Cute Girl Attack
Arifureta Episodes 11 + 12
Watching the Arifureta anime is like reading a synopsis of the novels. It’s all kind of there and yet there’s no depth or details and it all just feels rushed as we lurch from one thing to the next with zero effort in the transition. Episode 11 immediately has our ‘heroes’ returning Will to the guild, collecting their status plates, Shea and Hajime going out on a date and then promptly freeing a fish man from an aquarium before rescuing a mer-folk child from slavers and then destroying all the slavers in town. All that in just twenty minutes.
In between Shea and Hajime’s shenanigans in the whole rescue the mer-girl story, we cut back to Tio and Yue who are sipping coffee and discussing Yue’s thoughts regarding Shea and Hajime. This is actually a pretty important when you consider the group dynamics but here it just intrudes into an already over-packed episode and doesn’t end up feeling like it has any weight. Then Hajime blows one of the slavers through a wall and takes out their table and the two join in the chaos.
I guess if you have an incredibly short attention span the pace at which Arifureta chews through content might actually work but I just keep wondering how much more interesting any of the ideas here would be if they let them sit for a moment and actually explored them. Though, given I already felt the light novels kept shifting tone too rapidly from book to book as a new girl seemed to be added in each volume, the anime series compressed it all further and the end result is fairly messy.
However, all of this is better than Arifureta’s attempt in episode 12 to reconnect us with the Heroes’ Party fighting in the labyrinth. A lot of the problems here go back to where this series started when it cut out all the foundation for the classmates. It makes it impossible to care about these people and in many cases impossible to even remember who they are. Which takes what might be a nice climatic moment for the series with the party getting wrecked by a demon and Hajime needing to swoop in for the rescue and makes it just randoms dying because they didn’t have enough sense to run or surrender and Hajime giving in to his newly acquired ‘daughter’ when she asks him to go save them.
On the other hand, if episodes 9 and 10 were the strongest up until that point, episodes 11 and 12 continue that trend in terms of watchability (provided the CG monsters don’t make you physically wince, though by now you should be used to them). While a better foundation would have made all of this sit better, the episodes themselves are not inherently bad, just a little rushed, and episode 12’s only real failing is that we don’t have an emotional connection with the characters so don’t care about what is actually a pretty exciting situation.
Anyway, there’s one more episode to watch of this series. I’d say it won’t get a sequel anime but given Granblue fantasy is getting a season two, maybe this one will as well. It isn’t like we desperately need a third season of Noragami or anything.
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Images from: Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. Dir. K Yoshimoto. White Fox. 2019.