Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town ?
Suppose the kids from the Last Dungeon Boonies show actually went to those last dungeon boonies? That's the angle behind LasDan's latest change in scenery this week, with most of the crew heading to Lloyd's hometown of Kunlun so...Alka can fix Vritra? Or something like that; the barely-communicated motivating plot here continues off of what we learned last week, with most of it relegated to cryptic explanations at the very end of this episode. There's foreshadowing of how the once-dragon-now-belt's past incarnation might catch up with the villainous conspiracies also being built up for a presumable season finale, but it's extremely back-burner stuff at the moment. Instead, the focus this week is on showing us life in Lloyd's hometown, and as usual for LasDan, absolutely running one decent joke into the ground.
My main issue with the overall concept of this episode is that Lloyd's gimmick, the central mechanic powering the show, worked simply off of basic knowledge of RPG power economics. This guy hails from the most over-leveled section of the world map, so he's naturally way stronger than all the cadets beginning at the starter-town academy. Moving the focus to that overpowered origin point is a needless retreading of what was already effectively communicated by the show's title alone. And Lloyd's bit has already been wearing thin, so ballooning it to a whole town of people performing his gag comes off like a particularly ill-advised doubling-down. It relies solely on the energy of the various superpowered sight-gags to carry the humor, and the show's production value is just barely up to that task at this stage in its airing. There are some effective escalations, like the reveal of casual cannon-blasting travel. But even that one is like the third stage of an ongoing bit about a massive mountain-side target that gets brought back for an encore with Lloyd himself by the end of the episode.
So then the reactions of the characters have to be the other half helping the humor along, and they at least make an effort to be more specific to the people we've come to know over the series instead of standardized wild-takes to Lloyd's brand of super-strength. There's a decently amusing offhand reveal that the influential martial-arts style Phyllo ascribes to is actually just an everyday aerobics routine in this part of the world. And there's the demonstration that final-level monsters apparently make for delicious eating by the locals powerful enough to catch and cook them (Alka just popping the screaming pepper into her mouth provides the sole laugh-out-loud moment of the episode for me). The real star of these interactions turns out to be Riho, who's mostly striving for material gain out of the resources naturally available in this area meant for final-battle adventurers, but impresses the locals with her pure moxy. She even sets up the one extremely-nicely animated gag at the very end, turning what I thought was going to be just an awkward fanservice bit into an absurd flourish of sudden violence from Phyllo. That is that aforementioned mountain-target repeat from Lloyd, but it still turns out funny enough.
When it's not going back to its same well of jokes, LasDan also spends time this episode revisiting some earlier character and conceptual elements. Most notable is the return of Merthophan, who's taken well to his agriculturally-focused exile, even as it leads to a string of toilet humor that goes on just a bit too long. It's a decent little full-circle to come around on from the first arc of the series, but Merthophan being here to exposit on potential motivations for the current villain by the end just reminds me of how much it feels like the show lost the plot for this specific episode. Returning characters like Merthophan or new ones like Alka's dwarven drinking buddy Eug just kind of skirt around existing until the end of the episode, making all the use of The One Joke with the super-powerful villagers feel like naught but filler. If we came all this way to Kunlun to advance the plot, then it's disappointing that they haven't gotten to that yet, and if we were here just to try and increase the humor quotient, it hasn't really pulled that off either. There were a few bits I appreciated, but I don't know if they made it worth spending a whole episode on this so far.
Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.
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