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The Summer 2024 Anime Preview Guide
No Longer Allowed In Another World

How would you rate episode 1 of
No Longer Allowed In Another World ?
Community score: 3.4

What is this?


A second life in another world with cute girls by your side and video-gamey powers--sounds like a dream. Not so for a certain melancholy author, who would quite literally rather drop dead. Honestly, all the fantastical adventure is just getting in the way of his poetic dream of finding the perfect place to die. But no matter how much he risks his hide, everything seems to keep turning out okay.

No Longer Allowed In Another World is based on the manga series by Hiroshi Noda and Takahiro Wakamatsu. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Tuesdays.

How was the first episode?

Caitlin Moore

No Longer Allowed In Another World is a tricky series to talk about. It walks the line between tasteless and taboo, with most of its jokes falling into the gray area between subversive and insensitive. Despite my reputation as a killjoy, I don't think some topics should never be joked about. If you're going to indulge in dark humor, I think there are three rules: you better be funny, have something interesting to say, and be punching up.

Is No Longer Allowed In Another World funny? Oh, it is, no doubt about that. Even with the sense that I was catching maybe half the jokes, I laughed out loud multiple times during the episode. And yeah, that included a lot of the gags about Sensei—they never exactly state that he's Osamu Dazai, even if the context makes that pretty clear—and his death wish. The joke of a truck coming out of nowhere to hit the two lovers ready to dive into a river hit me like… well, you know. I couldn't help but chuckle at the elf-priestess cheerily pulling him along in a rose-lined coffin. The comic timing stays consistently impeccable throughout the episode with pitch-perfect delivery from the whole cast.

Does it have something interesting to say? It's hard to judge from the first episode alone, but early signs point to yes. It pokes fun not just at Dazai's famed multiple suicide attempts but the collective death wish that the popularity of isekai seems to represent. There's a troubling element to the growing prominence of reincarnation isekai, wherein the protagonist dies and ends up in a video game world where they're really cool and strong and don't really spare a thought for their old life—which No Longer Allowed In Another World picks up on. The elf priestess Annette is weary of ushering obnoxious Melvins into their new lives, cheering them on like you would a toddler jumping off a three-inch ledge. It's too early to say if this will go over, but I appreciate the sentiment.

Is it punching up? That's a judgment call I'm not comfortable making. Dazai was a troubled man—you don't attempt suicide five times if you're mentally in a good place, not to mention other biographical details. I've never struggled with suicidality but I know that it's a highly sensitive trigger for many people who do. No Longer Allowed In Another World is far from the first piece of art, or even the first manga, to make jokes about Dazai's desire to die, but that doesn't make it okay.

I say this with the utmost sincerity: if No Longer Allowed In Another World makes you uncomfortable, don't watch it. There are times when it's worth pushing past discomfort to engage with art—even vital to do so—but this is not one of them.

Richard Eisenbeis

This is another anime comedy that lives or dies on a single joke: a guy trying to kill himself (and failing each time). Do you find that funny? If so, great. This anime is for you. If not, then the opposite is true.

Honestly, I find myself more in the second camp. However, this is not due to the contents of the central joke. 2007's Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (along with its numerous sequels) has a similarly suicidal man as the comedic core of the show. However, what sets that show apart from No Longer Allowed In Another World is what it does with that comedic core.

In the case of No Longer Allowed In Another World, the comedy is surface level. It's a gag comedy where each of Sensei's suicide attempts not only fails to kill him but also turns out to help those around him. In this episode, he saves one girl from being eaten by a tree monster and another by helping her find new meaning in her life and work. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei on the other hand, goes much deeper. It uses its suicidal protagonist and his negative outlook on life as a way of exploring the absurdities and implications of Japanese culture, though that's not to say there aren't more than a few dark humor sight gags throughout.

To put it another way, No Longer Allowed In Another World is rather predictable. Once you see the pattern, a lot of the humorous shock and surprise is largely gone from the show. That said, there could be a lot of fun to be had in seeing Sensei's “bad luck at killing himself” help him defeat monsters and overcome other problems in new and creative ways each week.

So in the end, I'm actually rather on the fence with this one. I don't plan on watching it week to week. But if my friends and ANN companions start raving about this one as the season goes on, I might just give it a second chance.

Rebecca Silverman

In 1948, author Osamu Dazai committed double suicide with a woman named Tomie by drowning themselves in a swollen river. More specifically, they committed shinju, a lovers' suicide, meaning that they mutually decided to die together. That one detail tends to be the most well-known fact about Dazai, or at least so pop culture would have you believe, and that apparently led someone to ask, "What if, instead of dying in the river, a truck hit Osamu Dazai beforehand and he was sent to another world?"

And that is the premise of No Longer Allowed In Another World. Oh, they never say that the "sensei" we're following is Dazai, but the title alludes to one of his best-known works, No Longer Human, and his character design bears more than a passing resemblance to photos of the man. The stock jokes about Dazai's suicidal urges are also familiar from other anime and manga that use Dazai as a central character, and the look of the truck and the sedative Sensei tries to OD with once he's in the other world, Calmotin, are both in line with the late 1940s. (Fun fact: Agatha Christie uses an off-brand Calmotin in The Mirror Crack'd.) Is it funny, as it's clearly meant to be? Eh. That depends on your tolerance for suicide humor. For me, it falls under the heading of "humor," and I found it more disturbing than anything, but this is very clearly a case of "your mileage may vary."

