School life brings new challenges, and Catarina has a fateful encounter with someone special!
Ah, the start of a new school year! Even for those of us far removed from that life, there really is nothing like the breath of fresh air it seems to bring to one’s year. New people, new challenges, and new… doom flags? Well, maybe that’s only in the case of Catarina! Welcome back to our recap of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! I’m Professor Nicole, and we’re here once again to study up on all the juicy moments and details of episode 4 before watching the latest episode today!
Last time, Catarina celebrated surviving childhood with a lavish party, while also cluelessly assembling quite the following of admirers. As she transitions into young adulthood and school life, will she continue to bumble through life and avoid doom? Or will this be the start of Catarina’s downfall?
**SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 4 AHEAD**
Catarina and Keith are prepared to leave home, but not without some final warnings from their parents (mostly for Catarina) that now was a time to grow and mature. Honestly, we don’t really see what the problem is with Catarina’s hobbies, but that’s nobility for you, I guess!
For Catarina, this is a change not just in her life, but also in her potential fate. While she worked hard during her childhood to put her knowledge (and dumb luck) to use in trying to avoid bad endings, the real test begins now at the magic academy, the setting for "Fortune Lovers."
We start off by getting our first inclinations about Maria, the real protagonist of "Fortune Lover," who seems to be your fairly traditional otome game lead: common birth, humble, and of course, born with a rare and unique magical gift. Typical protagonists, always with the rare gifts! Oh, right, I guess Catarina falls into that category too, huh?
The Council of Catarinas tries to take stock of what this new beginning will bring. Aside from Catarina being, well, a real person and not a programmed AI now, the rest of the world has also been changed by Catarina’s actions. What exactly will happen when the fated encounters occur—if they even do occur? The council seems at a loss but remains hopeful.
Catarina’s growing harem has changed as well, although she seems totally clueless as to why these changes are important. Geordo still has a somewhat dark heart but is no longer feeling oppressed by Catarina as it was implied he was in the game.
Keith has become an earnest and polite young man, although he certainly seems destined for an early grave if Catarina keeps putting him through so much stress! Keith doesn’t seem to be frivolously flirting it up with women at any opportunity, but his sister doesn’t give him a lot of downtime to do so, to be honest...
As we saw in episode 3, Alan has also changed quite drastically from the game, feeling a bit of an equal, brotherly rivalry with Geordo now instead of feeling taciturn and resentful. Of the entire cast so far, Alan seems the most openly changed, and even Catarina picks up on his changes!
Of course, that’s come with the added benefit of Alan’s relationship with Mary irrevocably changed. Rather than being interested in Alan, she’s quite obviously interested in Catarina! Alan seems to be interested in Catarina as well, so it doesn’t seem to bother him too much. Still, what ripple effect will such a change have? Only time will tell!
Finally, Nicol and his sister Sophia have become more prominent in Catarina’s life, whereas "Fortune Lover" originally saw the trio rarely interact. Nicol certainly seems to be the dark horse in this race, and we have yet to hear or see much out of him in regard to Catarina, so it will certainly be interesting to see what happens when—or if—he makes any moves!
Catarina seems obsessed with tracking down Maria, but failing to find her during orientation, she instead finds herself once again in the clutches of Geordo’s attempts to woo her back to his room. Of course, Geordo seems fairly smart, so he’s learned the best way to attract a stray Catarina: sweets!
Before that, though, we’re introduced to a new character: Sirius Dieke, the student council president. Honestly, I’m getting a weird vibe from this guy, so I’m very interested in seeing what develops with him in the future. Doesn't he seem a bit too perfect?
But who cares about that when sweets are in the picture? Of course, Catarina doesn’t really let anything bother her and instead finds herself chaperoned by Keith (such a good brother!) at Geordo's. She immediately loses interest in anything else and chooses to eat her fill of baked goods, instead.
WARNING: DOOM FLAG APPROACHING!
While Catarina stuffs her face, Keith and Geordo recount their run-ins with a mysterious new girl: the one and only Maria! Catarina, this is why you need to think with your brain, not your stomach!
