With that title you would have to know there’s a light novel of this one, and apparently a manga, and what do you know, it’s another isekai story about an over-powered protagonist trapped in a game. And if you’ve watched any of the promotional material you probably already know a harem is incoming. That said, this is more of a fantasy travel guide than your standard protagonist beats up the bad guys kind of story though whether that makes it any more appealing is anyone’s guess.
So this is an experiment. I have never watched an anime before where I have previously read the source material. The few manga I had read were always read after I watched an anime and was left unsatisfied by the conclusion and until a few months ago I’d never read any light novels. Still, since I started reading light novels I’ve kind of been devouring them and Death March was one I picked up and I’ve now read to the third book (though my review of that when I get around to it probably won’t be great because I decided to put the series on hold after that one). That makes this the very first time I started an episode of an anime with a fairly solid understanding of the story and an expectation for how it will play out.
And I have to admit, that did change how I viewed this episode. If I remove any knowledge of where this goes or what I expect to happen, this is an incredibly mediocre opening episode for an anime series. It isn’t broken by any means, but it isn’t exciting or intriguing and it does nothing to make you care about the main character, and essentially it is just going through the motions of setting up how Suzuki (in game name Satou) is actually in the game he was previously developing. But as the why of this isn’t answered, even that isn’t really much use in terms of a set up.
I will admit now that while I’d probably keep watching this just because I don’t mind isekai, trapped in a game stories, anyway, this one set itself up to be a pretty bland entry into a fairly over-saturated market. However, I have the added intrigue of wanting to see how this plays out. One thing I did like was the contrast in the visuals from the real world to the game world. However, knowing we are now staying in the game world, I kind of hope that they ease of with the menus and icons flashing over the screen as well as the weird filters. While it did contrast nicely with his working environment, it wasn’t exactly what I want to look at while watching an anime. Mostly because it felt like I’d been launched back into an RPG from the 90’s.
I’m curious enough to keep watching but objectively I can see why this one would be a quick drop for most people. This first episode is best described as bland and even a lizardman massacre by meteorites can’t make it any more exciting.
Thanks for reading.
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