The first few episodes of the series were pretty good. Interesting. But then they brought in the CGI, the dumb ass bunny, and pretty much a semi shield hero rip off. And the season isn't even over yet.
Okay, that was my rant. I know it's harsh, but it could be better. I Have never read the manga, and I hope that it is better than the anime.
At first I thought this might turn out interesting, but I swear the quality gets blander and blander with every episode.
Hajime starts out pretty likable, he's weak (apparently; idk, transmutation seems to work out just fine in Avatar and FMA) but does the best he can with what he's got; he's scared but not a coward - the perfect underdog. Then his character is completely remolded in what is basically just a montage, and could probably have been an entire arc by itself, not to mention one of the most interesting parts of the show otherwise. But hey, I'm probably the only person who enjoys hardcore underdog levelling type stories. It's not like that's a thing.
Anyway, now that our MC is basically a heartless god, he meets Yue - who can be simply summed up by the stereotypes "cool" "blonde" "naked" "OP" "loli" "princess" with a side of vampire fangs. We'll brush over how old she is, but she's actually the most likable character to me, being calm, kind, reasonably devoted (by bishoujo implausibly falls for harem target standards), and apparently intelligent.
Pretty soon we stumble upon the larger story, "a conspiracy beyond our expectations" kinda deal, but after that, honestly nothing much really happens to progress it, or at least, when it does it doesn't actually make any tangible difference to the story. So that's that.
Our other characters, who we meet in the course of the story are Shea and Tio - who fulfil the criteria of being not-human-and-therefore-discriminated-against-but-not-by-our-holier-than-the-rest-of-the-world-hero.
There are other characters who appear along the way, but as none of them actually matter after the first episode (I haven't read the source material, so this is only regarding the content aired in the series) I won't go into them beyond that teacher looks and acts like a child and I think she's supposed to be an innocent moral compass, but it's not endearing at all when she's supposed to be a capable adult. Actually it'd be kinda greasy even from a child, but that's just my opinion.
Shea is our bunny beast girl, who is super stupid, super strong, super clumsy and way too into Hajime pretty much off the bat, and comes onto him way too hard. In a word, she's annoying, and considering Yue, she's in the way - and they even feel that way at first, but then they've come around like five minutes later; Yue's all ready to send them off on dates and you're just left in the dust like "go away, you're ruining the romance and the action".
Tio has one of the most uncomfortable character introductions I have ever seen (I mean, if it was the opening sequence of a badly scripted porno that'd be one thing, but it's smack bang in the middle of a televised fantasy series), and even though her character design is probably my favourite in the show, there's just no getting past that first impression. She actually seems to have a serious backstory as well, but this is obliterated by her only characteristic since meeting Hajime being lewd masochism. BDSM in anime is often portrayed as being a blatant/ruling characteristic, rather than a fetish, which can get quite annoying, but Arifureta is one of those shows that just goes too far when Hajime basically rapes Tio and she spends the rest of the show begging for more rather than being, you know, traumatised. But hey, I guess it doesn't matter if a stranger shoves a rod up your backside when they're a main character and a harem target. That'd make anyone come. Especially after you've just lost your entire will to a spell that made you go on a killing rampage slaughtering innocent people. Wouldn't you be horny after all that unprecedented manslaughter?
Characters and events just become more and more cliche as the series goes on - we even have a kid calling Hajime 'Papa' for newest harem candidate - don't worry, she's not human either, and no, she wasn't at all scared when she woke up with a scary looking guy watching her after escaping the slavers who just kidnapped her, because I mean, who would be? Incidentally, it turns out you can deal with criminal organisations by blowing up entire cities, so I guess Hajime really is a god after all now. Freaking Sodom and Gomorrah over here.
Oh yeah, and the production quality is basic on a budget on a schedule. Like it's professionally shit, rather than amateur shit. There's no art here, just what's needed to practically tell the story. I mean, the design is on the source material, so seriously. No art here. Still, it could be worse, so I'd call 2D as being average to subpar, and CGI as I-wasn't-expecting-anything-from-you-anyway. About what you'd expect from any mainstream genre side-show churned out of the money mill. I know that sounds particularly scathing, but there're always anime intended to be easily digested by the masses, I enjoy them too, but their main purpose to a company is to fill air time and turn a profit. I doubt they're going anywhere, and I don't have anything against them, but their production quality is generally poor.
In short... how bored are you?
