「超人高校生たちは異世界でも余裕で生き抜くようです!」 (Choujin-Kokoseitachi wa Isekai demo Yoyu de Ikinuku Youdesu!)
“It Seems High School Prodigies Have It Easy In Another World!”
A mixture of surprise and prediction I’d say as Choyoyu draws to a close. Nuke to the face? Oh definitely saw that one coming. Gustave being beaten by Colt 45 bullet to the chest instead of nuke to the face? Yeah a little more out of left field. Not as though it was a bad ending by any means of the imagination—after all, we got more of the always cute Roo doing mayonnaise things to keep things upper shelf—but the rushing was undeniable. I never expected Choyoyu would receive a sequel announcement, but you’d think we could’ve received some more oomph to make up for it in these final moments.
When it comes down to brass tacks Choyoyu is pretty easy to form an opinion of. It’s as low tier and objectively terrible as isekai adaptations come these days, and yet retained a degree of interest many of those same series inherently lack. Superficial and vanilla? Yupp. Fun and entertaining? Also in agreement. How does one square that circle? By not trying to be more than is written on the box.
The main strength of Choyoyu is its unabashed unrealism. Many isekais suffer from what you could call over-seriousness: they want to tell a trope-infused light novel story in an alternate world (because that’s what sells), but try hard—really hard—to ground it in some sort of reality. Valkyria is a prime example of this, where we get the Neapolitan of isekai stereotypes and an attempt at rational storytelling, but lack the glue to properly bind those two concepts together; it features the worst of the isekai tropes, and has none of the writing strength required to make up for it. Choyoyu’s strength is abandoning the urge to do both and focusing instead on the isekai side of the equation. If you cannot do realism just do wish fulfillment because, after all, that’s why most of us are here. Shaving off superfluous material lets the main self-indulgent material shine, something all the better for all those involved.
Of course what helps Choyoyu in this regard is by playing its isekai tropes for all its worth. While we severely lacked in cast development, going the fantastical teenage prodigy route at least let Choyoyu abandon the usual shenanigans of alternate world training and shoehorning in magic skill. Surviving in a fantasy world with no magic? Just add genius and the problem goes away. Choyoyu’s setup enabled faster story progression and resolution than you’d normally see, allowing normally hair-pulling stunts and developments to be papered over by quick shifts between characters and arcs. Every character here may be a prime example of light novel writing done wrong, but when you’re rushing through events this fast and getting onto the next shiny gem, it’s hard thinking too much on what could be different or what needs to change. After all, nuclear fire is slightly hard to ignore.
In the end Choyoyu isn’t likely to be widely remembered in the annals of isekai history, but as a simplistic bit of late week entertainment I dare say it did all it had to for me. The show was easy to write about, meandered about at right pace, and never once felt like a chore to watch. I may have desired more when it came to matters of politics and technology—or character development for that matter—but as a popcorn-style show I’m honestly not displeased. Isekai may be a (sub-)genre growing long in the tooth, but series like Choyoyu show there’s still fun to be had if you’re willing to set some expectations aside.