I really love new seasons of anime. For all the previews give there’s always a sense of surprise: you never know exactly what you’re going to get. Shocker of a masterpiece? Absolute trainwreck? It’s all a big unknown and Virgin Road just happens to the first out of the gate. And if initial appearances are anything, it’s going to be very interesting indeed.
Per that RC preview linked above you definitely read by now, Virgin Road is effectively an isekai. Start with the typical dweeb, inspect the kid for power – and unceremoniously dump his ass in the street for having nothing? Alright, not the first time this has happened in isekai between moments of fourth wall recognition. So we then tack on the ubiquitous introspective isekai tropes (something something commoners, nobles, and laity), the priestess helping out, the hidden power, and the whole purpose of isekai’d boys and girls in this brand new world. At least until that halfway point. Want to liven the usual isekai shenanigans up? Literally kill the supposed MC through a knife to the head. Oh yes, we’re going places here.
While Virgin Road admittedly teased this flipping of the isekai script through its synopsis, it’s still something to see in action. Priestess turned executioner Menou (Saeki Inori) is case in point: her brutal mindset and capabilities are teased right from the start, but you sure don’t get an appreciation of why she’s hunting those with no choice in their circumstances until seeing her in action. No matter how generic the personalities at work might be – Menou’s bubbly and possessive junior Momo (Kanemoto Hisako) is the definition of closet yandere waiting to strike – there’s something to be said for how they’re featuring thus far, especially in terms of premise. After all you can easily guess without even needing to read the synopsis that Menou is going to run into issues when confronting new girl Akari (Kahara Moe), that those issues will force them together, and that over time Akari will wind up having Menou question just what she’s really after – and how guilty she ultimately is. It’s the story framework we’ve seen time and again, but the tweaks here and there (particularly JC Staff’s above average visuals) strongly suggest it’ll be a fun ride.
Although we’ll get a better idea of just what Virgin Road is about after Akari is formally introduced next week, for the moment this is a show anyone with the isekai bug should watch out for. It may be cloaked in the tropes we’ve seen before, but it definitely has the potential to fully make the most of them.
OP: 「Paper Bouquet」by Mili