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The Summer 2024 Anime Preview Guide
The Ossan Newbie Adventurer

How would you rate episode 1 of
The Ossan Newbie Adventurer ?
Community score: 3.7



What is this?

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Rick Gladiator is a guild clerk who strives to become an adventurer. Common sense says that it is best to start the path of an adventurer at a young age, as it takes training to gain magical powers. However, Rick is starting after he turned 30. Thanks to working with Orichalcum Fist, a legendary party of the most powerful adventurers in the land, he already lived an unimaginable life with top-ranking fighting abilities. With skills honed by literal "Monster-class" masters from dragons to vampires, Rick takes on one elite adventurer after another.

The Ossan Newbie Adventurer is based on the Shinmai Ossan Bōkensha light novel series written by Kiraku Kishima and illustrated by Tea. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Mondays.


How was the first episode?

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Richard Eisenbeis
Rating:

I think this episode worked for me because I can empathize with Rick on a personal level, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is true for many others. After all, I am one of those people who found myself in a job that, while not bad, didn't excite me either. After years of doing it, I decided to go after my real passion. With a ton of hard work and more than a bit of luck, I made it to where I am today.

Rick is in the middle of a similar journey. After spending almost half his life supporting adventurers, he decided to become one. Yet, he knows that time is against him. Physically taxing jobs are a game for the young and his late start puts him at a huge disadvantage. While Rick is motivated to overcome the odds, that doesn't mean he's unaffected by the judgments of those around him—the people who look down on him (or, even worse, pity him) for his age.

It's no surprise that he has internalized this and developed an inferiority complex. He's so sure that he has an enormous hill to overcome that he can't even imagine that he may have already grown beyond not only the power of novices but also seasoned adventurers his age.

Despite taking his E-rank adventurer exam, Rick is at least A-rank in strength or beyond. However, because he trained with literally the strongest party in the world for two years, his baseline for what “strength” is has been heavily skewed. What we get from this is both the tragedy at the core of Rick's heart and the source of the show's comedy. He's already achieved his goal—he just can't accept it.

Thus, the joke repeats itself. People look down on him, he overpowers them in one way or another, and comes away from the experience of misunderstanding things in such a way that he still sees himself as weak. For one episode, it works well enough. I remain skeptical of how well it will work in the long run. At some point, he has to start to grow past his insecurities or the humor will get real old, real fast.

All in all, this episode was both silly fun and spoke to be on a core level. Best of all, it comes with a great moral for those of us who are getting older: It's never too late to chase your dreams.


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Caitlin Moore
Rating:

Hey, did you know Alan Rickman, beloved star of stage and screen, was cast in his first major acting role when he was 36? He made his film debut in Die Hard at the age of 42. Despite that late start, he received dozens of award nominations and was selected as one of the Top 100 Sexiest Movie Stars of all time by Empire magazine.

He also had more charisma in his little finger than Rick, the improbably powerful 32-year-old protagonist of The Ossan Newbie Adventurer. Heck, more than the entire cast.

The thing is, as a comedy, The Ossan Newbie Adventurer just isn't funny. There's a single joke, repeated ad nauseam: Rick thinks he's weak. Everyone around him assumes the same because he didn't start training as an adventurer until he was 30. Then he does something absurdly powerful, and everyone around him gapes in shock! Sometimes his partymate with boobs as huge as he is powerful gives him advice while staring blankly ahead. And it's all done with zero comic timing or flair. Each punchline is delivered with the force of a goldfish's right hook.

But I'd take all that over the eight-minute fight sequence that consists entirely of an arrogant lady knight running at him while bragging about her speed as he stands stock still and marvels at how slow she is. I kind of get how he feels, though; I felt the same way watching the progress bar inch along.

What I'm trying to say is, if you're over 30 and are looking for inspiration for a fresh start, there are better places to look than The Ossan Newbie Adventurer. That way, you can move on and get started on your new adventure. Or just watch a better movie. I personally recommend Galaxy Quest.


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Nicholas Dupree
Rating:

Have you watched or read One-Punch Man? If so, you probably remember the joke where everyone assumes Saitama is super weak and unimportant, then he punches something real hard, and they all freak out at how, actually, he's the strongest ever! It's one of the least interesting punchlines in that series, and somebody decided to take that singular gag and make an entire show out of it. The resulting premiere is about as miserable and repetitive as that sounds, and also it looks like crap. Woohoo.

It can't be overstated just how stale the single joke of "Rick thinks he's a weakling but is secretly a god in human form" gets in just 20-odd minutes. Partly that's because this exact same god damn joke has been used in tons of other shows just like this one, where everyone underestimates our secretly Legendary Class protagonist, only for their eyes to bug out when he scores infinity on every test. There's even the standard joke where the magic testing device flunks him because he's too powerful for it to read. Every single angle that's ever been used in a Magic School/Adventurer setting to mislabel a protagonist as an underdog so they can immediately prove all their cardboard-thin haters wrong is here in succession, and they're all as boring as they were the first time.

