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My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10

My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10 – Quick Summary

In My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X episode 10, “Keith Disappeared… Part 2,” Catarina, Maria, Larna, Gerald, and Sora continue their search for Keith. The magic bear, Alexander, wasn’t much help finding Keith. However, he developed quite a dislike for Catarina. A tiny magic teddy bear can’t do anything bad to Catarina — right? Meanwhile, one of Keith’s captors, Sarah, decides to go above and beyond the original mission of the kidnapping. She begins to conduct dark magic experiments on Keith. Can he withstand those experiments? Will Sora ever let Gerald and Catarina have a quiet moment together? And can Larna market the new cell phones she invented using wind magic?

More importantly: Are they advertising for a spin-off series where the characters visit local restaurants? Because they’ve sure done that a lot lately! I almost thought I was watching the Catarina equivalent of Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Introductions

Before we get into that, I want to say hi to Irina and Karandi! How have your weeks been?

I’ve had a good week. Super busy and I’m currently half-way across the state hoping we don’t go back into lockdown as I had to travel for work, but it also means I get to do a bit of shopping and hit a sushi restaurant so I’m pretty happy. The next few days will be hectic as I try to get some work stuff done as well as enjoy being in the city for a bit.

I’ve had a decent week as well. Monday is off and it’s going to be my first vacation since January. I am very much looking forward to it. In fact, It’s Saturday morning and I’m already all relaxed and stuff.

I have not been having great luck with closing arcs lately. I hope the last episode of  My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X gets to be something other than the kidnapping arc. In 12 episodes we have had two major kidnappings, half the series was that. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a kidnapping anime. This could be a new genre.

Review of My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10

Sora Blocks for Mary!

The episode mostly concerns the Search for Keith. Gerald tried to use every opportunity to get closer to Catarina, like buying her a frame that looked like it had once held a mirror. Catarina had thought it charming, though Gerald didn’t see why. Still, he bought it for her, but when he tried to get close to her, Sora pulled them apart. That’s when Sora confessed that a certain unnamed person whose name started with “M” and ended in “ary” contracted with the Department of Magic to keep Catarina safe. Which is to say, safe from Gerald. Poor guy can’t get a break!

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10: I would not want to face Mary in a scheme-off

Mary is frighteningly thorough! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

And how oblivious is Catarina when Gerald is obviously displeased about Sora’s interruption and they have a whole conversation about Sora’s purpose and then Catarina is just happily babbling about the gift she’s just received. Like, learn to read the room.

Then again, that’s all part of Catarina’s charm though in this particular case she felt even more dense than her usual self. 

She was also pretty inconsistent about how her worry was manifesting for Keith and while the moments when we saw her missing him were sweet, the rest of the time it was like “Keith, who?”.

This episode feeds into the flanderization I noticed again. I was really surprised that Catarina was distracted enough to sort of go shopping and just be generally happy for the most part. Until the end of the episode she really only thought about Keith missing because he wasn’t there to save her from overeating or to listen to her talk about her day. That’s not the Catarina that tore down a door as a child just to make sure her brother was not sad.

As for the love triangle. I’m sorry K, I know you love Sora but since he reformed, I think he’s the dullest suitor yet. I personally would have preferred if they cast one of the existing harem members as a viable alternative. Any one of them really but I think Mary would have been the funnest to watch. Not that I have an issue with them adding someone new but Sora isn’t doing it for me. Everything that set him apart has been set aside. I don’t see why any of the others could have created exactly the same scenes we saw this week only more interesting because they have pre-existing relationships with Gerald (is it just me or do they call him Geordo?)

Mary Confesses… Again

After a fruitless day of searching, Maria and Catarina ended up alone in their room. Larna had gone off somewhere (to test her new cell phone, which we’ll get to in a minute). Maria, without forgetting the seriousness of their mission, still couldn’t hide how happy she felt spending time with Catarina. She even went so far as to say that it was thanks to Catarina that Maria had any friends at all — or had such a happy life. Maria asked if she could stay by Catarina’s side forever. And Catarina said, “Sure!”

Probably not an official proposal, but it really was a tender moment! Though both of them sounded pretty sincere about the forever part…

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10: Maria's honest adoration of Catarina is so sweet it's almost painful

The artists really captured Maria’s adoring eyes in this shot. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’d actually almost forgotten why Maria was with them on their mission until the end of the episode where we finally got reminded of her purpose.

And yes, once again, a character is earnestly confessing their feelings to Catarina and she’s more or less unaware of it. 

