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Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「FLARE」by Void_Chords feat.LIO

「奈落の底の化け物」 (Naraku no Soko no Bakemono)
“The Monster of the Abyss”

Isekai oh isekai; you know it’s not a season without an isekai, and with this season having 4-5 (the labelling on some are debatable) there’s plenty to love and hate. Of this Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou is probably bound to induce and endure plenty of the latter, and frankly it’s not hard to see why. When it comes to alternate world shenanigans, setting alone does not a cool story make.

Right from the get go Arifureta wastes little time in throwing the crazy at our faces. We’ve got the (grim)dark and moody atmosphere, the usual array of overpowered magical creatures that just want your love and energy (literally), and—oh yes—that magical system I’m sure no one has ever seen before. Ever. Hell for the first half you could be mistaken thinking this is even an isekai without the usual real world to fantasy world setup and execution, at least until the usual MMORPG trappings and real world imagery start making their appearance. Yet for all that some of this may be fascinating (and don’t deny, you know Hajime (Fukamachi Toshimari) going full Rimeru was pretty damn fun) the issue is the overall package simply belies Arifureta’s problem of not really being anything. What’s the overarching premise and purpose? What is the objective of the characters and their starting position—and hell who even are these characters to begin with and why should we care? While a smart idea to try and shake up the usual isekai start seen countless times before, Arifureta effectively shows why this start has persevered for multiple series. Sometimes a little understanding and foundation is all you need.

Of course what makes the above felt so much is Arifureta’s other issue: production. No one probably (and should reasonably) expect the moon when it comes to generic isekai animation and artwork, but damn were some noticeable corners cut here. Besides the always divisive 3D CGI (which frankly was not as bad as it could be), Arifureta seems to have a love for scenes with minimal movement and close ups of eyes, because hey, window to the soul and all that. Except we’re dealing with isekai archetypes, and Hajime’s soul at least sure isn’t looking too healthy. Action can reasonably provide a good opener encouraging future viewing (look no further than Monday’s other fantasy series Kemono-tachi), but on a shoestring budget with a little bit of everything on offer, there isn’t much screaming out to keep sticking around for more. Not like Arifureta cannot improve mind you, but this is one series which certainly has it work cut out for it when it comes to making a name.

One way or another we’ll know soon enough what Arifureta has in store, because with one main character awaiting her appearance and several others sitting in the wings, there’s quite a bit left for this one to do before the jury is ready to decide.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「ハジメノウタ」 (Hajime no Uta) by DracoVirgo

Preview

July 8, 2019 at 10:24 pm
35 comments »
  • July 8, 2019 at 10:44 pmLoliHat

    This was a horrible adaptation. I don’t mind that they started in the middle of the first novel and then used flashbacks… if they filled out the back story intelligently in portions as necessary to add better context (they could have even pulled it off it they did it in a non-linear “Pulp Fiction” sort of way).

    But instead they gave us this hatchet job. And this after a long delay!

    This is one of two shows that are already looking to fail the “three episode rule”. Heck, I might not even bother with the second one, which says something since the number of series I’ve dropped after only one episode could probably be counted on one hand.

    • July 9, 2019 at 10:00 pmPancakes

      It’s certainly not looking up after this mess of an opener, but I’m curious enough to see what happens in the next episode or two because they’ll have to tackle that backstory eventually, too much just doesn’t make sense without it.

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:20 pmSpike

    As someone who enjoys the light novel let me say, even I was getting lost with this chop job they gave us. They glossed over so much important world building that most of the impact was completely lost.

    Disappointing.

    • July 8, 2019 at 11:35 pmzztop

      I heard the rush job is due to Arifureta only getting 13 episodes.
      (The website lists 3 Blurays, so that’s where the 13 ep assumption comes from.)
      https://arifureta.com/blu-ray/

      If it’s only 1-cour, I’m surprised. There’s a considerable Arifureta fandom, and the source WN’s ranked 3rd place in Syosetu’s overall popularity charts. With those, you’d think they’d get at least 2-cour like Slime Tensei & Shield Hero.
      http://yomou.syosetu.com/rank/list/type/total_total/

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:21 pmPurpleBomber

    I manage to stomach the manga (yes, it’s really that edgelordy) once a month since it only takes a few minutes to digest, so I was iffy on sitting through entire episodes of this as is. As it stands though… well, at least my decision isn’t a difficult one. XD

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:23 pmPlayer

    To the people who thought to themselves, “Arifureta sounds like a great and popular LN, so I’m tempted to try it, but the anime is coming out so I’ll just wait for that!” Please don’t give up on it because of this historically terrible adaptation.

