Let’s Just Skip The Intro
Arifureta Episode 1
When I picked up the first light novel volume of Arifureta, I was drawn into a story that really hit me emotionally as I watched Hajime’s character get broken down and literally rebuilt from the ground up. It was horrifying and compelling and truly a riveting reading experience. I really do recommend grabbing the first volume of the light novel series.
Then we have this first episode of the anime, which outside of being so dark and gloomy visually that at times it is almost impossible to actually see what is happening in a scene, drops us into the middle of the action and fills in a few details through flashbacks but leaves a lot still unsaid. Admittedly, it is a first episode and they probably didn’t want to go through the standard isekai motions of showing us the class getting summoned etc, but we’ve lost some important points that would make the character transformation actually have impact along the way.
Because in the anime so far we don’t know anything about Hajime other than he was a bit of a punching bag for some of the others who were with him and that there’s a girl who is a little concerned about him. The impact of his transformed character is incredibly diminished because we’ve spent no time walking in his shoes as he’s struggled to train his ill-suited ability into something usable and the few flashbacks we get don’t really give us enough emotional connection.
Again, it is a first episode and these details might get filled in later. However, that would mean that we at least got an exciting fight filled opening that drew us into the action of the story… Only as I said, visually this one is pretty bleak and the fights with the monsters have so far been pretty pedestrian.
Now part of this is a problem on my part because I really loved the first book of this series and the anime has literally just skipped over all the foundation of it as though it was filler. However, even if I back away from knowing what the story was about, this episode isn’t very compelling. I’d put it on par with Demon Lord Retry for the season, which is to say there’s potential for growth and it is a genre I like but the first episode was not overly exciting or promising.
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Images from: Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. Dir. K Yoshimoto. White Fox. 2019.
11 thoughts on “Arifureta: From Common Place to World’s Strongest Review Episode 1”
As another person who experienced this series quite a while ago, and was blown away by the first volume of the series, this is pretty disheartening to see. It’s always a bit of a trepidatious feeling when a series I love gets an anime adaptation, and it seems a shame that they’ve missed out on what makes this series truly special.
I think part of what makes Arifureta so great IS the opening, where we really get to know Hajime as well as some of the other characters, before everything goes to pot. it’s something that a lot of isekai fail to do, generally just hurling a generic character into a chaotic scenario, so seeing the change within him during the pages and pages of agony as he struggles to survive in the labyrinth was just superb.
I don’t know how far this first episode goes… But if they manage to screw up Yue as well, i’m going to be utterly livid.
I think part of the problem is they want to get to the part where they introduce the cute girls rather than actually dealing with what made Arifureta interesting, which is Hajime’s journey. Yue’s impact on him is going to be much less interesting given they’ve done nothing to make us care about him.
Yeah, that’s a shame. While the series does level out in the later volumes with a bigger focus on the ecchi elements, it still doesn’t lessen how incredibly good that first volume is. and it’s a shame the writers were unable to see that.
Well it looks like we are all on the same page with this one. It sounds even more tragic that you’ve read the LNs and know that it was handled much better there.
It’s unfortunate that they decided to try and go with such an artsy introduction to the series, by jumping around like they did. I really would have loved to see our protagonist grow and be rebuilt from the ground up as you say, instead of being shown what looks like the final product in the first episode.
If anything, the whole white hair character transformation could have been an amazing climax to show around halfway through the anime. What wasted potential!
I was thinking it was like if Land of the Lustrous just started with Phos with all the add-ons and we’d never seen her as the ditzy weak green gem running around. Her character would have so much less impact.
Havent heard of Land of the Lustrious but it looks interesting, thanks!
It was really great. We need a second season though because it just kind of leaves us hanging.
Ah, good to know haha
I’ve not read the light novels and I’d agree that it felt like it was missing so much detail and character development. He went from scared and hopeless to edgy badass in a matter of seconds and without any real context to what he’s been putting up with it was kind of meh.
I feel like I need to find out what happened before now, but I also don’t want them to just break the story halfway through to give us a episode of flashbacks.
I just don’t understand why they would do that. Reading the book was great because just when you were getting over his wimpy and getting kicked around character he got plunged into tragedy and it took a long time for his whole person to transform that way it did. It gave it so much more weight and impact. Here we have no reason to care that he is changing because we don’t have any real clue who he was, and it happens so fast that it almost seems effortless which it really shouldn’t be. It’s like everything I found enjoyable about this story was tossed out before we even started.