The ordinary life of 17-year-old otaku Hajime Nagumo is disrupted when he and his classmates are summoned to a fantasy world and tasked with saving mankind. While his classmates are gifted with impressive abilities useful in combat, Hajime is belittled for only gaining an inferior transmutation skill that lacks any real offensive power.
During an expedition in the Great Orcus Labyrinth, Hajime is betrayed by one of his classmates, plummeting him to the bottom of an abyss. Though he survives the fall, Hajime is faced with menacing monsters and misfortunes that send him spiraling into a grim nightmare. Desperate to live and return home one day, he resolves to fight for his survival—only to meet an imprisoned vampire he names Yue, who is also seeking to escape the labyrinth. Taking an interest in him, Yue and a few others along the way accompany Hajime on his journey to find a way back home, while steadily transforming from commonplace to the world's strongest.
Based on the light novel series written by Ryo Shirakome and illustrated by Takayaki. The series is published by Shousetsuka ni Narou in June 2015 and has been translated to English by J-Novel Club and Seven Seas Entertainment.
Have you ever been excited to watch a dumpster fire? You know, that special kind of train wreck that reaches so bad it’s good territory, or the legendary "schlock" status”? It’s rare to find such titles in the current anime market, as Big Order and Inuyashiki are some of the last ones out there at the time of writing. Most bad anime are just frustrating or boring, especially when it comes to the prevalence of bad isekai anime. With episode 1 at least, Arifureta seemed to have done the impossible. It had become something so legendarily awful that it would be remembered as the best
so bad it’s good anime of the year. Imagine my shock, my awe when we were told that isekai finally had a Big Order to call its own.
Imagine my grief when Arifureta quickly went from the most gloriously awful anime of the year to the worst I’ve seen all year. Barring a few tolerable moments, the more the show went on, the more dreadful the experience became. Even when I thought I grew numb to whatever the show threw at me, it would always find a new way to make the viewing experience worse. I felt betrayed, as did fans when the premiere dropped. Now that this anime has ended, it’s time I get a little payback.
Let’s start with the least awful aspect of the anime, that being the music. The background OST, whenever it's actually present, is either fairly decent or downright awful. A lot of these tracks (inserts included, of which there are four and only one of them works) don’t even fit the scenes they’re put in half the time. Let that put into perspective how low a bar I’ve set for this anime. As for the OP, it’s trash with an obnoxious saxophone and weird autotune, as well as an awful trap beats section right before the chorus. The worst part is that the moody piano and violin combo at the beginning makes the track inviting, like a siren or a succubus luring you into your untimely demise. Barring an admittedly decent insert song in episode 5, my only other compliment to the music is that the ED, “Hajime no Uta” by DracoVirgo is actually pretty good. One could call it a generic sort of soothing ending theme meant to give the viewers a breather after whatever whirlwind any given episode puts them through. On the other hand, with vocals and instrumentals this inviting, I don’t care. It invokes something sweet, almost nostalgic at points. That said, one can only be so positive here given that we are talking about one of the worst anime anyone cares about this year.
Speaking of worst things I’ve seen all year, the visuals in this anime are some of the worst to come out of 2019. The character designs (the better ones, at least) are inoffensive enough but that should not be my highest genuine compliment beyond some of the girls being attractive. Even then, the MC’s design is so ridiculous that it’s almost endearing. Sadly, the insanely bold and bright colors damage even that, especially when you consider that the show has to swap from these characters being barely visible in a cave so dark you can barely see a thing, to bright daylight. The contrast with all this in mind is downright eye-searing, so much so that I often needed to squint to the point of closing my eyes in order for my eyes to stop hurting. When you couple this with how poorly drawn, borderline melted their faces are at times, and how comically the show likes to distort the main character’s face, it all just becomes an aesthetic nightmare. It takes 5 episodes for us to reach a setting where the color palette works to the point where the characters aren’t too dark or bright to look at. Even then it sometimes crosses over into squint territory whenever the lighting remotely increases, and the colors are so much brighter in the side characters that they almost feel too bright in the dark labyrinth. To finally get away from the color and brightness complaints, we have the monster designs. They’re ugly as sin both in 2D and 3D. The 2D animation itself is...there. Don’t expect to see it too much and even then, it feels stilted whenever it is there a lot of the time. There are moments where it’s unbelievable like when Hajime unveils his giant rifle in episode 4 and you can see the wrappings linger and only move once every half second. I am not exaggerating. There are two factors that influence the awkward feel of the 2D animation, and they’re the three most noticeably awful aspects of the production: editing, direction, and CGI.
