy ending, then so be it.

ainleen with chained demon lord

Conclusion

Though the anime Bibliophile Princess is a truly beautiful anime to watch with lovely character designs, charming voice acting, a solid world creation, and an interesting story, simply due to the main character that is so passive and so insecure, it makes it hard to like this series more than I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss. In contrast, the main character of I’m The Villainess . . . is so can-do, so take action, so not letting a crumby situation take her down, that it’s hard not to root for her. Even if the animation isn’t that great, the genre is kind of over saturated, and the background of the character is a little vague, this is such a likable series! And so in the end, yes, a villainess can beat a princess!

smiling vilainess

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