OP: 「Anti world」by Kanako Takatsuki
「勇者失格」 (Yuusha shikkaku)
As with any good (read: recent) anime season, the festivities aren’t complete until isekai comes on stage, and here to start off the fun and games is 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru, or as shall forever be known 100-man, because I’m not typing that name out every time. In short this one is as isekai as isekai gets, though expect a twist or three before all is said and done.
Per our illustrious RC Preview (it’s that special!), 100-man can be thought of as a Danganronpa meets SAO survival game-isekai mashup. We take our standoffish, loner-esque gamer Yotsuya Yuusuke (Uemura Yuuto), throw him into a very game-like fantasy world courtesy of female pair Shindou Iu (Kubota Risa) and Hakozaki Kusue (Waki Azumi)—both of whom have their own array of trope-ish problems—and force the trio to go questing courtesy of a half-headed “Game Master” who’ll either be sent to speech therapy or prison for voyeurism—and not necessarily at different times. Couple it with ubiquitous RPG elements like job classes, item durability (oh how I hate that system), and what Wheel of Fortune will probably look like in ten years, and we have ourselves one hell of a weird isekai setting.
The interesting bit though will be where 100-man takes this initial premise. Elements such as delayed reincarnation and permanent death if everyone dies are hint enough that something nefarious is at work, but combine it the party being rewarded a question for the Game Mastery upon completing a quest and new party members being recruited in the real world after every quest and you quickly start realizing this one is more than a simple game. What that twist is will be actually be revealed within the next episode or two if pacing stays the same (spoiler alert), yet I imagine it’s not too difficult guessing right now where things are heading. As per any good RPG story, if there’s not a world to save or a princess to rescue, you know full well something went wrong along the way.
Overall while I’d not anticipate 100-man setting any records or breaking any notable boundaries, this one should turn into a good bit of isekai fun in the way Arifureta never delivered on. It’ll be an episode or two yet to get a better idea, but given the frankly excellent pacing so far and the production values on display, this one should nicely scratch any isekai itch you might have.
ED: 「カルペ・ディエム」 (Karupe Deiem) by Liyuu
This was pretty decent. Like Iu, I could have done without all his squealing when they were receiving the mission, but she handled it so I can’t really complain. I think I’m gonna watch this.
For me it matched up to the source material nicely. The big tell will be next couple of episodes though as that’s when the proper story gets going.
I was about to drop the series after seeing ep 1 with a huge “Meh” feeling, but after reading your impression, I’m willing to give ep 2 a go, maybe even a 3rd one if it’s needed.
The flip-coin of this decision is that now those episodes better deliver…
Thanks for the vote of confidence XD
IMO don’t get your hopes up too far though. This series does have a twist beyond the usual isekai shenanigans, but it’s not the jaw dropping must watch kind. It’s honestly more about the characters themselves and overcoming personal adversity (as already teased with Yuusuke’s home life and history). Whether or not this adaptation gets far enough in for this aspect to shine remains to be seen.