The CGI is child’s play for any anime fan to pick at. The models and are so bad and jarring that any scene with them automatically looks like shit. Their movements are practically nonexistent as well, just being thrown and dragged around wherever the anime pleases. The worst part is that this Berserk 2016 and Overlord-tier CGI is almost as abundant as the 2D visuals of the show, and if both are done terribly, imagine how horribly they blend together. Actually, by the time we get to the hydra in episode 4, it’s safe to say the CG in this anime is Skelter Heaven tier. The abysmal directing exacerbates the problem, as entire shots and camera movements make absolutely no sense, especially in the OP, which is such a monumental train wreck of horrendous visuals and transitions it’s impossible for me to do it justice. Whenever the show isn’t forcing head-scratchingly bizarre shots, everything is just lifeless. The action has no choreography whatsoever and for some reason, the shots have absolutely no flow to them, especially in the first episode. This is where the editing comes in. Characters are constantly teleporting for no reason and while yes, the MC learns a quick step teleportation power, that’s entirely different from the characters randomly and abruptly being in a completely different location or part of a scene for no particular reason. Characters look one way and other characters, monsters, or objects are moving from somewhere other than where the characters are looking at, causing whiplash as we scramble to piece together what’s going on. Entire scene transitions amount to nothing but a fake-out before the same scene abruptly cuts to flashback or to present day. I don’t even wanna tell you how the show fucks up visual gags with shitty zooms and cheap “animation”. These problems are a constant with the show, and while they do enough damage to the visuals as is, they’re also inherently an issue with presentation. Bad presentation can really damage one’s narrative, as this show proudly demonstrates.
The writing in this so bad on so many levels that we have to tackle it in three different ways. First is how the presentation turns the first episode into an incomprehensible shitshow. Then we have how the presentation turns the entire narrative into a jumbled mess. Lastly, there’s how the writing is generic at best and frankly pathetic at worst. I won’t even come close to hitting everything but there’s more than enough for you to get the gist of these issues several times over. I hope you enjoy my extensive coverage and journey of this hellspawn.
For starters, the main character just assumes someone sabotaged him because one of the magic laser blasts in a volley of magic collided and ended up hitting him cuz it was misfired, and because we (barely) see a guy smirking for a brief second. First off, how in God’s name did the MC even see the guy while being assaulted by bright lights, one of which basically hit him? He couldn’t. On top of that, since he could have only seen the volleys of light, and the visuals communicate that one of them just ran into another and hit him due to that collision making it go off course, how did he not see it as anything other than an accident? Sure, he was on death’s door before becoming the white-haired, gunslinging edgelord we know now so of course he feels resent for his situation and would like to blame someone, but the anime presents it as if he knows exactly what happened. WE barely know what’s going on, which is a problem in and of itself! This is a common problem throughout the show, even when it temporarily stops being borderline impossible to follow...at least until the penultimate episode tries its valiant hand at in medias res storytelling one last time and making time and events impossible to follow. There’s almost no context or connective tissue between scenes in this first arc, and entire episodes throughout.
My condolences to anyone who thought they could get into the franchise with this anime because context is not a concept this show understands. Sure, it presents a ton of flashbacks that technically explain on some level how the MC got to where he is, but we have no context for why he and those who teleported with him are doing what they’re doing, or how many of them got there. We barely even know jack or shit about the most basic aspects of the world or character relationships because the anime doesn’t bother explaining any of that and we’re just hit with contextless, incohesive montages, and sequences of characters fighting in dungeons. The sheer lack of personality beyond the most basic of caricature characterization only worsens the issue. Even worse is the fact that the flashbacks are erratically placed, sometimes appearing after a scene that necessitated the flashback beforehand makes a transition, sometimes without any transitions to speak of and without the scene prior even requiring the flashback in any capacity. Vital pieces of information are either relegated to throwaway lines or downright nonexistent, so it’s not like rewatching a second time or thinking about it more will suddenly illuminate everything for you. Doing so somehow leads to more questions. That, in turn, forces you to assume things and go out of your way to try to figure out where anything is in relation to its environment, which kills any semblance of joy you could have just laughing at how jumbled everything is. This is the premiere of your anime for God’s sake! If you want to start in medias res, you have to do it in a way where things make enough sense by the end of it that it isn’t a disorienting, incoherent mess. Otherwise, you end up with this glorious train wreck, one I wish lasted longer than a single episode.
Immediately after episode 1, the show just becomes this obnoxious, tiresome mess as it swaps between perspectives no one gives a shit about, not even going far to make the action sequences with our now mental protagonist exciting in the least. Hell, he loses all of the hilariously crazy edge he had to him, just becoming a no-nonsense tsundere character who points out predictable tropes in this cliche fantasy land while purposely going in the opposite direction of where he needs to in order to even begin getting home. He fell to the 65th floor and instead of going back up he goes down 50 floors in a 100-floor labyrinth. Soon after you start to question that, he reaches what seems like the 100th floor in order to fight a boss and free a vampire loli caricature before they head down even more floors to the actual 100th floor. If that doesn’t make any sense, don’t worry, none of this does! Hell, even when they answer why he’s going down with him wanting to get stronger, we have to ask...why is he even bothering when all he has/wants to do is leave and have nothing to do with anything? There are other easy contradictions and logic problems to pick at within this whole excursion, but you get the point. Also, the way they cut between this and the scenes of the other characters coming back is dreadful as there’s no cohesion, and again, they barely expand on the important context we need to understand what is going on and why, just dumping more and more lore on us and presenting more abilities that are sometimes inconsistent cuz we need the MC to do something cool, or otherwise seemingly irrelevant to what he should be learning.