If I’m being honest, if Catarina were a male harem lead and he were this dense, I’d have gotten supremely frustrated with him by now. Though, nearly at the end of two seasons, Catarina is starting to wear a little thin for me and without Mary, Alan, Nicol and Sophia around to break things up I was kind of feeling this episode was a little lacking in the fun department.

Though maybe that’s being petty. One of the characters has been kidnapped and is being used for magical experimentation so fun probably wasn’t the tone they were chasing. Villainess is better when it does just do fun though.

I had also forgotten about Maria being there. And I also agree with Karandi here. I’ve said it before, I like  My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! When it’s being goofy. Not that the show couldn’t in principle inject some serious drama and be very good but it’s not really been my experience with Villainess.

This season, there were a few quite serious themes introduced but they all seem to have gotten dropped and in the end were mostly used to simulate character development in a way that doesn’t really work for me. 

Which is why I hope they find Keith next week and everything goes back to normal so that for the final episode they can do silly makeovers or go back to the fantasy house or we can have a bonkers episode from the PoV of a minor character who has misinterpreted everything and thinks Nicol is an evil overlord and Catarina is a gold digger or something. One of those soft alternate universe episodes to end on a fun note.

Larna’s Parallel Search

Larna had ducked out to try a new magic device using wind magic. It was the same size as a cell phone, but it had green glowing crystals. Didn’t look at all comfortable to hold up to one’s face! She used it to talk to Sirius, and we learned that the Department of Magic knew all along Keith had been kidnapped. We also found out that — contrary to what it looked like during the previous episode — Keith’s parents had launched their own search. I was kind of relieved.

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10: Larna proves cellphone reception is bad everywhere

Apparently, it’s hard to get a signal sometimes even with wind magic. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Me too. Yay parents who aren’t just leaving this all to their clueless daughter. Though, it makes you wonder why let Catarina wander around at all if they know how dangerous the current situation is.

I don’t know if you remember the wand cellphones in Grancrest. I loved those things. They just created the most hilarious visual. It’s too bad Villainess didn’t go that route. I always loved seeing them try to use those things without looking utterly ridiculous (and failing).

Larna didn’t want to tell Catarina and the others yet until she had gathered more facts. I get their reasoning, but injecting a little more urgency into the search would not have hurt! I mean, they spent a lot of time eating and drinking tea!

Oh yeah. And Larna had one particular line this episode that really bugged me. It was when she was wishing they’d find Keith soon, for Catarina’s sake.

I was wondering just why does nobody seem to care about the danger Keith is in because Keith’s in danger. They are all more concerned with how Catarina is feeling. I get she’s the protagonist of this anime but wow. 

Poor Keith. While I’m still not wanting him to end up with Catarina, my new hope is that he survives his current predicament with his mind intact and then decides to start his own story far away from this lot.

Oh Keith is definitely the red headed stepchild. Even Geordo implied that the only reason he even wanted to save him (from possible death…) was because he was important to Catarina. At one point Maria mentions that she is having so much fun and is so happy, but she shouldn’t say that because poor Keith is missing and all I could think was, why not, everybody else is just having a grand old time and they’re not bothered by it.

But the characters are all a little off this season. And some of them didn’t really get any screen time at all. I think Nicol is really the one that got the best of it. His character was explored decently and seems to be consistent with the guy we already knew.

Catarina Invokes Villain Mode against the Cheeky Bear!

The episode treated us to a Catarina in Villain Mode Moment (CIVMM), which I always appreciate. Having grown tired of the “cheeky bear’s” attitude, she decided she’d cover him in sticky plant seeds to annoy him. Of course, she neglected to think of what would happen when she fell asleep… Fortunately, Gerald helped her out before Sora stepped in again.

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10: Catarina's villain face is a real treat

Villain Face might be Catarina’s super power. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Catarina in Villain Mode is great and honestly was the highlight of this episode for me. The bear’s retaliation was also suitably petty and honestly, this gets my vote for best moment of the episode.

I think the animators like drawing her like that. Those images are always the most detailed and nce to watch. I was surprised she held back and only added a few pricklies, I was worried for that bear.

Finally, we got to see how Keith was doing, and the dude has seen better days. He’s still holding on, but he has no idea why they kidnapped him or what their real goals are. Sarah, who’s the wide-eyed and very happy to be evil sort, said the goal was to pull him down from his lofty social status. Keith seemed honestly confused by that. He seems to see himself first as Catarina’s companion, and the social stuff is just there for window dressing. 

