「猫娘は剣に出会った」 (Nekomusume Wa Ken Ni Deatta)
“The Catgirl Met A Sword”
New season, new anime, so you know exactly what that means. Yes Timmy in the back? Hyped to hell and back series to fawn over? Wrong, that’s for next week. Right now it’s all about isekai, because you know full well the one constant of any season these days is Truck-kun proving why he’s an ongoing terror. Say hello to Tensei Shitara Jen Deshita.
With how overfished the isekai waters have become these days, it should likely bear no surprise that Tenken’s premise is a little out there. Quite literally. Move over OP hero out to save the world, say hello to Shishou (Miki Shinichirou), a poor unsuspecting dude who fell into Truck-kun’s loving embrace and got rewarded for the trouble by being reincarnated into a sword. Yes, a sword. Admittedly a decent-looking sword, but sharp and pointy tool nonetheless. Honestly for how outlandish this idea is (though wait until Reborn as a Vending Machine sees its anime adaptation) it’s not that crazy by isekai standards. Shishou can do what all the normal alternate world protagonists do, he retains the stupidly ridiculous abilities, the excessive focus on RPG mechanics for explaining various progression, and features a comfy extroverted attitude that can make for fun scenes – i.e. the very things defining every other isekai these days. Mind you one has to first get past this package being a bloody sword before getting to that, but hey, anime.
In terms of actual story Tenken too is sticking very close to the well-trodden path. What is a man-as-sword supposed to do? Pick up a wielder obviously, so Shishou naturally acquires the enslaved catgirl Fran (Kakuma Ai) for his technical master who’s out to free herself, power up, and make her parents proud. Or in other words, the usual affair of travel around, solve problems, acquire new powers, and have lots of cute and funny moments. For all the ubiquity of the setup it does hint towards fun down the line, as between Shishou’s outward attitude and Fran’s coyness there’s a lot of room for the usual moe-ified shenanigans and character development which are central to driving these sorts of stories. Plus the willingness of Tenken to not shy away from violence is a nice sight since it helps ensure the visuals will help smooth over any noticeable bumps in the road.
While Tenken will definitely be a series for isekai afficionados first and only, it’s certainly a show for any isekai fan to at least keep an eye on for the next few weeks. It may be yet another play to the same sort of story seen countless times already, but between unique premise and decent characters, there’s nothing saying it cannot overcome its beginnings and make a mark on the isekai genre. We’ll just have to see how well it can rise to the occasion.