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The Spring 2024 Anime Preview Guide
A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics

How would you rate episode 1 of
A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics ?
Community score: 4.0

What is this?


Sōsuke Kaburaya is a poor detective who, while tailing someone one day, meets Sara Da Odin, a princess from another world with magical powers. They gradually start living together, and Sara is able to familiarize herself with modern-day Japan in a flash. A female knight from Sara's world named Livia Do Udis also comes to this world and lives the life of a homeless person, but she finds herself unexpectedly enjoying her new life. The story follows Sōsuke, these two strong-willed and positive women from another world, as well as other eccentric characters such as a brutish lawyer, a religious leader, and a divorce agent.

A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics is based on a light novel series written by Yomi Hirasaka and illustrated by Kantoku. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Thursdays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

I had a surprising amount of fun with this anime. While reverse-isekai anime aren't rare these days, few seem to capture my attention like their fantasy world counterparts. However, this one did. One reason is that it seems to have just the right amount of humor. There are many funny moments—and all work to serve the story rather than distract from it. Each joke works as a character beat—teaching us more about each character through their reactions.

Another reason I enjoyed this one is the way it set up an A-plot and a B-plot—one following Sara and the other following Livia. Because of this, the story never became stale. On one hand, we had Sara's detective adventures and, on the other, Livia's knack for being a homeless person. Both served to teach us about the world the girls came from and get a few jokes in about each trying to adjust to our world.

But my favorite thing about this show is Sosuke himself. I love the fact that he has no useless ego to protect. When Sara does something good, the first thing he does is thank her—even in situations where a lesser man might feel emasculated. On the other side of things, he is quick to scold her. He tells it to her straight when he feels that she is out of line with her wants or needs.

What comes from this is a relationship between the pair with great communication. Drama comes not from pointless misunderstandings but from differences in personal wants, needs, or philosophies. It's honestly a breath of fresh air. So with such a good cast and comedic timing, I'm certainly on-board to give episode 2 a watch next week.

James Beckett

I'm a sucker for so-called “reverse isekai” stories, where it's our normal Earth that the characters from the fantastical otherworld have found themselves transported to. I find the premise of a few bizarre and magically gifted characters wreaking havoc in modern Japan to be much more interesting than what we usually get from the traditional “normal hero transported to a fantasy world” stories that get adapted these days, especially when we're talking about a sitcom. To that end, A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics was on my good side the moment I sat down to watch it.

I'm happy to report that the first episode of this show is a pretty decent time. It's far from groundbreaking, and I'm not so head-over-heels for it that I plan on dropping everything to catch each new episode from week to week, but I think anyone looking for some good old-fashioned low-impact comedy will find a lot here to enjoy. Sara Da Odin and her knight Livia are cute heroines, and the show mines plenty of jokes about the former turning into an adorable little apartment gremlin while the latter must endure life in the wild urban jungle. The visuals are appealing enough and the pacing of the show is pretty snappy, so you're not likely to get bored. The whole private detective angle that our man Sosuke has going on has plenty of potential for increasingly wacky shenanigans, too.

The only reason I'm not giving this episode a higher score is because all of its potential has yet to be fully realized. The jokes could land better; the characters could be more endearing; and the P.I. part of the story will likely become much more interesting when (and if) the show gives Sosuke and Sara some more interesting cases to work on. If the series manages to up the ante and take full advantage of all the silly and fun things that its fantasy trappings allow it, then A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics could become a series worth sticking around for.

Rebecca Silverman

I feel compelled to point out that there are more tomatoes in the opening theme for Wind Breaker than any other salad-themed items in the entirety of A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics. But then, the title here is clearly meant to refer to something like my mother's "garbage salad," which is made by throwing leafy greens into a bowl and then mixing in whatever's lurking in the fridge, and that is definitely what this first episode feels like. The bowl, in this terrible metaphor, is the episode, and into is thrown one (1) thirteen-year-old princess, one (1) kind of crummy private detective, one (1) lady knight bodyguard, and one (1) random homeless man. It is then drenched in reverse isekai dressing and lightly tossed, with a couple of Case Closed croutons for garnish.

There is something nice about seeing a reverse isekai story after so much of the usual variety. Sara being a fish out of water is somehow more entertaining than your average blad OP dude because she has no idea she is overpowered and just kept on keeping on while also throwing herself into the joys of manga and the internet. Being only thirteen may make her more adaptable while also making it harder for Sosuke, the hard-luck PI she lands on, to get rid of her. Yes, the threat of erasing his memory is a good one, but he also has to contend with the idea of tossing a child out on the streets of Gifu. That, incidentally, is precisely where Sara's knight Livia ends up. While I don't love the gag that she's good at being a homeless person, it, um…never mind, I don't find that joke particularly funny.

Part of the problem with this episode is that it wears its desperate desire to be funny on its sleeve. Each gag is lingered on to make certain that we get it, and little bits of fanservice are thrown in to ensure we're still paying attention. Don't love Sara blowing up playground equipment? Can we tempt you with a slow sequence of Livia undressing on a riverbank instead? How about her fishing naked? Does that make Sosuke's cooking more palatable? It is trying to throw as much as it can into the mix, and it feels too obvious. And while it has a few nice visual elements – I really like Sara's otherworld princess dress – for the most part, it's fairly unremarkable. This is one salad I won't be coming back for seconds of.

Nicholas Dupree

I can't help but wince a bit at the title for this one. I've never really liked it when somebody/something self-describes as "eccentric." It's like calling yourself "quirky"—what it usually means is that you think you're wackier and weirder than you really are. That's very much the case here, where this salad bowl is filled with sensible chuckles and a lot of dead air.

It's not that the show is terrible, so much as it's just never all that funny. A few understated jokes work, mostly stemming from how every character involved takes the whole thing in stride. Still, on the whole, it just feels like you're watching a dull reverse-isekai setup where the characters routinely comment on how silly or unusual everything is. It thankfully never gets obnoxious or overly shouty, but I spent most of this premiere just waiting for the next joke, hoping that it would get at least a bit of exhalation from my nose, but even that rarely happened.

A lot of that comes down to the characters' personalities. While I appreciate restraint when it comes to comedy, Sara and Sosuke aren't as compelling as a comedic duo. Sosuke is your typical washed-up dude in his late 20s, and Sara is a very familiar kind of precocious anime child. Together, they have pretty simple, mildly comedic conversations and occasionally make a gag out of Sara encountering [Thing From Modern Day Japan] that you have almost certainly seen a hundred times. It makes for an aimless, meandering introduction, split up by a barely-referenced B-plot about Sara's royal knight, making the episode feel more disjointed.

The character designs are nice enough, and the OP has some neat visual ideas that, while a bit scuffed in execution, show some vision behind the scenes. Unfortunately, despite a couple of interesting stylistic shifts in isolated moments, the episode proper never really develops an identity. Much like the comedy, it feels like it's missing some sort of spark to make everything click. In all, there's nothing I'd call bad about this premiere, but there's also not much I can say is good.

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