Aloha, my dear guests, today I serve you a new content cocktail from the Isekai vein. A cute little show that plays that really pushes some right buttons for me. After the last Isekai I watched, being Isekai Cheat Magician I could really use a winner. Let’s see if this one can convince me.
One Punch Man’s Blessing on this Wonderful World
Conceptually this Isekai show is nearly identical to any other. Girl dies by a truck to save a little kid and gets a chance to start a new life in a magical world and ends up being extremely powerful. Nothing new under the tropical sun here. Yet from the get go I felt welcomed by this show. Misato was a genius girl in her old live and thus lived a life in a bit of an ivory tower. High expectations made her even more of a loner, causing her to only find solace in her geekdom. Due to being a geek she recognises the truck and fully realises what is happening to her as she is familiar with all the Isekai tropes. As a result she wishes to be perfectly average so she can have plenty of friends. Unfortunately her new god, takes in account every species living in this world, giving her new life Adele/Mile the stats that are that of the weakest little bug .. and an Elder Dragon combined.. and then divided by two. Thusly.. Mile, as she prefers to go by is 6800 times stronger than your average mage. She’s also a noble by the name of Adele von Ascham which she tries to hide. As a result we do get an interesting twist in the genre in the fact that it’s not about her learning to wield her overpowered abilities of her.. but about trying not to to use the. It feels very aware of the fantasy tropes and has that ‘pen and paper’ feeling that I loved in Konosuba mixed with quite a few hints of One Punch Man with just a dash of Blood Lad, or Gintama, in terms of references. While not groundbreakingly original I can not help but feel this anime is really targeted at people like me.
Mile & Me
Over the course of the first two episodes this feeling only got stronger and stronger. We see Mile move into a tavern for a night, which leads into her finding a party, like any classic fantasy D&D adventure SHOULD begin. They got their bases right. In the tavern Mile meets a girl that goes missing which is her original quest , which ..as stars align will allow her to meet all her party members twice. This feels as it should be.. not very original but as an homage to classic fantasy stories. I know I am skipping a few scenes here, but this feeling is something important to remark because this theme is recurring for me. Mile throughout the first two episodes could come across as your standard awkward protagonist, but she is more than that. In many ways she is a D&D player. She is very much is a character I can relate to. We first see her settling in town, enjoying the benefits of a fantasy world, excited to try new meats when she goes to the market, awkward when addressing knights not noticing her gender, she is not above being petty for being flat either.. I kinda can relate.
So the first half of the first episode cleverly sets up her character showing us her abilities and thought process in a charming harmless way. Around the midway point of the first episode however we get the exposure dump by her cute familiar creature. In my eyes .. he is kind of like the Dungeon Masters in a game of D&D, explaining the character and her stats.. but for now the thing is a bit throwaway. I wish it had a bit of a cuter voice, it’s very human like voice , which makes me think of a DM even more. A mediocre exposure dump, that while I can see is necessary , could have been handled better.
The second half of the episode sees Mile embark on her quest to find the tavern girl and meet with her mysterious of encounter earlier again. Reina the tsundere fire mage, Mavis the androgenic swordswoman and Pauline the large chested, soft spirited cleric. Together they hunt a group of bandits that are behind a series of child abductions. This is done in a way that is nicely paced. Characters show up when there is need for them allowing us to get a good grasp of them, after which the story propels Mile back into the stratosphere in terms of ability. She can use any form of magic with ease and without spells and her strength is made significant by putting her amongst lessers. Again the series nails the relatability to Mile by making her realise on character is the tsundere and adapting her behaviour to it. The fact that she rages when she is called flat and goes beserk might seem like a cheap character trope and in a way it is.. but this is EXACTLY how people build their D&D characters. People add this kind of stuff to their characters for flavor and whimsey so in case of Mile it feels entirely justified, in a way she is playing a D&D game after all , her overpoweredness enforcing that feeling that she CAN actually treat it as such as well. I just can relate so much.