Arifureta is one of those anime that remind you why we can’t have good things. It’s very badly made, the plot is terrible, the themes are horrible, yet the general audience loved it just because it’s an edgy isekai. It began as the replacement of The Rise of the Shield Hero, (both are isekai with a strong vibe of edge and justiceporn). It proceeded to make an ass out of itself by being awfully directed and animated (hole smokes, the CGI was on par with the modern Berserk). And then it managed to win most of the audience back (because they were isekai trash fans with very low expectations). Isn’t it wonderful to know that such a thing manages to get a second season because it was popular, while other shows with better plot and animation get squat?
Most of the audience was complaining at first about the bad CGI, but as a whole it would still be awful even if the animation was great. The plot is yet another isekai, about another bunch of high schoolers getting sucked into another videogame-like world, where learning new things is the same thing as eating. Remember when the Slime isekai was a thing for a season? And fuck training and studying, all you need to do is eat. Makes you wonder why shonen protagonists are not geniuses when they are all eating so much.
Anyways, the show tries to pull a not-twist by having the protagonist being the weakest of all the summoned heroes. See guys? It’s different from all other isekai because he is weak and there is a whole class of summoned students this time around. It has a lot of characters, each one with a different personality and personal quest! It subverts the clichés! Remember when the Shield Hero did the exact same subversion and turned out to be a dud? Well, what a surprise, the same thing happens here. The protagonist starts as pathetic and becomes stronger than all the rest put together almost immediately, for coming off as super cool in the eyes of the immature audience that loves that sort of empowerment fantasy. As for the rest of his classmates, they turn out to be completely useless and no more than background decoration. They are so useless they can’t even find him. He has to go find them and tell them how worthless they are. Their only purpose is to be constantly amazed with how the protagonist is super strong.
It’s laughable when the show tries to make you care about them, and fails because they are completely worthless. There is a scene where some bimbos are sad for losing the generic harem lead which they love without any reason. They try to make it sound like it’s a big deal and the viewer is supposed to feel sorry for them, but without spending any time on getting to know these bimbos, it’s impossible to care. The only thing we know about them is that they like the main character. We have no insight to who they are, therefore this drama comes off as forced and tasteless.
The entire plot focuses on the protagonist going around, killing monsters and hoarding chicks into his harem. He was also supposed to take revenge on those who constantly bullied him and then left him to die, but that plot point is quickly dropped for no real reason. There goes the justiceporn! He just forgets all the bullying and the horrible things they did to him. So why was it there to begin with? Oh, just for garnering sympathy from the audience in the first episodes. Extra lame points for how he wasn’t even bullied for being a dork. He was bullied because the boys in the class were jealous of him for sexually attracting girls despite being completely average. That’s right; he was a self insert harem lead that makes women fall in love with him despite not being special in any way. And he gets bullied for it so he will have the moral high ground for something he didn’t deserve. I mean, wouldn’t anyone be skeptical of a guy hoarding all the chicks without doing something to deserve it? Oh, but wait, he was being bullied, so let’s side with him and stop thinking about how this doesn’t make any sense. It’s not like it matters in the long run, since the show eventually turns into a harem.
But before it becomes a harem, we have to suffer through a very edgy arc where the protagonist is in constant angst and pain, as he tries to survive in the dungeon he was thrown in. He survives only through ridiculous amounts of plot armor by conveniently finding super materials, by constantly gaining more abilities, and by constantly healing his body with magic water. Something no other character could do for some convenient reason. Also, his supposed very weak and useless ability of transmutation (according to the people of this world) allows his to instantly create anything he likes out of rocks. With one hand. While being surrounded by powerful monsters. And I am not talking about simple stuff like swords and maces. I am talking about guns, and riffles, and grenades, and even motorbikes and jeeps! How is this supposed to be a weak ability?
I asked around a bit about this bullshit, and some readers of the novels justified it by saying transmutation is a weak ability only when you don’t know about the things you want to create. The protagonist knew about guns and jeeps, and that is why he was able to create them. Out of rocks, with one hand, while being surrounded by powerful monsters! Wanna know how come he knows so much about guns and jeeps to the point he can create them so easily? Because he was making a videogame and he studied guns so they will be more realistic when you play with them in the game. Fantastic reasoning. If you know how to make an omelet, you can create eggs out of rocks when you play videogames.
At least it doesn’t last too long because the adaptation is rushing through the novels. You thought Sword Art Online was rushed because Kirito cleared 100 floors in 14 episodes? You’ve seen nothing. This protagonist clears 50 floors in 10 minutes. There is no way to care about the number of floors or the difficulty of each one, for the same reason we can’t care about the harem bimbos being sad. Because everything is skipped. And it’s extra funny when you see how on one hand they rush through the source material and on the other they have to stall the plot with filler recap episodes because they couldn’t reach the deadline in time. What a disaster.
