The Good, The Bad, and
The Tragic Backstory
It is kind of a given in anime that the main character, or the main character’s friend, will have some kind of angsty backstory that at some point will come out as it ties in with some plot or event that is going on. Once again, Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life takes this standard and then delivers it in a pretty straight forward way. The four girls sit around the campfire and each share their past. While it is a given most of them will need to revisit these stories as they aren’t quite complete, it is also means we’re not left guessing what motivates these girls and what shaped their personalities. It is almost, kind-of refreshing.
Obviously Reina is the one who seems most directly affected by her story as she’s allowed her past emotions to interfere with their current mission. And her story is pretty tragic as it rolls out here. I feel that the speed at which this was delivered and the way we quickly move on takes some of the impact out of the whole thing, but it does at least make her actions understandable even if she doesn’t get the reaction from Pauline and Mile that she was expecting.
In regards to backstories though, Mavis is the odd-one out having a relatively easy life and even though her family didn’t really want her to become a knight or a hunter, they haven’t really opposed it too heavily. I feel kind of bad for Mavis given she seems to be feeling bad that she hasn’t got some tragic backstory to share given she’s travelling with three other protagonist cliches.
Still, this was the better way to find out about Mile’s/Adele’s family troubles and her time at the school before she ran away to become a hunter. This story came first in the books and it really felt dragged out and then the switch to the hunter school felt clunky and like a restart. The anime seems to have worked that out and started the story where it really starts and has now filled in the gap. While there’s plenty of information that got ditched in the process, given the nature of the story you’d have to wonder if it even matters as this has been a fairly entertaining show so far.
As usual we have some very self-aware humour especially when Mile is talking to the nanomachines and they are forming their ‘mascot’ character appearance as well as some fantastic over-reactions and facial expressions. While this episode didn’t progress anything forward it made its intention clear from the start that we were going to learn all four backstories and that is exactly what it delivered. Now we can look forward to the next episode and see where the girls go next.
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Images from: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! Dir. M Oota. Project No. 9. 2019