AniManga fans: "I'm sick and tired of seeing the same Isekai tropes over and over again. It's time for a new property to stand out."
Liz Takayama: "I hear you back there, so why not give my only work a try? Hope it might surprise and please you."
In all essence of the novelty, novelist Liz Takayama with her only work that is Isekai Yakkyoku a.k.a Parallel World Pharmacy has been a delight to read in both the LN and manga, now translated into Diomedéa's anime adaptation that has come this season. For better or worse, this Isekai really stands out in its own clever way, even
if its themes are borrowed from one similar premise that still doesn't hamper the writing abilities to make it one's very own work, that truly excels in its own pathology as (probably) the first Isekai in Syosetu's lineup to focus on medicine entirely. Yeah yeah, there is that drugstore Isekai that came out earlier, but it's not like an actual medicine premise in both theory and practice.
Rightaway, you could already see a Parallel to another World with the only difference that Pharmacy is involved, and not a Bookworm. By the way, there's no pun intended on this, but it's also no mere coincidence as both Isekai Yakkyoku's Farma de Médicis and Honzuki's Myne have a similar backstory, where their real-life selves passed away due to a life-threatening incident, to the point of reincarnation as a younger self with all of their real-life "knowledge is power" memories fully intact. In Isekai Yakkyoku's case, it's about a medical researcher who succumbed to his overwork while finding a treatment on his deceased sister's behalf with tumor being the root cause, only to find himself reincarnated as 10-year-old Farma de Médicis, who said family thought that he died being struck by lightning and suffering a coma that he could not awake from. However, Farma discovers that he has been granted a divine blessing (also called a Divine Art): Panactheos, the God of Medicine, which is common with the medieval culture of the parallel world's nobility in the San Flevue Empire. And this steels Farma's resolve, as with his divine blessing and his retained knowledge of modern medicine, to revolutionize the Parallel world's medical advancements and make proper treatments affordable for the everyday citizen. So, in every sense of the word, while Myne focuses on bringing books to the masses, Farma is doing the same for medicine, which in the Isekai world, is only present to the nobility. And this will really set him and his Parallel World Pharmacy apart from the Empire's many pharmacies that are stuck to the old colonial rule.
Farma's de Médicis family of nobility is most certainly one to be liked, with parents Bruno and Beatrice, the former of which is not just his father, but a patriarch, an archduke, and the president of the Saint Fleuve's Imperial School of Pharmacy. That's how Bruno is deeply respected within the confines of the nobles as one of the forerunners, spearheading the Isekai world in the world of medicine and its medieval, yet calculated advancement that's all too similar to people like Friedrich Sertürner and William Procter Jr. And like every traditional family, especially when it comes to a business, the children must be expected to follow in the footsteps of their parents, as is the case with the father and son Bruno and Farma here. But with the reincarnation, Farma has clearly surpassed whoever he was before the lightning strike that sent him into a coma, and infused with the riches of knowledge on medicine, that even with adversity, is not willing to back down if it means the safety of everyone either nobility or citizen. Of course, how could Farma work all of this by himself, and there're 2 people to help him out: Eléonore "Ellen" Bonnefoi and Charlotte "Lotte" Soller. The former is his personal tutor who was surprised that Panactheos was within him and subsequently aided him in his endeavours, while the latter is a maid servant of the de Médicis family and simultaneously his childhood friend. On that note, I should really thank the heavens that the "childhood friend" trope here is nothing more than just wholesomeness of "being aware but not intentionally a need" to shape their relationship just on a master-servant level.
That blissful feeling also trickles down to the visuals and animation, which Diomedéa did a really good job upon. ICYMI, the same studio also did Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou Desu a.k.a The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, which is another "Saint"-like show that also features medicine that aired in Spring last year (which is coming back for a Season 2 next year), so it's definitely in the right mind and sense that this is Diomedéa's current groove and work productivity to boot. Despite this and said show with practically the same in-house staff team but a different director (DomeKano's Shouta Ibata for Seijo Bannou Desu, Happy Sugar Life's Keizo Kusakawa for Yakkyoku) and I hope that whatever is to come of this work ethic of incorporating similar shows into the studio's work biography, the trust is that it'll work out well.
What's more to say that the music really fits the show's DNA like genetic links forming its unique 23 pairs of chromosomes. Like Kinsou no Vermeil's OP, Kaori Ishikawa has made another OP that's a graceful compliment to the anime's experience, as did Little Black Dress's ED. But, even if the OST isn't really the highlight of the show as a whole (I would say it's one of the weaker aspects of the show), it still manages to deliver in its own medicinal way possible, and that is more than enough for what the show requires.
Overall, I just really love Isekai Yakkyoku's overall vibes that it presents to the table, knowing that itself is a stock Isekai with the same tropes that everyone has seen about a billion times now, but knowing where to exude with its signature ingredient (medicine) that's just makes it all the more different and definitely not your standard Isekai. Props should be given to Liz Takayama for her inept writing abilities to invoke that special feeling while not over-whipping the known Isekai tropes to make for a compelling watch. Furthermore, it's endorsed by the Japan Pharmaceutical Association, which the anime was a part of its campaign to bring awareness to the professions and practices of the pharmaceutical field, so this easily creates a win-win solution for all parties involved.
If not for Isekai Ojisan (which sadly its remainder has been delayed to Fall), Isekai Yakkyoku really shone above and beyond as both the 2nd best Isekai of the season and definitely one of the better Isekai I've seen in 2022 alone, and you can testify about it yourself as you let the show soak in its unique medicinal traits that's deeper and more technical, but without sounding too complex and looking a lot more on infotainment. It's a damn good watch, I'll give it that.
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Synonyms: Alternate World Pharmacy
English: Parallel World Pharmacy
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 10, 2022 to Sep 25, 2022
Premiered: Summer 2022
Broadcast: Sundays at 21:30 (JST)
Producers: Frontier Works, Pony Canyon, AT-X, Kansai Telecasting, BS NTV, Kadokawa, Bit grooove promotion
Licensors: None found, add some
Source: Light novel
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
Score: 7.341 (scored by 6430864,308 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
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