• Villainess stories in manhwa offer a fresh perspective by showing the struggles and inner thoughts of the antagonist.
  • The genre includes various subgenres like isekai and romance, making each story unique and exciting.
  • These manhwa stand out with their well-developed characters, thrilling plots, and stunning art, providing a captivating reading experience.

Exploring a narrative from the perspective of the villain is a compelling and widely embraced theme in storytelling. While the triumph of the hero is gratifying, delving into the experiences and thoughts of the antagonist often adds depth to the storyline. This inclination is vividly reflected in the realm of manhwa, where tales centering around a villainess have garnered significant popularity.

These villainess stories span diverse genres but commonly unfold in fantasy worlds, featuring protagonists renowned for their cruelty, cunning, and inherent evil. The incorporation of additional elements, such as isekai or regression, introduces a spectrum of plot variations. However, the crux of these narratives lies in the portrayal of how adeptly the villainess navigates her life.

This thematic exploration not only challenges traditional storytelling norms but also invites audiences to empathize with characters traditionally viewed as malevolent. The allure of understanding the motivations and challenges faced by the antagonist contributes to the richness and complexity of these stories, making them a noteworthy and engaging genre within the expansive medium of manhwa.

10 Kill The Villainess

MyAnimeList Score: 7.48

  • Author: Saeng Sawol
  • Illustrator: Haegi
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Isekai, Psychological, Villainess

"Kill The Villainess" offers a distinctive departure from typical villainess-themed manhwa by presenting a protagonist who, instead of embracing her new identity or forging her own path, grapples with a profound desire to end her existence. The main character, having transitioned into the role of Eris Miserian, the original story's antagonist, experiences a genuine and visceral response to the realization of being cast as a disposable side character.

The narrative captures Eris's desperation and fear with palpable intensity, vividly portraying the emotional turbulence that accompanies her unexpected circumstances. The raw portrayal of the main character's struggle sets "Kill The Villainess" apart, infusing the story with a thrilling and captivating quality. This unique perspective adds depth to the exploration of identity and destiny within the villainess genre, making the manhwa both enthralling and remarkable.

9 Author of My Own Destiny

MyAnimeList Score: 7.56

  • Author: Gyeoulip
  • Illustrator: Jeokbal
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Villainess

This manhwa unfolds an intriguing narrative as its author unexpectedly inhabits the body of the main antagonist, Fiona Green, in her own creation. Fiona, the illegitimate child of a noble family, endures a life marked by mistreatment and abuse, fostering deep resentment towards those around her.

In a unique twist, the main character, now occupying Fiona's persona, lacks the innate reasons for harboring such animosity. Instead, this isekai scenario becomes a playground for the protagonist, who wields the powers of the villainess to freely pursue her desires. The result is a delightful and lighthearted tale, where the absence of inherent resentment allows for a more carefree exploration of the character's newfound agency. This juxtaposition adds a refreshing and entertaining dimension to the traditional villainess trope, creating a story that is both fun and enjoyable.

8 Villainess Is A Marionette

MyAnimeList Score: 7.56

  • Author: Hanirim
  • Illustrator: Manggle
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Isekai, Villainess

"Villainess is a Marionette" elevates the isekai and reincarnation theme to new heights by giving the main character, Cayena Hill, a total of three lives. As the most beautiful princess in the empire, Cayena faces betrayal and manipulation that leads to her untimely demise twice. However, in her third life, she resolves to break free from the shackles of others and live for herself.

The manhwa captivates with its stunning art and weaves an adventurous plot rich in political intrigue, scheming, and romance. The combination of these elements forms the backbone of a compelling fantasy drama. "Villainess is a Marionette" not only explores the complexities of Cayena's character and the challenges she faces across multiple lives but also promises a visually striking and emotionally engaging journey for readers immersed in the world of isekai and reincarnation.

7 Father, I Don’t Want This Marriage

MyAnimeList Score: 7.64

  • Author: Heesu Hong
  • Illustrator: Roal
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Isekai, Villainess

In "Father, I Don't Want This Marriage," the protagonist, Jubelian Eloy Floyen, faces the challenge of living a normal life after an isekai experience. To rectify the wrongs associated with Jubelian's life, including breaking up with her undesirable boyfriend, she finds herself navigating unexpected scenarios, such as her estranged father playing the role of matchmaker.

While the story elements and character behaviors may echo common tropes, they are skillfully utilized to enhance the narrative. Jubelian embodies the traits of a typical protagonist, and the plot follows a familiar trajectory, yet there's a distinctive flair that sets it apart. The manhwa effectively blends popular tropes with individuality, creating a narrative that stands out despite its common foundations. "Father, I Don't Want This Marriage" manages to leverage the familiarity of certain themes while injecting fresh perspectives and nuances into the storyline.

6 Beware the Villainess!

MyAnimeList Score: 7.77

  • Author: Ppongtta Mat Screw Bar
  • Illustrator: Blue Canna
  • Published: 2020 to 2022
  • Genres/Themes: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Villainess

"Beware the Villainess!" injects a breath of fresh air into a genre saturated with similar content by introducing a contemporary feminist perspective to the traditional villainess narrative. The protagonist, Melissa Foddebrat, who finds herself isekai'd, breaks away from the conventional reverse harem theme, instead asserting herself and challenging the chauvinistic behavior of the male characters around her.

