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The Spring 2023 Anime Preview Guide
Summoned to Another World for a Second Time

How would you rate episode 1 of
Summoned to Another World for a Second Time ?
Community score: 3.4

What is this?


The novels and manga center on a man who was summoned to another world to become a warrior, and he saved the world. As a result, he became very popular, and he is happily living his life as a normie in this new world. However, one day he gets caught in a trap, and is deported back to his original world as a baby. When he grows up and is in high school, he is summoned once again to the other world.

Summoned to Another World for a Second Time is based on Kazuha Kishimoto's Isekai Shōkan wa Nidome Desu light novel series and streams on Crunchyroll on Saturdays.

How was the first episode?

Nicholas Dupree

I'll give Isekai 2: Electric Boogaloo this much: in a sea of identical shows that can only differentiate through cheap gimmicks, this particular gimmick actually has some legs. For one, having our hero get re-isekai'd (resekai'd?) gives a much more believable explanation for why he's so overpowered, as he's essentially picking up after an already lengthy and involved quest that left him at the top of the food chain.

For another, having him return to a world he's already familiar with means he can immediately establish rapport with a cast of characters. You could do a lot of cool things with that, having our hero catch up on the lives of his old friends and enemies in the years he was gone. In the right hands, this could be a genuinely interesting, entertaining adventure, like old friends picking up a long-abandoned tabletop campaign for one last ride.

Unfortunately, these are not the right hands. Any hope I had for this show went down the tubes right around Setsu/Yuki/Melvin slapped the knight lady's ass, and she immediately became a squealing anime masochist begging for him to step on her. It's not even that the fanservice puts me off – I'm just insulted at how goddamn cheap and recycled the joke is. KONOSUBA beat you to that gag by seven years, you hacks, find a new punchline. More importantly, that being how we're introduced to Melvin's old crew portends how one-note they are as characters and how boilerplate his relationships are. These aren't rounded characters with a shared history and camaraderie; these are just standard isekai party members without the obligatory introductions. Setsu doesn't even seem all that happy to see them and treats their reunion with all the exuberance of seeing Greg from accounting in the breakroom.

That kills any chance of this show being anything besides seasonal fodder, even if it's markedly more competent than trainwrecks like The Aristocrat's Otherworldly Adventure or KamiKatsu. The character designs are fine but forgettable. The world itself is indistinguishable from any given fantasy setting, and nothing about the magic or mystery surrounding Setsu's return is intriguing. All that's left is the bland aftertaste of spoiled potential.

James Beckett

Despite my increasingly severe allergy to any anime with the words “Another World” in its title, the “for a Second Time” part of Summoned to Another World for a Second Time had me feeling a little intrigued, despite myself. Similar to that Uncle From Another World anime, it seems to be a promising story that takes the usual isekai anime framework and uses it to examine what happens to someone once they have finished their magical journey and have to reckon with what comes next. In this case, there is just a truckload of potential for cool world-building and character writing. Are we going to use contrasting flashbacks to show how much the world has changed since our hero, Setsu, has been gone, like what happens in the Chronicles of Narnia books? Is Setsu going to have to struggle with how much he has failed to adjust to his life back on Earth, or possibly even have some identity crisis because of how much he revels in the chaos of a fantasy world compared to his gobsmacked schoolmates? Man, imagine if Setsu had a serious relationship or even a family that he had to leave behind, and upon his return, he has, like, a fully grown child who resents being abandoned, and there's all of this inner conflict between—

Wait a minute, what's that? Summoned to Another World for a Second Time isn't going to do any of that? Is the whole “getting re-summoned to an isekai world” gimmick just a cheap excuse to give Setsu the same overpowered god skills that every godforsaken isekai hero has? The show is utterly devoid of any interesting or original idea, it's no fun at all, and features a cast of either cliched idiots or unlikable losers? Well…damn.

