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EP. REVIEW: Arifureta - From Commonplace to World's Strongest


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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:10 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
Izanagi009 wrote:
Key wrote:
Izanagi009 wrote:
to add to this, i have to ask an odd question, why is this type of isekai considered acceptable? If this was a film or book in the western community, it would be laughed out of most critical circles so why is the current state of isekai accepted or rather why has the general populous not asked for deconstruction and artistic analysis of isekai

I bolded the key words from your question. There are plenty of books/movies/TV shows in the West which don't stand up well at all in critical circles and yet still wind up being quite successful.


fair enough, I just feel annoyed at a lot of isekai and am somewhat surprised that general audiences or critical audiences aren't heavy on this genre


If you don't think there are a lot of people that hold isekai anime in contempt, look down on it, mock it incessantly, and generally just view fans of isekai as those with inferior or mediocre taste, I don't know where you've been looking.



Let me rephrase that, General and Critical audiences in Japan are the particular group i'm talking about as i would think that if there were a large portion of people like that in Japan, this type of self indulgent isekai wouldn't be made as often

Granted, i just had a friend of mine big into cultural analysis talk to me about Narou-Kei and the idea of isekai giving people a sense of accomplishment and value so I can understand how, in Japanese culture, the type of isekai i rail against is considered valuable.
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RegisterJustForComment



Joined: 17 Apr 2018
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:17 am Reply with quote
MiloTheFirst wrote:
Demonik_Sin wrote:

I understand how it all works and happens and someone who is new to it wont understand and will talk bad about the actual story itself.

i would love them to give every detail, darkness, and triumphant beauty of story that is Arifureta when it comes to understanding the characters. As a pretty much die hard fan of Arifureta Manga i would want someone to understand it completely and slowly if must so that they dont come out with feelings towards it like i have with the horrid structure of Mahou Shoujo.


I am glad there is a franchise you like that much, but I hope you understand that your high opinion on the quality of this story is just that, your perspective.

I have read my own share of light novels, and Arifureta vol 1 is right near the bottom of the barrel just above death march vol 1 (as you can't tell I couldn't be bothered to read any more from those).

what's so amazing about arifureta's story? to begin with the author couldn't be bothered to do some world building decent enough not to rely in levels and skill points. then there is the theme of the series, right there in the title it says "from common place to world strongest" so we must guess it is about a journey of growth and how it figures on the protagonist's self image and his place when compared to others, but nope, it takes 1 single volume for the MC to stumble into miracle spring, simply being able to imagine how to build high tech firearms, and being able to build them because in this world just getting a level up teaches you how to do stuff, and then later stumble into spoiler[a lab that's basically the cheat code room in any rpg], everything is automatically granted to the protagonist, there is no practice, no struggle, no self reflection, just a linear path of power ups, because that's what happens when you build a story around a world with rpg mechanics. the shield hero, for instance, has its own list of issues, but even that one took at least 2 and a half volumes for the MC to barely surpass his Chad peers.

what is there to understand about the characters? hajime went from being shocked about getting back stabbed to "I must survive no matter what so if anything gets in my way I will kill it" to "I am so mature and cool, my past life and the betrayal are now beneath me, I can't be bothered to think about my jerk class mates any more" without any nuance what so ever, the author doesn't give us any meaningful insight into the mind of any of the characters, it just let us know that apparently they changed their view and have matured, which needless to say is lazy and mediocre. then there is yue, what "detail, darkness, and triumphant beauty" is there in a characters that under 10 pages of being introduced asks the MC to name her? then in under 50 pages spoiler[get laid]. there is none, no depth, no nuance, just Isekai power fantasy crap. to be clear I also believe that there is potential for a good story in this scenario but the quality of the writing is just not up to the task. perhaps because you read the manga, it made more sense to you to just accept the lack of exploration of the character's mental journey and to fill the space between the blanks with your own imagination, manga is a different medium that by definition can do very little narration, but as some one who read the original book I find the quality of the character writing utterly subpar

and that's just my perspective


Wow, you look like those people with different taste trying to read a story that exactly you can't understand but still mark it as a bad story in general. But I understand the last part about 'that's just my perspective', so it's fine I guess.
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MiloTheFirst



Joined: 10 Dec 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:56 am Reply with quote
RegisterJustForComment wrote:

Wow, you look like those people with different taste trying to read a story that exactly you can't understand but still mark it as a bad story in general. But I understand the last part about 'that's just my perspective', so it's fine I guess.


