「異世界ファンタジー美少女受肉おじさんと」 (Fabiniku Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to)
“A Guy Who Reincarnated as a Fantasy Knockout and”
Episode 12 of Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to ends things on a climactic note as Jinguji musters up all that he can to let Tachibana know exactly what he means to him after Schwartz normalizes the idea of guys being jealous with one another. But even with their relationship mended, perhaps things were handled too passionately.
ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THE DARKNESS BRIGHT
Luckily, this episode didn’t have as much of an issue with being too quippy since it helped to highlight what exactly it is about Jinguji that makes it difficult for him to dole out praise as easily. Schwartz wound up being the MVP for directly telling Jinguji to stop being so difficult and remember how normal it is for a guy to be jealous of other guys.
From the moment Jinguji realized he had been holding back with Tachibana, we are finally given refreshing scenes where he comes to terms with the parts of himself that are difficult to handle. Stemming from abuse from his own parents, his forced restraint built up years of jealousy about how sociable and free-spirited Tachibana can be. Here he is just keeping his head low and doing everything society expects of him, and then Tachibana comes in to prove to Jinguji that you don’t need all of those expectations to have a fulfilling school and work life.
Even though Jinguji has the respect and female attention that Tachibana yearns for, Tachibana doesn’t count the blessings he has in being able to make friends and not have to worry about sucking up to his higher-ups, while being well respected by his juniors for being so personable.
One interesting facet of this episode is that Tachibana ends up developing the same charm spell curse that he gives to Jinguji after hearing all of the praise he has for Tachibana’s charisma, humble innocence, and warm demeanor. As it turns out, all of Jinguji’s kind words and praise worked the same way that Tachibana’s appearance does, adding to the duality between the two where Jinguji’s appeal is how he navigates difficult spaces while Tachibana excels at winning the hearts of his peers.
At the same time, it adds an extra layer to their struggle in the fantasy world as now there is a legit fear on both of their ends that they could be potentially charmed at the same time. I could imagine an arc would happen later on where they both are stuck in a charm curse and have to fight off their urges to reverse it for a time.
But it’s kinda sad that this reveal is stuck near the end of the episode as it would’ve been a lot more interesting to see the aftermath of them finding out that they could both potentially fall head-over-heels in love with each other if they’re not careful and get charmed. I suppose it’s a hook for you to read the source material, but it’s still a shame since it sounds like it’d be more interesting than the last arc of the anime.
Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to is kinda in an odd spot for me. I appreciated the relationship dynamic between the two main characters and found it interesting that the anime would constantly question whether Tachibana and Jinguji’s feelings for each other are merely because of the curse or if they are the remnants of the emotional baggage they carried with them in the real world. As time went on though, I felt the show got a lot more comfortable with lollygagging and leaning on its more slapstick-heavy characters which prevented the plot from moving forward as quickly.
Their relationship is the main facet of the show that separates it from being your average isekai comedy. The story takes into consideration that Tachibana and Jinguji might have always been soulmates and never realized it. Because they would’ve never considered being a couple as a viable option without the Goddess of Love & Beauty, it makes it all the more obvious why Tachibana gets so jealous of Jinguji and why Jinguji refuses to let Tachibana around any other women.
With a lot more of the Winter 2022 fare being about the intimate bonds and connections guys can share with one another, Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to was a pretty fascinating character study on the kind of deflection that guys would have as to avoid having to confront any possible romantic feelings they might have for a guy friend they happen to spend most of their time with. Yes, there is such a thing as two guys just being really close friends. There are also smoke signals sometimes that make it very obvious when guys like Jinguji and Tachibana need to take a step back, see what they’re doing, and find some kind of explanation as to why they live in each other’s heads rent-free when they see one another as a pain in the ass.
In return, however, there are a few things that hold the show back from being memorable beyond its premise. Some of the comedy was great in earlier episodes, but as time went on, they were clearly more interested in a lot of the gag characters they had come to introduce. They were really head-over-heels in love with acceptable punching bag characters who’d be introduced merely to have pain or misery inflicted on them, and have that be their entire character.
Schwartz’s main punchline of being the world’s butt-monkey was detrimental to the fun details about his character being an actual teenager trying (and failing) to live out the standard isekai fantasy. Likewise, Teolilo only showed up to be the character everyone laughed at for being unpretty or conniving enough to validate Jinguji’s misogynistic views on women. While Shen still got saddled with the predatory, sneaky creep stereotype for his attraction to Jinguji, they were surprisingly not too hard on him for liking Jinguji because he served a greater purpose by fin the floating around in the background while Schwartz and Jinguji/Lucius were doing their best boke/tsukkomi routine.
I think a lot of my complaints stem from how much the last arc dragged ass, but other than that, I thought Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to was a pretty great show. People tend to overuse the word “mid”, but I’d say it’s a middle-of-the-road isekai comedy with a neat angle to it. While the chemistry and will they/won’t they between Jinguji and Tachibana was greatly appreciated, the comedy could have been a little more focused near the end. Still, it didn’t take enough away from the experience to not leave off on a positive note.
THE OFFICIAL “I’M ON BREAK” ANNOUNCEMENT
Alright, so now that everything from the Winter season is off my chest, I’d like to reiterate that I’ll be on break for the Spring season to get myself refreshed and motivated for the Summer. Work has been leaving me drained enough recently that I feel like my lack of motivation or focus has been leaking out into my posts. In the meantime, I’ll likely show up in the comments section if I’m not working on creative writing, watching some films or anime in my backlog, or learning some fighting games. I just wanna make sure that I have a clear mind and focus by the time I return for the Summer season’s roster of shows.
But until then, hopefully, everyone gets a good kick out of the shows for this Spring season. With Spy x Family, Komi-san S2, and Kaguya-sama S3 coming out, it should be interesting to see what things are like as a viewer. I’ll see you all around May or June when the next batch of previews comes out, but until then, hope everyone has a good time with the Spring season on Random Curiosity.