Little by little the various newly-mixed characters are starting to learn more about each other. Ainz Ooal Gown and Tanya end up exchanging Evil Death Stares until they loosen up and both realize that despite their appearances they’re both men from modern Japan, which is vastly comforting considering how crazy anyone else in their respective other worlds would think they were by bringing it up.
Two women who find kinship in feeling the same way about their man (specifically, that there’s no better one)? Rem and Albedo! When Cocytus protests compulsory participation in the talent show, Ram simply tells him the teacher’s word is law.
When both Subaru and Kazuma are running late, their much more athletic female friends (Rem and Darkness, respectively) literally carry them as they run fast. Neither man feels right about this, but put an end to the carrying only when they see each other.
While serving punishment for being late as a result, the two learn that they have a lot in common, except that one of them was summoned and the other reincarnated. And one’s a shut-in and the other isn’t. But they both love tracksuits!
When Kazuma starts describing the awful situation he’s in (which honestly doesn’t sound so bad), Subaru tells him he “knows how he feels” despite the fact he lives in a mansion with the girl he’s trying to win, along with two twin maids, one of whom is in love with him. Kazuma takes particular umbrage to Subaru calling that a bad deal, and with good reason…it’s not!
IQ continues to explore various combinations between characters through casual interactions. Demiurge ends up doing what he usually does—explain to all what Lord Ains has already realized: they’re trapped in another world and forced to become students. Only as usual, he’s several steps ahead of his lord and Ains has to pretend otherwise.
A flyer for an upcoming student talent show is distributed, which should also provide a vehicle for the characters to get to know each other better. Ram is typically ruthless in her criticism of Subaru, declaring his talent to be “failing at life.”
Beatrice is called a “little girl” by two of Tanya’s underlings, but when she visits the lounge to talk to Roswaal, it’s one of Tanya’s superiors, who uses his hypnotic voice to convince her to return to class. In “Betty” he sees another potential “demon in a little girl’s skin”, causing Tanya to sneeze (and Aqua to bless her).
Aqua’s mention of gods/goddesses, words Tanya hates, reminds her of “Being X”, and back in class she decides to confront Lord Ains in the off-chance he may knows something. But when she asks Ains to meet her, Albedo becomes defensive, eventually befriending Rem, as they both agree that love has no set conditions nor a duration to take root.
Note…there’s not much to say here, as this is an inherently uneventful show—Avengers: Endgame it is not! It’s more just enjoying all these characters bounce off each other with zero stakes.
In its first two mini-episodes, Isekai Quartet is content to let its audience bask in the sheer absurdity and awesomeness of watching characters from four of their favorite Isekai anime bounce off one another in a school setting. Their homeroom teacher, Roswall L. Mathers from Re:Zero, begins with introductions.
Ram notes that Kazuma, who is staring at “Barusu,” is wearing the same bizarre threads we know to be an IRL track suit. Little do both Kazuma and Subaru know that Ains Ooal Gown is also one of them, as is Tanya, but in different forms. I did enjoy Kazuma and Subaru’s reaction to Tanya’s very militaristic group’s introduction.
Since both OverLord and KonoSuba feature very similar fantasy races and spells, Aqua takes it upon herself to launch a preemptive attack on the Nazarick crew, since they consist of an undead, a vampire, a demon, and a monster. Momonga even recognizes the name of her spell, which he expects to be low-level, but actually hurts like a bitch.
Even more disconcerting to the guardians and their ruler is that Kazuma is able to simply bop someone as powerful as Aqua on the head and drag her off, scolding her for attacking her classmates. The next day, she has to stand in the hall with three water buckets, an ironic punishment for the water goddess.
Re:Creators was a story in which characters from several different popular contemporary anime series were somehow transported into the real world and began to interact and form factions. It was essentially a giant crossover event, only all of the anime involved were original and created just for the show.
Isekai Quartet, on the other hand, crosses over four immensely popular Isekai shows from recent years, all of which have been covered here at RABUJOI: KonoSuba, Overlord, Re:Zero, and Tanya the Evil. Needless to say, the more knowledge you have on these four shows (and more to the point, the more you enjoyed them) the more enjoyment you’re derive out of this.