If you go back and read my comment you would realize I actually like the story/scenario. I just think the book has mediocre writing
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:55 pm Reply with quote
Arifureta episode 4 did a good job of covering the various aspects of the fight and while the budget limitations are noticeable the CGI is about average for a late night anime. The teamwork in the fight was nicely done and even in anime you rarely see a railgun being used against a dragon. With the exception of the first episode the anime adaptation is going well and I notice they have already announced an anime figure for Yue.

Izanagi009 wrote:
Let me rephrase that, General and Critical audiences in Japan are the particular group i'm talking about as i would think that if there were a large portion of people like that in Japan, this type of self indulgent isekai wouldn't be made as often

The purpose of the isekai genre is no different than Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Star Wars, Twilight, or other western series that is based on dreams. The difference is that ecchi, harem, and isekai are specifically designed for male viewers which is why those genres bother some people. The only differences are the intended audience and the type of dream that is being sold. Also isekai anime makes up only a small fraction of the shows that get made and there are plenty of other late night anime.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:10 pm Reply with quote
Chrono1000 wrote:
.

Izanagi009 wrote:
Let me rephrase that, General and Critical audiences in Japan are the particular group i'm talking about as i would think that if there were a large portion of people like that in Japan, this type of self indulgent isekai wouldn't be made as often

The purpose of the isekai genre is no different than Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Star Wars, Twilight, or other western series that is based on dreams. The difference is that ecchi, harem, and isekai are specifically designed for male viewers which is why those genres bother some people. The only differences are the intended audience and the type of dream that is being sold. Also isekai anime makes up only a small fraction of the shows that get made and there are plenty of other late night anime.


While the gendered nature of isekai is a thing and i acknowledge that isekai is a minority in the grand scheme of anime, it's the genre that is taking up a lot of public perception so my concern for anime growing as an artistic medium deepens if this is what the public both in Japan and America perceive the most.

I also find the gendered thing a bit off though i can't quite fully understand why i find it off. I get that media typically focuses on demographics but i feel that the demographic that Isekai targets, young teenagers (removing any gender context since isekai can target women), are the demographic that need to be made the most cognizant of the irrationality and absurdity of fantasies since they are the ones approaching adulthood. Thus, this is why I advocate for the deconstruction and critical analysis of isekai
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:08 am Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
[ but i feel that the demographic that Isekai targets, young teenagers (removing any gender context since isekai can target women), are the demographic that need to be made the most cognizant of the irrationality and absurdity of fantasies since they are the ones approaching adulthood. Thus, this is why I advocate for the deconstruction and critical analysis of isekai

The whole purpose of fiction in literature, radio, plays, and video is to take us somewhere else. The artists and writers tell us their stories and their thoughts, and create their worlds for us to be entertained (and other feelings too).

I idea that our entertainment must be social engineered is an anathema to its very purpose. Nobody likes being told what they can or cannot watch, or likes the idea of other people or organizations telling us what we should think (we get enough of that in the news already).
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:


While the gendered nature of isekai is a thing and i acknowledge that isekai is a minority in the grand scheme of anime, it's the genre that is taking up a lot of public perception so my concern for anime growing as an artistic medium deepens if this is what the public both in Japan and America perceive the most.

I also find the gendered thing a bit off though i can't quite fully understand why i find it off. I get that media typically focuses on demographics but i feel that the demographic that Isekai targets, young teenagers (removing any gender context since isekai can target women), are the demographic that need to be made the most cognizant of the irrationality and absurdity of fantasies since they are the ones approaching adulthood. Thus, this is why I advocate for the deconstruction and critical analysis of isekai


I think you are get something wrong there.
The main audience for most isekai are late teens and young adults. Many of them fall in R15 and R18 target,
Most readers are High school students, college students and working class adults that read them on smartphones on their free time or when they go to school/college/work.

Most isekai start as web novels write as fan fiction by amateur authors on web sites like Shōsetsuka ni Narō.
They are never intend to become some artistic wonder. They are made so the author have fun writing them and the site users have fun reading them.
Many times the plot is driven by comments and suggestions of the people that read them.

