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The Summer 2024 Anime Preview Guide
A Journey Through Another World: Raising Kids While Adventuring

How would you rate episode 1 of
A Journey Through Another World: Raising Kids While Adventuring ?
Community score: 3.6



What is this?

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Due to a mistake by a god, Takumi Kayano loses his life and is reincarnated. Bestowed with various skills, he finds himself transported to another world—a perilous forest infested with monsters. In that forest, Takumi discovers what appears to be twin young boys and girls, whom he names Allen and Elena, and takes them under his protection. Despite being surprised by the two effortlessly defeating monsters with their martial arts skills, Takumi eventually reaches a town and registers with the adventurer's guild to make a living. Thus begins a laid-back adventurer's life as Takumi watches over the growth of Allen and Elena.

A Journey Through Another World: Raising Kids While Adventuring is based on the light novel series by Shizuru Minazuki with illustrations by Yamakawa. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Sundays.


How was the first episode?

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Caitlin Moore
Rating:

When I finished the first episode of Raising Kids While Adventuring and saw that there was another queueing up I literally yelled, “NOOOO! NOOOOOOOOO!” out loud in my living room. My windows were open. My neighbors probably heard me. In that moment, I didn't care what any passersby would think; all I knew was the mental anguish of having to sit through another episode of brain poison.

Sure, it's bad in the same way that most derivative isekai seasonal slop are bad. The story is a complete rehash of fantasy web novel tropes. You've got an accident-prone god that killed a human by accident (which seems to have supplanted Truck-kun as the default cause of death for isekai protagonists) and gives him cheat powers as an apology. A quick stop by the adventurer's guild gets him some employment. They explain the same structure that EVERY. SINGLE. STORY. LIKE. THIS. SHARES. EVERY SINGLE ONE! YOU DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN ADVENTURER RANKS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Sorry. Don't know what came over me—except for the despair of spending my precious short life watching. I'll try to keep the primal howls of rage and pain to a minimum.

Anyway, the gimmick this time is that he finds a pair of five-year-old twins out in the woods, who he names Alan and Elena (matching names! My favorite! *barf*). Alan and Elena are very strong but also docile and well-behaved. They fight enemies for him and cutely repeat what he says—and when they sleep, they curl up next to him cutely. He cooks for them using a magical hot plate and, in an inconsistency that made me feel like I was going insane, serves their food once with wooden bowls and spoons and once with ceramic plates and metal forks, like the ones you probably have in your kitchen.

Listen, I like five-year-olds. They're playful, funny little weirdos. They're also total sassypants who firmly believe they know better than any adult. And I've never met twins who weren't constantly squabbling—my own twin sister called me on the phone while I was working on this and we had an argument! These aren't five-year-old children, they're pet… pet… I don't even know what would be this docile! They're just extensions of his cheat powers given form, so people will watch and go, “Awww, look at him being a nice dad for these sweet little children.” But they don't have any of the personality that makes kids actually interesting to be around.

Maybe I'll call my sister back. Fighting with her about nonsense is a better use of my time than this garbage.


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James Beckett
Rating:

A couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to pick up a pack of those Dinosaur Eggs Oatmeal packets that I used to love when I was a kid. If you're not familiar, they're the same old instant oats that you might usually find (and in brown-sugar flavor, second only to strawberries-and- cream in its yumminess), except there are also these little colorful and crunchy “dinosaur eggs” that make the oats inherently more fun and interesting if you're six years old. To my disappointment, however, the effect is nowhere near as powerful when you're a 32-year-old man. There I was, stirring around my bowl of mushy oats, realizing that you could barely even see or taste the two or three pathetic little egg-bits that they put in each packet.

Watching Journey to Another World: Raising Kids While Adventuring is essentially the same exact experience as eating the lame Dino Egg Oatmeal, except the anime doesn't even have the decency to come with brown sugar flavoring. Instead, it's the most flavorless brand of mush that you can imagine, just like all of these other crappy isekai anime are, except this one comes with two little candy-colored egg—er, I mean children, and they're supposed to make the experience so much more interesting and unique compared to the normal mush. Of course, they do not. In fact, the greatest crime that Raising Kids While Adventuring commits is that it doesn't even give a damn about the kids being raised by the vacuous slab of aspic and boiled cauliflower that is being passed off as our main character.

For all intents and purposes, Takumi may as well be one of those monster raising classes that were briefly an isekai trend a year or two back—because absolutely nothing about this show would change if you replaced Alan and Elena with a couple of blue slimes. They function more like the NPC pets of an MMORPG than actual children—and the fact that they only serve to make Takumi's life more adorable and convenient makes it obvious that this show could not be less interested in any of the fun, frustrating, challenging, and unexpected opportunities that actually come from raising kids. Hell, the group even adds a literal monster to the part when they meet the big fluffy wolf in Episode 2—and I defy anyone to explain the functional difference between the dog and the toddlers aside from the fact that the toddlers occasionally ask the main character questions about crap that nobody cares about.

