Battling Monsters and Bad Visuals
Arifureta Episode 3
Outside of the still incredibly ugly visuals that make is difficult to figure out what is going on and what is monster and what is grainy textured background, Arifureta is kind of settling in as an underwhelming entry this season. Now that we’ve moved past the introduction, the fact that we skipped all the back story (or got the cliff-notes version of it in a couple of flashbacks) just means we have a main character with little depth to him because we have no actual connection to him prior to him becoming an unstoppable juggernaut within the dungeon.
We briefly, as in blink and you’ll miss it, get a scene with the main kids from the class who are about to go back to the labyrinth and again we have no connection to these characters, who they were, how they’ve changed since arriving and since Hajime’s death because any context that might have helped us figure out who they are outside of their name and title was stripped away. So other than knowing some of the class are still going into the labyrinth the scene serves little to no purpose. Though I guess it at least gives us an outdoor scene that is actually bright because otherwise this episode was just a murky mess visually.
As to Hajime and Yue, they’ve insta-bonded over being betrayed (which I remember being more affective when reading) and that’s more or less fine. They work together to bring down some scorpion monster thing at the start of the episode and this is where the visuals were at their worst. I know the monster was supposed to be blending in with the rocks but it became almost impossible to really distinguish what was going on in the fight and so the ultimate victory for Hajime and Yue wasn’t that amazing.
We then speed run down to the 100th floor stopping only long enough to deal with some flower monster. That wouldn’t be a problem if they used the time to do something but in the duration we learn practically nothing new about Yue other than she’s maybe well over 300 years old and doesn’t need to eat so long as she’s drinking blood. Otherwise there’s little to nothing going on in the second half and then we arrive at the 100th floor and find a mysterious looking door.
This episode definitely wasn’t a disaster because we’re past the introduction to this story now and there’s no going back. While the absence of it is sorely hurting these characters and the world building, this episode did the best it could with the foundation it had been given. It isn’t good and I’m still miffed they have managed to make it this unimpressive, but in fairness it is a reasonably average episode in terms of story though a bit more going on would have been nice and if it wasn’t for the awful visual choices they’ve made in portraying the labyrinth the episode overall would be about average for the genre.
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Images from: Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. Dir. K Yoshimoto. White Fox. 2019.