Speaking of inconsistent, it takes until episode 3 before the show settles on establishing a concrete personality for our MC-kun, or Hajime, if you will. It didn’t even set one up to be broken in the first place because that would require competent writing. We’ll touch back on that real soon. Episode 4 has an insufferable number of death fake-outs which include a contrived scenario where the main character gets blasted nearly to death and only after the monster trying to kill them fires again several seconds later does his partner put up a force field. Said force field is also inconsistent about attacks getting through it and then the rest of the fight sequence is told out of order for no reason. The pair also arbitrarily kiss multiple times because we need nonsensical faux emotional beats, as if there aren’t enough in this episode. I could go on about the asspulls, inconsistencies, and forced drama for the sake of emotional manipulation, but you get the point.
Pacing is another gigantic issue with this anime. Apart from how badly episode 1 utilizes flashbacks, the show has a dismal time deciding what to show and when. It often skips or montages relevant progression, like Hajime’s journey towards being an “edgelord badass”, or the offscreen training his classmates did after their collective failure in the first episode. We don’t even see how or when Hajime gets everything he needs to complete his character design, as we’re instead forced to assume what happened. The two month time skip in episode 5, the fight the classmates have with the enemies they had trouble with in episode 1, and the aforementioned incoherent ordering of events in the second half of episode 4’s big emotional action sequence serve as further examples of how bad the pacing and storytelling is past the first episode. Nothing feels earned from any emotional standpoint due to both these storytelling reasons and the general lack of decent writing, whether that be the classmates in episode 5 overcoming the CGI monsters that gave everyone hell in episode 1, or any of the big moments in episode 4.
All of this sounds bad enough, but it gets even worse when you understand what this anime is trying to be. It’s a light novel adaptation with intents on providing wish-fulfillment via presenting a dark, brooding, angsty yet (selectively) compassionate main character for angsty teenagers to relate to, all while surrounding him with character archetypes, including tons of waifus. They somehow managed to fuck this up so spectacularly that it actually fails at being just generic and trite and becomes an absolute disaster. I’ve complained about shows that fail to even be generic like The Asterisk War, but that was solely on the writing being so broken that it manages to fuck up the easiest of things and make no-effort plots feel convoluted and nonsensical. Arifureta is so horrendously constructed and presented that it’s actually incomprehensible at times. At best, I can say that this show technically did succeed at creating a bunch of archetypes like the classmates and harem girls our main character, Hajime has to deal with. They still didn’t even succeed at properly establishing, breaking, then revamping our main character. Also, no one is even remotely likable, and their interactions are obnoxious, which seems like a given. The only interesting thing about Hajime and the first girl he gets with is that both of them suffer some kind of abandonment and betrayal issues, but again, both characters are hollow, and nothing is told well so it’s difficult to care. Their lack of chemistry makes the emotional character and relationship moments of episode 4 particularly jarring and laughable. By the time we get the gag of Hajime accidentally clenching Yue's butt in bed, I knew that if they told this story properly, it would still be a disaster. It wouldn’t be as corrosive as it is now, but it would still be a tiresome, badly produced, practically broken mess of a show I’d want nothing to do with. If they stuck to making a hilariously jumbled mess that goes all-in on that “edge factor”, then it would be at least amusing. No one wins when the show fails at going both ways, as if the second arc didn’t make it clear that no one involved is coming out of this ok.
Once the first arc concludes after 5 episodes, the series doesn't exactly get better. While the remainder of the show isn’t as broken as the first half (including this sixth episode), it basically stops trying to set itself apart in any way, shape, or form from its contemporaries minus the one small plot thread that lingers throughout, that thread being Hajime’s bitterness towards those who betrayed him. From here on out, the main duo shuffles between absolute pieces of shit and begrudgingly compliant assholes that do things because they’re strung along by the slowly emerging pieces of Hajime’s harem. Obviously, asshole characters forced to lay off the edge and do something worthwhile don’t have to be intolerable but given how annoying the rest of the harem is and given how broken the existing caricatures are, the experience becomes significantly more corrosive than ever before. The conflict the second harem member introduces at the start of episode 6 gets resolved, and the rest of the episode is just montages and dicking around before the main characters have to leave. Said second member, Shea, is her own level of destructive at first. She’s not only annoying on her own, but she brings out a new level of dickishness within the main duo that makes their early interactions some of the worst I’ve seen in any harem or anime period. The interactions do get better rather quickly given that the very next episode gives Shea a time to shine, so at least that’s one bit of positivity in the midst of this sea of bile. To quickly leave that reprieve, I’ll mention that backstory is also pointlessly shoehorned in as it has no connection to anything. It might be one of the most insufferable backstories I’ve seen since it only exists to hamfistedly reinforce the idea of “the outcasts coming together and not being so alone in this world” and tell us Shea’s goddamn name. It’s almost as soul-crushing as the episode itself whose only purpose is to introduce a new, big-tittied waifu, and to set up a point which our main characters will have to return to before completing four more labyrinths which the previous episode established. This is our end goal for the show, and where even many fans of the source material feel the show has gone to shit. Need I say more?