    By the way, Pancakes you raise some good points about Arifureta (this anime) not “being” anything, but you also call production an “other” issue… So I feel the need to point out that they’re one and the same issue. Everything was skipped… There’s a premise full of intrigue, involving the clergy, royalty, a war, a complex character dynamic, and Hajime’s personality (he is a competent person who had a clear career path, not some generic heroine magnet, and very observant and insightful) along with various battle tactics.

    • July 9, 2019 at 10:03 pmPancakes

      Oh yeah you’re not wrong, but I list them separately because there have been some series which were carried by their artwork and/or animation before. If Arifureta had managed giving better visual quality some of the criticism may have been lost because fans would then be looking forward to seeing certain fights and battles adapted rather than going over the degree of hatchet job.

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:27 pmzztop

    Arifureta was supposed to debut last year in Spring 2018, but was delayed was due to Japanese fan anger at the character art quality shown in an early promo visual.
    https://i.imgur.com/BgtKwlU.jpg

    Even Arifureta’s author voiced his disapproval of the designs via his webnovel account, talking about how he’d been wriggling in agony at the state of the production materials White Fox shared with him.
    It was so bad to the point White Fox had to bring in Studio Asread to retool the character designs closer to the LN designs.

    The author hasn’t made any comments on the anime yet, but his fans have shared their disappointments on his webnovel account on how Ep 1 handled the intro source material. (ex. one fan stated 1st-time viewers are going to be confused by Hajime’s character change and the way some of his classmates act because the anime skipped out on the setup.)

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:46 pmGaachi

    Love the story. generic Isekai. better as an audio light novel. Tale of revenge and cutew bunny girls. Trouble only 12 episodes. Id like to see a few other Isekai adaptations with a theme. As in paper craft or build a town or get a waifu from another world.Compare with Dr Stone and V inland Saga. Still light years better than the Cal art trash. Twelve episodes isnt enough. Like the story though. Love t see others. Wait a decade itll be something else trending. Virtual san waiting XXXIII.

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:51 pmzztop

    Arifureta’s really a fun chuunibyou-themed series, despite the edginess.

    Author Shirakome Ryou’s a self-proclaimed chuuni-lover, and Arifureta’s his longtime passion project ever since he started the original WN in 2013. Thus it’s written to be as “intentionally and unapologetically wish-fulfillment, delusional and edgy (with a fair bit of self-aware straightman-ing).”

    He’s a passionately whimsical writer, “freely using/subvert(ing) the tropes he enjoys, wr(ites) silly situations when he felt like it and referenced works he loves.”
    https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/can5og/yet_another_isekai_arifureta_shokugyou_de_sekai/

    IIRC the author freely admitted he knows his writing’s self-indulgent tripe, and is shamelessly enthusiastic for his likings.

    “I’m not the only chuuni out there. I’m sure…every human alive has a bit of chuuni hidden somewhere inside them. So, to all of you chuuni lovers who have to hide away because of common sense, or your age, or how embarrassing it is, or how society sees you, if (Arifureta) has helped unleash your burning soul just a little… then I consider my work complete.”

  • July 9, 2019 at 1:54 amruicarlov

    No Hajime, you’re doing it wrong!
    You’re supposed to use the hand grenade on the rabbit, not the bear.
    Seriously, these youngsters have no culture at all!

    • July 9, 2019 at 4:17 amIncognito

      “RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”

    • July 9, 2019 at 7:16 amHanover Fist

      Prepare the holy hand grenade of Antioch! XD

  • July 9, 2019 at 3:24 ammac65

    Didn’t impress me. Biggest gripe was the “experienced” protagonist giving away
    his position all of the time to the enemy, and secondly, the Anime was so darkly
    colored (I mean ink here) that it was tough to enjoy let alone see any details in
    its scenes. I mean, he’s in a dark cave – I get that – but artistically there are
    1000′s of ways to adapt that with causing the viewer’s eyes to strain; just sayin’.

    I really like the Isekai genre, but this could ruin it for me if it doesn’t improve.
    Maou-sama, Retry! is actually looking pretty good compared to this.

    • July 9, 2019 at 2:36 pmJon

      Well, if you were impressed by this first episode, you would probably be diagnoses with chronical retardness.

      In my long, looong years watching anime, I’ve never seen an adaptatuion that butcher the source material so fast, this could be a Wolrd Record, 10 seconds. And not just that, they ruin this so hard, with such malevolence and grudge, that this adaptation could be considered a personal vendetta against the author and the fandom. There is no other explanation to this messy trainwreck. I will not acknowledge that such an incompetent and stupid human being like the director of this episode exist among sentient beings.

