「衣食足って、栄辱を知る」 (Ishoku Tatte, Eijoku o Shiru)
“Well Fed, Well Regarded”
I’m kind of two minds when it comes to Genjitsu right now. Part of me quite likes the willingness of this series to delve into the nitty gritty of political systems and pure unadulterated realism (the good kind), yet we then get episodes like this which pretty much stray no further than the well-trodden kiddy pool. Sure, early days and all that jazz, but I’m hoping the smelling of roses doesn’t continue in perpetuity.
Probably what irks me this week is how last episode’s Iron Chef gone isekai largely carried over into this one. While one episode of alternate world food tastes is fine and good, spending a bunch of time on the culinary benefits of slime ranching (after the food adventures previously) seems a tad too much when the main emphasis here – i.e. politics and all its hassles – has only just been touched on. Even for everything Genjitsu is cutting material-wise (and rest assured it’s quite a bit) it feels right now as though the show doesn’t know exactly how far to head down the rabbit hole. Is the audience led in gently through inexperienced dark elves and isekai harem tropes wrapped up in fancy packaging, or do matters go full hog and bring forth the scheming in all its gritty and dirty glory? While I can see the benefit of building up the likes of Kazuya and Liscia before delving into meat and potatoes, I do admit my biases have me preferring taking the latter approach. Genjitsu is all about the politics, so let the politics shine.
Of course, such an argument ignores how we’re getting to the point of conflict and this episode can also be considered a calm before the storm. Aisha’s mentioning of resistant conservative elements in her own clan is a fairly good reminder that for all of Kazuya’s successes he’s still an insecure king. For all his support, all his loyal retainers, and all the benefit of rational and pragmatic powers, there’s plenty out there who don’t feel the same and won’t hesitate to put him in his place to benefit themselves when the opportunity arises. We’ve seen examples of these individuals already earlier, and though they have yet to be properly introduced, it’s a decent bet that day is not far off. Kazuya after all currently lacks a proper and defined enemy to drive future developments, so the only reasonable action is to give him one.
Who (and what) it’ll be is anyone’s guess, but rest assured we have yet to see just what teeth Genjitsu has lying under the surface.
HRM…this episode wasn’t horrible but wasn’t great ether. There wasn’t any important meetings or any serious world building.
I feel as though the conversation revolving marriage and polygamy was the most notable topic. Kind of a let down when following up from episode 4 where I thought the story was getting good.
Just part in parcel of the issue with light novel adaptations like these. A lot of the material is tied up in liberal infodumps so getting it out in a semi-interesting fashion can be difficult, which this episode shows.
This episode was dishwater.
I find the dialogue clunky and I’m wondering whether it’s in the source or just the translation (which I don’t especially like).
On another note, I hadn’t listened to the ending previously but did so here and I find it reminds me of the ending from Amaenaideyo Katsu (Lonesome Traveler) — which oddly, the also recent Dynazenon’s also did.
They cut so much of the source material in this episode. But I understand how difficult to put them in anime form, it was mostly monologue about what Souma had done to improve the health and hygiene of the populace’s middle age living standard. It was a very realistic approach, none of it made it to the anime unfortunately.
Definitely source-based, as danes256 mentions and I highlight in an earlier comment above it comes down to the writing style and how information is passed. Dense light novel stories like these always tie their material up in infodumps so translating them into anime often becomes a masochistic exercise. It’s only emphasized this week because it follows the similarly formatted episode we got last week.
Well, it sucks. Somehow, the show is deteriorating. Makes me think that this was a lousy choice to adapt to anime. But, if they were going to do it, they should have come up with a plan (unless this was the plan).
Hope you like nanodesu because Kaede’s here to nanodesu. Still, glad whoever’s on the anime translation isn’t just translating it as “you know?” every time though, that get’s real annoying in the novel translation.
Well, I have no clue who she is as a character but I thought her seiyuu delivered her line well at least. So if she’s gonna say that a lot, at least she won’t be adding anything negative. Took a quick peek at her other roles and didn’t really see anything I’m very familiar with, or very significant. She’s got at least three roles this season though so maybe she’s about to take off.
Given how the other characters are flailing, hopefully the character can kickstart the show.
So with this episode, we steer away from our attempts to break the mold and be different from all the assembly line Isekai, and just head straight back to generic power fantasy, even taking the time to give established reasons for why it’s OK and he can have a harem.
Let’s be clear, I’ve seen Isekai with harems, and straight up harem anime, and I’m sure that I’ll watch more eventually, but you can’t break the mold, and be power fantasy at the same time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
If you’re going to do the assembly line power fantasy, then do it, but if you’re going to try and be different, then stick to your guns. These kind of elements hurt a series like this far more than if they had been generic from the start.
The nicest things I can say is that as we saw in this episode, “power-wise” Souma is indeed worthless compared to characters like Aisha and Lisicia, and that there’s plenty of female characters who are not in the harem. This story is in the what I’d call “competency fantasy” genre, where the solutions to problems are college 101 course knowledge rather than RPG mechanics, which encompasses a lot of light novels itself and thus is not really trying to be that different.
IMO this one was never likely to truly break the mold. Story- and premise-wise certainly, but all the signs were there that many of the typical isekai tropes would feature in abundance and I made sure to reinforce it in the preview. The challenge for Genjitsu is emphasizing its more interesting aspects over the usual genre fluff, which we admittedly won’t have a proper handle on until the story finally gets going.
I was so disappointed with this episode that I went out of my way to check something out. in previous eps.
And one antagonist (I would not declare enemyyet) might be already here, hiding in plain sight.
I will say no more because I cant seem to make spoiler tags work.
Oh, the real fun starts next episode!
Yeah, weak episode, both animation and plot wise. Why waste more time on the food? The previous episode was enough for that.
Seems to be the modern isekai curse, no show in the genre is complete until you explore its local slime ecosystem 😛