「クエストx魔獣殺し」 (Quest x Majuu Koroshi)
“Quest x Demon Beast Killer”
Episode 02 of Hataage! Kemono Michi marks a welcome change in trajectory for the anime as we focus more on the main goal that Genzou has to create a pet shop that sells the beasts and monsters from another world. But as Genzou starts displaying a far more normal love for animals than creepily violating the wildlife, the anime begins showing its potential in creating a bold, fresh take on isekai where our hero gains recognition through his ability to tame monsters and win the respect of human-esque fantasy races through brute strength.
Now that Genzou’s goal is established, it gives the show much more freedom to take advantage of the fact that this is an isekai starring a professional wrestler. Because of this, there are more jokes that focus on his problem-solving techniques such as winning the respect of orcs by cutting a promo and winning a match against their leader. Similarly, many of Genzou’s victories against beasts in this episode are won by getting on their good side rather than violating them, making it all the funnier when Genzou quicky gets a salamander to perch over his shoulders or when he gleefully wins over a pack of monkeys by giving them all apples. In fact, his animal love is more humorous in this episode as it pokes fun at how not every beast tickles his fancy as the human-like races don’t send him nearly as much ecstasy. It does allow us to see the ways Genzou would fight such creatures when his goal isn’t to capture or pet them, but rather to win their respect through his wrestling expertise. The only joke that falls flat is the repeated attacks he does to fellow warriors who call him a “demon killer” or brag about killing monsters (despite the fact that he and Shigure were enjoying meat with their beer, raising the question of whether killing animals for food would enrage him or not). But thankfully, there were more pros than cons with Genzou’s behavior in this episode, and how he carried himself in this episode is exactly what I would have expected or wanted from him in this series.
On another note, the rest of the cast also elevates the show by being twice as hilarious in Episode 02. Shigure is easily my favorite character so far as her money-centric interests drive her to make a majority of her decisions. One laugh-out-loud moment of hers came from when she didn’t let Genzou knocking out Heat Haze go to waste when she not-so-sneakily claimed his sword as hers and ran off with it. She also had some mannerisms throughout that were great such as hissing at the monkeys, getting upset that Genzou was more interested in a unicorn than her bathing in the lake, and chanting during the match between Genzou and the orc leader he was wrestling with. Additionally, she helps keep Genzou grounded as her desire to make money compels her to steer Genzou towards the correct trajectory to making enough money to build his dream pet shop and turn a profit as quickly as they can. The latest member of the cast, Lindablair Fafnir Guildmelag, is also shaping up to be a fun character as a dragon girl who escapes from her palace to avoid the repulsive food she’s forced to eat and pursue her dreams to be a foodie. It was a relief to see that Hataage! Kemono Michi was able to smooth over the first episode’s flaws by pulling off a second episode that does justice to the concept of the series and gives us a clearer trajectory towards how Genzou and Shigure will go about fulfilling their overall goals in another world.