Handyman Saitou in another world

Alt title: Benriya Saitou-san, Isekai ni Iku

TV (12 eps)
3.615 out of 5 from 3,698 votes
Rank #4,273

Handyman Saitou has never felt special in his life. When he’s dropped into a medieval fantasy world, he gathers a party of unique beings to survive. Surrounded by a heavy warrior, a spell-forgetting wizard, and even a divine fairy princess, he yearns to be helpful. But after Saitou saves everyone during a raid, it’s clear that having a handyman on an adventure isn’t just useful, it’s essential!

Source: Crunchyroll

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*This review has minor spoilers with little impact* Summary This anime is a typical isekai, where someone is dropped into a world with a unique skill. I enjoy these types of animes, but this is a poorly done rendition of the trope. it suffers from poor story/character development and disjointed presentation. Presentation IssuesThe biggest issue is presentation. The anime begins with a poor stylistic choice of 'discontinity'. It jumps from scene to scene, obfuscating main/side characters and events, doesn't establish story arc, etc. You're not sure where the anime is coming from until the middle of the season. For animes like Dorohedero, this works. In Dorohedero, it *IS* a very bizarre disjointed world and story. The presentation pulls you into the perspective of the main character, a person suffering from loss of identity, trying to unravel his bizarre history. This is not the case for Handyman Saitou. The underlying arc, for Saitou and most side characters, are straightforward and cliche. (A single supporting character, an old wizard with memory issues, *could* use this presentation, but... the anime is not told from his perspective, nor are most of the disjointed scenes related to his condition). Character Development Issues In terms of character development, character motivation is primarly presented through repetitive exposition. The relationships, romantic and platonic, feel force fed.  Relationships are presented as 'deep' but feel 'shallow.' As a viewer, I couldn't develop emotional investment. This creates an issue early in the anime with "shallow intensity." Characters are placed in life threatening, emotional situations of sacrifice, except the viewer doesn't have enough emotional investment to empathize. It feels contrived, a cheap emulation of better animes. (Characters being able to be easily healed and revived doesn't help either.) To top it off, in moments of crisis, the anime will switch between intense emotional build up, to nonsensical absurdism, to emotional intensity, to weird sexual perversion, to childish silliness, etc. This will happen 10+ times within a short scene. The anime has an identity crisis. It doesn't know what it wants to be. World BuildingIn terms of world building, it does a moderate job. The magic is repetitive until late in the season. The world elements, monsters, towns, dungeons, aren't anything unusual, except for a bright spot in relation to the demons. The demons are drawn well. They are unique, evil, digusting beings that evoke visual discomfort from the uncanny valley. I found them intriguing. Unfortunately, their lore isn't developed. They exist without context. They are also presented in an inconsistent manner, switching between serious/dark/evil, to trivialized and silly within seconds. Conclusion if I could write a letter into the past, I'd recommend myself not to watch this anime. It had the potential to be a enjoyable Isakei with a few unique elements that made it worthwhile. Instead, the presentation, discontinuity, shallowness of character/relationships, let me down.

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