Actually, I do, so I’ll just go through the second half of the show in a more rapid-fire fashion. This review is overly long as it is, and that’s without devolving into a ton of nitpicks like how Shea arbitrarily has a change of clothes somehow between two scenes early in episode 7. Said episode is probably the best episode, as we actually get to see Shea beating people six ways to Sunday and prove her worth to the team after all the shit everyone and their mother gives her. It actually reminds me that sometimes these characters have the potential to be compelling, even if the blatant fanservice gags feel shoehorned in at times even considering her appearance and purpose. On top of that, the way they get jettisoned out of the second labyrinth (yes they got there already because pacing is not something this anime cares about) is actually pretty amusing. From then onwards, it’s back to getting the Steph treatment for her, as if using the absolute worst character dynamic from No Game No Life but with a character who is actually obnoxious this time makes it better than when the aforementioned 2014 anime did it. Episode 8 is a tedious reunion episode with some of Hajime's peers, albeit not the ones he has any beef with. Outside of the arbitrary bit of moment a tertiary character has with Shea, the only bit of note is Hajime's equally arbitrary lore dump he gives as a reason to why he won't come back with everyone. He doesn't even care about this, stating to the person offering him a guaranteed way home that he just wants to find some maverick keys so he can leave. It would have been more interesting and in character for him to just say that he wants nothing to do with some of his classmates.
Episode 9 has a moment meant to make Hajime give an angry pep talk to someone about life, which is meant to be an emotionally resonant and inspiring moment, except dismal pacing, a lack of time, and a lack of exploration of this side of Hajime renders this scene moot. Tio Klarus (ok, why do the subs not match the MAL or AL names again?) makes her appearance this episode to round out the “I love Mr. Edgelord Man” party. She’s the masochist of the group, which we learn firsthand in the most embarrassing sequence I have dealt with all year. Apart from all the masochism nonsense, her nice design, and the fact that the anime can’t keep her nail size consistent within the first scene she’s in her human form, she’s boring and obnoxious. I’m done with the episodic play by play. You get the point and I refuse to cover any more of this now that we have all of the relevant characters out now, 2/3 into the anime’s runtime. You can already deduce that there’s nothing left to talk about and that it’s yet more obnoxious LN cliche gauntlets and insufferable character interactions from the diet version of the Konosuba cast and friends. There’s a bad guy and then another evil lord to be stopped, and we’re gonna meet Kaori and her female swordsman friend from early in the series again because they love Hajime as well and we need to fully assemble the harem by the end of the series all while getting sidetracked with more side quests and lolis! This review is long enough as it is, and I’ve wasted enough of both your time and mine! Fuck everything and everyone! Time for final thoughts!
The saddest part isn’t even that this is one of the biggest anime of its season. It’s that this show was delayed by a whopping 15 months. Imagine how much worse it could have been if we got to see it in its original state! The fact that the original author stated "Every time I was sent scripts and storyboards for the anime over these past few months, I writhed in pain in my room” back in January of 2018 makes that bizarre, alternate reality all the more tantalizing. Perhaps it could have been less incompetent given how there was a different director and team before the shift. Perhaps it could have been even worse given how bland the art style of the original plans looked. Still, it’s hard not to feel bad for everyone involved, fans included. At the same time, it’s hard not to point and laugh at what a dumpster fire this show is before later hating what it became. What it became is a bland, fugly, shitty isekai with nothing to offer but shock value from seeing blood and gore and a crazy turned boring tsun jerkass with a heart of gold. I’d actually recommend watching Re:Zero at that point, disregarding my disdain towards that show. You might even have a better time with Shield Hero, I dunno. Just don’t watch this, not even for the occasional bright spot it may have. Obviously, the manga and LN readers aren’t happy, and people like me who wanted that ironic entertainment are left just as disappointed. Barring those with Digibro’s specific tastes, it pleases no one but the most accepting of anime fans who just wanna see a gunslinging underdog get a harem. The only remaining exceptions are those who are willing to trudge through anything that has the theme of defying a world that hates them, and those who adore the art of baffling, broken direction. If that doesn’t meet the criteria for “so bad it’s horrible”, I don’t know what will.