Once the edgelord finds his first girl, the show becomes far more palatable, because the plot repeats in the exact same way, in every single arc. Find bimbo, help her with her issues, add her to your harem, sex jokes, onwards to the next arc, rinse and repeat. It’s stuff we have been getting since the 80s. Here is a rundown:
-Cold eternal loli vampire: Boo hoo hoo, they imprisoned me because I was too powerful. It’s impossible to care about her when she is butt naked and begs the protagonist to give her a name, as if she is a pet. She is all over him despite having just met. Plus, she was imprisoned for centuries after being betrayed, she should normally be distrustful of others.
-Aloof sexy bunny: Boo hoo hoo, they hate me because I can use magic. She just exists to make sex jokes and to be constantly humiliated in ways that will remind you of deviant hentai.
-Masochist dragon slut: Boo hoo hoo, they brainwashed me to attack innocents. The protagonist tames her by sticking a metallic pipe in her ass. I am not joking, he shoved a huge pipe in her ass and she begs him to become his cum bucket. After that she exists just to make sex jokes, like an uncontrollable nympho. Also she never gets punished for all the murders she committed, despite constantly saying she is ready to accept punishment for them. I guess being added to the harem of a main character is a free out of jail card.
-Pure mermaid loli: Boo hoo hoo, they kidnapped me and tortured me and want to sell me as a slave. She is pure fan service for pedos who love grooming plots and just there to be moe and innocent towards everything that is going on around her.
-Healer schoolgirl: Boo hoo hoo, I like the bland main character for no reason, I wish he can save me so I can be added to his harem. She exists as the straight man, and constantly points out how everything the edgelord is doing is straight out of a bad hentai game.
The show pretends to have a plot, but it’s more of an afterthought and it doesn’t even make any sense. The edgelord has to complete several dungeons so he can open a portal to return home. But it doesn’t seem to be hard at all, since he can defeat thousands of monsters in a few minutes and in a single episode (because he is THAT overpowered). There is a scene where half an episode is spent on preparing for a monster attack, and giving courage to the population of the city under attack, and pointing out how everyone is important in the upcoming battle. And then the battle happens and none of them get to do the slightest thing, as the edgelord and his sluts easily destroy the army before it even gets to the city. So what was the point of wasting half an episode in making you think they matter? Also, isn’t it hypocritical that they kill all the monsters when they were probably brainwashed, just like the dragon they sparred earlier? We are talking about 60.000 potential waifus down the drain.
Also, are we supposed to believe the edgelord does all these missions because wants to go back to his world? The very world where he is a loser nobody who gets constantly bullied, and give up on this world where he is a cool edgelord with superpowers and his own harem?
I have heard people defending this abomination as a comedy and not as a story that wants you to take it seriously. See guys, there are sex jokes about his bimbos begging the edgelord to impregnate them! And another one where the straight man asks how many women he knocked up! It’s a comedy! Yes, a comedy full of misery, gore, terror, and a misanthrope protagonist. It’s just a comedy! … or it’s a light novel for people with no social skills who want to imagine themselves as victimized and who wish they could justify with edge the murder of everyone who gets in their way and the screwing of every girl they come across.
Oh well, at least now it’s finally over and we can move on with our lives… not! The second season has already been announced because it was proven to be highly popular. People loved this shit and want more of it. In the meantime Vinland Saga was slept on by most. Your average anime fan would rather watch a horribly animated isekai, than an actually good show. And that ladies and gentlemen is what modern anime are all about.
Finally a straight edge hero with a working head on his shoulders. Instead of letting potentially backstabbing enemies live - BANG. Slavetraders kidnapped little girl? - lead to the head for you fren. God I wish more anime were like this.
When he first finds Yue in a heavily guarded dungeon he's like: "ok, there must be a reason for this" and is cautious. As opposed to predictable boring anime-style: "oh no this person is locked up, we must help him/her no matter what, how or when".
Also fast paced. There is actually progress!! Bang bang and they are on floor 100 already. Not like black clover for instance where you'd be stuck on 1 floor with 20 fillers and 15 flashbacks stretched over 30 episodes.
The only major letdown is big monster CGI. What. The. Hell. happened there, did they not have enough budget for that or time?? (or likely both).
Finally they actually kiss in this anime instead of acting like children are found in cabbage all the time. Yue's got unique vibe to her which actually makes this harem type anime different. Hajime in turn is vocal with his loyalty to her and actually sticks with her which is adorable.
