In the Land of Leadale
Episode 1-2

by MrAJCosplay/Cartoon Cipher,

How would you rate episode 1 of
In the Land of Leadale ?
Community score: 3.8

How would you rate episode 2 of
In the Land of Leadale ?
Community score: 4.1

I got the chance to watch the first episode of In the Land of Leadale a few months ago at Anime NYC, and I will stand by my opinion that it is a genuinely nice introduction – if you treat it like the introduction of a mystery. The show doesn't reveal everything about the world and how our protagonist came to be in it immediately; instead, information is slowly doled out to us and we discover things more or less at the same time as Cayna. Also interesting is Leadale's permutation of the standard isekai setup: Cayna's already been to this world before as a virtual game that she apparently spent most of her time in, but the fact that it's been completely overhauled after two centuries means that she has just as much to discover moving forward. If you had to do an Isekai/trapped in a video game plot with a more low-key tone, this is probably the best way to do it. That being said, the downside is that the more we learn about this world, the less I feel like the show has anything to keep my interest.

Once the initial conceit is more or less pieced together and our protagonist has regained most of the things that she already had when she played the game, it becomes very apparent that there's not really much of a goal in this show. There are a few objectives that feel like they're satisfied more out of curiosity than out of any real drive or need. The closest thing we had to a goal in these two episodes was Cayna attempting to go check up on her kids which are actually just NPCs that she created in the game. I was very much looking forward to that reunion after it was set up in episode one, and even though it technically hasn't happened yet for all of them, the general vibe is that there wasn't really much to worry about after all. Considering that it's been over 200 years since these NPCs have seen their mother, I was expecting a much stronger reaction or a lot more questions regarding where Cayla's been this whole time, alternate lifespans be damned. Cayna's circumstances prior to waking up in Leadale – such as the fact that she probably died when she was taken off of life support, or that she is apparently unable to walk in the real world – also offer a lot of potential for interesting explorations, but so far these elements are simply used as excuses to get the ball rolling and abandoned as soon as they're talked about; I think it would be great if the show explores those ideas moving forward.

We are two episodes into the show and I don't think I can effectively explain what it's really about, so hopefully we discover that soon or we may be in for a pretty cozy albeit meandering journey. On the one hand, I kind of like Leadale's more laid-back and casual approach to exploring this Isekai world but on the other hand, I don't feel like I'm walking away with a lot to talk about when each episode is over. So suffice to say my job for the next few weeks is going to be very interesting.


In the Land of Leadale is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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