I wish this was just a single episode OVA instead so we could have ourselves a modern-day Mars of Destruction. It would probably have even worse reception, but it wouldn’t be this pathetic or worthless, and I wouldn’t feel like a donkey after watching it. Now I’m left angrier at myself for being duped than I am at this piece of shit for promising ironic entertainment in a fantasy subgenre devoid of any kind of entertainment value, and then spitting in my face. I’m angrier about that than I am about the show frequently throwing away or otherwise undercutting the potential it constantly brings up for itself, as unbelievable as the phrase “this show has potential” might seem to many here. The review you’re reading right now is the only reason I finished this humiliating train wreck which has been mildly amusing (dare I say endearing) at best and unbearable at worst. Perhaps this show wanted to make it clear that I’m not allowed to have fun with these types of shows anymore, and that any bright spots like the occasionally decent character moment, are just flukes.
Eh, what can you do? Even Big Order stopped being funny bad at some point.
Written and Edited by: CodeBlazeFate
Proofread by: Peregrine
The disappointment of the season. Worst anime of the year. An anime that should never have existed. No matter how many insults I throw at Arifureta, I'm afraid it will never be enough to convey just how loathsome I consider this atrocity.
There are several levels of bad isekai anime. You've got the disappointing kind like How Not to Summon a Demon Lord. Then comes the horrible kind like Kenja no Mago and Isekai Cheat Magician. And then you have Arifureta in a league of its own with not a single competitor in sight. It's so bad that I watched it every week just to
make myself feel better. I assured myself by saying that anime watching can't get worse so the only way is up. And yet, every week, Arifureta hit new lows that I didn't imagine were possible.
Arifureta literally means "common" or "mundane". But in the anime community, this word is now going to be referred to something which is terrible beyond measure. I think I've watched a decent amount of anime, and in all of those, only a couple of shows even come close to Arifureta in terms of the dreadful watching experience I've had. Arifureta has set the standard as high as possible for a show to be absolutely and unreservedly appalling. This is the kind of show that the rating of 1 on MyAnimeList exists for. An anime series that has no saving grace; something that might make you question why you watch anime at all.
Even after having suffered through 13 episodes of this tragically forsaken show, I can't quite point out what it was or what it wanted to be. I doubt the creators or the studio had any idea either. It's an isekai but what did the author really want this to be? A harem? Yeah, because all the new girls want to fuck Kazuma as soon as they meet him.
The premise of the show has Hajime and his class transported into a fantasy world in order to save it from some sort of disaster that's about to occur. In one of their expeditions, he's betrayed by one of his friends, falls into the abyss of the dungeon and that's where his changes start. He's a weak little boy before falling and then by eating monster's shit and meat, he obtains their powers.
When I was watching the first episode and all of this happened, I honestly thought that the second guy that I was watching wasn't even Hajime. By just eating and drinking some crap, his entire body changed shape, his hair color changed and even his voice wasn't recognizable. Damn, what a transformation. He goes from a weak little guy, who wants to look after his friends, to a strong, monster eating maniac who only thinks about getting stronger. His transformation also boosted the shitty level of his character. He was a normal shit guy before he changed and became a stupidly powerful but even shittier guy afterward.
Suddenly, we've got this overpowered, invincible "protagonist" (if you can even call Hajime that) who's going around the abyss, killing monsters with his guns and snipers, eating them and stealing their abilities for himself. You've gotta be kidding me! How did he even learn to create guns?! He was nothing but a support-type before, and now he's suddenly this all-knowing, omnipotent genius. Terrible, absolutely terrible and irredeemable writing.
So, what was the author thinking when he wrote Hajime? That's a question I'd like answered. His personality changed more times than there are episodes in the season. It's not unpredictable in a good way, no. It's embarrassingly predictable, but it just fluctuates between a guy who wants to save his friends, to one who cares about no one but himself, to caring about a vampire girl he'd just met, to having a dream of going home while caring about no one, to not caring about his former teacher, to caring about his former teacher, to not caring about the friends before his "transformation", to caring about them. It's kind of a cycle that repeats itself in every arc. His attitude towards the people who help him (except towards vampire loli of course) is stupidly obnoxious, and this doesn't change.
Since the second episode of this abomination, the characters that are introduced are nothing but objects to praise and aid our amazingly charismatic Hajime. Let's begin by talking about the naked girl tied to, and hanging from the chains in the opening: Yue. After being saved by Hajime (how surprising), the only reason for her existence is to suck up to him. She doesn't have a single personality trait worth mentioning. She really doesn't. All she's done is help Hajime defeat monsters and get jealous when other girls get close to him. I honestly don't have a clue what else I could write about her.
Moving on to the other characters in Hajime's "party"; first, we've got Shea, a bunny girl whose sole goal in life is to fuck Hajime. Yeah, not much else to her character either. Then, we've got a masochistic dragon girl who'd like to fuck Hajime. Great. And did I mention that Yue wants to fuck him too?
