[Manhwa Review] Death is the Only Ending for the Villainess — Season 1

[Manhwa Review] Death is the Only Ending for the Villainess — Season 1

Art

This manhwa was beautifully drawn. The colors were vibrant and I liked what I saw so I kept reading. I hope this gets its own anime. 🙏

Who do I e-mail? Where do I sign up for an anime petition?

Plot

What is it about?

This manhwa was about a lady who was constantly tormented by her abusive half-brothers at home. Eventually, she was able to convince her father to send her off to a boarding school. It was her first taste of freedom or so she thought…

A trending reverse harem dating game took over her school. She downloaded it to see what the fuss was all about. Soon, she was transported into the game itself as Penelope Eckart, the villain. She entered the game on the most difficult stage where every move she made while playing it ended in Penelope’s death.

She must choose between her two step brothers, the prince, the slave knight and the magician as her “happy ending” in order to survive.

Is it unique?

It was an isekai story. We all know it meant a character is transported from one world to another. The main premise of the story wasn’t that unique but it was still interesting.

First off, there was a back story on who the main character was in her original world before she entered the game.

Second, the world building on the game and the back stories of the key characters in the game were brief and easy to follow.

What did I like?

I like that the MC had a strong sense of self. In most of isekai stories I’ve read, the MC assumes the character of the person they transmigrated into and acts in accordance to that character. Their individual values were not taken in consideration to the decisions they make through out the novel. That kind of stunt throws me off. I want a multi-dimensional MC.

This one was different. The fact that this MC had a story of her own brought another person’s perspective into the story. Semblance in the events of both the MC and Penelope’s life justified the empathy she felt for Penelope and actions she made in the game. There were two brains working in this manhwa. Penelope’s memories and the MC’s own decision-making skills. She had to adjust her strategies in order to survive

What were my favorite scenes? Why?

Strategizing on how to survive

I like a planner MC. In some of the isekai manhwas I’ve read, MCs tend to just wing it. Like ??? They have no plan whatsoever. (I’m looking at you Yeldriya and Xiao Yu An) I mean, if your life is literally on the line, you gotta stop playing it by ear. Right? Right? You grab a pen and paper and map out different ‘known’ scenarios.

I’m just saying… I love a smart cookie MC.

Being able to turn Emily into an ally

I hate bullies. Hence, I hate this maid. Sure, she had that change of heart but she deserved a heavier punishment. She intentionally poisoned a duke’s daughter. On top of that, she pricked Penelope with a needle every morning. WTF? At least, cane her for 10 strokes or something.

Anyway, I still love how Penelope was able to blackmail Emily and turn things around. She had to switch her strategy when it came to dealing with servants.

Demanding respect from that asshole butler

Same sentiments as the maid. I hate bullies. I hate that butler (forgot his name). However, justice in this scenario was well-served. Emphasizing her social status against the nobody butler was brilliant. It was as good as slapping the butler in the face.

The dining room scene

She stood up for herself. The Eckarts were watching but she threw all her cutlery on the floor and made a damn scene. I love this! The chef was fired without reference letter or compensation. It was enough.

Iklies’ fight scene during and after the slave auction

Damn! Iklies killed someone with his thighs. THIGHS. FOR. DAYSSS. YASSSSS! That’s my weakness when it comes to chicken or men. He’s a powerhouse even in shackles. I’m waiting for the day he doesn’t have to wear that damn collar anymore. I want more scenes with him in it.

The Attic screaming session with Reynold E.

Okay. I love this scene as much as I hate it.

On one hand, I hate that Reynold was jealous of Penelope seeing Iklies. Where the hell did that come from?! This whole Eckarts thing just does not make sense to me. BURN. THEM. BOTH.

On the other hand, I love how she stood up for herself. It was a rough start but she was able to air her grievances. It was heartbreaking to read the desperate measures she went through to survive.

What did I not like? Why?

The Crown Prince “garden incident”

I didn’t like it when she told the prince she was in love with him. I mean, c’mon. That was so out of character and it dumbed her down. She was so much smarter than that!

Anyway, that ‘confession’ was unexpected. Plus, let’s not forget he’s crazy. I look forward to the next meeting. I have a feeling this would turn out to be interesting.

The Eckart “likeability-o-meter” logic

Every single time her “likeability-o-meter” increases when she acts subservient. Granted she was doing that not because she is a pushover but for survival, it’s still fucking annoying. Ugh! I mean, there’s gotta be another way to increase ones likeability without acting inferior to this jerks. At the very least, she could just act diplomatic?

The Suddenly Protective Eckarts

Yes. The stepfather and the stepbrothers. First off, why? WHY? Where did this come from? They were abusive towards her. The servants were abusive towards her. These Eckarts knew about it and they tolerated it. So what changed? Was it because she’s been subservient recently? Was it because she stooped so low that they decided she was worthy of their affection, protection and attention? This did not sit well with me. It still doesn’t. Somebody, throw some logic in here.

The Eckart brothers scenes seemed forced to me. They were just treating Penelope nicely for the sake of having five men in the harem.

Maybe, some things were lost in translation. Maybe, I need to learn Korean. Who knows.

