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REVIEW: 8th son? Are you kidding me?


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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 5051
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:14 pm Reply with quote
this show was garbage from start to finish. legit some of the worst writing I've ever seen from the very beginning. so many things contradicted each other even in just episode 1. animation was all over the place, and the side-characters literally existed for no other reason than to be his wife/concubines, and best friend. Only good thing about it was the ED theme
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1728
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for the review!

I enjoyed this series, but it's definitely middle ground (though possibly higher middle).

The isekai part of this series is pretty much pointless. I'm guessing the author just used it as an easy hook for readers, but really it's just a normal fantasy series. The 8th son part is also mostly pointless in fairly short order. I guess 8th was just to exaggerate things, but fairly quickly after leaving his home Well gets more than enough money to solve that problem.
In fact, while watching, other than the final arc (and labyrinth now that I think about it), it seemed like most issues were solved fairly quickly & easily. If the final arc is any sign though, perhaps this gets better as the series goes on.

I thought the emotional parts were done well and the sending scene definitely hit. Though it's gets deadened by the short training time. Really, only 2 weeks? Not even a month? (though it really should have been a year or at least 6 months). I guess the short time was just to show how great Well is, but I think that comes at too much of the cost of the relationship time.

The attrition battle in the labyrinth was done well too. You usually don't see an OP hero pushed like that.

The last arc's noble/royalty machinations was well done and I loved how they handled Kurt's wife and how she had no qualms about admitting to Well what she was doing.

I like that they tried to justify all the ridiculous amounts of money Well was getting in the final arc, but it still seems like this country spends money like water (which might explain how so many nobles aren't well off). Iirc, the provisions for those 2,000 soldiers was around $25,000 each!

Speaking of money, Well's friends initial motivation for wanting to get close to Well was for financial security. I don't remember if Erwin had a particular goal other than independence, but iirc Louise and Iina wanted to be able to found their own schools to ply their perspective combat skills. That is the reason why they both wanted to at least become his concubines, since he could and would support this. Yet when they clear the labyrinth and they call get more than enough money to do so, they just give it to Well so they don't have to worry about handling money?
Iina seemed to be interested in Well, so perhaps she'd rather a a firm reason stick with him, but Louise and Erwin didn't really need to do that just to stay in the same party with everyone. Just seems like a bit of lazy writing to force everyone to stay together instead of developing their relationships more to better justify them staying together.

The opening is great, but seems like it was written for a far more dramatic series Laughing

Anyway, nitpicks aside (and I had plenty as I was watching), I still would like to see a second season, so here's to hoping we get one =)
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#887631



Joined: 23 Jun 2020
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:34 pm Reply with quote
This series was on par with other run-of-the-mill isekai offerings such as Smartphone, Make My Abilities Average, Death March, Arefureta, etc. After reading the web novel, i feel that the source material/author may be to blame. The author seemed to have serious difficulties keeping his own story straight. For example, the author couldn't keep track of how many dragons the protagonist had killed at any given point in the story. The translators kept having to add notes to point out the errors and inconsistencies and explain that they weren't at fault
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1117
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Surprisingly for a series like this, fan service is also a non-factor.


Oh, so they toned down the focus on the twelve-year-old priestess's tits?
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Melicans



Joined: 01 Feb 2012
Posts: 407
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:28 pm Reply with quote
Kougeru wrote:
this show was garbage from start to finish. legit some of the worst writing I've ever seen from the very beginning. so many things contradicted each other even in just episode 1. animation was all over the place, and the side-characters literally existed for no other reason than to be his wife/concubines, and best friend. Only good thing about it was the ED theme


I can see why they would want to wrap the series where they did, but to get there they had to speed through the source material quite badly. Of other series that I've both read and watched, this is one of the worst offenders that I can think of for speeding through so quickly and so there's some anime original stuff inserted to connect different plot threads that had the "middle" taken out because of the pacing. Louise's dance of 'seduction' was probably the only anime original moment that did a decent job of bridging those gaps, and then only because of how ridiculous it is. The personalities/reason to exist of the side characters/party members are some of the worst affected moments because of these cuts.