The plot is simple enough to be read rapidly when you are on a train or a bus.
The simple story also helps because most of the wn authors do this as a hobby and don't have that much time to spend on the novel because they have to study or to work.
That's why most of isekai begin almost the same way and the story progress from there.

The ones that become very famous on those sites can get some publisher to make them as full LNs and sometimes invest in anime to promote them.
The author can also become a full novel author and start making LN as his/her main job.

Arifureta is one of those WN that become LN and anime and if you read it you will understand that the author had a blast making the MC as chuuni and OP as he and the fans wanted to be.

Unfortunately the anime didn't begin in a good tone but is becoming better.
The great relationship between Hajime and Yue is helping it allot.

Also don't worry about public perception. Every anime outside of the typical kids/shonen mainstream anime will always be perceived as crap and pervert. And unless they Americanize anime removing everything that makes late night anime so great for fans of it, that perception will not change.

So the best thing is to use the Japanese approach. Keep your hobbies to yourself and talk about them with the circle of friends that also like anime.


Last edited by Jonny Mendes on Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:11 pm Reply with quote
@TarsTarkas Fine, media shouldn't be socially engineered. But at the same time, the fact that there is an overwhelming lack of critical thought with isekai is concerning to me for the sake of the artistic growth of the medium. Right now, i'm seeing the anime community consume anime without any thought to what the author intends, believes or puts into the work.

@Jonny Mendes Maybe the public perception of anime outside of shonen and mainstream ones would improve if the anime community took more than two seconds to actually critically think about the media they consume and not just blindly ingest it. Like "crap and pervert" is a consequence to me of the audience not asking for more and not critically analyzing and denouncing the works that deserve it. Perception in both Japan and America won't change unless we are willing to say "this is very bad and not representative of the artistic potential of anime"
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Jonny Mendes



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:34 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:


@Jonny Mendes Maybe the public perception of anime outside of shonen and mainstream ones would improve if the anime community took more than two seconds to actually critically think about the media they consume and not just blindly ingest it. Like "crap and pervert" is a consequence to me of the audience not asking for more and not critically analyzing and denouncing the works that deserve it. Perception in both Japan and America won't change unless we are willing to say "this is very bad and not representative of the artistic potential of anime"

Late night anime is mostly advertising for manga/LN's and many of them are isekai like Arifureta and the audience for those are mostly people that just want entertainment. That audience of those adaptations loves ecchi, harems, OP MC's, Iseakai, power fantasies.
Just plain dumb fun. They don't care about artistic potential. People just want to have fun read or watch a story without thinking much about it. People return from work or school and just relax a bit watching or reading about some OP MC on a different world beating all enemies and getting allot of ladies.

Of course there are great LN's and manga with amazing world building and profound characters.
But most LN and manga are just for entertainment. And entertainment usually sells allot more that artistic merit.

For example you have the superhero movies that are all the same dumb story of guys and girls on dumb costumes told over and over again, and still they keep making hundreds of millions. And some great independent movies that win lots of cinema awards bearably break even.

So some of us just love dumb isekai power fantasies and dumb superhero movies to spend a fun time. And also there are lots of room for great novels and great movies.
The best of both worlds.

Also i fail to see the need of try to improve the perception in both Japan and America.
Anime is making money nowdays as it never made before.
And it should be recognized for what it is. A medium that can have something for everyone. Action, drama, great stories, world building but also can have dumb entertainment, fun service, ecchi, OP, power fantasy, self insertion,etc.

So if there are some anime that maybe can make you uncomfortable talking about in or introduce them to new audiences, you can talk about tons of others that are not uncomfortable for you.
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jeckersly



Joined: 13 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:53 pm Reply with quote
LOL “great relationship”?

This has to be a joke, right?

Their “relationship” is the same loli bullshit that litters these gross anime.

I gave this anime a fair shot. It’s just down-right awful.

“Look at this wacky will-they-won’t-they relationship between a guy and this demon/vampire/witch who looks like a ten year old, but is actually hundreds of years old, so it’s totally cool for him to grope her and for things to get sexual.”

Absolutely disgusting.

There isn’t even entertainment’s sake value to be gleaned from here as the fights and CGI look like something a high schooler did on a public school budget.

