|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Benriya Saitou-san, Isekai ni Iku
(Rent+ or Buy-)|
(All episodes watched):
At first glance, this show didn't seem to promise much. Episode one was amusing at first but with time I began to look at the clock. It seemed that this show would consist of numerous little skits but I wasn't sure if it would be quite funny enough to work without an ongoing plot of some sort. It is sort of funny, however. Sometimes the skits made me laugh and sometimes I didn't get them at all. When I watched episode two I found that it was funny enough that I kept watching for a good while even though my original plan had been to just watch the first five minutes or so then go to bed. Some of the skits have nothing to do with Saitou and his team. In episode one Saitou feels as if he is just holding his fellow adventurers back (he has a very modest skill rating), but they reassure him that they consider him a genuine comrade and will not abandon him. This theme continues throughout the series. There also seems to be a trend, at least through the first two episodes, that after some lightweight jokes things get serious and deadly, and the episode ends on a touching note once the crisis has passed. What happens seems fairly plausible rather than making me roll my eyes, as isekai series often do. My impression came to be that some honest effort had been put into writing and making this show, it had a longterm plot after all, and it was worth watching. Even the bad guys have more depth to them than in most isekai series, like the assassin who has made some unlikely friends and is fighting to protect a witch. Episode six was surprisingly powerful and moving, as we delve into Morlock's tragic past (but how did a large party manage to avoid a single person getting hit amid a barrage of laser-like attacks?). In a series marked by numerous shows that looked good at first but turned out to be disappointing, this show is unusual in that it was much better than I had originally expected. I had figured there would be little more than some jokes about how a modern day handyman could make himself useful in this world, but in fact it went far beyond that. For instance, objects from modern Japan are found in a dungeon, and there is clearly some sort of explanation building. If this show had relied on just jokes it would have been about as modest as I had originally expected, but it doesn't. It could be better, however; things are a little too convenient in that the villain is rehabilitated (turns out he didn't really kill anyone we know) and again nobody gets hurt in the big dungeon fight. The bad guy offers to sacrifice his life to save someone else, but I just knew that in the end neither would perish. Still, this show has a definite touch of tragedy and can be moving at times. Romance slowly builds between Saitou and Raelza. We get a shocker at the end of episode eight; a major character dies unexpectedly, except that in a world where magic exists nobody is ever quite dead. Restoring this person requires the search for an embarrassing object. I am continually surprised at the deftness with which this show interweaves numerous subplots into one big one. They are both funny and make sense, while most shows would be lucky if they could have just one of those attributes. The ending was touching and I was sorry to say goodbye to these silly but deep characters. A lot of work and talent was obviously invested in this show. In the end, I would say Benriya was my second favorite anime of the Winter 2023 season.
Last updated Monday, April 10 2023. Created Tuesday, January 17 2023.