One could complain that the “chibi” character designs detract from what could have been a pretty awesome crossover of the four shows’ native art styles. As for me, I only got a couple minutes into it until I all but forgot they were chibi designs; such was the familiarity and fidelity of the characters’ wardrobes, voices, and mannerisms.
All four shows have their own tones and rhythms, and they even occupy different genres (with KonoSuba and OverLord leaning more towards comedy and Re:Zero and Tanya more to drama), so it’s simply exhilarating to watch them suddenly occupying the same space…even if that space is a high school for some reason (like Attack on Titan: Junior High), and the means of the four groups ending up there (mysterious red buttons) can only be called laughably, almost admirably lazy.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where they are or how they got there, just that they’re now all together. Subaru & Co. only just show up at the end with the other three groups already at their desks, but I’m definitely looking forward to all of the new dynamics that arise from such a sudden grouping. I can’t promise this is going anywhere significant. All I know is watching it brought me a great deal of joy.
First half: Shinzo beseeches the Sket-dan to help him come up with an up-to-date, snappy outfit to meet his penpal. After many unsuccessful attempts, they finally get him looking good, only to find the girl meets is actually a friend of his brother Shinpei, waiting for him, and his penpal has an identical face but freakishly huge body. Second half: The Sket-dan recieves a workout DVD called “Biney’s Mute Amp”, which Himeko jumps right into. The initially irritating, disorganized, and ridiculous workout session slowly wins her over, and by the end, she and Switch are true believers. Then Bossun borrows it…
We don’t read Shonen Jump, but we are watching two anime adapted from Jump manga: Bakuman and this. In Bakuman 2’s last episode, we got a sneak peak at the first half of this episode, where Shinzo meets Megumi, voiced by the Bakuman character Miho (in reality, both are the voice of Hayami Saori, who though only 20, has shown up in at least a dozen series we’ve watched, most memorably Tsuruko in AnoHana and Ayase in Oreimo). In one of Shinzo’s many wardrobe malfunctions, Bossun dresses him up like Niizuma Eiji, and he even uses the same voice inflections.
We personally like these little cross-references, since they’re nice wink and nod to those who are watching (unsubtle though they may be). It’s also funny how Bakuman considers Sket Dance a fictional construct in which one of its characters lends her voice, while in the often very meta Sket Dance, Bakuman is the manga/anime. One thing is for certain: between Shinzo’s odyssey to look cool (and the predictable shootdown with the hulk-Megumi) and the totally whacked-out workout video, Sket Dance is replete with variety.
The three-person main cast of Gintama crosses over to Sket Dance, using a strange interdimensional device that then shorts out. As Switch works to repair it, the two casts trade barbs, pointing out the similarities in their characters and their voices. When they activate the device again, it takes the two casts back in time to the first episode of Sket Dance. Eventually, the Gintama club returns to whence it came.
Sket Dance is apparently going on another 13 episodes, if not more, but
I believe I’ve had my fill; it’s time to say goodbye. Update: due to the poor debut of C³, we’ll be dropping that and continuing to watch this for the time being. I must admit, I have never watched a single episode of Gintama and know nothing about it or its characters, nor the understanding that Sket Dance is, at its core, Gintama in a school setting, what with all the gags and parody. Ah well, you learn something new everyday! And the fact the core trio was essentially doubled gave this episode an immense amount of energy.
Despite not knowing anything about Gintama, I could still appreciate virtually an entire episode of breaking the fourth wall, though I’ll admit it seemed a bit overdone at times – fourth wallbreaking is best when used sparingly, lest it get tired. I did recognize Rie Kugimiya as the voice of the red Chun Li, and the fact that Switch and Gin had the same voice, and the harking back to Teppei – the red herring for the main character in the first episode – was a nice touch. If nothing else, pointing out its blatant similarities to the obviously very popular Gintama franchise – obviously done to cash in on its success – is a nice bit of self-depricating humor.