This is an embarrassing anime. And it only hurts the community that this was made. It’ll be even worse if it gets popular.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:46 am Reply with quote
jeckersly wrote:

This is an embarrassing anime. And it only hurts the community that this was made. It’ll be even worse if it gets popular.


Embarrassing yes, but for poor production values, and on the dismal way they have adapted the source material.

No it doesn't hurt the community, at least no more than any other anime. The community is not some hive mind either.
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jeckersly



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:41 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
jeckersly wrote:

This is an embarrassing anime. And it only hurts the community that this was made. It’ll be even worse if it gets popular.


Embarrassing yes, but for poor production values, and on the dismal way they have adapted the source material.

No it doesn't hurt the community, at least no more than any other anime. The community is not some hive mind either.

The source material is embarrassing, too, for its reliance on loli tropes, isekai tropes, and harem tropes.

The community doesn’t need to be a hive mind for this to be a blight.
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:45 am Reply with quote
jeckersly wrote:


This is an embarrassing anime. And it only hurts the community that this was made. It’ll be even worse if it gets popular.


Embarrassing? Not a single bit. It is just a anime so there is no problem no matter what kind of plot they come up with. A vocal small minority of people don't make up the all community. If you feel embarrassed watching it, just look for another anime that you would prefer.

Disappointing? Yes, allot.
They cut so much from the LN that it made the anime almost unwatchable at first. It become a little better but I'm afraid what will come next in terms of pacing.

The CG looks awful. Even older computer games have better CG.

In my opinion CG on anime can work in the backgrounds and on objects like cars, airplanes or giant robots, but it should not be used on living things like humans, demons, animals or even monsters. No matter what anime they used it, almost all of them looks horrible and out of place.
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Van the Man



Joined: 20 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:54 am Reply with quote
Just found this review series. Thanks Christopher Farris for giving this show your best effort. I was really kinda hurt by how much r/anime dogpiled hate on the first episode.
Jonny Mendes wrote:
Most isekai start as web novels write as fan fiction by amateur authors on web sites like Shōsetsuka ni Narō.
They are never intend to become some artistic wonder. They are made so the author have fun writing them and the site users have fun reading them.
Many times the plot is driven by comments and suggestions of the people that read them.

So much this. Lot of people who bemoan isekai are trying to hold it next to Ghibli movies or the Mona Lisa or something. But the original writing is a piece of insular internet culture. The anime is low budget because low returns are all that can be expected.

I'm enjoying this show a lot, I love this mindless angst setup and the terrible production values just make me grin every time - I appreciate it like a little kid telling me a story. It's not the best but it's his.

The loli thing though...I'm slightly repulsed, but more so than that I'm not happy to see it tossed around as much as it is just because I'm afraid of the legal action (attempts to censor) that it invites. We've already seen the UN try to ban stuff. On the other hand though, with this show, the depth of the relationship seems really underrepresented by the adaptation, so that's probably making it seem a bit more gross and trite than it should.

Back to that insular internet culture thing, I also think it's also wrong to hand out a full and complete free pass for that. It's important to focus on the discourse present in writing like this - instead of "why is it such a terrible production," "what does this terrible production have that enables people to still like it", and what kind of lives are they living that they're able to. Here I see the usual "entertainment made to vent real life bullying and frustration with relationships". I think plenty of the critics see that too (of this and other isekai) and they think maybe the protag (and by extension the author) is dealing with it in a way that isn't helping them move on and be productive and get what they want, since the plot is full of easy answers and deus ex. Thus people want to call it bad media and attack it because its underlying message points people in unproductive directions.

Viewers make their own value from media individually though, and it can enjoyed from a lot of different mental places, for a lot of different reasons. It's really hasty to think that what you see in art is all that it can possibly be for anyone - in fact that's only true if you're living in a world by yourself.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Van the Man wrote:
snip


While I admit that my standards are high at times when evaluating anime, this comes from a hope that anime as a medium can reach the heights of artistic acceptance of Film and Literature and a depression over the seeming lack of community outcry for better.

As for the analysis, I get that the more cynical reading of media is an individualistic reading but when a lot of media is made within a relatively short time in the grand scheme of culture with the same themes, character archetypes and messages, that tends to raise some flags.
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