I had to watch nearly an hour of this dreck, and I still couldn't tell you for the life of me why Raising Kids While Adventuring even exists. The only reason for including the twins that I can see is to give Takumi a captive and oblivious audience that will make the way he is constantly expositing about the useless details of his generic world sound less insane. Either that, or the light novels really did just start off with a bunch of random monsters instead of kids, but publishers of the light novels wanted to avoid any possible litigation over direct plagiarism. Sure, it's not overtly offensive or hideous to look at, but when an anime makes it so clear that has no respect at all for its audience's intelligence, does any of that really matter? At least the crummy oatmeal that markets itself to a bunch of gullible kids who don't know they're being ripped off fulfills its job of providing sustenance. This show can't even claim that it did anything but waste the time of everyone involved.


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Rebecca Silverman
Rating:

Are you tired of isekai harems? Then why not try isekai childrearing on for size! Yes, in this thrilling, inexplicable double-episode premiere we are introduced to Takumi, an average Japanese twenty-eight-year-old who was accidentally killed by a god and reincarnated in a fantasy world. But instead of being instantly surrounded by gorgeous women who are immediately drawn to him, he finds a pair of five-year-old twins in the forest and de facto adopts them. It's not a terrible premise, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

The main problem here isn't the lackluster visuals (although that's also an issue), but the fact that it feels like the show is just ripping through the plot with the wild abandon of an overexcited greyhound. Takumi finds Alan and Elena almost instantly, after gracing us with the most standard explanation of how he got to be in the forest in the first place ever. It's so workmanlike that it could almost be cut-and-pasted from any other isekai series, but at least it has the good sense to know that whatever people are watching it for, it's not a rehash of the game-based isekai basics. Yes, we see that Takumi has a status window and we get a rundown of the way the Adventurers' Guild functions (spoiler: like every other Adventurers' Guild), but for the most part, this gets right into Takumi and the twins going about their daily lives. And that's where the pacing problem really comes in; the way that the plot moves makes it feel like it's skipping over a lot of the in-between material. Do we need to see each and every moment of Takumi getting the kids to trust him? No, but a few might go a long way to making this feel more organic, but as it stands, the sense is just that we're moving ahead without much coherence.

Another issue is that the kids don't act like believable children, or at least not any I'm familiar with. Just compare Alan and Elena with Dahlia from Dahlia in Bloom; yes, she's older, but the way she comfortably ignores her dad's strictures is very real, while Alan and Elena are told something once and then just behave like little angels. They're even better at making filled dessert breads than the baker's teenage daughter. Yes, it's possible that they're not entirely human, or at least under the protection of a different god than Takumi is, but they reek of someone's idea of what a “cute child” is rather than the creation of someone who has actually interacted with children. That's definitely a “your mileage may vary” complaint, but after Tadaima, Okaeri did such a good job with little kids last season, this is a major letdown.


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Nicholas Dupree
Rating:

I'll spare you the rigmarole. You and I both know what this show is. The first half of its title is literally the most generic name for an isekai ever. It's the kind of thing a smarter show would come up with as a joke to rag on how bland and devoid of personality some in-universe light novel is. Trust me when I say that this show lives down to that title, and the second half doesn't spice things up at all.

Again, we all know what to expect here. Boring guy gets sent to another world that runs on video game logic. He gets a bunch of powerful spells, joins a guild, does quests, kills monsters, makes money. We've seen this 10,000,000,000,000 times and it never gets more interesting. So what about the kids our anonymous Melvin is raising? Well, they're not so much kids as they are Pokémon for our hero to take care of and then send into battle. He finds them, clothes them, names them, and effectively adopts them in the span of 50 seconds, and then they immediately start beating up monsters on his behalf. As they are children and twins, they are written to have 0 personality outside of “talks in simple sentences” and “cries sometimes.”

That sabotages any attempts for this show to be sweet or fun, because it means Alan and Elena aren't characters. They're Takumi's pets who help him do his job and cuddle with him in weak attempts to pull at the audience's heartstrings. They have no interior thoughts to express, and Takumi has no personality to provide outside of generic kindness and headpats. That does not help shake the feeling that he's working with two well-trained dogs rather than children. The goal is obviously to make some comedic, wholesome adventures about Takumi's found family of super powerful sidekicks, but that requires actual character writing; something this show has not a drop of.

So with that option shot, and the overall production quality at the level you'd expect for an isekai show with this many words in its name, it's a boring waste of time. There's no charm or spark of adventure, no character, no creative magic. It's just 40 minutes of a guy being told how to play a video game, and then having his humanoid digimon do it for him.


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