I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives.
Episodes 1-3

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 1 of
I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. ?

How would you rate episode 2 of
I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. ?

How would you rate episode 3 of
I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. ?

With a name like I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives., I expected this series to be provocative, or at the very least a little edgy. After three episodes, however, it is nothing of the sort. While the series may not be the typical isekai-in-a-game-mechanics-world scenario, it falls closer to the lighter side of that genre than the darker side. That is not necessarily a problem; the series does have its issues, but those lay elsewhere. As a result, the story is already making some progress towards establishing its own identity.

The first and biggest difference is that this is not a pure isekai title. Yusuke and the girls (three by the end of episode 3) are being transported into a game-like environment, but only temporarily and with intervals in-between quests spent back in the real world; frankly, the set-up reminds me a bit of Gantz, except no time apparently elapses in the real world. Another key difference is that the new world is not just a setting which uses game mechanics; it functions entirely like a game, down even to characters not being able to even touch a weapon that is not aligned with their class, much less wield it. Also, dying is hardly a problem, as characters automatically revive after a set amount of time if at least one party member survives. (Unless they have been eaten, in which case they cannot be revived safely until the perpetrator is killed.) That's good, because Yusuke and his party members die a lot while trying to figure out how to defeat certain foes. I'd do a running death total, but sometimes the exact number of deaths is vague. Let's not forget the Log Points, either, which are basically flashbacks done in hand-held game format.

The other distinctive element is Game Master, who could be the season's poster boy with his freaky half-headed appearance and odd habit of ending his sentences a syllable short. While Game Master is implied to have a greater objective – namely, preparing Yusuke and crew to confront a threat that could destroy their world in the future – I am absolutely convinced that his secondary goal is to mess with Yusuke. What the spellcaster-types can do with their magic at low levels is also comically underpowered, as is the whole notion of the benefits that Farmer and Chef classes get and how Yusuke keeps getting stuck with those atypical “classes.” And what kind of game system randomly assigns classes like that, anyway? Or is there really anything random about this? Anyway, if the goal was to make the Game Master seem very alien, that has been accomplished.

The core cast members are also starting to show some individual definition. I will go into more detail about this in reviews for upcoming weeks, but the short version for now is that Yusuke is happier in the game setting than the real world, as he hates the city; exactly why has only been vaguely implied so far, though he has clearly not made friends. Iu is initially portrayed as the model student, though the end of episode 3 suggests that she has her hidden issues and works very hard to be “perfect.” Kusue, meanwhile, is the timid girl, while episode 3 newcomer Yuka is somewhat of an otaku whom Yusuke rescues from a retribution scenario.

But therein lies the series' biggest problem so far: although episode 3 ends with some hints about what Iu has been through, this is entirely the Yusuke Show. The girls are practically useless and incompetent without him, they take little initiative beyond recruiting him, and he comes up with every clever scheme for defeating foes. Even if Yusuke is the protagonist, the girls should at least be competent at something. This is concerning and something that I will be keeping an eye on. Sadly, the technical effort so far is also underwhelming, with little animation even in action scenes.

Starting to look into backstories of characters is a trend in the right direction, and there is some humor value to be found here, but this one has a ways to go in order to get good.

Rating:

I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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