That could perhaps be surmounted if any of the jokes landed or the characters had some kind of engaging personality, but everyone here is as flat as the humor. Rick's sole defining characteristic is that he's 32, so everyone thinks he's old and dumb and smells bad until he punches a hole through a castle wall. His elf maid companion provides emotionless support and a pair of breasts for Rick and the audience to stare at whenever things get boring, which is always. Rick, of course, runs into a pair of haughty blond siblings who insult and disregard him, only to be easily outmatched by his Secret Badass power. They are not actual opponents but paper-thin and obnoxious obstacles for Rick the Übermensch to casually steamroll as part of the pettiest, saddest power fantasy imaginable.

The animation, at least, is trying in places. There are a couple of decent cuts or moments of ambitious direction, but 90% of this premiere looks like butt, struggling to find any consistency between scenes. The brief action scenes are stiff and awkward, straining to convey any movement at all, let alone something with tangible impact. In concert with the repetitive humor and obnoxious characters, it makes for a premiere that feels three times longer than it is, but also totally forgettable.


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Rebecca Silverman
Rating:

Two minutes into this episode, my computer abruptly decided that connecting to the internet was a bad plan, and it took me twenty minutes to convince it otherwise. Fifteen minutes later, my dog had a nightmare. Are all of these things connected to how unimpressive the episode is? I can't prove it, but the thought did occur to me. Mostly, though, what's disappointing here is that we've seen many of these same story elements before in better shows, most notably Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town, which has a similar conceit of someone with no real concept of how strong they are believing themselves to be unimpressive. The only major change is that our hero this time is, by anime standards, old.

Are there grounds for thirty-two being indescribably ancient? To a point. We're told that most people start their adventure career in their teens, so it is better to grow their magic and other abilities. If you compare it with, say, being a professional ballerina in terms of physicality, I could see it. The joke is meant to be that Rick's "advanced" age is the sole thing people notice about him, and because of it, they immediately write him off. Having grown up in this world, Rick has absorbed this attitude, which may be why he sought out the eponymous strongest adventurers to train him when he decided to pursue his dreams at age thirty. But the problem becomes that he's not comparing himself to the monstrous strength of his instructors, which reinforces the notion that he's old and weak. It won't stop him, but it also isn't the truth. And so, comedy, or so the episode would like us to think.

Although this setup doesn't completely lack potential, it still has some very clear issues. One is that Reanette, the female character we see the most, is introduced boobs-first, which is never a great sign. This, we quickly learn, is absolutely Rick's point of view; Reanette remarks that her eyes are up here, thanks very much, while Rick denies that he's got her breasts in his sights with the single-minded fixation of my dog staring someone down for their sandwich. Then when haughty lady knight Angelica shows up screeching (she rarely speaks below a shriek), her coat is carefully tailored so that the arms of its cross cut-out frame her chest. Add in that the best-animated scene in the whole episode is the inevitable guild receptionist leaning forward while her breasts squish onto the counter, and we know what value this places on its lady cast.

This is the point where I typically try to say something positive because first impressions aren't always accurate, and I've absolutely been wrong before. I'm struggling this time because while I'd like this to be a story about Rick proving everyone who thinks he's too old wrong, the unattractive art, largely lackluster animation, and the way it treats its female cast aren't giving me much hope. You may be better served by returning to those Last Dungeon Boonies if you're looking for a comedy about someone who doesn't know their own strength.


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James Beckett
Rating:

I'm giving the premiere of Ossan Newbie Adventurer an extra half-star on account of how it managed to make me laugh exactly two times. Yes, the bar is that low, by now. Anyway, the first time I chuckled was when our hero-guy Rick got all confused about how pathetic a haughty little mage boy's magic is, seeing as his trainer would fling fireballs ten times the size at him just for fun. After that, Rick douses everyone at the hero test place with a bunch of green slime that reminded me of watching Figure It Out! on Nickelodeon back in the day (this didn't make me laugh, but it made me feel vaguely amused for a second, so I'll allow it). The second laugh came much later when the haughty little mage boy's sister was dueling Rick for her brother's honor or whatever. At the end of the fight, she trips over a rock and skids face-first into Rick's blow, which results in her flying off like a pinwheel. I will not pretend that these were even especially smart or well-constructed jokes, but hey, sometimes my inner twelve-year-old wins out!

Sadly, those two mild snorts of amusement were just about all Ossan Newbie Adventurer had up its sleeve; the rest of it is the same old thing we've seen a billion times by now, except this time, the gimmick isn't that the comically overpowered main character uses a weird class has some convoluted rules that his powers have to follow. He's just…older than your average adventurer. If you just take any of the random “My Overpowered Whosimawhatsit Is Helping Me Grok the Dungeonmajig!” shows we get every season and paste the words “But you're thirty years old!?” into the dialogue every few seconds, then you've got Ossan Newbie Adventurer in its entirety. I wouldn't even be surprised if that was the exact method that the creators used to make the damned thing.

It's a shame, too, because I'm all for anime that dare to focus on characters who are old enough to rent a car and accrue crippling amounts of debt and lower-back pain. I wouldn't even mind the brazen laziness of Ossan Newbie Adventurer's storytelling if it bothered to throw in even one scrap of interesting characterization or world-building that related to Rick being a first-time adventurer in his 30s. There are plenty of funny parallels you could make to switching careers in the modern day or trying to balance a new job with keeping the old bills paid and all of that. But no, the fact that Rick has the temerity to still exist after the age of 29 is just a minor gimmick that is being exploited to keep Ossan Newbie Adventurer from being sued for copyright infringement. What a waste of potential.


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