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Life with an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout
Episode 10

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Fantasy Bishōjo Juniku Ojisan to ?
Community score: 4.0

We're in the closing episodes of a seasonal comedy, which means it's time for us to finally acknowledge the plot. I'd been quietly dreading it, honestly, because more often than not the late-game bid for a “serious” storyline has marked the decline for many an otherwise strong comedy. Thankfully, Total Fantasy Knockout is actually handling the onset of plot pretty well, and maintaining some great gags thanks to a long-awaited return of a certain someone. But we'll get to that in a bit.

First, we join Tachibana and Yggie (as Tachibana's taken to calling her) as they recruit the masses for their rebellion with the power of cute idol outfits. It's a pretty classic isekai gag – one I remember seeing all the way back in Log Horizon – but the show makes it work by making the entire rebellion a farce, head-to-toe. The huddled masses would never agree to fight the nobles' petty squabbles when they gain nothing...unless a really cute girl who's just their type asks them. Then they can be persuaded. Well, I call this a farce, but considering what a real life military is pulling right now, maybe this show really does have its finger on the pulse.

Or maybe our villain is just really good at her job. Turns out the princess' maid is secretly a demon, who's been manipulating all this from behind the scenes for heretofore unknown reasons. Also she's working on corrupting Tachibana for some unknown ends, and I'm again wary of where this might go. I haaaaaate mind control plots, chiefly because they functionally remove a character from the ongoing story in order to get them to act out-of-character without requiring any consequences when they're inevitably brought back to their senses by the power of friendship or whatever. It's a tired, insidiously lazy story device and I hope whatever the maid has planned, it's at least more involved than “brainwash Tachibana to be evil” just to have Jinguuji save him in the end.

But whatever my misgivings about the future plot, I can't stay mad at this show when it brings back its best character. That's right: god's favorite idiot has returned to bring light to our dark world. Schwartz von Lichtenstein Lohengramm has arrived fresh off a training arc with Lucious, and is ready to bumble his way to success like the dumb little golden retriever he is. I know I talked him up last episode, but I didn't realize how much I missed this bozo until he awkwardly dawdled into his audience with the king, only to immediately perk up upon seeing somebody he recognized like it's the first day of middle school.

And pretty much everything from there is just good, solid, smart comedy writing. We of course get some slapstick with Schwartz and Lucious (who he's adorably started calling “Master” after she took him under her wing), and there's even some clever callbacks in his confrontation with the rebels. It's already funny that his magic sword slices the clothes off everyone, but it's funnier when the writing remembers this is the Love Kingdom where church is a night club and the King's royal vestments are fit for a sauna – so of course everyone is totally jazzed to just run home naked like it's streaking night at a frat house. Then there's gags like Lucious being horrible at de-escelation and nearly getting her protege torn to shreds, and even a hint that Schwartz' magic is able to undo Tachibana's charm spell, which will doubtlessly come up later.

His true crowning moment comes after that, when Schwartz of all people is the only one to correctly diagnose Jinguuji's melancholy as jealousy. Of course, this overgrown tsundere in a suit is too proud/defensive to admit that, but our dim bulb of a boy finds the courage to give his friend the harsh truth. Jinguuji may not want to admit it, might not even recognize it, but he misses Tachibana and is desperately worried about him. Whether that's romantic or platonic, it's something he has to be honest about if he's ever going to bridge the gap that's formed between them, and with a sudden attack coming upon the castle, he'll have to do that sooner rather than later. And when he eventually has that revelation, he'll have the most gallant goofus ever born to thank for it.

Plot quibbles aside, this is just a strong return to form for Total Fantasy Knockout's character-driven humor. It's sharp, well-timed, and never slows down for too long, and keys into the strongest running jokes the series has set up. So long as that keeps up, I can deal with any half-baked serious moments.


Life with an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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