That's not to say that the source series is genius, or incredibly well-written; it's an isekai fantasy with some original moments, and generic ones. But I will say that it is the writing of the adaptation that is garbage, not the source material itself (which I actually find rather enjoyable for what it is). Unfortunately, that's where most of the personality (of both characters and story) was left.
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 298
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:37 pm Reply with quote
I'm deeply confused--in my experience the "Isekai" premise is irrelevant to the torrid being told in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases. Even stories that set out to deliberately parody the genre would work just as well without the Japanese protagonists (EG Re:Zero, KoniSuba, etc.)

The only Isekai story i can think of in recent memory where this is NOT the case is Ascendance of Bookworm. In practice the Isekai premise seems to function mostly to allow authors to save time on descriptions and explanations by using IRL analogies--hence why so many settings feel like re-skinned Dragon Quest games, or MMOs, menus and all. The real-world knowledge of the typical Isekai hero seldom results in more than trying to recreate Japanese food or a handy excuse for being super-overpowered at magic due to basic scientific knowledge. This isn't the exception: it's the rule.

....

Also, I gotta admit, I laughed aloud a bit when the review mentioned a theme. As, those poor unfortunate nobles, who don't get to inherit wealth but still, presumably, enjoy vastly more privileged lives than the majority of people in the world.
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Zendervai



Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:08 pm Reply with quote
Fluwm wrote:
I'm deeply confused--in my experience the "Isekai" premise is irrelevant to the torrid being told in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases. Even stories that set out to deliberately parody the genre would work just as well without the Japanese protagonists (EG Re:Zero, KoniSuba, etc.)


This is an excessive case because in 8th Child, if Wendelin had suddenly gotten amnesia, the result would have been effectively identical. The main thing he carries over is wanting miso and maybe the ability to read. He acts like a little kid, despite apparently having the memories of a 20-something year old, and honestly, if the series hadn't had the isekai hook, it would have been a little less distracting. Uh, especially since it kind of comes off like the original kid died and got replaced, except that the replacement is pretty much just the same person since pretty much no one notices any differences?

Re:Zero and Konosuba aren't really great examples of a show where the protagonist being from Earth doesn't affect anything because in those two, the characters are literally taken from Earth and dumped in the fantasy world. They bring along their assumptions and knowledge and they're both pretty ignorant to how things work, at least at first.

I'm not a fan of isekai series that are basically fantasy series with a tiny little bit of extra random crap added on at the beginning to make the main character a reincarnation or something. Just write a fantasy series.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:33 am Reply with quote
Fluwm wrote:
I'm deeply confused--in my experience the "Isekai" premise is irrelevant to the torrid being told in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases. Even stories that set out to deliberately parody the genre would work just as well without the Japanese protagonists (EG Re:Zero, KoniSuba, etc.)

Uh, Re:Zero is not a parody. It's a deconstruction. Huge difference.

Also, while 8th Son is far from alone in the isekai aspect having little to no real impact, they're not as prevalent as you seem to think; it's just not always completely obvious. For instance, in Saga of Tanya the Evil, the protagonist uses knowledge of psychological, sociological, and business theory from his original world to try to get ahead in the new one. In many others (including Shield Hero), characters actively use familiarity with genre tropes and/or game mechanics to try to get ahead. Then there are cases where the protagonist's abilities are entirely based on original-world tech, such as Smartphone and the yet-to-be-animated one about the guy reincarnated as a vending machine. I could cite many other examples, but this post would get too long.

8th Son does none of that.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8913
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:42 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Kurt's wife, who can see the writing on the wall better than her husband can, makes no pretense about trying to ensure her sons' safety in that eventuality by endearing Well to them.

This is backwards. She was trying to endear her children to Well, who had the power to make their lives safer and better. It didn't matter whether the kids liked him or not, though it was best if they did.

