Isekai anime have gotten super common lately. This one is from last summer and was a joint effort of Asread and White Fox based off of a light novel. You probably remember Asread from their work on the hilariously bad Corpse Party OVA. I’ve seen more from White Fox, but I’ve seen both good and bad anime from them. So, we’ll see if this is one of the bad ones, like Goblin Slayer or more quality, like Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou.
We open with a boy falling into an abyss where he finds himself facing a bunch of powerful monsters. Including one that’s no ordinary rabbit but the most cruel, foul, bad-tempered rodent you ever laid eyes on. We find out that he and his classmates were brought to this other world and they’ve all been working hard to save the humans of the world. He was betrayed by one of his classmates when trying to escape a lower floor of the labyrinth and ended up falling. Thanks to plot armour, he survives at the lower depths and emerges the strongest adventurer out there.
Let’s dive right into what’s wrong with the series, because there’s a lot to unpack in that regard. First off, they start you out seeing this character you know nothing about and don’t have any reason to care about in peril and act like there’s some source of investment. The series also has a lot of cringey and stupid moments. Like the way they recruit the dragon girl or the way our protagonist finds a girl sealed, almost leaves her behind without breaking the seal but changes his mind when he finds out she’s a vampire princess. Yeah, explain that one.
“I can’t let you out. You had to have been sealed for a reason.”
“I was betrayed because I’m a powerful vampire princess.”
“Well, that changes everything.”
Maybe he’s just a huge fan of Miyu. Another big example is that the supposed goal of our protagonist and his harem party is to explore the labyrinths and find a way back to Japan but then, towards the end of the series, they double back to the city with a labyrinth they’ve already gone through for no adequately explored reason. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that he immediately decides to act like a dick towards his entire class and he doesn’t care about them at all just because one person in the group tried to kill him without the others noticing.
Let’s talk about the harem aspect for a moment. A lot of these isekai anime have mild harem elements and they tend to be the worst part of the series. Except when everything is just rubbish like in Sword Art Online. This one takes it up to a really obnoxious level. Any girl this guy spends more than five minutes with acts like she’s into him except for his teacher and the actual child character who just decides he should be her “papa.” And all the girls in his group come onto him really strongly. Well, at least his sister doesn’t come onto him. Only a horrendous anime would include close relatives as potential romantic partners, Sword Art Online.
The power of the main party also varies a lot. Most of the time they just go in and clean up with no issues whatsoever, but then they’ll encounter something that doesn’t seem like it should cause any problems but it does. Because this is one of those series where power fluctuates for no good reason.
The girls are the usual obnoxious harem archetypes with no depth. The writing on Hajime is really uneven.
The series tries to act like he’s this tough as nails character who doesn’t care what others think and will just do anything to accomplish his goals but then he constantly changes his mind about things for no good reason. “Don’t call me Papa” becomes “Don’t upset my daughter.” “Let’s not take her with us” becomes “Okay, she can come.” “I have no reason to help” becomes “okay, I’ll do it.” And most of the time there’s no good reason presented for him to change his mind. Which makes him just come across as very weak-willed but putting on an edgy façade. It’s almost like the character writing is total rubbish.
About the only positive I can give is that the dynamic between him and his teacher is pretty decent. I can appreciate that he feels attached to her and sees her as someone who legitimately cares about him and her other students. And it does help that she’s one of the only female characters who gets a decent level of screen time that isn’t after him sexually. And the other character is an annoying small child.
There are a few major issues with the art. The first is that the heavily CG elements are jarring and don’t look like they even tried to make them fit. The second is that the action sequences are pretty lousy. The series tries to go for the type of over the top, stylised sequences you’d get in games like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta but they just don’t flow well or look impressive. As such the attempt is completely inadequate.
The acting is barely acceptable. The big issue is that the performances tend to go from emotionless to way over the top. There aren’t that many scenes where the cast just talk like human beings. It might work if they were supposed to be Sontarans, but they aren’t. Normally I’d point out performances where the actors prove they’re better than this, but I’ve only heard about half of them in good anime. So, I can’t say for sure when it comes to people like Fukamachi Toshinari or Oonishi Saori.
The music isn’t bad. It’s just trite. I mean, I’ve reviewed quite a few of these isekai anime and this one sounds like it’s just using the most common musical elements from the others with no real thought or effort.
There isn’t any. All the girls are too busy chasing the weak-willed Hajime.
Areas of Improvement:
- Any degree of complex characterisation.
- Some very basic consistency from the world and characters would work a treat.
- Let your actors talk like humans instead of Sontarans.
This is actually among the worst isekai anime I’ve reviewed. It’s better than Sword Art Online and marginally better than the second series of SAO, but it’s still pretty bad. With annoying, one note characters, a narrative that’s a complete mess, low effort art and acting. It’s just neither a good time nor interesting. I’m giving it a 3/10.