Kemono Michi: Rise Up – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

Oh good, another isekai anime.

Iskeai might be a genre dependent on gimmicks but evidently, it hasn’t run out of them. Never would I imagine there being an isekai anime about a professional wrestler who loves animals to the point that he’s a borderline furry in certain contexts but here we are. That’s very much what Kemono Michi: Rise Up is about. Anime, you mystify me sometimes.

But I’ll be darned, I did find this premiere to be pretty darn funny. It gave me Konosuba vibes with how absurd and shameless it can get. This is only Episode 1 and no stops are pulled here. As soon as Genzo (Katsuyuki Konishi) is summoned to another world, he impulsively suplexes the princess who summons him because she wants him to kill monsters for her kingdom. Throughout the episode, he tries to pet animals of all kinds — beasts, anthropomorphic animals, your usual anime girls with animal ears or tails, you name it. Meanwhile, you have the townsfolk simply confused at Genzo’s wrestling get-up and demeanor because wrestling hasn’t been invented yet in their world. All things considered, this premiere was wild, so much so that it’s hard not to laugh at it in some degree.

But as is the case with comedy in general, I can see someone not finding the show all that funny. In particular, Genzo’s obsession to cuddle every furry being he sees can across as creepy and unwanted sexual contact when the other participant is part-human. It especially feels that way when you frame with it with one character asking Genzo to stop and another trying to run away to avoid the same treatment. And even if I put that aside, some gags just are just plain bizarre. I don’t know why Genzo had to sniff that Cerberus’s butt while he hugged it to submission but that’s what I saw and I frankly don’t get the joke.

There is also the manner of how long can this central joke last? That’s a question I ask a lot with these gimmicky isekai anime but it most certainly applies here. How many more ways can you vary up Genzo’s impulsive habits or the people’s flabbergasted reactions to his character? Will we see more crazy wrestling moves from Genzo? So far, the show has done nothing but have him suplex and while it’s funny the three times it happens in the premiere, it’ll inevitably get old. Frankly, I hope the staff will smartly venture in other muses. In particular, I hope to see more of Shigure (always happy to hear Akira Sekine in a new role), a wolf girl Genzo befriends who got herself sold into slavery after some unwise financial decisions. There could be something funny with her trying to capitalize on her friend’s oddness, only to find herself in even more sticky situations.

Flaws and concerns aside, Kemono Michi is still one of the better isekai premieres that I’ve seen in a while. It got a good amount of laughs out of me and it kept my attention and those aren’t reactions isekai anime tend to get out of me so that’s certainly something. As to where it stands on the watch list, I’ll give it another episode or two. It at least deserves that much.

Thanks for reading!

Watch Kemono Michi: Rise Up on Funimation

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One thought on “Kemono Michi: Rise Up – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

  1. “There is also the manner of how long can this central joke last?”

    Yeah, this is one of two shows this season that are in serious danger of being one-trick-ponies.


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