SO GLAD I FOUND THIS. fix cgi and roll out at least 40 episodes for S2 daddy can't wait
UPDATED AFTER A SECOND WATCH!
It's still pretty ridiculous. But after watching it a second time, I updated my "Characters" score. The anime in itself is very... Ridiculous. Everything about it- it's like reading a 16 year old's edgy Naruto-Gone-Gray fanfiction. But I have to give it props for something I didn't notice the first time through:
They made the characters memorable. It's not by a whole lot, they're not unique or well made. The MC is still just a silly edgelord, and his harem is exceptionally stereotype. It's all the side characters (The classmates). They didn't just feel like they were made to give the MC the spotlight- they gave them some focus on them and did develop them even if just a little bit. Unlike "By the Grace of God", a forgettable "Super Good Feels" isekai where all the side characters were given names and that's it, the side characters here actually felt like people. They're memorable and have actual personality, each one has their own problems and, even the very minor ones feel like they're someone different from a character standing next to them.
If the sequel puts more focus on the classmates, that'd be really great, I feel like there's potential.
Overall: 4/10 Would Watch Again! TL;DR at the bottom!
It's honestly not a very good show, but I think it's so cheesy and corny and awful that it's worth watching just because of it! I'm not a reviewing kind of person. I don't like leaving reviews as I'm not very eloquent with words, so this will be short. But this one just kinda triggered all kinds "This is awful and terrible" switches. That being said, I'd watch this again! Honestly I have no idea why I would, there's so many things that made me laugh out loud and tell myself that it's awful. But that was the exact reason it was enjoyable at the same time.
Story: The story felt like it flip flopped everywhere. Honestly I didn't even know what the story was supposed to be. It's called an Isekai, but unless there's a prequel or you "Had to read the manga/light novel" pretext (which is no doubt the case), then there is almost 0 indication of it being an Isekai if you watch the anime alone other than mentions of "Going Home" and them constantly saying summoned heros. There's some lore here and there sprinkled throughout for the world itself too, but the lore can be honestly just completely skipped as it felt a lot like random plot devices thought up on the spot to make the show more spicy, and most of those plot devices weren't even used in the anime itself. The character developement part of the story felt like something out of a fanfiction powertrip. But I guess that's what made it kind of fun?
Animation: The animation was a weird mix of good and bad. There's an extremely awkward mix of CGI (With terrible models) that seems like it's something out of an early 2000's anime. They mix CGI with Drawn, and the CGI runs at a higher frate than the drawn animation. It feels clunky and awkward, and the models stretch in ways you normally really only see in Source Film Maker animations on youtube. Plus the way some of the magic and CGI elements seem like they were click and dragged by the mouse! It's honestly hilarious!
Sound: The sound was awkward as all heck too. "Loud" noises, such as explosions and heavy running water were turned waaaay down and sometimes very difficult to hear period. I'm not sure if that's in due part to the anime, or if that's because I watched it on Hulu (not a great place to watch anime to be honest). But I'm somewhat sure that it's the anime itself, the lighting often time does that too during bright CGI moments.
Characters were... Something! There's way too many details to pick on each of the Main (and major supporting) characters, so I'll just give a summary since spoilers would totally suck because the characters are the best (and cliched!) part. Unimportant spoiler: The main character starts out weak for the first, maybe 15 minutes of episode one. He feels very boring early on- at least until he meets his companions!
I feel like somewhere throughout the film, some one decided enough was enough and slapped him with a different personality, because as the anime progresses there's a few points where he feels different than how he is. That being said this is also a Harem Anime. All his traveling companions are girls, surprise surprise! They each have their own personality and each are a perfect representation of a cliche archetype of girl! I like one in particular, but she's not a romantic interest- she's the sole child character that is an actual child. What I liked though is that he actually interacts with his girls. God, that was the one redeeming factor, he actually loves and says he does one of them and shows and interacts with the others that aren't numero uno and shows affection in his own stupid way. You know, as opposed to "Main character is oblivious/Main character ignores them all/Main Character is actually a pervert and his harem is all tsundere" scenarios. I actually enjoyed the romance and romantic subtexts in certain scenes too, they could be touching.
TL;DR - All in all, no I personally don't think this was a very good anime. That being said, it's on a level of Bad but Fun Anyway! I would absolutely watch this again if I manage to need a good laugh. It takes itself seriously while somehow being entirely and utterly non-serious in the end! And I see a sequel or second season listed, I'll definitely be watching that IF it comes out!