The villainess genre is extremely popular among readers. Some of the manhwa are even getting Korean drama adaptations like The Villainess is a Marionette.
If you’re new to them, these manga/manhwa have a female lead reincarnated as a character in a novel they read or a game they played, and their character turns out to be a villainess. The FL will die if the story isn’t changed, so, she works hard to prevent her ultimate demise.
Though manhwa may be more abundant in the villainess genre, mangas aren’t lacking either. There are some really great manga with otome villainess manga with one of the most popular being My Next Life as a Villainess which has multiple anime seasons.
I personally recommend checking out the manhwa as well, here are my Best Villainess Manhwa Recommendations.
But, before you go, here are the 15 must-read villainess manga…
1. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
After she hit her head while playing, eight-year-old Katarina remembered her past life. She had died at just 17 years old from an accident but before that, she used to love playing an otome game called Fortune Lover, and it seems that she’s now actually inside that very game.
To make it worse, she was now Katarina Claes, the villain of the story who either dies or gets exiled. She needs a plan to dodge all the terrible endings of the game. First things first, she needs to break her engagement to the sadistic prince.
2. The One Within the Villainess
One day, Remilia passed out and a girl from the modern world named “Emi” took control of her body. She had reincarnated as the villainess Remilia who would be killed by the hero.
Emi made friends and tried to save every unfortunate character in the game, but it was all for nothing. The male leads betrayed her and she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit.
But, then, the real Remilia woke up. She had been inside her body all this time and saw everything that happened. It’s time for the real villainess to show herself.
3. An Observation Log of My Fiancée Who Calls Herself a Villainess
Cecil Alphasta is the perfect prince, but his talent and intelligence have made the world too boring for him. The only person who can entertain him is his fiancee Bertia.
The day they got engaged, Bertia declared that she was the villainess who will try to tear him and the heroine apart, only to be defeated by him. Every day, she does something more interesting than the day before.
He can’t make any sense of her at all, but maybe, he’ll observe her a little more.
4. Villainess Level 99: I May Be the Hidden Boss but I’m Not the Demon Lord
She used to be just another college student, but then, she was reincarnated in a game as the evil villainess Eumiella. Although she isn’t much of a villain at first, she ends up being the game’s final boss with her level comparable to the hero.
The gamer inside her is more fired up than ever, so she starts leveling and getting stronger, while also making sure, she doesn’t end up as the final boss.
In the Royal Academy, while other students are proud of being level 8 or 10, she turns out to be level 99. With great power, comes a lot of troubles.
5. The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess to Savior
The story follows Princess Pryde Ivy who, one day, suddenly remembered her past life. She is inside an otome game she used to play and according to the story, is meant to become the most powerful woman in the kingdom.
In ten years, she will ruin her kingdom, and the heroes would kill her. So, she decides to abandon the plot and help her sister, the heroine. Will she prevent her kingdom’s destruction? Can she go from being the villainess to the savior of the people?
6. I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss
Ever since she was a kid, Aileen has always had weird dreams of a life she can’t remember. But, the day her fiancee breaks off their engagement in front of everyone, her memories come back. She’s inside a game she used to play in her hospital bed, and, she’s the villainess!!
She immediately agrees to break the engagement, but her memories are far from complete. She can’t remember everything about the game but there’s one thing she knows, if she doesn’t do something about the story, she will die. So, she decides to marry none other than the final boss, Prince Claude.
7. My Lady Just Wants to Relax
Being worked to death, our female lead was reincarnated into a novel as the villainess Ronia. She knows her fate is to be exiled from the capital after the heroine frames her for crimes she didn’t commit, just to steal her fiancee, the crown prince.
But, she doesn’t do anything to stop it. She lets it all play out and once her engagement is broken, she leaves with a smile on her face. She opens a coffee shop in the countryside and many handsome beastmen start coming to her shop. The banished villainess just wants to relax and live a peaceful life!!
8. I’m in Love with the Villainess
After getting home from work, playing her favorite otome game became a routine for Rei, and one day, she finds herself inside that very game as the heroine.
But she’s not in love with any of the male leads, neither does she has to worry about the ending. She just wants to love her favorite character Claire, the main villain of the story. Claire always bullies her but she’s more than happy being stepped on by her.
It focuses more on comedy rather than drama or action. The female lead is a big masochist who’s always asking Claire to bully her harder, while Claire is too proud to stop now. I loved this manga and you should check it out as well.
9. Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter
Iris recently completed a game she’s been playing for quite some time now. While going home from work, she gets hit by truck-kun and is transmigrated into the body of the villainess Iris.
To make it worse, she wakes up at the worst moment possible. Her fiancee broke up with her for harassing the heroine and she gets sent to her family’s countryside house as punishment.
The FL is not stupid at all, which is honestly rare in these types of manga. The story handles everything very well from political issues to the fight for the throne.
10. Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte
Two high school students love playing a villainess game in which they’re trying to save the villainess instead of killing her.
Crown Prince Sieg hears strange voices out of nowhere. The voices tell him that his fiancee Lieselotte is meant to die because of her villainess nature, but, she’s not actually a bad person.
She’s what the voices call a “tsundere”, and her sharp tongue is just her way of getting out of embarrassing situations. After discovering her cute side, he makes it his mission to help her using the knowledge he gets from the voices. Will he be able to save her?
11. I’ll Become a Villainess Who Will Go Down in History: The More Villainous I Become, the More the Prince Dotes on Me
Every girl would want to be the heroine in a story but, our female lead wanted to be the villainess instead. After dying because of truck-kun, she reincarnates into the body of Alicia, her favorite villainess.
So, every day, she trains to become the best villainess possible. First, let’s start with learning sword fighting.
It’s a damn good manga with a bit of a childish FL and though it doesn’t have many chapters, you can go straight to the light novel if you like the story.