Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

Oh good. Another isekai anime.

I tried giving Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest a fair shake but I just can’t bring myself to do so. This show pushed all of my buttons. Supplanting RPG mechanics for worldbuilding? Check. Counterproductive dark and gritty tone? Check. The main character going “Everybody betrayed me. I’m fed up with this world”? The biggest check imaginable. Take a damn break, isekai genre. Just a season off, that’s all I ask at this point. You’ve clearly ran out of juice a long time ago.

The funny thing about this premiere is that I’ve seen this scenario before. Isekai protagonist exploring a cave, consuming the essences of all the monsters he kills, gaining levels and skills as a result. This is exactly how That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime started. But whereas that show had a silly charm and a cute slime monster for us to follow, Arifureta tries so hard to be taken seriously. The guy loses an arm, nearly bleeds to death, goes insane, eats monster flesh raw, rips off Kaneki Ken, and makes a freaking gun because guns are cool. Rimuru just wants to see what’s outside the cave. This loser wants to get out so he can get revenge on the world for giving him poor base stats and having everyone but one cute girl hating his guts for seemingly no good reason. Where’s the world’s smallest violin when you need it?

If I had to give this premiere any modicum of praise, it’d be for glossing over the part where the protagonist (and in this case, his classmates as well) getting isekai’d. The event is more or less left to brief flashbacks and subtext. It’s like this show knows it can’t do anything different there so it might as well cut to the chase. A shame then that the show cuts to the chase for the dull, desperate, dark pulp that’s been done to death by now.

Oh and the show looks awful. That’s almost synonymous with a lot of isekai productions at this point (certainly the ones even isekai fans would drop) but it’s worth mentioning. I’m just saying, if you’re using that much dim light for your cave setting, you’re probably hiding something about your production values.

Let’s move on from this. Here’s hoping the other isekai anime this season are better than this.

OP: “FLARE” by Void_Chords feat.LIO

Thanks for reading!

Watch Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest on Funimation

Watch Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest on Hulu

Read My Other Summer 2019 First Impressions

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