Takehito KoyasuJun FukuyamaAoi YukiKenichi Suzumura
Uncle from Another World
Also known as: Isekai Ojisan
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Director: Shigeki Kawai
Writer: Kenta Ihara
Original creator: Hotondoshindeiru
Actor: Aki Toyosaki, Aoi Yuki, Haruka Tomatsu, Hisako Kanemoto, Jun Fukuyama, Kenichi Suzumura, Mikako Komatsu, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Takehito Koyasu
Keywords: anime, fantasy, favourite
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24466
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 16 February 2024
Isekai Ojisan
Instead of an isekai, it's a reverse-isekai. Some old geezer spent 17 years in a coma, in which he was really a magical adventurer in a fantasy world. Did a harem of female adventurers like him a lot? You betcha. But now he's woken up again... and it turns out that Uncle is hopeless in both worlds.
This is one of the funniest anime of the year.
Uncle's problem is that he loves Sega Saturn (a game system that's no longer in production). He played monster-bashing adventure games (hence his success as an adventurer), but never went near role-playing or romance games (hence his cluelessness). He's blind to every genre flag in the book. A tsundere elf fell in love with him, but he's never heard of "tsundere" and he thinks she hated him. He's equally pathetic with Mabel (ice queen and lazy self-serving slob) and Alicia (airhead who gets appointed to the post of national hero despite being barely competent and a beginner).
Then, back in the real world, he filters everything through his Sega obsession and supports himself by becoming a YouTuber. His fans think his magic powers are CGI. Little do they know.
You could almost call the real-world scenes a framing sequence... but they're just as important as the replays of Uncle's isekai adventures. Uncle lives with his nephew Takafumi and they're soon joined by Takafumi's childhood friend, Fujimiya. The two youngsters love watching Uncle's isekai exploits, but are regularly aghast at how genre-blind Uncle is.
The jokes on their own would make this series a keeper. Uncle's story would have been tragic if it weren't also hilarious. He looked fifty years old when he was a teenager and everyone in the isekai world looks drop-dead gorgeous (or so we're told, since they all just look like anime characters), so he's treated as an orc and sometimes hunted. Terrible things happen to him... and it's brilliant. No, it is. Trust me. The show loves setting up genre cliches and then pushing them under a bus.
What improves the show beyond that is its characterisation. Uncle's female isekai admirers all have serious character flaws and are their own worst enemies. Tsundere Elf can be dangerous if you get her jealous. Mabel is appalling. Even the thoroughly nice Fujimiya was a troll-like thug as a child. Takafumi is a nice guy, but occasionally he becomes a scary-jealous creep when it comes to Fujimiya and he'd abuse magic if he got the chance. If you think about it, most people would behave like Takafumi... and that puts Uncle's selflessness in a new light. Yes, he's a forehead-slapping loon. But he's also a really nice guy, underneath the lack of social skills and blindness to what's under his nose.
He does, though, need to stop that memory-erasing. Alicia gets upset about it and really cares in ep.11.
The show had COVID-related delays, but never mind. It's great. It's far more relatable and human than you'd expect from its premise. It's not cruel, despite what you might assume from a one-line description. I need a second season.