Hear me out, Please. This is Isekai trash, something that is so trash you won't believe it's not from an actual dumpster. But that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. It is always fun to see different writers take on the Isekai OP rules, and this is an interesting take on it.
Keep in mind this is Trash Isekai.
But so far it has not resulted in the MC getting a Harem, no shameless fanservice (sexualizing teenagers) & I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS A PRO, but no 9-year-olds being sexualized, I can not tell you how happy I am at an Isekai anime where the MC is not recruiting children into his harem.
SO yeah this is trash but trash that stinks a lot less than crap like The Master of Ragnarok.
Enjoy this as your seasonal Isekai trash embrace your inner degenerate like me. It's ok to enjoy bad anime sometimes. 5.5/10 for mediocrity
This series starts off exceptionally slow, and in turn, comes off as a bland isekai that has no merit besides the mystery of the game master and the virtual world. As such, it comes off as your regular power-fantasy isekai with a bland main character that magically has a harem of girls around them. Luckily, none of the girls in the party are romantically interested in him. However, only side characters he meets along the way seem to be romantically interested in him and play no large role in the story. The story has a relatively cliche start - the main character Yotsuya is dragged into a game-like world after cleaning the classroom after school. There, he meets Shindou and Kusue, and the mysterious Game Master greets them - giving Yotsuya the class of a farmer. They are given quests and are required to clear them in a set amount of time or die. Nothing new in the genre at all, so it doesn't give any shock factor whatsoever. What's especially offputting is Yotsuya's personality - he's a middle schooler who feels real life is too boring and wishes life was like a game. In the game world, however, he is thrilled but also equally sadistic, often throwing lives aside in guard of logical rationale. This is definitely one of the positives, as it presents a realistic approach of saving yourself before you save others. This is one of his key redeeming factors since it differs from most stereotypical isekai protagonists. As the series continues, the other characters influence Yotsuya into saving random characters so that part only lasts the first few episodes. However, with a shocking season finale, I can say that the show took 11 episodes to actually pique my interest. I still personally feel that at times, Yotsuya is an interesting main character, especially in his mindset. However, his sadistic mindset is offputting, and considering the fact that he's 14, it comes off as a little "edgy." I just hope that his character develops more in the second season. Furthermore, in between some tense moments, the characters all get a breather for a while, and Yotsuya fumbles interacting with the girls from the party as the comedy relief. The animation isn't spectacular either, and a good portion of it depends on still frames to act as filler. The stakes for the quests are high, and further so because if all of the party members die at once, they'll die in real life as well. After finishing the season, I can say that I'm interested to see what the second brings, but the build-up was absolutely excruciating. The first 11 episodes were there to world build, and in turn came off as bland and generic. If anyone followed the three episode rule, I definitely could see this being a strikeout simply due to the long build-up. This definitely could've been executed better, but I still personally feel that this is, to an extent, a generic isekai. The second season will have to speak for itself, and I hope that it does better than the first. I'll be looking forward to see if it can bring a new "twist" into the oversaturated genre.
In short, I’m Standing on a Million Lives is an isekai fantasy drama with horribly random placements of comedy. If you want a break from the overused isekai trope with a more realistic take and a lot more on drama and character development, then look no further. If you’re looking for action, adventure, romance, powerful/cheat abilities (or even a weak-to-strong development), story development, or world building, then look somewhere else.
Now let’s get on to the specifics (minimal spoilers).
Here’s how the world/system works. People who are selected from Earth are transported to another world. In this world, as long as one person of the team is still alive, the others are able to revive 30 seconds after dying. Upon entering the world game master gives them quests to complete with a time limit. Once the quests are completed, everybody is sent back to Earth. But on Earth, one of the people are instructed by the game master to find and help the next person selected. During the next round, that person is added to the team and the cycle continues. Yotsuya is the 3rd person of the team and there would be 10 total rounds.
Okay, so that’s pretty interesting. I take it there’s gonna be something like around 1 round every episode, with some nice twist at the last one? Wrong. Not only are the quests long, but the story is also slow. In the 12 episodes, the show only goes through 2 rounds, with the first round on the 1st 3 episodes, and the rest occupying the next round.
So basically, the story is pretty much non existent. If they went by story alone and threw out any drama or character development, the season could very possibly be done in a less than half the time (aka a single movie worth of screen time).