The only character who was even barely relatable, or bearable for that matter, was Kaori Shirasaki, one of Hajime's classmates who'd been transported into another world. She's the character whom Hajime tried to save when he fell and for that, she's shown to bear great responsibility. The emotions she goes through are interesting to watch as she goes from blaming herself to firming her resolve in finding Hajime. Alas, she didn't get too much screentime after those initial few episodes. And even if she did, I doubt it would've made much difference to the overall experience of watching Arifureta.
The full name of this piece of shit show is "Arifureta: from commonplace to the world's strongest". What it fails to mention is that this change happens in the span of one episode. Since episode 2, no enemy's even posed a challenge to Hajime. He and his party members are the only characters on the good side who're not totally useless. Everyone else who's not introduced as the enemy is shown to be weak; pathetically weak. Then, Hajime will appear, act as if helping them isn't his problem and eventually be convinced by one of the girls to help them. And then, we'll see our great hero pull out his guns and shoot down the bad guys with little to no effort. All while the animation hurts your eyes and makes you wonder if you're really in 2019 and not in 1969.
The other characters are so pitifully useless that it made me wonder how the world wasn't overtaken by demons and monsters before Hajime had his little demonshit-eating transformation. I know I've made this point a few times already but I just can't stress enough how stupid and weak anyone else that's not in Hajime's party is.
If there was one anime where the studios deserved shit for their terrible, lazy and disgraceful commitment, this would be it. I don't like to shit on writers or production studios, but for once, I can't say that the deplorable plot or storytelling is the only major reason for an anime to be the crappiest of crap. White Fox and Asread are both massive production studios, especially White Fox. Believe it or not, this is the studio that has produced shows of the ilk of Steins;Gate, Katanagari, Akame ga Kill, Hatarakou Maou-sama and Re;Zero. I'm not a fan of Re;Zero. In fact, I hated it. But that wasn't due to the fault of the studio. The production was top-notch in each of the anime series I've mentioned above. However, for Arifureta, both of these studios share the blame. Big time. I'm not kidding when I say that even Maou-sama Retry! which was produced by a no-name studio had better animation than Arifureta at times. And there's no excuse for this. Absolutely none. The opening was decent as far as the sound goes, however, nothing is noteworthy in the audio aspect either.
If you don't already know, Arifureta was scheduled to air in Spring 2018. Apparently, the production was already underway but because the author of the light novels didn't like what he saw, everything was scrapped and the anime postponed till Summer 2019. The utter lack of responsibility by the producers is mindboggling. They scrapped a series because they didn't like what they saw and the final product of what they "liked" is this abomination. I don't even want to imagine what the thing they scrapped must have been.
Some of the action scenes were so pitifully animated that it hurt my head just watching it. Imagine playing an action game at 10 FPS. That's how awful these action sequences were. This was a result of terrible visuals and sound combined with horrendous direction and a lack of planning. The worst part of the animation is the CGI of monsters, dragons, skeletons, etc. Basically, any enemy that wasn't human had CGI which would make the games from the 90s and early 2000s look great in comparison. Everything from their movements to their appearance was a pain to watch.
Do you want to see a female dragon having a massive rod inserted into her ass? Do you want to see a bunny girl kissing the main character fervently when he was trying to give the girl a mouth-to-mouth CPR? Or CGI so bad that it looks worse than a 1990s game (Heck, even those games had better CGI than the monster battles in Arifureta)? Do you want something to vent your frustration on? Do you want to see what your beloved medium of entertainment looks like at its worst?
Even if the answer to all of the above questions is yes, I'd still not recommend this. It's easily the worst isekai I've watched overall. I may have watched some with just as bad story-telling and characters as Arifureta, but they at least had okay animation. Arifureta doesn't tick the box for being decent in any department, be it characters, story, or animation.
Kaneki Ken, Shinobu Oshino, Aqua, and Darkness destroy CGI monsters with Hammer, sniper rifle, and grenade launcher. If you think that it will be extremely enjoyable and fun to watch, think again.
Summer 2019. Fairy Gone is finally ended, so I needed to watch another guilty pleasure show. I skipped Shield Hero hype train, Slime hype train, and some other isekai hype trains before, but new another world one looks fine to join and discuss. No deep expectations: cool and “kinda weak in first episodes, super op after them” protagonist, cute fanservice girls, nice graphics and 8.xx MAL rating — what else do I need from
anime nowadays? I opened episode 1 with those thoughts... and laughed. This episode was the funniest “so bad, that it's good” thing I've seen since Mars of Destruction, Berserk 2016 gifs, and spider truck from Fairy Gone, and I can't stop laughing while watching that ugly textures, huge CGI monsters, random exposition (they even skipped the isekai part and showed it only in OP and flashbacks), and retelling of Tokyo Ghoul S1 in 4 minutes. I opened the director's page on MAL — and other viewers were in shock too: “stop directing”, “kill yourself”, “you ruined arifureta” and other friendly messages from friendly isekai fans. However, who we are to blame him? With a budget of 5 yen and a cup of ramen, even Watanabe, Yuasa and Miyazaki combined wouldn't be able to make this adaptation something good. At least Yoshimoto Kinji tried to do something, so let's continue watching, and we'll see why it's not enough.
