Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill ?
Community score: 3.9
As terrifyingly all-powerful as Fel seems, we all knew that eventually, Mukohda would have to learn to fend for himself and level up. Since this is one of those worlds that inexplicably operates within the magically imposed structures of a generic MMORPG, Mukohda's need to “level up” is both metaphorical and very literal. Fortunately, being besties with a sentient, magically-blessed wolf god has its perks, including acquiring handy new spells to fling at enemies. Mukohda may not be interested in flame-broiling anything that hasn't already been butchered and basted, but he'll have to learn how to grill up some goblins if he wants to earn Fel's respect (and also, you know, avoid a horribly painful death).
I won't pretend that Mukohda's brief fighter-in-training story here is exceptionally exciting or well-animated—he is, after all, grinding on low-leveled trash mobs with the most basic-ass spell imaginable—but it is nice to know that Mukohda will have to struggle and grow to become the RPG hero that the genre demands. What I like the most about this character's overpowered ability is that “getting to order off of magic Amazon.com” doesn't make him into some omnipotent god or anything. He still has to be able to cook, shop responsibly, and manage his resources; on top of all that, he has all of the hoops to jump through and secrets to keep while navigating the real world since I don't think he's wrong to assume that his life would become perilously complicated if folks were to discover the extent of his and Fel's abilities.
The point is that Campfire Cooking in Another World has been smart in how it keeps its protagonist as grounded as possible so that there is always some level of stakes and tension for our hero to deal with, even when we get episodes like this that are almost entirely devoid of plot or consequence. Sure, Mukohda almost gets merced by the goblins, but we knew Fel would step in and intervene. This episode is, as always, about getting to see what fun foods the pair delight in. In that respect, “Cannot Start The Journey Without the Map” is perfectly serviceable. It's funny that Mukohda resorts to ordering cheap takeout so much because of being exhausted by Fel's “training” (I'm basically in the same boat with how much we've been relying on Grubhub and Uber Eats in our home lately). That said, it will always be more interesting to have Mukohda explain the culinary notes of legitimate meals versus a bunch of bean bun snacks and some basic tonkatsu.
Oh, and I guess there's the whole deal with the map, too? I'll be honest, if this show is ever going to lose me, it will be because I cannot be bothered to care whenever Mukohda interacts with any character that isn't his lovely adventuring party or his big floofy wolf. I had to rewatch the scene where Mukohda goes to get the map from those sketchy pub dwellers a couple of times because I couldn't keep myself from zoning out. I know that the cute little post-credits sketch has that little slime dude happening upon our heroes and presumably joining the party, and while I'm sure he'll be adorable and all, I desperately want our protagonist to have another interesting person/monster/whatever to talk to.
Maybe that Goddess Fenrir that Fel is always going on about will show up sooner or later if the foreshadowing we get this week is any indication (plus, she's all over the OP, so that's basically a guarantee). Either way, this was another cute episode, even if it felt light on substance. If nothing else, I've got at least a dozen excellent new screenshots of Fel to meme-ify, and that counts as a win in my book.
Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.
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