However, he’d attracted Sarah’s attention in the wrong way. She admired his strength of spirit, which she said would let him survive her evil magic tests. Which she then unleashed on him. He seemed barely able to hold on by remembering Catarina’s face. But he really didn’t look like he could hold out for long.

Can we start a campaign to save Keith quicker? 

Poor guy. I’m reminded of my comment last week when I pointed out that Catarina gets kidnapped and gets tea and cake. Keith gets kidnapped and is now the subject of magical experimentation.

Thankfully,  My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is not the srt of show that is just going to slaughter a main cast character like that. Probably… I hope. I’m a little fuzzy on how much time has passed but I think it’s been at least 3 or 4 days. He had already been missing overnight before they noticed. It’s good that nothing has happened to him yet.

This is the second time this season there’s an abstract suggestion of class warfare in the series. And for the second time, the less privileged class are presented as villains and dangerous criminals. 

And yes, I’m definitely reading too much into this. In fact I have been all post. It comes along with the territory of episode analysis. But I did think this little most likely unintentional commentary was kind of hilarious.

Sarah of the Purple Nimbus

Catarina and company arrived in the same city where the kidnappers held Keith, though they didn’t know that. After a fruitless day of searching, Maria seemed suddenly uneasy. Then she saw Sarah, glowing with malevolent purple fire. That reminded me that Maria could see dark magic, which very much interested Larna. Larna dashed off after Sarah, but the dark magic user had disappeared. That night, Larna clued everyone in. Sora and Gerald looked suitably stern and ready for action. But Catarina?

One of the things I like about comedies is how they can set us up for a really emotionally moment. Seeing Catarina look so lost and scared felt like a shock! Nothing gets to her. Yet, knowing Keith was in mortal danger and outside of her reach, she looked more terrified than I’d ever seen her.

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10: Catarina finally understood what had really happened to Keith

Catarina finally understands the stakes. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It was a good reaction from Catarina. Most of the moments when she was missing Keith were pretty solid emotional notes unfortunately the rest of the episode didn’t really do much this week and it all just feels like they are stretching this a bit (as you said, lots of tea and lunch breaks).

Are we certain Catarina isn’t just hungry in this scene? I kid! 

I have to admit I sort of zoned out at this point. So I really appreciate how descriptive your reviews are Crow. It helps readers not only to remember the episode but perfectly situate themselves in the moment you’re describing. That’s really cool.

Closing Thoughts

I think all of us thought we would see Keith’s rescue this week. At least I did! But that’s not what we got. So, what do you think we’ll see next week?

Next week is the second last episode so some sort of semi-climax maybe. Maybe we’ll rescue Keith or maybe they’ll find him just in time for him to lose his mind and go evil leading into a final episode where Catarina has to save her brother.

Right, I’m going to stop writing the plot and just wait and see what happens.

Like I’ve been saying, I hope we wrap up the arc next week. I don’t really know if we will but I am trying to manifest it through wishful thinking. My best predictions are that Keith will be rescued without any long-term damage being done and that the characters will go back to being as they were before.

Despite how deeply traumatic it would actually be to have your friend/brother kidnapped and tortured for days (or to be in that position yourself), I doubt it will have any impact at all on the characters. After all, they pretty much went back to normal after Catarina’s kidnapping. Everyone’s been way more rattled about the kiss. So I’m thinking that even though Keith’s kidnapping is much rougher, it will also be forgotten swiftly.

I just don’t know if we’ll have time for it this season or if it will have to wait for the next. We seem to have dropped the inheritance storyline and the new princes didn’t have much of a role after all. Do you think we’ll find out that Keith was somehow also in the running for the crown and that’s what this is really all about. Just to tie up all the loose plot threads a bit?

Guess we’ll find out in a week!

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6 thoughts on “My Next Life As a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X Episode 10

  1. I see I was right about Larna suspecting that dark magic was involved in Keith’s disappearance. I tend to be good at following plot points since I remember most if not all details in the shows I watch.

  2. Geordo’s bodylanguage recently suggested that he picked up on Keith being depressed lately, so I thought at least part of why he came along was because he was worried about his rival. There was even a scene, where Larna noticed something about him, I think, that made me think I’m on the right track. But this episode?

    And, yeah: “Listen, the bear pointed at that mansion, so we’ll go there… first thing in the morning.” Huh? After a hearty breakfast, I assume? Is there some sort of upperclass protocol in place? Why didn’t they go right away? Uncertainty and the fear to annoy important people without proof?

    Yeah, villain Catarina is great. I’ll take more any time.

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