Another isekai anime? Eh, I’m not that surprised.
You know what’s also unsurprising? This anime starting out like every goddamn isekai anime in the past couple of years. Salaryman dies, this time from overworking but that has been done before, and he gets isekai’d to fantasy land. Been there, done that.
To be fair, I don’t find the the gimmick of The 8th son? Are you kidding me? half-bad. As the title suggests, Wendelin (Junya Enoki/Shizuka Ishigami), or Well for short, is the eighth son in a low ranking noble family. With no inheritance to claim, he’ll have to work his way up and fortunately for him, he discovers that he does have potential in the art of magic. I can dig it. It makes for a reasonable conceit to the overpowered protagonist trope. Well’s super good at what he does because he as personal reason for it and while that’s more storytelling 101 than clever commentary, I’ll take it.
There’s also some pretty good jokes here and there. The opening scene has you thinking Well is about to get in some big fight, only for the show to reveal that he’s just using his magic for landscaping and his opponents are just his co-workers. Well finding out that his family is poor when he was little is accompanied by the amusing background image of his servants tearing down all the fancy decorations used for one of his brother’s weddings (I guess they were a rental). By far, my favorite joke was Well initially thinking that magic is preposterous. You’d think he’d consider it as a possibility after getting isekai’d but he doesn’t and while that is dumb, it still made me laugh.
Long-term appeal remains a grey area for The 8th son however. The big mistake the premiere makes is actually showing the present and therefore the result of Well’s hard work in the cold opening such as a company under his leadership and a harem of girls. Even though all that stuff is obvious, a writer really shouldn’t spoil away like that. I also have doubts that Well’s being the eighth son in his family will actually amount to anything. It could be interesting to see what his brothers think of his exclusive aptitude for magic but with how generic they all look and how quickly the premiere skims over their introductions, I get the feeling they’re not that important to the story. Hell, I’m kind of expecting some of them to die after watching them leave home to get a job.
I’m seeing some cracks in the wall but overall, I think The 8th son is off to a competent enough start. It’ll really depend on where it goes in the coming weeks. Plenty of isekai anime start decently enough, only to flounder as time goes on. Such a fate could very well befall this show. I would say isekai diehards will enjoy this but with Ascendance of a Bookworm coming back and that otome isekai show premiering, I can see this show getting ignored.
OP: “Space-Time of the Hesitant Person” by Demon Kakka and Arika Takarano
ED: “Moonlight Monologue” by Akino Arai x AKINO from Bless4
Thanks for reading!
Watch The 8th son? Are you kidding me? on Crunchyroll