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The Spring 2024 Anime Preview Guide
As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill

How would you rate episode 1 of
As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill ?
Community score: 3.7

What is this?


One day when leaving work, Ars Louvent dies and is reborn as a weak aristocrat in another world. Using his "Appraisal" skill, which lets him see the stats of others, he recruits the best people to his side in order to turn his country's fortunes around.

As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World is based on a light novel series written by Miraijin A and illustrated by jimmy. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Sundays.

How was the first episode?

James Beckett

Here's how I know that Stockholm syndrome is a crock of crap? I've been doing this job for damned near ten years now, and even after spending dozens upon dozens of hours covering more crummy isekai shows and bad light novel adaptations than I can even count at this point, I still have an involuntary and deeply negative physical reaction whenever I see the words “Reincarnated” or “Skill” in a title. What do you have to say to that, Patty Hearst!? (Kudos to anyone under the age of thirty who got that joke).

Let it never be said that I can't be fair, though, for I have seen the first episode of As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World, and I have deemed it to be aggressively fine, even bordering on pretty okay. That's glowing praise, I know, but you know what? The show earned it. It's got decent visuals, for one, but more importantly, it has a little bit of heart, and that goes a long way towards repressing the atavistic urge to flee into the woods and bury myself in the untainted soil of nature that came over me when I saw its title on the list of shows we had to cover.

You can thank our hero Ars for my overflowing bounty of goodwill, here. In the vein of Parallel World Pharmacy and Tearmoon Empire, this series has a protagonist who is using his knowledge of modern society and cultural advancement to right the unjust wrongs of the comparatively backward fantasy world he's been reborn into. Ars isn't just “rising in the world” out of a sense of personal gain; he uses his otherworldly wisdom to feed the poor and show his people how terrible it is to dehumanize others based on their social or economic situations. Ars is, in other words, a good boy, and I'd rather watch one of these reincarnations shows that stars an adorable good boy instead of another potato-kun nothingburger of a protagonist.

Still, don't go expecting As a Reincarnated Aristocrat to break the mold in any truly meaningful ways. This is still your stock standard reincarnation story with a slightly sweeter and cozier bent than some of its competition. I'd say it's still mostly for diehard fans of the genre, though who knows? You might end up getting a lot more out of it than me.

Richard Eisenbeis

We have tons of anime about being reincarnated in another world with an overpowered skill—or combination of skills. However, this anime is about being reincarnated with a normal skill. Our hero, Ars, can “assess” other people—to see not only their strengths and weaknesses in certain areas but also the limits of their talents. However, that's not why he finds success in his new life.

When it all comes down to it, Ars is a good person. He wants the people surrounding him to be as happy and prosperous as possible—so he's willing to give them a nudge to help them find the life they were meant for. But more than that, he wants to be a good ruler of his backwater fief when he comes of age.

The looming threat facing Ars is the fact that, with his knowledge of our world and the historical records of this one, he can see that the empire's days are numbered—that sooner or later a civil war will erupt across the continent. All he can think to do is find talented people and nurture their talent—strengthening his little corner of the world as best he can.

But what's great about Ars is that, despite his self-imposed mission, he doesn't want to force anyone into becoming something they do not. Sure, he'd love for Ritsu to join him as his retainer and would do everything in his power to make that happen—unless Ritsu was against it.

Even from the first episode, it's clear that people follow Ars because of his heart—because he truly cares about every one of them. It makes it easy to root for him—and even easier to be excited for the next episode.

Rebecca Silverman

Let's get this out of the way first: yes, this is an isekai show, yes, there are stats, and yes, the protagonist is an overpowered toddler. There's also a lady whose shirt doesn't fit in the opening scenes and the theme song, so that box is ticked, too. So that's taken care of.

The question then becomes whether or not this is worth your time if you're not into the basics of the genre. That's not quite as easy a question to answer as you might think because this does make at least some attempt to world-build in a way that isn't just "there's magic and slaves." There are both, and the latter factors into the culture of the kingdom Ars finds himself in. If you noticed the general whiteness of all of the people around him in pseudo-Europe, that appears to be on purpose; Ars notes that people of color come from a different continent and are generally treated like garbage if not enslaved where he lives. He's not okay with that, and that's because Ars doesn't see color – he sees stats. Yes, just like the title says, Ars' incredible isekai power is to see everyone's private stat screens (which, to be fair, are never implied to be visible even to the people themselves), and he fully intends to use it. In large part, that's because he's the heir to a domain, and he's very nervous about that, but it also allows him to look beyond everyone's surface.

That's the main thrust of this first episode: the introduction of Ars, a quick rundown of his death (heart attack, possibly related to overwork or a Nobunaga video game), and his dad being impressed by his power to "intuit" what people's strengths are. That doesn't stop dear old dad from being racist himself when Ars brings home someone with (gasp) dark skin, but he's also able to admit when he was wrong—at least a little. Ars is then able to embark on a quest to gather all the best people so that when he takes over after his dad dies – which, judging by the episode's start, should be in ten-odd years – he'll be able not just to be OP, he'll be able to lead an army of them.

It's okay. Ars isn't sexualized like Lloyd in the other isekai toddler show, but the art isn't spectacular, and the colors are mainly brown, which isn't all that nice to look at. The stats are not shown as a game screen, which I like, and this at least gives the impression of trying to be more than just another knockoff. How well it succeeds at that remains to be seen, but if you pick just one isekai show about a little boy with blue hair, I'd suggest this one.

Nicholas Dupree

It's always nice when one of these over-long isekai titles winds up having some charm. While not groundbreaking, this premiere reminded me a lot of last season's The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic, where, for all its tired trappings, there was some earnest fun to be had with these characters and this premise. I just wish the show didn't have that titular "appraisal" gimmick.

It's not that I don't get the appeal. Having the magical ability to instantly figure out a person's talents and redirect them into a new specialty is a different kind of video game power fantasy, bringing to mind Fire Emblem more than Dragon Quest, and allowing protagonist and reader to live the fantasy of being the world's greatest manager. It's just that the gimmick necessarily cheapens the appeal of the characters. The story in this premiere is about Ars helping Reitz rise past the prejudice of their world to prove his talents as a warrior, offering faith in him where nobody else had before. That's a sweet story, but it feels artificial because Ars' faith comes from seeing his new friend's stat screen and coveting that strength for his army. It makes their relationship – and the struggles they take to achieve it – feel really hollow.

That's a crying shame because otherwise, there's a fairly enjoyable setup here. Ars isn't very interesting as a protagonist, but the premise of him having to seek out strong companions rather than just getting all the super magic on his own, has potential. I find the whole meritocracy angle a little eye-rolling, but at least Ars is willing to go against the grain of this new world rather than just going with the flow like so many other isekai protagonists. There's some really solid action animation, and while the designs are a bit bland, confident storyboarding and a few really nice highlights bolster them.

I'm still not sure if I'll watch any more – the subtext of Ars searching out stats rather than people just chills so much enthusiasm – but I'm thankful to have an isekai premiere that didn't bore me to tears or run through the exact same motions as its brethren. This probably won't be an amazing show, but it could be a fairly entertaining one and a solid step up from similar fare.

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