「そして、世界へ…」 (Soshite, sekai e)
“And So, Off into the World…”
Honestly for all the teasing at the end of last week, there were no real surprises for KnM this time around. Besides Schtrom not getting involved in things (because final boss is boss), we instead got to enjoy the sights and sounds of subordinates done right and blondies pulling Super Saiyan. Was it the absolute best? Of course not, but hey, at least KnM stays true to its central tenant of easygoing first, annoying stuff later. Giggity.
We may have missed out on a lot of explanation to help settle away the rapid fire events and antagonist developments of these past few weeks (and oh boy was it ever missed), but considering the KnM left off with a half-coherent ending and a decent jumping off point should the sequel stars align (hah), I’d say it was a good as it could’ve been. For a run of the mill isekai, there’s no higher praise.
KnM for me is one of those series where appearances prove deceiving. While an unabashedly cookie cutter and generic isekai story, KnM made up for its arguably insurmountable negatives by running with the wind and making the most of its base conventionality. This was a story firmly aligned with all those which came before, but one that used those similarities to forge a path dissimilar enough to actually become unique in its own right.
Where KnM draws strength is undeniably its slice of life bent. Akin to Slime or even Isekai wa Smartphone, KnM relied on lighthearted, romcom-esque scenes to build up its characters, keep things entertaining, and ultimately avoid some of the pitfalls befalling similar isekai series. Shin for example is the prototypical Gary Stu, but steers clear of many of the Gary Stu issues thanks to first shafting the harem in favour of monogamy, and second actually showcasing the ability to turn the support cast turn into enemy killing monsters in their own right (albeit with some help here or there). With a bit of power decentralization, Shin flips the usual isekai plotline on its head and instead offers a pretty enjoyable take on daily fantasy shenanigans. It’ll never win any awards mind you, but as base popcorn material, KnM certainly nailed it right.
Naturally the main issue stemming from this is when KnM tries getting serious—in short, it never really worked. While the series features a decent plot revolving around its demonoids and their leader in Schtrom, the switch into conflict was too fast to really take proper effect, especially when the entire backstory of KnM’s main antagonist was condensed into a single episode. Even for less structurally imaginative isekais such story elements are better paced and better developed, leaving the feeling KnM simply included this because it’s what everyone else does after the show belatedly realized the components were missing. As a result the final 3-4 episodes lack much of the tantalizing bite the first half of series showcased, missing a prime opportunity to reinforce success and solidify itself as above par isekai. KnM was never going to be perfect, but potentially being better than it turned out? It was a realizable possibility.
In the end however I cannot be too disappointed with KnM overall. I knew what I was getting into from the start, wound up pleasantly surprised, and even with the stumbles these past few weeks still wound up liking more than I hated. It’ll be one series that’ll inevitable fade into the background as time goes by, but as a bit of simple, kick back and relax adventuring, you can certainly do worse than this isekai anime.