High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! – 01 (First Impressions)

The seven best people in the world are Japanese high school students, which Choyoyu! desperately tries to sell us via 5 minutes of contrived intro cards before plunging said prodigies into another world via plain crash. Shortly there after, an elf french-kiss-feeds the first boy to awaken so goat milk stew. As prime minister of Japan, he takes it in stride.

Still desperate, Choyoyu! flashes forward a month to the prodigies all physically recovered and integrating into the elf-and-beastman town. Except the dialog feels like ‘we just arrived’ dialog, swerving awkwardly from exposition about seven heroes of fabled legend, to the introduction of mayo into the fantasy realm. Then the evil knights show up and are quickly defeated.

As the fourth Isekai to air this season, Choyoyu! had a stiff competition for eyeballs. Between the low energy cast, lower shelf visual style, and loveless story construction, it doesn’t have much going for it. At least the cast has working cell phones. And a nuke. So I guess that may turn into something later down the line?

Kemono Michi: Rise Up – 01 (First Impressions)

Animal lover and world-class pro wrestler Shibata Genzo is summoned to another world by a princess to do battle against the demon beasts threatening her kingdom. Little did she know Genzo would take her out with a German Suplex! He has no time for people who threaten his lovely animals!

Rise Up’s humor is charming, absurd, and expertly timed throughout. Toss an upper-shelf render quality, and the colorful cast of characters, and you’ve got a show aiming for Konosuba’s spot on my Isekai Ranked list. Will it get there? Depends how pervy it actually is under those wrestler undies!

Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious – 01 (First Impressions) – Not Entirely Disagreeable

The title kinda says it all! This isn’t a show that beats around the bush. The low-mid-level goddess Listarte needs a human hero to save the S-Difficulty human world of Gaeabrande (or Gairbrunde) from the Demon Lord. Knowing how popular the isekai genre is in Japan, she only looks at candidates from that country, and is unimpressed with most of them…until she comes upon one Ryuuguuin Seiya, who is neither a Suzuki or a Yamada.

To oversimplify, let’s call this KonoSuba in reverse: rather than the guy from another world being the narrator and providing the primary POV, here it’s the goddess, who is just looking to get ahead in godlife. She knows she’s struck gold in Seiya, but while he’s super-hot, she almost immediately realizes there’s a catch to those good looks and gaudy stats: Seiya is redonkulously cautious.

For one, he trusts no one, including the goddess who summoned him. He doesn’t trust the onigiri she worked hard to make for him unless she tries it first, and even then, he suspects they might have a slow-acting poison. He spends over a week in the dwelling Lista prepared for him, leveling up simply by working out.

Lista takes Seiya to a beginner’s town for outfitting, but he spends most if not all of the money she gives him on three sets of armor for double redundancy, as well as far more potions and antidotes than are needed…again, because he’s so cautious.

Once they’re finally out in the field, with nothing but harmless Level 1 slimes, he executes both of his special attacks over a half-dozen times even though the first attack was more than enough to obliterate the slime. All the ruckus he causes ends up attracting one of the Four Heavenly Kings who serve the Demon Lord himself; rather than face her, Seiya cuts and runs, leaving Lista to chase after him.

Seiya isn’t much more than the manifestation of the show’s title, but thankfully, he doesn’t really have to be much more than that. Listarte provides more than enough character for the both of them, thanks in no small part to veteran seiyu Toyosaki Aki putting on a veritable voice-acting clinic. She has as many voices as he has contingencies.

Add in the dynamic of an overpowered hero so dang cautious he’s his own greatest liability, and you have an isekai comedy that actually has something new to say. I’m in!