But the comedy though! I mean, I do like comedy, and this show certainly did get me to breathe out a considerable amount of air from my nostrils, but why!? Almost every single moment they try to make funny are serious moments! Here, you’re discussing some big brain secret plan, and there’s dramatic music and everything, but suddenly you insert this weird expression and a joke, and the entire mood dies. Please, at least put the comedy somewhere else, if not get rid of it completely.
Animation? Average. Very, very average. Oh, and you see that “action” tag there? Don’t expect any action scenes. And you see that “monsters” tag there? Don’t expect any cool-looking monsters. Like…what in the frik is this thing!?! Are you trying to get out a laugh!? This is supposed to be a serious scene!
But on the other hand, the sound is pretty decent, especially the voice acting. Amazing job, VAs.
This is the best part of the show. No argument here. Every character has a very unique and well-thought-out backstory and psychology. There are frequent flashbacks to everybody’s lives back in their original world. Also, each character brings their own personalities and experiences from the old world, unlike some other isekais where you don’t even know what a person is like originally.
The character designs also affect how they play in the team. There isn’t really that much drama, as in conflicts between characters, but the way everybody has to work together to survive and complete quests is quite interesting.
Comment About the Isekai Genre
By “overused isekai trope,” I mean shows like KonoSuba, Shield Hero, Isekai Cheat Magician, Wise Man’s Grandchild, Arifureta, Cautious Hero… Now, I’m not saying all of those shows are bad. It’s just that the same format is being reused over and over: MC is transported to a fantasy world, obtains some kind of cheat, and is given the title of a hero to defeat some bad guy or just to simply return home.
Yes, this show is another isekai story, but personally, I wouldn’t lump this show in with that trope. There is almost no action. All the characters, even at level 10, could only be compared to level 1 trash in other stories. There is no long-term goal, and only short-term goals in the form of quests. And even the quests aren’t that big.
But maybe this is just another show with the isekai trope. Now that I kind of look at the big picture, this entire season could be seen… as the beginning of any other show. That kind of brings us to the next topic…
The Show as an Adaptation
This anime was adapted from a manga. Usually, a 12-episode season would cover around 40 episodes in the manga it’s adapting from. This show, though, only goes up to chapter 12. Remember when I said this show has no story? This is what that meant.
But that only means there is a lot more to the story that hasn’t been told yet. I only read the first 12 chapters after finishing the anime, but I can tell you: this isn’t a bad adaptation. The story just flowed so much better in the anime than in the manga. There was a lot more depth into the characters, even if it was at the sacrifice of a longer season.
However, it definitely wasn’t the perfect adaptation. I still can’t get over how randomly the comedy was placed, in both the manga and the anime. That was one problem the show failed to fix (or the director failed to see in the manga).
The second season is already confirmed. I haven’t read past the 13th chapter, and I don’t plan to, because I have high hopes for this next season and I don’t want to spoil it for myself. Hopefully, they’ll do a better job at separating the comedy scenes from the serious scenes.
Yet, another isekai LN adaptation. Problem with this series is the fact it introduces interesting concepts, but in the end it does nothing really with it. It’s another RPG-like game isekai, but it’s more like playing Dark Souls. Partially due to absurd system of classes and how bunch of mostly useless characters are pulled into the game with very little explanation. It makes the thing mystery box. The gamemasters are such box in particular. Who are they for real, what is the point of all this? Plot dictates that MC gets rare and useless classes . Until the very last episode this doesn’t feel like power fantasy that much. On Dark Souls theme transported members get killed a lot. Luckily, they can resurrect, if at least one of the party members is alive. Resurrect is further restricted by condition player won’t die again instantly. This plays important role through and through series. It at least adds some stakes and full party wipe doesn’t seem so impossible.
We have in the beginning two useless characters in a form of girl, that couldn’t kill fly even if she wanted … especially with her sword skills and equally useless mage, again a girl. But even then, the series isn’t much of harem. Do not look for that in this series.
There are few differences from usual average isekai tropes aside from another world mechanics. It’s the type where characters are pulled back and forward. That is kind nice, but then it has no real consequences . Another difference I liked is the MC is not first to be pulled out and for some reason with each completed quest more people are pulled into the party. The characterization is so lazy the game has cut-scene points built into the world. MC tends towards this I’m nihilist emo appeal. Animation and art are meh, music and soundtrack as well. The final episode shows there is going to be second season. The first season overall was more like one long intro movie. I wouldn’t recommend the series.
