There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Beware the Villainess!.
Melissa Foddebrat is the villainess of the novel All the Men That Loved Her, but the Melissa we are following is not the actual Melissa from the story. Instead, she is a Korean woman who has somehow reincarnated into this novel. Having read the story herself and knowing that her fate is to suffer and die, Melissa is determined to defy the world she has been thrust into and forge her own path.
In doing so, she rescues the female lead from her own fate at the hands of the men who vie for her attention, earns the trust of her family and employees, and even befriends and gains the admiration of an abandoned werewolf. All the while, though, the main plot of the novel continues. Will Melissa actually be able to defeat fate? Or is she destined to fall?
Let me go ahead and get my art comments out of the way: the art is amazing. It isn't always gorgeous, but that is solely for the sake of comedy. Otherwise, it is so beautiful. This might be some of the prettiest art in manhwa I've seen thus far, though I look forward to the day I see something even better. If art is something you care about, you will be more than pleased with this particular series.
On the topic of comedy, it is important to me that I emphasize how hilarious this series is. I often find myself disappointed in comedy from manga, but manhwa has yet to disappoint me (The Makeup Remover was just as hilarious, too). When manhwa says it is a comedy, it doesn't play, and Beware the Villainess! is no exception. I laughed out loud multiple times, and I even recommended this series to my husband, who isn't big into romance. It is funny enough that even if the romance wasn't part of it, I think I still would have enjoyed it, which is such a satisfying feeling.
Now, on to the romance. We actually get a really nice selection of possible love interests; we get Yuri, who was super forward from the jump, which I often find is lacking in a female love interest. So I was super pumped about that. Then, of course, we have the banner love interest in Nine, who I rooted for the entire time because he is so endearing and played off really well with the strong, no-nonsense lead that Melissa is. Then, we end up with a few of the other male leads who were attracted to Yuri, the protagonist in the novel, but end up falling for Melissa (minus her brother, thank goodness) instead. Still, they don't get as much spotlight, which I was just fine with since Yuri and Nine were so strong already.
I think what made Nine and Yuri so successful as love interests, though, was because of how strong Melissa is. She defies all stereotypes when it comes to female leads in romances. She is powerful, blunt, rough around the edges, and isn't afraid to get ugly if it means achieving her goal. As a result, Yuri and Nine being much more delicate and demure characters just makes them so much more compatible with Melissa. I really would have been happy with her ending up with either of them, but I am ultimately so glad she ended up with Nine. Nine was set up so well. Melissa rescued him; he was healed by her and was even given a last name, which was taken from him by his family. My heart fluttered when Melissa proposed by offering him her surname. It was such a power move and so romantic. I loved seeing the female lead really taking control of the romance this time around.
Now, I usually try my best to provide some negatives at this point, just to balance out the review, but I am really struggling to come up with anything. This has been my favorite manhwa, thus far by far. If I had to nitpick something, I think it might have been nice to get more background on Yona. She was kind of built up to be more than she actually was by the end, though maybe the future side stories will clear that up. Even though that could be a negative, it isn't enough for me to really feel that strongly about it. I loved everything about this series so much.
Let me just be frank: I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THIS MANHWA. My favorite couple ended up together; it was actually hilarious; it was surprising and refreshing in concept and execution. I can't recommend this manhwa enough. It doesn't get much better than this if you love romance and comedy. As of writing this, there are also some side stories/special episodes coming out. I don't anticipate them messing anything up, so I am just going to go ahead and put my stamp of approval on this fantastic series.
Have you read Beware the Villainess!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!