Kill the Villainess: The Feminist Retelling of Classic Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have always been the favourite read for both kids and adults. These stories take us to a world of magic, wonder and limitless possibilities. However, as we grow up, we start to realise that these tales often carry deep-rooted gender stereotypes, which sometimes can be damaging to both genders. This is where Kill the Villainess comes to play.

Kill the Villainess is a manga adaption of a popular Korean web novel with the same name. This feminist retelling of traditional fairy tales reimagines these stories with a new perspective. Unlike traditional fairy tales, Kill the Villainess puts the supposed villains at the forefront representing the feminine experience in a patriarchal world.

A Feminist Perspective on Traditional Fairy Tales

For centuries, fairy tales have portrayed women as delicate, innocent and submissive. They are often portrayed as victims, waiting for a man to come and rescue them. The villains, on the other hand, are the women who challenge these traditional roles. They are either evil stepmothers, wicked witches or jealous sisters who try to harm the protagonist. Kill the Villainess takes a different approach; it tells the story of those supposed “villains.”

Tia, the lead character, is reincarnated into the antagonist of a story she read in her previous life. She now takes on the role of the infamous villainess: Duchess Rhonya. Instead of blindly believing and following the male lead, Prince Alexei, she questions his actions and judges him impartially. She convinces other characters to challenge their predetermined roles, ultimately shifting the power dynamics in her favour.

The Impact of Kill the Villainess

Kill the Villainess is an empowering tale that questions the established gender stereotypes of fairy tales. It is not afraid to take the side of villains: women who are often misunderstood and portrayed as inherently evil. By giving them a voice, the manga aims to empower and inspire women. This feminist retelling sends a message that women should not blindly accept their predetermined roles, and instead, should question and challenge them.

The impact of Kill the Villainess on the modern feminist movement is undeniable. It has created a social buzz, and many readers have praised it for its unique approach towards traditional fairy tales. It has inspired women to seek to break away from the status quo and take charge of their lives.


What is the storyline of Kill the Villainess?

Kill the Villainess follows the story of Tia, a woman who is reincarnated as the villainess of a story. In this world, Tia takes on the role of Duchess Rhonya, a character set to destroy the protagonist. However, Tia challenges the male lead and other characters, ultimately changing their predetermined roles and affecting the overall outcome of the story.

What is the target audience for Kill the Villainess?

Although Kill the Villainess is classified as a manga, its target audience is not limited to manga or comic book lovers alone. The manga aims to inspire and empower women, especially those who feel limited societal expectations and predetermined gender roles.

Does Kill the Villainess encourage women to overthrow men as the superior gender?

No, Kill the Villainess does not promote any gender above the other. The manga aims to question and challenge the insidious gender roles portrayed in traditional fairy tales. It empowers women to seek to break free from the gender expectations and to rethink the power dynamic in relationships on their terms.

Is Kill the Villainess available in other languages besides English?

Yes, Kill the Villainess is available in Korean, Thai and English. It continues to gain a following worldwide, which could indicate the possibility of translation in more languages.

Can men read Kill the Villainess?

Yes, men can read Kill the Villainess. The manga deconstructs gender roles and expectations, making it an interesting read for both genders. The insights on gender stereotypes and relationships in the story are relevant to everyone.


Kill the Villainess is a manga that everyone should read. The story takes a feminist approach to traditional fairy tales, challenging the gender stereotypes embedded in them. By giving voice to the supposed villains, Kill the Villainess inspires us to break free from the predetermined roles set for us society. Ultimately, the manga empowers women to be in charge of their lives and encourages men to re-evaluate their expectations.

Through Kill the Villainess, we can see the importance of breaking away from societal norms to achieve our goals authentically. As we replace the lens of traditional gender expectations with a modern and nuanced look at gender roles, relationships, and societal norms, we pave the way for a better future for the generations to come. So, read Kill the Villainess and join the ranks of empowered young adults who hail it for its appreciation of progressive gender themes and boundless creativity.


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