 Farmer, cook. Why would you put that in a game? Yeah, it’s not a game. Parallel world for some reasons.
 Until the last episode, when it’s revealed as you get stronger in another world it stays with you and items can be used in the original world as well.
Let me start off by saying, if you found the concept of the anime in any way interesting, you should read the manga instead.
This is by far the worst adaptation I've seen in years. For starters the 12 episode anime covered the first 12 chapters of the manga, basically doing the same thing One Piece does, but the difference is the OP anime has been going on for years and has caught up to the manga a long time ago, hence the padding, but this one's manga is so far ahead of the anime that there was no possible way it would have caugh up with it. Its clear that hey just wanted to adapt the first arc into a 12 episode anime, even if it meant they needed to stretch it out.
Next they changed the manga's overall serious tone into a more light-hearted comedic one, so its almost a different genre. The anime contains "comedy" and "romance" tags, which are very minimal in the manga. The brutality and gore have also been toned down quite a bit. The problem with this is, the manga gets VERY dark, so if they're too afraid to show an ogre's head explode, I highly doubt they'll be showing the countless atrocities that will be showing up later like [SPOILER] humans being killed in graphic ways (ex. sliced in half, crushed, burned to death, etc), an orc child burning to death, human infected by a parasite, drug addiction, drug traficing, human traficing, gang-raep, gang-raepd girl getting shown her father's decapitated head, just to name a few. [/SPOILER] Also, every "non-main character" is expendible and unlike in most isekai, for them death is permanent.
Finally, the things they used to pad out the anime, had a negative impact on some of the characters and even the overall flow of the story. To name a couple of examples:
- They essencially took one quirky personality trait of Tokitate (girl with glasses) and spammed it in every scene she's in, making her one dimensional. In the anime she's basically nothing but a crazy otaku girl, who only ever thinks of her 2D husbando and other otakus related things like magical girls and shipping. Now don't get me wrong, she does think of her 2D husbando's from time to time and even mentioned her wanting to be a mahou shoujo when she was a kid, when she first arived in the world, but you won't find a whole chapter dedicated to her delusion of being a magical girl, you won't find her constatntly, creepily chuckling in front of others about her 2D husbandos and you definitely won't find her trying to play wingman to make Yotsuya and Khavel a thing. Speaking of which...
- They dedicated an entire episode to not so subtlely hint at Khavel (knightess) having a thing for Yotsuya (protag), only to end it by it being a missundertsanding... This is 100% for padding. In the manga, other than the kiss, the fact that Khavel has a crush for Yotsuya is very subtle at this point, which is why they did the whole "it was all just a missunderstanding lol!" thing. Neither Yuka, nor Khavel are like the character they were portrayed as in that episode, yet they did it anyway, cause they wanted to make a romcom episode to stretch out the runtime and derail the flow of the story, as if they had time to mess around.
I'll end my rant by referring to the ending. That's right, they even messed up the ending. Let's call it just my opinion, but if they really wanted people to tune in on S2, they should have went one episode further, to reveal a very interesting twist in the story, which also explains why its called "I'm standing on a Million Lives": [SPOILER] Every time they return to their world, decades have passed in the isekai world. This means whatever they did in one stage, can have major reprecautions in future stages and by the time they return, whole countries could have been destroyed, people they met could be long dead, etc. [/SPOILER]
The animation ranges from decent to downright horrible, its very incosistent and sadly its more often bad than good.
The voice acting is good for he most part and some musical tracks give a nice feel to the world, which i do appreciate.
SCORE MANGA: Story - 8, Animation - , Sound -, Characters - 7, Overall 8/10
SCORE ANIME: Story - 5, Animation - 4, Sound - 6, Characters - 3, Overall 4/10
Not the worst anime I've seen this season, but definitely not good.
I'm baffled how this got a second season so fast (smells like money laundering). That said, I'll probably watch the second season as well, but if they continue to go crazy with the changes, then I highly doubt I'll enjoy it. Anime directors need to learn their place and stop changing the mangaka's work, just because they think they can make it better.