  • July 9, 2019 at 4:09 amIncognito

    - “In medias res”/”How we got here” style of narrative…which wouldn’t be a problem if not for…
    - The wooshing sound of LN content/details getting skipped/compressed into one episode…
    https://randomc.net/image/Arifureta%20Shokugyou/Arifureta%20Shokugyou%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    - And still a while before meeting Yue… (Might as well ask the LN fans: Are Yue and Shea certified “waifu” candidates?)

    Damnit, I’m getting flashbacks of the bad parts of the Infinite Stratos anime… Also, the MC is less about redeeming himself and more driven by revenge while taking levels in being an edgelordbadass.

    I’m still willing to sit through the next two episodes of Arifureta, but as far as first-episode impressions go, the prognosis doesn’t look good. It also doesn’t help that I’ve just recently finished Overlord, Youjo Senki and Shield Hero–all of which had first episodes that set a better standard than this.

  • July 9, 2019 at 8:57 amYanDaMan

    Really lazy and rushed job, disappointed because I love the manga. Lets hope the show gets better by episode 3.

    • July 9, 2019 at 10:05 pmPancakes

      We can hope, but this episode certainly wasn’t conducive towards positive thoughts lol.

  • July 9, 2019 at 9:02 amAoihoshikage

    And another adaptation falls victim to the 1-cour format. Funny, the original animation team got fired and they redid things, so I gave it a 50/50 chance that the adaptation would be decent. I mean, both White Fox and Asread are decent studies. However, this episode was a complete mess. Good thing I kept my expectations low given that the majority of light novel anime adaptations are generally advertisements for the LN, which usually means stuff as much “story” in as possible to the point it makes no sense. I mean, the manga made some changes, but for the most part kept core pieces of the LN.

    I’d say, the only thing going for this adaptation is the animation and decent OP/ED. Man, if they wanted to rearrange the story and tell the story as flashbacks, it would have worked, but little snippets of conversation without context is plain nonsense.

    Anyway, I’ll just pretend this adaptation is a fan-made animation for selected LN scenes and keep it that. I’ll stick to the LN for story and characters. Maybe in 10 years, when the official light novel is complete (as opposed to the web novel version), some other studio will reboot this series properly. By the way, I purchase and read the official English LNs from Bookwalker. Shameless plug since I find Bookwalker to be a great way to buy, read and support Japanese LNs and mangas.

  • July 9, 2019 at 1:09 pmGreed

    https://randomc.net/image/Arifureta%20Shokugyou/Arifureta%20Shokugyou%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    resentful main character. Typical. Sigh, If there is anything I have ever learned, about anime/manga that involves being summoned in a fantasy world, it is to never blindly trust the people that summon you. If anything, your summoners simply called you so that you can take care of their problems then, once the problem is resolved, the summoners will either kill you or send you back to your world and, because so much time was stolen (for school or whatever things you needed to do in the real world), you may likely may be labeled a hikikomori because no one will ever believe that you were summoned in a fantasy world.

    https://randomc.net/image/Arifureta%20Shokugyou/Arifureta%20Shokugyou%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    If you are in a fantasy world, and a loli is in trouble where you save her and she becomes your companion, you can trust the loli since that is the only person you can ever trust in the fantasy world. However, there are some exceptions.
    https://randomc.net/image/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo%202%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2040.jpg

    • July 9, 2019 at 1:19 pmGreed

      On the extra note, if the main character was in a situation where he was summoned to defeat a demon king, it is likely better to join the Demon King to fight against the humans rather than side with the humans to fight the demons. In fantasy worlds, that has different races, when war occurs I think that there is a 99 percent chance that humans are responsible for wars; saying things like, the non-human race is the enemy and started the war, is likely just a propaganda meant to control the gullible commoners to fight for the selfish rulers.

  • July 9, 2019 at 2:06 pmhjerry2000

    This episode was clunky to say the least. I think they thought that the parts with him being “normal” were too boring to adapt, so they tried to jump straight to him being overpowered. I mean, I get why they did it (whether you agree with the decision or not), but the way in which they did it was so poor. I do find the setting interesting, so I may stick around just to see if things get better once the plot (the one they’ve chosen to start with) really gets in place and gets moving.

  • July 9, 2019 at 2:24 pmJon

    Man, they ruin this so hard, that this should be considered an act of terrorism.

    In every isekai, you can change, skip, or rip off the “transported to another world” event, but not here. The very beggining of the story is LITERALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE.

