Average Filler Episode
Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life isn’t exactly the most compelling viewing at the best of times. In fact, it being laid back and mildly amusing while going through the motions of being an isekai cross with cute girls doing cute things story is a large part of the appeal because it is really undemanding viewing. Yet when we veer off what little plot there may be for an entirely filler episode as the girls take a break between Reina’s tragic back story and jumping into Pauline’s (as the final minutes of this episode seem to suggest), what we end up with is a fairly dull affair.
Which is odd, because the girls are generally pretty charming in this story. Not overly original or particularly memorable, but the camaraderie in the group is a fine selling point. Then we get this episode where the girls hang out, play cards, and then go to the beach. It should be oozing charm and yet falls incredibly short as it really feels like they were walking through a check list of events. Apparently it is the combination of the usual isekai adventurer/hunting trope crossed with the cute girl antics that puts their charm on full display and devoid of a quest to conquer in a slightly less than ordinary manner, the girls just don’t bring much to the screen.
You know, unless you really like anime girls in swimsuits. I did something unusual after this episode, probably because I was looking for something to say about it other than it happened, and so I scrolled through the comments on Crunchyroll. There’s this ongoing criticism of the fan-service (though, really?) and from one comment it seems the age of the girls (12 – 16) is the problem. That confused me because is the concern that teenage girls don’t go to the beach in swimsuits? Which just made me wonder just how much censorship some people want in media and if we’re no longer allowed to have any character appear in a swimsuit because possibly that might offend someone we’re probably heading down the wrong path.
Be that as it may, the episode itself is pretty vapid and doesn’t seem to intend to be anything but. Small character moments for Reina and Mile not withstanding, the only real development is Pauline’s reaction to seeing someone in the street after their beach fiasco is over and clearly that’s next week’s dilemma. Basically, if beach episodes aren’t your thing, skip episode 7 because you really won’t be missing much.
On the bright side, the visual quality of the episode didn’t noticeably dip as some filler episodes do (I’m still haunted by Dakaichi’s beach episode where you would have thought they’d have pulled out all the fan-service stops and yet we ended up with one of the most appallingly animated episodes of the season). The basic tone of the show is maintained and the girls, while a little on the dull side don’t noticeably veer off their usual character notes. So I guess if they had to do a beach filler episode, this one isn’t the worst.
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Images from: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! Dir. M Oota. Project No. 9. 2019