|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Tsujo Kogeki ga Zentai Kogeki de Ni-kai Kogeki no Oka-san wa Suki desu ka?
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(All episodes watched):
'Oh my God--an Isekai series where a teen goes to a sword and sorcery world, and his mother accompanies him? That's original.' These thoughts occurred to me in the opening moments of episode one of Tsujo. The episode was a clever, perhaps even brilliant, parody of shows with similar premises. A guy finds himself in that ideal scenario where he can run wild, kill people he doesn't like, basically live out his most bizarre and sordid fantasies--and then learns that he'll have his mother watching what he does. And, as if that weren't a big enough let-down, it turns out that she's a more formidable warrior than he is. I found myself giggling and saying things to myself, like 'this is pretty good!' and 'this show is funny!'. Whoever wrote this--the 'original creator' is someone named Dachima Inaka--definitely knew what they were doing. Everything about this show seemed to be on a higher level than most isekai series. It makes fun of them in a wry way; the scene where the 'King' explains what's going on to Masato ("I shall give you an amazing first time player bonus to distract you before you ask more questions!") was hilarious. Before long I was laughing steadily, and I don't laugh easily. The sophistication of the plot and the jokes left me optimistic that Tsujo was going to be great fun. Even with it's odd premise, the jokes and story could easily have been lame, but instead they were clever, fluid, and made perfect sense without wasting time. I didn't look at the timer at some point to see how far this show had to go, as I often do with less entertaining ones. After watching episode one I was confident that this would almost certainly be the funniest show of the Summer 2019 season. To my relief, episode two was just as funny (or almost as funny) as episode one. The scene at the beginning where Mamako reviews the members Masato wants to be part of their adventuring party was hilarious. They end up recruiting Porter, a useful but timid noncombatant merchant, and Wise, a powerful magician with a fiery temper. They also learn why Mamako accompanied Masato into the game. Lines like "Let's all just pretend that never happened" speak bundles. One sure sign that I was enjoying it was that I thought it still had five or ten minutes to go when the ED sequence began.
I had gone into episode two with a feeling that this show seemed almost too good to be true, and it turned out that my anxiety was justified. There turned out to be a major disconnect between the quality of episodes one and two and of the series as a whole. Afterwards the quality goes rapidly downhill to the point where Tsujo wound up seeming more like an average series than a brilliant one. I almost wonder if a special team of highly paid experts wasn't hired to do episode one while less expensive and less talented people handled the rest of the series. Episode three didn't summon as many laughs from me as the focus was more on fanservice (a visit to an Onsen) and creating a conflict to be resolved than on jokes. Nothing really surprising happened, and comedy comes about when we are surprised that something we weren't expecting (but still makes sense) occurs. Episode four was OK but it was becoming clear that the bulk of the series doesn't seem to be nearly as much fun as episodes one and two. I still gladly watched it, but couldn't help thinking that this show could have been absolutely fantastic if it had managed to keep up the same pace. In episode five we meet the final member of the team, Mehdi, though her mother dominates the dialogue. The conflict with her domineering mother dragged on much longer than I would have liked, and the final resolution wasn't all that moving or clever. The show as a whole had lost a good deal of it's 'freshness', and seemed distinctly less frenetic and amusing than it once had. Nevertheless, I think Shirase, a game character who sort of acts as a guide for the players, is my favorite character. Her laconic attitude, and the bad luck that seems to plague her, amused me greatly. Things were a bit more fun in episode nine, once we have finally gotten beyond the conflict with Mehdi's mother. In the final arc we get back some of the wackiness which was so much fun early on. A new conflict, with a gang of players who have deserted their mothers, and their bizarre leader, is revealed. At the end everyone is still within the game and it is implied that not all of the problems that need to be solved have been. On another note, what happened to Porta's mother? She seems so nice that it's hard to imagine her being on bad terms with anyone (maybe that's exactly why there hasn't been any mention of her mother).
I guess there's the premise of a show, and there's the execution; that is, the basic concept behind the show, and what is done with it. It's a pity that Tsujo had a novel premise but wasn't able to expand on it more than it did. I still enjoyed it and don't regret watching, but I am left with the distinct impression that Tsujo represents a major missed opportunity.
Last updated Thursday, October 10 2019. Created Friday, August 02 2019.