The Heart of the Party
The first episode concludes with a battle between the four girls and a woman named Arledy who wishes for nothing more than an ‘platonic’ young girl harm, where she can put her head on their laps. The party fights Arledy’s generals but are easily overwhelmed, until one of them calls Mile flat.. after which she unleashes her full power beating them. Embarrassed Mile flees the scene, after discovering her friend was safe all along she heads towards the Hunter Academy.which is basically your standard guild, where they train to be heroes .. or hunters of various ranks. Mile hopes to start a new life here where she can hide her abilities only to be assigned to a dorm that holds those very same three adventurers she encounters the night before. With this somewhat painfully predictable cliffhanger we move into the second episode.
The second episode begins at the exact moment the first ends and continues straight away with all the girls telling more about themselves. All appear to be children with Mavis being 16, Reina 15 Pauline is 14 and Mile is revealed to be 12 years old. Even though she clearly was older when she died. She had to start all over, but those twelve years are left blank. Still leaving some room, for mystery with the character, which seems a nice choice. Her roommates of course want to know everything about her so she tries to deceive them and chooses to spin very obvious falsehoods. This could seem out of character, after all her intelligence is very high as well, but again this is exactly how D&D characters behave. They are knowing when it comes to monsters, skills etc but no matter how much charisma or intelligence a character has, the player will somehow end up talking like a fool. This scene is followed by them settling inside the school , with them having a few trials to prove their worth… where Mile obviously fails to be average, nonetheless her roommates are more than happy to party up with her and they get send on their first ‘official’ quest. Kill 10 horned rabbits.
This simple quest nails again what it means to us to be a beginning adventurer, every D&D or fantasy RPG, mostly MMO’s have you start out with this sort of questline. One might call it uninspirational to follow this trope but every DM and D&D player know the importance of starting out like this. It makes the journey and the leveling more worth it in the end. It will highlight how far you have come when the campaign is over. Yet with a character that is half as strong as a dragon how can you make this worthwhile? The episode cleverly chooses to put Mile into the role of teacher. She concludes her party would learn nothing from just doing it herself and she uses her skill to teach the others. Once more we see how much this character is like us , making references of games , anime and manga throughout. When being interrogated she imagines being stuck in Phoenix Wright, when she is doing combat training she dresses up like Master Roshi. This is exactly how I would play a character like Mile in a D&D and she has a very similar thought process to me. She sees how training is like Dragon Ball, how things in this world because of their traits fit other geek-culture things and she uses this knowledge to her advantage. The way she teaches spells is much more visual compared to how many Isekai characters. Shapes and feelings instead of talks of molecules. While there is some science talk it all feels clean and much more catered to their intended targets, making everyone feel a lot more human. By letting Mile be a teacher and crafter she contributes to the world, even if she just makes a Nendoroid.. she isn’t just a walking nuke. She is what makes this party move.
This is exactly what what makes the conclusion of this episode very pleasant. The lessons Mile teaches to the party make sense and make them grow as adventurers, she doesn’t just shower them with skills either, she makes the other girls reach insights which ends up in them taking on a high level monster by themselves, when Mile gets overwhelmed by excitement. Mavis, Reina and Pauline demonstrate that not only have they learned their skills, they know how to apply them giving value to this episode. The overpowered protagonist easily takes down two other golems keeping the tone of the show intact and again very much succeeding in making this seem like a game to Mile. They found out all other groups failed their quests and the adorable twelve year old realises that when she is not directly involved her party is well above average. Simply because the “average” skill of the party is to high again. Perfect for a lingering smile from me as a viewer.
While I do get this show is not for everyone and can feel generic because it heavily relies on tropes, I kind of feel that that is the entire point. To me it feels like it’s written by someone who knows D&D and how your standard fantasy adventure works. While Mile may not be original , in honesty neither are most of our D&D characters. These tropes have existed since the 70’s and we still use them to this day. This unlike to most of its previous seasons counterparts to me knows exactly what makes them fun , funny and applies them in a way that shows knowledge of what makes fantasy so great. Arledy is being set up as an antagonist again, while she may not hold a candle to the perfectly average girl she is an ideal villain who can actually antagonise our main girl , threatening her newly found friends and that average life. I am excited to see what the future holds and found these episode to be berry good!