A N I M A T I O N. Yeah, graphics in this show is fucking horrible and looks like it was made by two students with Paint and pirated 3Ds Max. Watching something like this at the same time when Kimetsu no Yaiba exists is like go to the most elite restaurant in your town, realize that you are retarded and spend all your salary in one day, and for the other 29 days eat overdue products from the supermarket. Laughable CGI monsters, dirty, bland and cheap cell animation and horrible action scenes — you need to expect it by yourself because there are no words to describe what studio Asread made with the original light novel.
Can the story improve shitty animation? Of course not, because it's just another isekai revenge story, and as I said before, there is nothing to expect here. Isekai — "weak" MC who has the super op skill — kills monsters in dungeons — take cute girls in the harem. More dead monsters — more cute waifus, Japanese Dream in a nutshell. I waited for something like this, but with typical isekai problems (hero is overpowered and there are two or more girls with him) we get a new one: awful pacing. The story progresses rapidly and without any understanding of how it works. Hajime is crying and wants to die in ep 1 — and become an edgy retarded “I WANT TO KILL EVERYBODY” boy after few seconds. Bunny family becomes super cool and badass in 2 minutes of something, and a weak bunny girl who can't fight at all suddenly is a skilled fighter with a hammer now. Hajime, the guy who survived in a hardcore dungeon with Yui, who fight together with her for a long time, was close to death and changed his life views, take a walking piece of fanservice with him and forgot about relationships with Yui because of some reasons. First dungeon in 5 eps — second in 1/2 ep and of course — no ending, “this is only a light novel advertising, read it and shut up”. I hadn't read the original novel and of course, wouldn't read it after “advertising” like this, but even I see that lot of events from it were skipped, cut and became ugly flashbacks, who are only confusing the viewer. Some interesting details (like Hajime's nihilism, racism and slavery between humans and other humanoid races) switches to scenes with bunny girl's panties, dragon girl's ass and other fanservice scenes with characters who are so bland and generic that I even don't want to tell about them more than a few words.
Hajime — hybrid of Kaneki and Naofumi, your typical isekai pussy boy.
Harem girls from zoo 1-4 — have different designs, but the same personality — “I want to fuck with Hajime, so I'll go with him no matter what”. Yeah, even the little fish girl just wants to be with our cool protagonist. I'm not a hater of the harem genre, but for me, girls in good harem show must be individuals with colorful, different personalities and, of course, different behavior. Take Monogatari or Tenchi Muyou series, for example.
Other characters (classmates, bosses, other girls) — they exist. That's all.
This show is so fucking bad that it even doesn't work like a parody and “so bad, that it's good” anime. I am a huge fan of the comedies like Mayoiga, Skelter Heaven and Hametsu no Mars, trash flows in my veins and guilty pleasure is my second name, but there are not so many hilarious scenes in this show. Ep 1 was comedy gold, but after that, I got a boring MMO grind. CGI Hammer's attack and bunny girl with a grenade launcher are good, but after that show tries to become a serious drama about death. Stupid scenes replace other stupid scenes, fanservice becomes a shitty drama, and I couldn't fully enjoy this anime because of it.
“However, if you hate this show and everything is bad, why you watched all 13 eps? Every normal people dropped this shit on ep 1"
I try to explain this. Let's begin from afar.
Honestly, I don't care so much what everyone in the MAL is watching, because every person watches what he wants and likes what he wants. People who start watching anime enjoy Death Note and Attack on Titan, elitists are watching their “smart” shows such as Darling of the Galactic Franxx, Keijolyze!!!!!!!! and Sword Art Onlain, and ongoing lovers watch 30 new anime simultaneously and want more. This is fine, everyone has their tastes and opinions, but I never understand one thing — who watch that ton of bad isekai and write reviews of them? No, I'm not even talking about SAO, NGNL, Shield Hero, Overlord and Konosuba now — I'm about Death March, Smartphone, Kenja no Majo, Milfsekai, Cheat Magician and other 12-eps light novel advertisements. People who review them often said that they are unwatchable and a perfect example of “how not to make an anime” — no, they are not. You know why? They are bland. Every typical isekai trope, mediocre graphics, no originality at all, harem, 12 eps, and no ending — every component of this shows is so bland, so sterile, so unfunny that even trailers of all that shows are painful to watch. Watching them is like drinking a distilled water — just NOTHING, there is no interest to criticize it, to find mistakes, to talk about plot and characters — because there is nothing to say about.
