Aug 14, 2019
WhiteWolfKiba (All reviews)
"Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest" certainly lives up to its name: it's about a commonplace synergist character named Hajime, who can't fight and basically can only transmute rocks, and his change into an OP gun-toting badass killing machine straight out of Devil May Cry! There are a ton of isekai (transported to another world) anime that have been coming out lately, but I wanted to let you know that you'd be missing out if you skipped Arifureta! I've seen the 5 episodes that are out so consider this a preliminary review.

Story: 5/10. This is as generic as an isekai gets: Hajime and his homeroom are transported to a fantasy world and are fighting so they can return home. Actually, the fact that his whole class comes with him is a novel concept, but sadly they don't go into that much. Hajime is separated from his class early on and so the class basically becomes background characters. Hajime is betrayed by some people early on and eventually adopts this "screw the world" attitude, similar to Naofumi in Rising of the Shield Hero, but Shield Hero just executed this idea a lot better. See, Naofumi was accused of an awful crime he didn't commit, which basically ruined his life in this new world and turned everyone against him, giving him pretty good reason to be surly all the time and not trust anyone. By comparison, Hajime really doesn't have as much justification for this attitude.

Character: 7/10. There was a lot of missed potential here. It this show had actually developed every member of Hajime's class and showed how they were dealing with life in this new world I'd probably give it a 10/10 for doing something I haven't seen in an isekai. Sadly we only focus on Hajime and Yue, the male and female leads. Hajime is a bit of a bland OP isekai protagonist you've seen before, but his action lines and scenes are so cool it's hard not to like him. My only gripe with Hajime is his sudden shift in personality (and hair color) from episode 1-2. I feel like if the show had slowed down and taken its time with his transformation from wimp to badass it would've been a lot better. I really like Yue, the adorable loli vampire, who can still be a badass in her own right.

Art: 6/10. The art and animation is done by Studio White Fox (of Goblin Slayer and Re:Zero fame) and it looks good for the most part. All of the character designs are appealing. I really like Yue's design with her golden hair and piercing red vampire eyes. I love all of the monster designs, especially the seductive plant monster in episode 3. No, the main reason I had to drop the score is because of the intrusive BAD CGI that is used for certain monster battles. In particular I am thinking of the hydra Hajime and Yue fight in episode 4, that looks like it walked out of a PS2 game. The jump from 2D animation to bad 3D CG is so jarring I'd say it puts Berserk (2016-17) to shame! It's that bad!

Sound: 9/10. The soundtrack in Arifureta is superb. I remember turning up the volume during fight scenes because I loved the battle music so much. The OP deserves special mention because it is simply gorgeous and one of my favorite OP's of all time now. Arifureta's theme features sexy jazz/sax music accompanied by beautiful English vocals that never slips into "Engrish" is you know what I mean.

Enjoyment: 8/10. Honestly there are things in this show that either don't make sense or aren't explained well. Why didn't Hajime die from blood loss after his arm got ripped off? If eating the monsters you kill in this world gives you a power boost, why doesn't everyone do it? Shouldn't there be a ton of white haired gun-toting badasses like Hajime then? Anyway, none of that matters because you're gonna watch this anime for the sick action and sexy music, and "turn your brain off" like I did. During this season of isekai anime, I recommend the "Two-Hit" mom isekai for a comedy show, but I choose Arifureta if you want action goodness.

I was gonna give Arifureta an overall score of 8/10 but when I thought about the terrible CGI in certain episodes, and I remembered just how damn confusing and poorly paced episode 1 was, I had to dock it down to a 7/10.