    You can skip, change or rip off anything else. But the first chapters of the LN/manga are the crucial points to give sense to the story and gives Hajime his motives, and is genuinely the only good part, the ony chunck of narrative that is original and thrilling.

    After the first chapters in the Abyss, this becomes pretty generic. So ruining the star of the story make this adaptation completly pointless. What a shame. The director should commit seppuku to mend his crimes.

    • July 9, 2019 at 6:18 pmzztop

      I blame the 13 episode count, and the writers trying to reach a certain cutoff point.
      If they were given 20+ episodes like Shield Hero or Slime Tensei, then there’d be plenty of room for the establishing stuff.

      • July 9, 2019 at 11:11 pmJon

        They could have made a 45 mins episode to give the beginning of the story enough time to expose the important points to make sense. Tough, the very beginning, before the mission to the dungeon where Hajime has betrayed wasn’t even that large. It could have fit in just one regular 20-mis episode, and they could have cut some events later, and this could have work percetly fine. But what is done is done, and they ruined this beyond reparation. What a shame. Another regular/fine LN ruined because of the unneeded initiative and misunderstood creativeness of some incompetent idiot.

  • July 9, 2019 at 2:48 pmJon

    Does some watched “Imouto sae ireba li”? If you did or didn’t, there is an episode where one of the MC’s friend, an author, got an anime adaptation of his LN, and it turned out to be a total mess beyond comprehention, and he have to deal with it, and he can’t do nothing to mend the caothic, low-leveled adaptation of his work.

    Well, this is literally what the author of Arifureta would probaly be feeling right now. They killed his child with maliciousness and ill will, and he literally cannot do anything to mend this crappy adaptation. It should be pretty frustrating to see how they destroy hours and hours of your work in a few seconds. It’s like witnessing a crime and can’t do anything to stop it.

    It’s like watching GOT season 8 all over again.

  • July 9, 2019 at 4:00 pmDude

    I know shit about the LN or the Manga.

    But this episode has me hooked. I really want to see this guy level up.

    And knowing this is isekai is enough for me. Because isekai = different world. That is enough setting for me lol.

    I’ll just watch this for the character progression (not character personality, but his power levels)

  • July 9, 2019 at 4:49 pmBors

    The material seems promising, but damn, that animation is even way worse than OMP S02…

    • July 9, 2019 at 10:07 pmPancakes

      Nawh not even close, for all its issues OPM’s animation was half decent and some of the better work J.C. Staff has done of late. Arifureta is a classic example of not enough money, talent, and/or time thrown at the visuals.

  • July 9, 2019 at 8:33 pmSK

    Yikes, adaptation off to a rough start. Time skips aren’t smooth or coherent, and what they do show of Hajime’s “normal” personality/life doesn’t really show or explain anything it needs to. I can only assume they had no intentions of ever making a 2nd cour, even if this first one went well, since the character dynamics before Hajime’s fall are kinda important later on in the series (guessing this ends with vol 4).

  • July 9, 2019 at 9:24 pmReaper

    I was looking forward to this adaptation… When I saw the crappy CG i thought I could live w/ it, but this is a piece of ****. What ever studio editors sat down and planned this episode for the run time are complete idiots. Like Pancakes said the in media-res could have worked out fine if spread out properly between two episodes or something, but the way it was set up was just pitiful. They rushed to make everything fit in one episode and Hajime’s characterization was poorly shown. I don’t even know if I should watch it next week in hope it somehow isn’t all bad, or pretend it doesn’t exist.

  • July 10, 2019 at 9:27 amTeutates

    It’s jumping around in the little bit of good part in this story. That really isn’t the greatest of starts.
    ( for me it was on its best when he was still in the first dungeon )

    I feel sorry for those that haven’t read the manga/ novel as they must be really confused.

    - capturing his suffering was kinda decent. still kinda hard to fit in one episode.
    - how and why he can makes guns is just missing.
    - setup on how and why he had a attempted murder is totally skimmed over.
    - the interaction with the kingdom and his classmates is missing ( will make exploring that theme harder)
    - His goal was kinda mentioned, but not good enough. he wants to back to his own world.

    I’m guessing they are rushing to the slice of life part… that made for me lose the series charm and turned into a kinda generic comedy.

    I will watch until he leaves the dungeon, and after that i will probably drop it. ( my guess is that it will fall under the 3 episode rule xD )

  • July 16, 2019 at 3:18 ammac65

    EP 02 :: a little better; now I curious about ep 3. We’ll see…

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