A real example of “how not to make an anime” is Arifureta. You know why? Because with all that shitty CGI and animation, edgy characters, harem tropes, hammers with sniper rifles and other shit Arifureta tries to be an anime of the season, an important event and the isekai of the top such as SAO, Shield Hero and NGNL — and fails in every aspect. This makes it enjoyable even with all those disadvantages. Where is the end? Can the animation become even worse? How many CGI objects I'll see in the next episode? Watching Arifureta is like watching fails video on youtube or watching for people who do something for the first time: funny for the wrong reasons, and this makes Arifureta the new Fairy Gone for me. Of course, it's still 1/10 (0.5 for funny moments and 0.5 for opening), but at least I enjoyed some moments of it. Ohaiyo, Oyasumi!
How should I say this…my first impression of this abomination is: Did studio Asread go creatively bankrupt of anime projects? Is that why they keep producing garbage after garbage all these years? Watching Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou feels like injecting yourself with a lethal dose of poison but you won’t die. Instead, you’re lying there in a pain of agony trying to move on to the next life.
To be honest, I had low expectations before the anime began airing. Red flags were already raised when they made an announcement that the show would be delayed to this year. Normally, people would assume that it’s
due to production issues and management. However, I don’t buy it. It sounded more like the show didn’t have a well-planned roadmap to begin with and serves more as a mission for cash grab.
Onto the show itself, it follows a similar trend with most isekai in recent years. You know, the protagonist gets transported to another world, taking on the role of a hero, and is given the task of saving the world. The seventeen year old Hajime Nagumo is a type of protagonist you can literally find in just about any isekai anime these days. The plot involves him getting weak stats in a world of danger. To make matters worse, he almost dies after falling into an abyss. After meeting a vampire girl named Yue, he begins to take on this world with her in this dark fantasy adventure. Does this sound exciting? Absolutely not and there’s plenty of reasons why.
First and foremost, there’s absolutely no way we can ignore the atrocious CGI quality of battle scenes and monster designs. There’s some anime that managed to make it work but this show is a fallout of the most hideous models I’ve ever seen in recent years. Every fiber of my being dislikes how the battles look and feel. It’s like one of those early access games you find on Steam where the developers completely abandoned their project after being bombarded with negative reviews. Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou shapes up to be some of the worst looking character designs this season. The fourth episode is a clear example of this. It reminds me of watching one of those Sharktopus trailers on Youtube where everything becomes a meme. Even the author of the series expressed his dislike about the show. To quote what he said, “I writhed in pain every time I was sent scripts/storyboards”. When you have the author disliking their own adapted work, then we have a problem.
Yet, the problem doesn’t stop there.
The scripts and storyboard itself doesn’t make a great impression either. It’s quite the opposite. Hajime’s transformation from a weakling to an anti-hero serves almost no purpose except to make him more badass. His character development is so fast that there’s pretty much no room to improve his character. It’s easy to assume he changes after meeting certain girls in his life but the writing there is meek at best. There’s forced romance between him and Yue that shows the two trying to survive in this apocalyptic world. Not to mention, Yue herself has almost no personality and goes through a similar quick change after meeting Hajime. There’s even one episode where she literally jumps into Hajime to show her affection. What happens after that? You can let your imaginations decide. The storytelling itself also has a lack of direction as I never felt it served much purpose.
The character cast itself is just a cluster of poorly made adventurers. Besides our main leads, we have Shea Haulia, the girl who dresses like a slut with rabbit ears and a bubbly personality. No one can take her seriously especially when she acts like a 4 year old crybaby. The anime doesn’t focus on her development but instead inserts her character as a harem groupie. On the other hand, Kaori Shirasaki is introduced early in the show as somewhat of a normal character. Unfortunately, she has perhaps the dullest personality in the series. Again, the show doesn’t commit on developing her character and by the end of the show, I almost forgot she even existed. Later in the series, we also meet Tio who apparently gets turned on like a masochist. When you have such a poorly written main cast roster, you can forget about the supporting cast such as their annoying teacher Hatayama Aiko. What a disaster. To top it off, this is a 13-episode series based on a novel that ran for hundreds of chapters. Anyone with a functional brain would instantly tell you that there’s no way we can get an acceptable adaptation. Even the episode themselves suffers from pacing issues and there’s no emotional attachment you can feel about the characters, story, art style, or anything.
Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou is an amalgamation of every trashy idea wrapped up into one little package. To recap a few, there’s the atrocious animation quality, faulty character development, the ineffective storytelling, and overall lackluster writing. Character relationship seems like a wish filling fantasy rather than anything realistic or tolerable. People tends to call this type of show generic or cliché but this anime is worse than that. It’s the fact that you feel absolutely nothing once you’re finished with the show besides hoping to get your time back. Sadly, you won’t.