Turns out there's one unexpected change from Catarina’s childhood: People in her social circle just seem to find people climbing trees totally normal. Frankly, it’s a little weirder for Maria than child Catarina, but, well, when in "Fortune Lover," make like the Fortune Lovers do!
In one of the more vexing parts of this episode, it seems our dear Bakarina can’t quite realize that Geordo (and others) aren’t at risk of being conquered by Maria because the game is no longer following the same script, and finds herself unable to sleep instead.
Catarina starts her first day of school by nearly giving Keith a heart attack, accusing him of trying to play pick-up artist with Maria. Pure, kind, sweet Keith. We’re so, so sorry you have to put up with such a blockhead of a sister! Jumping to immediate conclusions based on her faulty reading of the game again, Catarina nearly kills Keith with accusations of falling in love with a girl he has spoken to literally once. Come on Catarina! You even said he isn’t the same Keith earlier!
Thankfully, Catarina and Keith’s maid steps in with the assist, stopping this charade. At this rate, we predict poor Keith is going to die of high blood pressure in a year. Hang in there, Keith!
The fateful meeting finally occurs, however, as Maria and Catarina pass in the hallway to… not much fanfare, really. You’re being kind of a creeper, Catarina!
The Council of Catarinas is thrown into a panic as they find Maria as charming and wholesome as promised… except they need to make sure they don’t lose to her to survive! Of course, Catarina doesn’t seem to imagine just… not bullying Maria as the obvious solution here.
Determined to survive, Catarina revives her interest in farming, using a technicality in “flower” to find ways to grow some vegetables. Her maid gives quite the RBF here, to be honest, but I suppose if you’ve had to put up with Catarina’s antics this long, you’d probably feel the same way.
Of course, crops aren’t the only things Catarina is harvesting, as her entourage shows up to court her attention. Conveniently, all at the same time. Weird how everyone always shows up to pursue you at the same time, huh, Catarina?
Alan shows some amazing growth here in the episode, having matured into a fine young man who is no longer obsessed with inferiority complexes. Catarina, you should take more notice of how people act and feel, or maybe you wouldn’t have missed how much Alan’s changed from the game!
We finally meet the student council president up close... I don’t trust smiles like this one. I’ve seen enough anime and played plenty of games to know how this is gonna play out!
Catarina gets to spend time with Maria whenever she visits the student council room. And Maria immediately finds out Catarina’s weakness: baked sweets.
Catarina... You’re not supposed to fall in love with her, too!
Of course, as usual, Catarina finds herself playing the role of heroine, coming to the defense of poor Maria. (And the baked goods, those are important too.) Hm, something about this scene seems familiar…
Having the gaze of a villain comes in handy, though, as Catarina terrifies these three bullies into submission! That’s one heck of a gaze!
Catarina’s devotion to all things baked and sweet really doesn’t know any bounds. Also, didn’t your mother say not to eat things off the ground anymore at the start of the episode, Catarina?! PROMISE BROKEN.
Oh no, that smile is deadly cute!
Of course, Catarina seems to remember things after the fact and realizes the reason this situation was so familiar was… SHE was the one doing the bullying?! Aside from directly changing the game again, it is interesting that the same sequences of events are happening, but now with different players.
That’s the spirit, Catarina! Steal all of those flags! Become the heroine yourself! Grow your harem! That’s the true way to conquer the game, right?! *Ahem*
Well, that brings us to the end of yet another episode! This one has shown the most direct changes to the game so far. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for our heroine (villainess?) moving forward. Who exactly is Sirius, and why does he have such an ominous smile? What will become of Maria and Catarina’s budding friendship? Will Bakarina EVER get a clue? Well, we’ll just have to find out in today's episode! Until next time, viewers, remember to eat your sweets in moderation!
Have any fond back to school memories? Are you also addicted to baked goods? Let us know in the comments!
Catch My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! every Saturday at 10:30am PST / 1:30pm EST on Crunchyroll!
Nicole is a frequent wordsmith for Crunchyroll. Known for punching dudes in Yakuza games on her Twitch channel while professing her love for Majima. She also has a blog, Figuratively Speaking. Follow her on Twitter: @ellyberries
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