Characters

Was the MC likeable?

Yes, very much so.

What’s not to love? Penelope was the epitome of resilience. She had a bag of tricks all up in her sleeve in order to survive — apologizing, begging, blackmailing, lying, sneaking out and buying a slave knight. She never gave up on herself in both worlds. Not one bit of abuse got through her self-confidence. She thinks before she acts.

Did the plot provide sufficient challenge for the MC (be it a person or a situation)?

Seriously? On both worlds our MC suffered enough. But of course, there’s more to come.. God, I want to go inside the story and just hug her. She doesn’t even have a friend in the game world. All of these were weighing on her shoulders.

In most isekai manhwas, it’s always the game / novel “protagonist” who always turns out to be the real villain. Obviously, the real villain has to be Yvonne. We haven’t seen her shadow yet. She’s very well on her way and I can’t wait to meet her!

Thoughts on the harem?

Derrick Eckart

Ugh! This dude was evil in another way. He ‘took away’ the name Eckart from Penelope. He had snide remarks here and there because in his eyes she did not deserve to be in the family. His treatment of Penelope wasn’t as hostile as Reynold’s. Nevertheless, he was still a bully. The only time he started liking Penelope was when she started calling him ‘Young Master’. What the fuck was that all about? Was that the treatment he wanted from a kid who was supposed to be his stepsister? And after she acted submissive he started being nice? What a dick! For fuck’s sake! Let’s not be dismissive of abuse.

The Eckart brothers were traumatic for Penelope. Small acts of kindness here and there does not invalidate years of abuse. I want them out of the harem. Author-nim. Can you please do that?

Reynold Eckart

Ah, this spiteful piece of shit! He was the most confusing character. His actions towards Penelope were on the polar opposite level of inconsistent. It was obvious that he was filled with hatred towards Penelope because of Yvonne, his missing sister. Why didn’t he just stick to that? He framed up Penelope for stealing a necklace, ridiculed Penelope constantly for being a slave and made her feel that she never belonged there. Yet, he demonstrated some sort of affection by throwing out the maid who tried to poison Penelope, accompanying Penelope in the carnival and being jealous of Iklies. The thing is, it would be acceptable for me if a character had a conflicting emotions towards another character if and only if there was a valid reason. There wasn’t. The lack of logic threw me off for all of the Eckarts but he was the worst.

If they had that attic scenario earlier, his kinder treatment towards Penelope would be justified.

After the attic scenario, it does make sense that he would be way nicer to Penelope. He looked guilty. I still want him out of the harem. However, I want him to grovel for forgiveness or at least try to make up for every horrible thing he did to Penelope.

Crown Prince

Would you look at that! Here’s a crazy one! And quite frankly, he was an interesting addition to the harem. A dangerous and brash monarch who acts before he thinks? Yep, that one. That’s one heck of a wildcard. He’d probably either die for her or kill her. No middle ground. I have high expectations. I look forward to reading more about this homie. It would be such a cliche if Penelope ends up with him though.

Vinter Berdandi

We got a wizard! He’s the textbook second male lead — romantic, kind, smart and a nice guy. He sent the cutest tiny bunny to send a message to Penelope. Then again, if he was running an underground magic circle with the knowledge of the old kingdom magic, he’d make a formidable opponent or a worthy ally. In the game, he seemed to have an intention to take down Penelope. MCs have a way of turning foes into allies. While he’s part of the harem and an alliance was forged in the magic shop, there’s no telling what he’d do once Yvonne arrives. After all, he was the one who brought Yvonne to Penelope’s coming of age in the game. Hence, he’s also a wildcard for me.

Iklies

Oooh yes! A knight! I choose him. I’m sure he would be loyal. Penelope ought to show this man a little more love. My impression of the way he treated him in this season was she bought a 100-million-gold dog and left the castle servants to take care of him. Visiting him from time to time would make sense. I want to see him more often.

Overall Thoughts

I assume we’re still on the tip of the iceberg here. Yvonne was nowhere to be seen. The three harem dudes only kinda, sorta interacted with Penelope. This looks like a foundation of a hella long manhwa — at least a few hundred chapters. Eckart brothers were part of the villain squad not the harem.

In that regard, if she’s able to survive in this game, I don’t want her to go back to her real world. If she’s able to win the hearts of her adopted family (which transmigrated villain often do), I want her to live the rest of her living days as a noblewoman with servants tending to her every need. She deserved that.

I do have a feeling that somehow she would end up with the crown prince. In most manhwas, the MCs who gets transported as the “villain” always ends up marrying the person who was supposed to kill them.

If I remember correctly, for every scenario, the crown prince always ends up killing Penelope. So… here we are.

I’m curious as to what happened to the game version of Penelope. Did she swap lives with MC’s human body in the modern world? If not, what happened to the MC’s real body? I want to know what’s happening to the real world in parallel to the game world.

If her consciousness was transferred to the game, does this mean she’s on coma? Or did the “consciousness” of Penelope moved to the modern world? Or did her body evaporated together with her consciousness? I need to know.

I’m curious.. Can’t wait for season 2.

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