「１位「ガーディアンヒーローズ」だろぉおおお！」 (Ichii “Gaadian Hiirouzu” Darou!)
“‘Guardian Heroes’ Shoulda Been Number One!”
Now that I got my initial thoughts out of the way, it’s nice to see how Isekai Ojisan settles in as we become more acquainted with Takafumi and his uncle. As they become accustomed to one another, however, new friends and familiars start making their way back into both of their lives.
I WON’T LOSE TO A FUGLY PIG LIKE YOU
It was surprising to see how much of a hellraiser the uncle is, given how often he makes Takafumi pull his own hair out. No matter how many times he tries to mine his uncle’s mind for satisfying information, he always approaches any given situation with the most absurd solution in mind.
It makes sense that the uncle lacks the attention span to handle RPG quests, so he spent his isekai journey only doing hunting quests, and rejected all of his opportunities to do lucrative fetch quests. His interactions with Mabel the ice girl are hilarious because of how untactful and thoughtless the man is.
His brand loyalty to SEGA causes him to accidentally push her into being even more reclusive and worry less about venturing out even while Takafumi is freaking out about how he fumbled the ball with getting acquainted with Mabel on a romantic New Years holiday. The uncle’s history of being a gamer comes into play often in this episode as it’s the one major detail about himself that Takafumi can cling to.
As part of an apology for scaling back on expenses, Takafumi’s last hurrah is appeasing his uncle by treating him to a vintage SEGA Saturn with Nights into Dreams and his uncle’s beloved Guardian Heroes. Although his uncle’s dreams were dashed by an otome game adaptation beating Guardian Heroes in a retrospective, it gave the two a better way of bonding aside from Takafumi interrogating his uncle about how much he squandered the fantasy world.
NEW YEARS SOUNDS FUN, BUT WHAT ABOUT LIFE DAY?
For me, what helps keep the show interesting is how the uncle is fundamentally flawed even during his time in the isekai universe. It’s easy to see how he ended up becoming so estranged from his family that his relatives were hesitant to have him live with them when he comes off as caring very little about the people around him.
No matter how many times Takafumi tries to twist his uncle’s arm to get him to cough up anything neat about his relationship with Mabel, all his uncle could muster up was that she was merely a footnote during his journey. Takafumi will freak out at any implication that his uncle didn’t squander his relationships in the isekai world only to end up disappointed because his uncle is never telling the story he’s looking for.
The saddest scene so far has to be when his uncle brings up Evangelion because Takafumi always has faith in the back of his mind that his uncle is actually more self-aware and smarter than he seems. Takafumi thought right when his uncle brought up Asuka, it meant he was ahead of the curve with his connection with the tsundere only for it to be a segue for his uncle to bring up her crush on Kaji.
YOU’RE SCARING THE GIRLS!
He’s so hyper-focused on his personal desires that other people are tuned out immediately or are seen as an afterthought unless he’s interested in what they can provide him. This also explains why he can hold a joyful conversation with Takafumi about TV shows like KochiKame and It’s Okay to Laugh, but won’t bother to reach common ground with Takafumi’s childhood friend Fujimiya unless she can get on his level and do her homework on anime or video game references like realizing that his waifu is a character from Alien Soldier.
I’m curious if the question Takafumi will eventually have to ask himself is how much of a lost cause is his uncle. Fumbling the bag with the tsundere girl and Mabel are one thing, but bringing that same lack of self-awareness will likely cause Takafumi to have to consider how much of a positive effect his uncle’s presence has on his current life.
At the moment, he’s tight on money, and Fujimiya, who is not-so-secretly pining for him, is so disgusted by his uncle’s behavior that she’s willing to have him move out with her. If Takafumi feels like he keeps squandering his chances for an ordinary life, will he be equally bogged down if he has his uncle beside him as cargo he can’t quite unload?
If he has any interest in Fujimiya romantically, keeping his uncle at a distance will likely be the only way they could work out. But for the time being, his swift friend-zoning is a reasonable indication that Takafumi won’t have to be asking himself a question like that for the time being.