The opening act of Seirei Gensouki was a bit rough, but it did make me curious.
Seirei Gensouki, or Spirit Chronicles, is another anime based on a light novel which is once again the story of someone dying tragically in Japan and waking up in another world. So pretty much your standard isekai number.
Except that it isn’t, or at least there’s enough differences so far that Seirei Gensouki managed to keep me interested despite this first episode being a bit of a messy introduction. And there’s certainly evidence so far that this story doesn’t want to just be another bland isekai that didn’t really put any effort in.
And not just because the title isn’t a half a page long.
A small sign of creativity was sparked when they didn’t just run the protagonist over with a truck. Instead they had an entire bus taken out by a train and there’s definitely the potential that more than just one character crossed over from this disaster.
And when taken with the synopsis on MAL that strongly indicates his childhood friend who disappeared is probably going to show up there’s the potential for any number of reincarnated characters.
Still, multiple reincarnations isn’t a new concept. Even Isekai Cheat Magician had more than one character isekai’d and that didn’t lead to a better story. And why does Cheat Magician have a new episode out? Sorry, got distracted.
Where Seirei Gensouki starts feeling a little bit like it is forging its own path is that Haruto, the young man who died, isn’t just alive and kicking in a new body in a new world. Rio is very much his own character and while he seems to have Haruto’s memories as well as the ability to tap into Haruto’s martial arts training for a fight sequence, he isn’t just a new Haruto.
It will be interesting to see how this dual personality (consciousness) plays out of whether the two will merge in some way as the story continues.
Now, the reason I said this first episode of Seirei Gensouki was a bit confused is because so much seems to be packed into it. We get the promise between childhood friends, a time-skip to the bus crash, realising he’s been reborn, being told there’s a missing girl with purple hair, returning home and being attacked before accessing some cool power to fight off an assassin, rescuing purple haired girl, getting turned over to the guard, tortured, healed, and then getting a make-over to meet the king.
And that’s a brief summary.
Nothing is particularly wrong but we don’t really have any time for any part to really make an impact and at the end of the first episode I know that Rio has a dead mother he wants to avenge and Haruto is a little freaked he’s not in his own world, and both are apparently really stubborn in the face of torture for reasons that make little sense.
Most of that I could have picked up from the synopsis. But this first episode of Seirei Gensouki is so busy pushing us forward to the point where Rio appears before the king that it didn’t give us any time to really establish any character beyond their description.
That said, we’re introduced to the idea of magic, potential conspiracies, reincarnated characters with potentially cool abilities, and generally a lot of ideas that could be quite interesting if built upon. As a first episode, Seirei Gensouki manages to at least be intriguing and suggest at more to come.
The harem tag in the description is interesting, but I guess with the potential number of female characters we’ve already met it is inevitable and the cleaned up Rio is kind of cute in a standard protagonist kind of way.
That said, it is a fantasy story with a character transported to another world where there’s magic and the first episode was interesting enough so I’m on board for at least a few episodes. I’m pretty sure this won’t be the worst anime I’ve ever decided to watch and it might even end up being pretty good. Despite feeling a bit rushed and busy this first episode does a good enough job at establishing things and I hope they do build on it.
Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021
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