Spring 2019 Anime

The Most “Isekai” Isekai Anime Ever Made – ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ Episode 1 and 2 Review

The Most “Isekai” Isekai Anime Ever Made - An Anime QandA Review for 'Wise Man's Grandchild' Episode 1 and 2

wisemansgrand1n2

What’s the show? Wise Man’s Grandchild, Episode 1 and 2.

And what’s it about? It’s just about the most “isekai” isekai anime ever made. Take the ‘overworked salaryman living in Tokyo’ trope, add the ‘tragic death that leads to a reincarnation in another world’ trope, throw in a splash of ‘reincarnated protagonist has abilites far-exceeding the ~normal~ people of their new world’ and let’s not forget ‘new world is a typical fantasy world with monsters and magic’. And that’s just the basic premise–that doesn’t even begin to account for character tropes like ‘older protagonist is suddenly a young boy’, ‘protagonist has wizened mentor who was once an epic hero’, ‘protagonist meets attractive young girls by the end of the first episode’ and ‘protagonist is self aware, comments knowingly on his surroundings, etc’.

You say it like it’s a bad thing!

Sounds kind of derivative if I’m honest… you’d think so, but no this show’s actually pretty damn great!

Huh?! Yep, it’s got that trope too! But seriously, if we’re to talk about ‘isekai’ as a genre for a moment I’ve got to at least admit my stance on the genre–that being, I don’t understand why so many people have a problem with it. But then again I’m like that with most genres that are poarising within the anime community: ‘Moe’? Love it! ‘Harem’? Gimme. ‘Ecchi’? Can’t get enough. And likewise ‘Isekai’ falls favourably amongst those genres in my list of anime preferences. And while I was quick to call this “the most ‘Isekai’ Isekai anime ever made” I absolutely mean that as a compliment.

Two best girls for the price of one!

And how exactly? You have to justify that against examples, not just opinions? Okay fine. Our protagonist, Shin is a bit like Kazuma from ‘Konosuba’ except his sarcastic droll is used sparingly rather than being the defining character trait. Likewise he’s a champion of the downtrodden (as long as they are a cute girl) harking back to the likes of Subaru from ‘Re:Zero’. The fantasy world its set in evokes such recent fare as ‘Endro!’ and the magical school which serves as the base is reminiscent of ‘Little Witch Academia’ (and by extension Hogwarts from the ‘Harry Potter’ series. And of course there’s myriad comparisons both thematically and narratively to ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime’ not the least the idea of an overpowered protagonist who can ~almost~ do anything.

Time for school!

Okay, but how does “evoking” other series’ make it good? Isn’t it just lazy? It’s kind of hard to explain–it’s like it takes the best elements from each series it’s inspired by and distills them down to its core components then presents them in a way which is interesting and borderline parody to the audience.

Oh… so it’s a comedy? I don’t know if I’d go that far. I mean it’s funny, but for me a “parody” doesn’t necessarily mean to lampoon or ‘make fun of’ the subject in question–it’s equally paying reverence and respect to the subject matter in question. It’s still an isekai and is beholden to the rules of said genre.

Thank goodness for subtitles!

Right, and what’s something about the series that you think is unique? Well I can’t say to have seen all the isekai out there, so maybe this isn’t unique but a continuing thread throughout the two episodes is how Shin’s immense power is both a blessing and a curse. In that he is capable of miraculous magical feats the likes no-one in this world has ever seen, but at the same rate–should his powers be made known to the general public he would be seen as a threat to world peace. Wars would be waged in order to gain his allegiance, his advanced magical abilities would upset the balance of power the world over. Basically he’s a human atomic bomb and whoever has him is the new world power and no-one wants that…

Overpowered is an understatement!

Anything else to add? I could go on and on, there’s just so much to these first two episodes that it seems like a disservice to being anything but thorough but part of the fun in this show is just experiencing it.

Sounds like you’re about to wrap up then, final recommendation for ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ Episode 1 and 2? I almost didn’t watch this show–it wasn’t in my ‘Spring Watch List’ and the only thing that brought it to my attention was its stellar OP that made its way to Number 2 on my list of Best Spring 2019 Anime OP’s. But not only am I glad I watched this show, I think it stands (so far) as a testament to what can be done within the confines of the “familiar”. Yes, this is an ‘isekai’ and by most measures a fairly standard one–it doesn’t strive for ‘weird’ or ‘edgy’ or ‘ultra-violent’ or ‘overtly-ecchi’ it’s just an isekai done very well and by that same measure an isekai done ‘very isekai’–which should ~never~ be a negative thing to say!

Actual best girl. She has like 1 minute screen time but I want more of her please!

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9 comments on “The Most “Isekai” Isekai Anime Ever Made – ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ Episode 1 and 2 Review

  1. Fuck this show.

    Like

  2. There’s not really any rhyme nor reason to what people “hate” on any given day. Most of the time it’s just bandwagoneering over whatever it’s fashionable to hate… particularly if that thing it’s fashionable to hate is simply fashionable at the time.

    Sure, there are a lot of isekai anime around at the moment, but that’s because it’s a popular trope; people like it. And that doesn’t mean they’re automatically bad — there are plenty of interesting things you can do with the style, even if, as here, you remain relatively “conventional”. (Look at Death end re;Quest, which I covered recently; that’s technically isekai, but provided a really cool take on the genre thanks to the way it was combined with horror and mystery.)

    If people just learned to take things on their own merits rather than immediately jumping to cynicism, the world would be a much nicer place!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Agreed. Too many people hate for the sake of hating, it’s tiresome and stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Since stepping back from Twitter, I’ve seen a whole lot less of this. It’s been lovely. There’s still one Discord server I’m on where several of the people in attendance tend to get a bit negative, but certainly not to the degree of the “this is trash and you are trash if you like it” nonsense you get on Twitter.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I mean if people like this show, that’s great. I love Isekai Smartphone and many would think it’s just the same as this. My dislike comes from being six or seven isekai stories deep and seeing NOTHING here that makes it stand out. It feels factory made and like a glorified chimerical for the LHs

      Still, if people like it, I’m thrilled for them. I don’t series-shame, but this was where I got off the proverbial bus.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “I almost didn’t watch this show–it wasn’t in my ‘Spring Watch List’ ”

    Sounds like me! then I watched the first show. I found out that almost everything negative people said about the show was true. But I still liked it.

    I can’t defend myself! Not logically, anyway. But I enjoyed it. I like how all of his training was split between physical and magical fighting to the exclusion of everything else. I like how only one of the female characters has fallen for him.

    It’s not on the same level as Saga of Tanya the Evil. But I’m sticking with it for now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Around the Network | MoeGamer

  5. Man I wish I could pick up what people are digging about this piece.

    Like

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