I mostly enjoyed the show. I was happy when the green-haired guy finally was acknowledged as more than a pest to be avoided and could prove his value. It's actually a good thing that the plot didn't get more convoluted or intricate than it did, since the characterizations weren't strong enough to support that, and it meant I didn't have to give it more energy than it deserved in trying to follow it. So it ended up being a pleasant diversion (when I wasn't sighing over the harem bullshit) in a low-effort way that allowed me to stick with it. And if that's not damning with faint praise, I don't know what is. Laughing
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 453
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:33 am Reply with quote
From what I've heard, the anime covers about the 1st 5 LNs.

8th Son currently has 19 LN volumes and counting in Japan.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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Joined: 06 Oct 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:00 pm Reply with quote
I liked this show. I know it wasn’t a great anime by any means but, for me, it was a soothing balm in a stressful time—consistently sweet and good natured.

There’s no awkwardness, no fan service, nothing to ripple the calm waters (not even when Well ends up agreeing to a romantic relationship with pretty much every unmarried female in his path).

Would I have watched it in non-Covid times? Probably not. But on bad, sad days, this was the perfect cozy, warm blanket.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1728
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Melicans wrote:
The personalities/reason to exist of the side characters/party members are some of the worst affected moments because of these cuts.

That's not to say that the source series is genius, or incredibly well-written; it's an isekai fantasy with some original moments, and generic ones. But I will say that it is the writing of the adaptation that is garbage, not the source material itself (which I actually find rather enjoyable for what it is). Unfortunately, that's where most of the personality (of both characters and story) was left.


It's good to know that at least the source material had better characterization. You could definitely feel it lacking in the anime.
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ThrowMeOut



Joined: 10 Oct 2018
Posts: 98
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:42 pm Reply with quote
8th Son was one of those shows where I was constantly laughing at how bad it was. Besides the iffy writing the show seemed to have no budget. There was several episodes where they built up big battles, and right before they fight, the scene cuts to later, with our heroes looking slightly beat up and saying "Wow, that sure was a tough fight, wasn't it?"

However I did actually find myself invested in the final arc where Well was faced with usurping his older brother. There was tension and stakes and Well was faced with having to make some tough choices. How they concluded it was stupid but everything else was surprisingly good! If the rest of the series had been at the level of that final arc it probably would've been a big hit this season.

Also Spear Guy. He was great.
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thedarkemissary



Joined: 07 Apr 2010
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:59 am Reply with quote
8th Son is microwaved pizza crust with no sauce and no toppings. The characters stunk. The animation stunk. The narrative stunk. Even the ending with all it's "political manipulations and intrigue" is completely dependent on his brother's insane delusionalism. Guy basically ran headfirst off an imaginary cliff, being chased be nothing and noone.

I don't know how this thing got "B"s across the board. This is clearly "D" grade. At least Smartphone had a gimmick. At least Wiseman had stakes. 8th Son literally has nothing.
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andramus



Joined: 19 Apr 2020
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:59 am Reply with quote
I really liked this series and so am a little disappointed that I'm just about the only one who did.

Did it need to be an isekai? Maybe not. However Well did have a small character arc throughout the season tied to his isekai status that was wrapped up in the finale. A mid-season review I read complained that Well had no apparent drive or motivation. The final episode of the season actually addressed this as we come to the realization Well has always had a certain level of detachment towards this world. He never fully accepted or invested in this reality until now. That feeling of unreality and detachment he had was due to him not being a native of that world. There was characterisation underlying his apathy.

I appreciated the fact that Well's harem was an actual harem and wasn't a product of all the women being desperately in love with him but a product of pragmatism and politics. How often do we see that?

To my mind this series didn't so much subvert the usual tropes of an isekai but rather riffed on them in ways that I haven't seen before. For example Well was a bland male isekai protagonist but a different kind of bland and honestly he wasn't even that OP. Which was another thing this series had going for it, the fact that Well relied on his party and didn't do all the heavy lifting on his own.

I will admit that the action was terrible - what there was of it. This series obviously was very low budget. However I actually appreciated how they used the fact that they couldn't depict a large scale battle to instead use that episode to provide some minor characterisation for Elise. I thought pointing out the parallel between her and Well suffering from the burden of expectation was a nifty little bit of characterisation that helped build the emotional connection between the two of them.
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