In contrast to the customary expectations of the genre, Melissa takes the initiative to rid herself of the patriarchal attitudes that often dominate such stories, paving the way for a more empowered and peaceful existence. Her candor and assertiveness stand out, providing a stark departure from the more traditionally restrained and proper demeanor of many protagonists in the genre. "Beware the Villainess!" emerges as a unique and refreshing take on the villainess theme, offering a narrative that challenges stereotypes and brings a contemporary feminist perspective to the forefront.

5 The Perks Of Being A Villainess

MyAnimeList Score: 7.86

  • Author: Gokim Mang
  • Illustrator: Yoteh
  • Published: 2022 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Fantasy, Romance, Villainess

In the isekai tale "Yoon Dohee Gets What She Wants," the protagonist, Yoon Dohee, finds herself reincarnated as the villainess Deborah Seymour from a webnovel she once read. Deborah is portrayed as vain and selfish, presenting a stark contrast to Dohee's own former life as a pushover. With this second chance at life, Dohee is determined to break free from her past passivity and pursue her desires unabashedly.

Navigating the complex challenges of being a villainess, especially one with the notorious reputation of Deborah, adds layers of complexity to Dohee's journey. What adds an enjoyable twist is the disparity between her outward behavior and her inner monologue, creating a dynamic and entertaining narrative. The inclusion of fantastic art further enhances the overall reading experience, making "Yoon Dohee Gets What She Wants" a captivating and visually appealing isekai story.

4 Roxana

MyAnimeList Score: 7.94

  • Author: Kin
  • Illustrator: Yeoreumbit
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Psychological, Villainess

"Roxana" breaks away from the conventional narrative of villainesses hailing from typical or noble families within the fantasy genre. In this manhwa, the protagonist is part of a family renowned for their underhanded scheming and illegal dealings, placing her in the role of a default villainess. However, Roxana, despite her familial background, doesn't align with or support her family's unethical activities.

This unique dynamic in family relations adds a refreshing twist to the storyline. Roxana, compelled to maintain her evil facade for the sake of keeping the male lead alive, grapples with the tension between her false cruelty and genuine kindness. The juxtaposition of these contrasting aspects of her character creates an engaging and layered narrative, deviating from the traditional portrayal of villainesses. "Roxana" offers a compelling exploration of the complexities of family ties and the internal conflicts faced by a protagonist forced to reconcile her own values with the expectations thrust upon her.

3 How to Win My Husband Over

MyAnimeList Score: 7.98

  • Author: Nyangi-wa Hyangsinnyo
  • Illustrator: Siru
  • Published: 2021 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Isekai, Psychological, Villainess

In this emotionally resonant manhwa, the protagonist, having experienced a miserable life and faced death, undergoes reincarnation as Rudbeckia de Borgia, the villainess responsible for starting a war in the novel she once read. Unlike many other fantasy stories, Rudbeckia's life in the new world doesn't necessarily offer an improvement.

The unique strength of this manhwa lies in its exploration of profound psychological themes, specifically depression and eating disorders. Despite the fantastical setting, the consequences of these issues feel authentic and relatable. By delving deep into the psychological nature of these struggles, the manhwa keeps the story grounded and allows readers to connect with the protagonist on a deeper level. This narrative approach adds layers of complexity to the character and the overall plot, making it a compelling and emotionally charged exploration of mental health within the context of a fantasy setting.

2 Your Throne

MyAnimeList Score: 8.16

  • Author: SAM
  • Illustrator: SAM
  • Published: 2020 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Psychological, Villainess

The dynamic narrative in this genre-defying story unfolds between two contrasting characters, Medea and Psyche. Medea, powerful yet cruel, and Psyche, beautiful yet naive, find themselves entangled in a fierce competition for the title of crown princess. When Psyche emerges victorious, Medea's determination to seize what she believes is rightfully hers takes an unexpected turn—a divine encounter results in a switch of their bodies.

This thrilling tale weaves through numerous twists and turns, with the story and characters in constant flux as hidden truths come to light. The narrative skillfully employs dramatic irony, creating a rich tapestry of intrigue and suspense. The seamless incorporation of these elements contributes to the story's status as one of the best in its genre, offering readers a compelling and unpredictable journey as they witness the evolving fates of Medea and Psyche.

1 Villains Are Destined To Die

MyAnimeList Score: 8.26

  • Author: Gyeoeul Gwon
  • Illustrator: SUOL
  • Published: 2020 to Present
  • Genres/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Isekai, Reverse Harem, Villainess

In this villainess story centered on an otome game, the protagonist, Penelope Eckhart, faces a unique and challenging situation. Unlike typical scenarios, Penelope finds herself playing on hard mode, where even the slightest mistake could lead to her demise. The otome game elements take center stage, actively driving the narrative and injecting a sense of urgency and stakes into the story.

What sets this manhwa apart is its commitment to making the otome game mechanics an integral part of the storyline. Instead of being forgotten or merely serving as a backdrop, these elements become crucial components that shape the plot and character actions. The incorporation of a time limit adds an extra layer of tension, heightening the stakes for Penelope as she navigates the challenges of living as the final boss in the otome game. This strategic use of game dynamics contributes to the overall thrill and excitement of the narrative, making it a standout in the genre.