Rise of the Villainess: How the reborn bad girls of otome games are defying shoujo stereotypes

In the past few years, the villainess has seen something of a renaissance. Rather than being the subject of ridicule or comeuppance, she’s being celebrated, given the opportunity to come into her own as the subject of an emerging theme in an ever-expanding field of light novels, manga, and anime. Today I’d like to talk a little bit about these ojous: who they are, where they come from, and why in the 21st century their success demonstrates an alternate world where being smart, hard-working, and kind gets you far.