You know, when I talk about laying a lot of generic stories to rest because they are way past their prime, this is what I mean. Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest is one of those light novel series that you know just fit the stereotype they are presenting. If ‘terrible Isekai anime that is only there to be wish fulfillment with no thought put into it’ had an anime representation, it’d be this one. And I am glad to see that its run didn’t even end up lasting more than 5 years.
Yes, thankfully, Arifureta’s main novel series ended back in December 2021, with one final volume coming out in 2022. That would mean the entire series concludes at Volume 134 and, honestly, good riddance. However, I know that the anime adaptation for the series is pretty popular, and the 2nd season that aired this year was successful enough to warrant a 3rd season but come on. This anime is just not it for me.
I know what you’re thinking. Am I not being too much of a hater here? Like, even bad anime has its enjoyability factors. Sometimes Isekai just ends up being so wacky, that you watch them for the sheer absurdity and not for the actual plot. And I’d agree with you if Arifureta was actually worthy of that. However, all it is is your primary ‘generic main character gets Isekai’d into becoming the coolest hero ever’ story with no substance to make it an entertaining premise.
I mean, it tries going for the wild factor by making said protagonist off-the-walls insane, but even that doesn’t land as it should. But that’s just something I’ve been noticing about the genre in general lately. There isn’t much in Isekai that can surprise me now, and any attempt feels exceptionally insincere. This is why shows like Arifureta feel like they are just melting together in the background, only to be dropped after their hype dies down. So, since the light novel has ended, was there anything worth salvaging? Let’s discuss.
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Arifureta: From Commonplace To Being A Flop?
Again, I know I sound like I’m being too harsh but a recent anime like Arifureta having such an awful score on anime ranking sites kind of speaks for itself.
Aside from terrible visuals and a less-than-good soundtrack, Arifureta’s writing is just not it. It’s trying to build this narrative around protagonist, Hajime Nagumo, who was an otaku in his previous world and uses his skills to guide him and his classmates to safety into the new world they’ve been transported to.
And how, overtime, protecting his mates has made him ruthless and cold and, you know, usual edgy protagonist stuff. But it’s just so garbled and misconstrued, with no redeeming factors that you just sit there thinking why you even bothered watching? And, as I said, I’d excuse bad writing for a visually fun experience, but it even drops the ball there. The CGI is downright pitiful, and they try pushing it as much as they could, which doesn’t make for a good look overall.
Look, I’m sure there are people that enjoy it. But there is just something so awful about seeing how Isekai has burnt itself out in the process of churning the next best thing.
Why Anime Like Arifureta Get More Seasons, But No Accolades:
So, despite my harping about how bad this show is, it’s clearly garnered enough attention that the anime is still getting renewed for more seasons. Which makes you think, what’s the appeal here? Better premises have been dropped by animation houses before. So, what makes Arifureta a mainstay?
Well, what makes any Isekai popular? It’s wish fulfilment for a lot of people, especially when it comes to protagonists that they can superimpose themselves on. Which can be easily done with someone like Nagumo. It’s easy to slip into the fantasy of going from the class reject to their hero because you watched anime a lot. Though, it’s kind of sad that Isekai has gone down to this route of not being engaging enough for anything beyond.
And I’m not saying all Isekai anime is like Arifureta, because I happen to enjoy quite a few. Just that it’s not hard to see why the light novel didn’t continue for a longer period.