I ought to know better than to get my hopes up, and I'd be lying if I said that Summoned to Another World for a Second Time is worse than, like, The Fruit of Evolution or KamiKatsu. Still, I feel burned that a series with even just one iota of potential has opted to completely waste it in favor of doing the same old crap that every other one of these shows is doing. It just makes the whole failure of the project feel that much more malicious. Why even bother with the “…for a Second Time” part of the premise? It adds absolutely nothing to the proceedings. The show should have just called itself Summoned to Another World, plain and simple. At least, then, everyone would know what a creatively bankrupt timesuck they were about to waste a half-hour on.

Rebecca Silverman

It was, I feel, inevitable. With the glut of isekai stories of all stripes over the past few years, it was only a matter of time before one of the variants where someone is repeatedly summoned made it into anime form. It's just too bad it was this one because very little stands out here, even in this relatively new subgenre. Protagonist Setsu is on his second summoning to the fantasy land of Distinia, which apparently happened five years ago their time, sixteen years ago Japan time, because he seems to have grown up on Earth with a best friend who has no idea about the whole isekai experience. But now he's back in a new body to defend the same kingdom he got out of hot water. He must have really enjoyed himself the first time because that doesn't sound like the kind of experience you'd typically be excited to repeat.

Along with its brown color scheme, there are plenty of ladies for Setsu, and the theme song promises scads more. Yuhi, the aforementioned best friend, seems to be the best of the introductory three, and that's not just because I appreciate that rather than kissing Setsu unawares, she instead uses her newfound magic to give him a haircut. Innovation and respect for consent? Give this girl the guy! Plus, she's not mildly creepy, like Elka, who fondly remembers how old Setsu made her be his chair. Thea thus far seems to be the wise loli of the operation, which is probably overstating it on my part. The episode doesn't give us much to go on in her case.

Even with its “second-time” angle, this is really not very exciting. The possibility that Toma, the architect of the war five/sixteen years ago, may have also been summoned to Distinia and that he may also have come back (or just bided his time) is at least a little intriguing, and Yuhi seems to have more gumption than some of the other girls. I'm not sure why the girls learn magic and the boys learn swordplay (and if you've also read the excellent Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston, you'll know why this is an issue), but at least Yuhi doesn't seem like she's going to let her skills go to waste. But I'm digging for positives here. The episode is bland, and that may be the best thing I can say about it.

Richard Eisenbeis

As with all anime in the especially well-trodden isekai genre, we must ask one question: How does this anime stand out from its peers? How does it twist the formula to create something both novel and interesting? Well, for Summoned to Another World for a Second Time, it's right there in the title. This series is about an isekai protagonist who saved the world, returned to Earth, and was summoned to the fantasy world a second time.

There are a lot of cool background details that flesh out this concept. Rather than continuing his life from when he was summoned, he was reincarnated into our world and started over as a baby with his memories and personality intact. This means he has a new body and won't immediately be recognized in the fantasy world as the legendary hero. Also, while he has lived a good 15 or more years on Earth in his second life (he is a high schooler, after all), only five years have passed in the fantasy world, adding an interesting time disparity to the mix.

Moreover, it seems like his first time summoned didn't completely follow the clichéd route. Rather than defeat the demons, he made peace with them. And rather than the last boss being the evil demon king, it seems that one of his friends (or party members), Touma, was the true mastermind behind the war.

All of this adds a good bit of mystery to the whole situation. What happened in the five years Setsu was away? Why are the demons attacking again? Why is the king so set on believing that the war is a sign of manifest destiny? Is Touma still alive and behind the new war? Why was Setsu summoned again—heck, why was he summoned in the first place?

Honestly, this feels like the setup for a new and enjoyable isekai story focused on exploring what happened to the world after the hero saved it, and what his return means for his former companions and the state of the world. In an age where many isekai stories do the bare minimum, this one has the potential to be much more. We'll have to wait and see if it lives up to it.

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