「世間知らず、王都に立つ」 (Sekanshirazu, outo ni tatsu)
“I Will Stand in the Royal Capital”
While this season may not be isekai powerhouse summer is looking to be, the alternate world phenomenon continues its inexorable march through anime with not only Isekai Quartet, but also this little series called Kenja no Mago. It may be flying under the radar and not “real” isekai (compared to what we’re used to), but if you were thinking of passing this one over from appearances alone you’d be doing yourself a disfavour, because KnM is arguably more fun than it has right to be.
At face value KnM is what you’d expect from any other cookie cutter isekai series: ordinary guy with few attachments and one hell of a work schedule finds himself transported to a new universe after getting trucked to the face. Add on the usual magic system, generic fantasy setting, and Gary Stu-esque powers and darling you got yourself a
money printer isekai story. There are some slight changeups mind you, from our main man Shin (Kobayashi Yuusuke) being reincarnated as a baby and apparently not retaining a lot in the way of real world information to the mechanism of Shin learning about this new world (parental negligence? Who would’ve thunk it), but in effect KnM is what happens when Knight’s & Magic’s premise meets Smartphone’s (and Slime’s) demeanour—i.e. your more lackadaisical kind of isekai.
While the above will probably have some running for the hills, the important thing to note is that as a whole KnM’s setup works surprisingly well, in part because of that lighthearted, slice of life coating. Shin for example may be OP as hell and built with composite grade plot armour (you know he’s got the easy road), but thanks to his family life and the show’s obvious focus on exploration it’s hard to focus too much on it. Much like the aforementioned Smartphone it’s all going to be about learning things, helping solve problems, and making a few friends along the way; if KnM succeeds with this—i.e. by keeping its various arcs fresh and interesting—there’s little reason to except this turning into classic trainwreck material. Plus the fact the show is all but throwing a lack of a true harem in our faces is something definitely worth giving it the benefit of the doubt over. Make no mistake, KnM probably won’t be setting the bar for any future isekai to aim towards, but so long as its future characters can match the fun and humour of our dorky wizard Merlin (Yara Yuusaku) and his totally tsundere ex-wife (guaranteed), this one will be more than capable of filling the void Slime left behind.
No matter how long in the tooth alternate world tales may be getting these days for some, if you’re need of a little isekai levity this season certainly consider giving KnM a shot—this one won’t leave you disappointed.
OP: 「アルティメット☆MAGIC」 (Ultimate☆MAGIC) by i☆Ris