What I did enjoy was the snide knowledge of its own genre. Annette, the busty elf priestess who welcomes Sensei to Zauberberg, tells him this new life is meant to be a gift; otherwise the Other World Selection Truck wouldn't have come for him. (Apparently, we've all been being very informal by calling him "Truck-kun.”) It's a system, she tells him, whereby depressed people are hit with the Truck and sent to fantasy worlds. In Annette's experience, it doesn't always pick the best people, and by the time Sensei shows up, she's pretty down on the whole system. Yes, that system involves stat screens and a joke about Sensei's abysmal stats, but honestly, the self-awareness is at least a little entertaining.

Still, this comes with content warnings for the suicide joke and a gag where a buxom cat girl gets groped by an evil tree. It's not as egregious as many series get, but it's still there, played off as a joke, though not a very funny one. Seeing Sensei infect the tree with his own poisonous death urges is funnier, but most of the humor didn't land for me. That also goes for the art; although I appreciate the efforts to make Sensei recognizably Dazai, it's otherwise very standard. It works for what it's doing, however.

So there is some fun to be had here, but it comes with a required tolerance for the suicide jokes and sexual assault by the tree. The latter may go away, but I suspect the former is the core of the show's humor, and that makes the self-awareness not quite enough to function as the fabled spoonful of sugar.

Nicholas Dupree

This is weird, right? Like, can we all agree it's at least a little strange that seemingly all anime-adjacent media has taken a real-life person's suicide and turned it into an industry-wide running gag? At least when anime turns Oda Nobunaga into a sexy anime girl, there are 400+ years of separation from the real person. Dazai died less than 80 years ago! He has living grandchildren! He essentially documented his emotional struggles and suicidal ideation through his writing, work that has since become part of Japanese literary canon, and somehow all of that has culminated in a comedic shorthand for self-harm.

That is a huge, quite possibly insurmountable issue for me with this show. If it's done right, I'm all for morbid humor, but it just doesn't work here. The central conceit – an isekai protagonist who is so incurably self-loathing that he's trying to die rather than enjoy his new life as an overpowered hero – has some promise for black humor. If this weren't riffing on the public image of a real person, it could probably work. Yet, because it's tied to this bizarre running gag about Dazai, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Dazai is not a character here but a simulacrum construct so the show can farm suicide gags from him. He is constantly poisoned, to the point where monsters die trying to kill him. He eats sleeping pills like candy. He sleeps in a coffin. In the proper context, those punchlines could work, but with this context, it just feels kinda gross.

If you're not bothered by the connections to the real Dazai, this episode still has little to offer. The fantasy world Dazai is sent to is pretty generic and, of course, runs on video game logic. There's kind of a funny bit where Dazai is annoyed by the little Level Up voice inside his head, but otherwise, not much is done with the core concept so far. His two companions are each different flavors of insufferable – a screechy catgirl who's introduced being sexually molested by a tree monster and an elf lady who instantly falls in love with Dazai and spends half the episode being clingy and jealous over him. All combined, they make for pretty terrible, obnoxious comedy. The production is above average for an isekai story, though the character designs don't do much for me. The comedic timing for the gags is solid enough.

As I said, if this were its own thing, taking a darkly comedic riff on isekai stories for the sake of some edgy jokes, I might be able to get into it – or at least recommend it. As-is, I don't really feel comfortable telling anyone to watch this show.

James Beckett

In theory, I like the idea of using famous historical or literary figures as a frame around which to shake up the tired isekai formula. Any novelty is welcome at this point! Having said that, there would come along an anime to make me immediately regret placing yet another doomed bet at the Casino of the Monkey's Paw. It should be apparent to anyone familiar with the dark legacy of Osamu Dazai and his novel No Longer Human that using the unfortunate and tragic end of his life as the starting point for getting reincarnated into another world is in supremely poor taste…and, God help me, this is exactly why I must regrettably admit that this shameless cartoon made me laugh.

Look, I will make no apologies for No Longer Allowed In Another World, and if you are sensitive at all to subjects like self-harm and suicidal ideation, steer a hundred miles clear of this one. If I may make a feeble argument in defense it, however, it is very clearly aware of how messed up it is to make light of a famously depressed artist's suicide, and so it does the only possible thing it could do to make such a topic palatable for comedy: It plays it as broadly and stupidly as possible. For anyone over the age of thirty, I think a good comparison would be that one air traffic guy from Airplane! who constantly laments his increasingly deranged drug addiction every time he shows up on screen. Drug addiction is not in and of itself funny, but it's a different story when that doofus' only life purpose is seemingly to show up and sniff glue.

Going into No Longer Allowed In Another World, my biggest concern was that it would merely exploit Dazai's death in a completely thoughtless way to add a barely noticeable variable to its otherwise rotely copied genre formula. When a period-appropriate truck arrived in the middle of "Sensei's" attempt to end his and his lover's life, though, I couldn't help but chuckle because it's such a stupid but obvious subversion of both history and silly anime cliches. Then, when we see that Sensei's entire personality is defined by his all-consuming need to munch on poison pills like they were Tic Tacs, well, I realized that this show was putting a lot of thought into how it was exploiting Dazai's death. Is it crass and mean-spirited? Absolutely. If I put myself in the shoes of a Japanese viewer who has probably been so desensitized by the history of one of their culture's most famous figures, though, I can see how it would be funny for a show to commit so much to this bit. I guess it would be like if an American cartoon featured a wacky Edgar Allen Poe who gets his superpowers from binge drinking and stroking the death portrait of his cousin, or something.

Anyways, that's all I've got. No Longer Allowed In Another World is hardly a comedy masterpiece, but I am compelled to respect that it went there and didn't completely fall on its face. That it is even capable of making some funny jokes about such bleak material means that it is exponentially more creative and competent than most of its competition.

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