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by Richard Eisenbeis,

As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill

Season 1 Anime Series Review

As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill Season 1 Anime Series Review
A normal Japanese salary man awakens to find himself reborn as Ars, the son of a backwater aristocrat in a fantasy world. As he grows, he quickly realizes that he has no skill with a sword, no aptitude for magic, and no mind for tactics. However, what he does have is the ability to appraise others—to see in numbers not only the areas they are skilled in but also their unrealized potential. Using this skill, he starts to gather talented individuals to his side—hoping to keep his people and family safe as civil war looms on the horizon.

The first few episodes of this series follow a simple, predictable pattern. Through chance, Ars discovers a promising talent and tries to recruit them. However, each person has problems or personal misgivings that make them unwilling or unable to join him. Ars, being a genuinely good person, decides to do all within his power to help this person—even if recruiting them is off the table. And when the situation is resolved, they inexorably swear themselves to his cause—swayed by his heart and caring nature.

It's through this framework that we are introduced to Ritsu (a former child soldier destined to be a peerless warrior and general), Charlotte (a street urchin with unmatched magical power), and Rosell (a meek boy with the mind of a great tactician). Each of their stories is markedly different from one another and works to give both a self-contained, emotional tale and explain why these individuals would become loyal to Ars. However, when we break from this pattern, things get more interesting.

The introduction of Lysia, Ars' fiancée, throws everything we know about Ars' special ability into question. Her primary talent is not "magic" or "tactics" but "ambition." Ars basically equates this to her being a psychopath—someone mindlessly manipulating others to gain power without caring about who they have to trample on in the process. However, he learns that "ambition" is not about seizing power but about a person's drive to attain their goals. For Lysia, her goal is to gain as much freedom as possible from the patriarchal system she was born into. The only way to do this is through marriage to a powerful nobleman—or marriage to a man who can accept who she truly is and would never even think of trying to control her.

This part in the narrative makes Ars' weakness clear—adding stakes and drama to the story in the process. He can see power and potential but not the motives that drive a person. This, in turn, makes Ars question himself and his ability to rule—especially as his father's health starts to decline and the outbreak of a major war grows ever closer. After all, Ars can see everyone's potential with his skill except for his own. He is surrounded by the best of the next generation but sees himself as normal at best and wholly inadequate at worst. He has no self-confidence—and that blinds him from seeing in himself what others do.

It's not until the final arc of the season that this begins to really change. He is introduced to Mireille, a woman who appears to be a lazy drunkard on the outside but is actually the greatest tactician of the prior generation. Like Lysia, she has an unnaturally high ambition stat, and this allows her to see the big picture in a way few others can. She sees a young boy, kind and wise beyond his years, gathering the most talented individuals in the empire to his side. And so she asks the logical question: Why?

This is the actual climax of the season—the point that makes it clear why all these people follow Ars. All he wants is a world where children can grow up safe and happy. Others see this as a noble goal, one they are willing to do all in their power to help. But Mireille alone can see the only true way to make such a grand ideal into reality. It's a solid conclusion that sets the path for things to come.

When it comes down to it, this anime is a story about leadership. Ars may have no special talents, but he is a guiding light to those he rules. While he initially thinks he must become proficient with the sword or skilled in diplomacy to lead in this fantasy world, this is far from the case. All he needs to do—all any good leader needs to do—is set a goal and allow those under him to make that goal into reality. This anime is about a leader who provides direction and support but never micromanages—trusting that those he's working with are up to the task.

What comes out of this is a tale full of comedy and heartwarming moments—scenes of triumph and scenes of despair. However, throughout it all is a sense of hope—hope that one good man can bring peace and prosperity to a failing empire. The road will be long and hard, but if Ars can make it through with his heart intact, there might just be a happy end for both our heroes and the people of the empire. But before all that, he's going to have to make a name for himself as the war begins in earnest in the upcoming second season.

Overall (sub) : B
Story : B
Animation : B-
Art : B-
Music : C+

+ A main character with a heart of gold (and self-confidence issues) backed up by an eccentric, memorable supporting cast.
A bit repetitive and predictable for the first few episodes.

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Production Info:
Director: Takao Kato
Series Composition: Yasuhiro Nakanishi
Daisuke Daitō
Makoto Koyama
Yasuhiro Nakanishi
Tomoko Iwasaki
Takao Kato
Hiroaki Matsushima
Masato Takeuchi
Natsumi Uchinuma
Episode Director:
Kazuya Fujishiro
Masahiro Hosoda
Toshiyuki Kono
Hiroaki Matsushima
Masato Takeuchi
Natsumi Uchinuma
Unit Director:
Takao Kato
Hiroaki Matsushima
Masato Takeuchi
Music: Kujira Yumemi
Original creator:
Miraijin A
Natsumi Inoue
Original Character Design: jimmy
Character Design: Yūko Yahiro
Art Director: Takehiko Segawa
Chief Animation Director:
Taeko Hori
Chizuru Kobayashi
Seiki Tanaka
Motohiro Taniguchi
Animation Director:
Daisuke Agata
Shōta Futabayashi
Yuri Hanazawa
Ayako Harukawa
Kenji Hattori
Koji Hirauma
Taeko Hori
Kazuyuki Ikai
Masami Imai
Zhi Hui Jiang
Aki Kai
Hiroaki Kawaguchi
Do Young Kim
Kyung Ho Kim
Seiji Kishimoto
Chizuru Kobayashi
Panichi Kumaga
Kwan Woo Lee
Kyung Sun Lee
Sang Min Lee
Maiko Okada
Yu Okagaki
Konomi Satō
Zhen Liang Sun
Motohiro Taniguchi
Yoshiaki Tsubata
Aoi Uno
Yūko Yahiro
Noriyoshi Yamazaki
Chang Ye
Toshiyuki Yoshioka
Jun Jie Zhou
Sound Director: Toshiki Kameyama
Director of Photography: Koji Yamakoshi

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As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I'll Use My Appraisal Skill (TV)

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