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Suicide Squad ISEKAI
Episodes 1-4

by MrAJCosplay,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Suicide Squad ISEKAI ?
Community score: 3.7

How would you rate episode 2 of
Suicide Squad ISEKAI ?
Community score: 3.9

How would you rate episode 3 of
Suicide Squad ISEKAI ?
Community score: 3.8

How would you rate episode 4 of
Suicide Squad ISEKAI ?
Community score: 3.8


Here, we have an anime based on a Western comic property revolving around a story marketed as an "anime plot." I know the idea of being transported to another world isn't something that was invented or exclusive to Japanese animation, but the fact that I am watching a Suicide Squad story where they casually throw around the word "isekai" is a perfect summation of exactly what we are getting ourselves into. Is Suicide Squad ISEKAI self-indulgent? Yes. Is it incredibly self-aware? Oh yeah. Is it over the top in every single sense of the word? You bet. Does that make it unenjoyable or uninteresting? Absolutely not. If anything, I was astonished at how many ideas I didn't like initially, only to be won over by most of them by the end of episode four.

Some characters are pretty straightforward adaptations of their comic book counterparts. Harley is still crazy, with moments of lucidity that keep the audience guessing how far gone she is. Deadshot is the gun-toting smartass with an attitude, and Peacekeeper is still dangerously unilateral in his thought process about what it means to fight for liberty. Oh, and King Shark is adorable. Some designs, like Harley's, looked good immediately, while others, like Katana, felt like they lost something during the styling process. Seeing everyone in motion helps justify most of the designs, and the action set pieces are amazing.

Clayface was the highest hurdle, especially since the show wanted to keep him in his human form for as long as possible, and that overshadowed the tragedy of the character. But the way the show uses him as a fourth-wall-breaking character that plays along with the show's tropes was pretty inspiring and led to some of the best gags in the show so far. This is not a series we're supposed to take seriously. Even dramatic moments like the princess's backstory are undercut by the show's bombastic attitude. Narratively, everything is pretty simple, and in any other show, it would be boring. But the tropes are being played so straight and in such a "boring" way that it makes this all work out.

In the comics, the Suicide Squad is supposed to be a team of wild cards. Almost every comic I've read has the same narrative pattern where a simple mission goes off the rails. In this case, not only are things not going according to plan for the team, but things aren't going according to plan for this fantasy world either. Everything that the guards, prisoners, and even the royalty expect to happen or hope for is flipped on its head.

The show maintains this fun narrative throughline, and episode four ends with an ominous shot of the queen confronted with yet another twist. These early episodes have a rhythm; the audience dances along with the characters during action scenes in one big, continuous performance. However, someone attempts to pull the strings behind the curtain. The question is, will the series continue to poke fun at the conventions it's borrowing from, or will we reach a point where it eventually settles into the exact type of story it's making fun of?

Suicide Squad ISEKAI is currently streaming on Hulu and Max.

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