Minami TanakaAyaka SuwaMai NakaharaYukari Tamura
I've Somehow Gotten Stronger When I Improved My Farm-Related Skills
Also known as: Noumin Kanren no Skill bakka Agetetara Nazeka Tsuyoku Natta.
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Director: Norihiko Nagahama
Writer: Touko Machida
Original creator: Shobonnu
Actor: Ayaka Suwa, Junya Enoki, Kenji Hamada, Mai Nakahara, Masahiro Itou, Minami Tanaka, Rumi Okubo, Yukari Tamura
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=25398
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 15 January 2024
noumin kanren
I enjoyed the first few episodes, but I lost interest when it descended into harem nonsense. Even at its best, the show's never great. It's mildly stupid, albeit with some interesting construction. (It's better than it looks at forward planning and paying off things you might have forgotten about.)
The show's core joke is that Al Wayne is his world's strongest superhero... but he just wants to be a farmer. Marry the princess? Live in a palace in the royal capital? No, he wants to GROW CABBAGES!
This is actually quite funny. I laughed. Al's a likeable chap and definitely an improvement on the standard overpowered isekai hero. (This isn't actually an isekai, but it runs on game logic with pop-up screens and people knowing each other's stat levels. So, in other words, it's bollocks.) If you must have a protagonist who could arm-wrestle all the legions of Hell, I thoroughly approve of at least making a joke out of this.
But then we have the girls...
1. I like Princess Fal-Ys Meigis, who sticks to Al like glue right from the start. She covers for his social ineptitude. She's helpful, she's cheerful and you couldn't ask for a better ally. I was cheering for her.
2. I also like Helen, who acquires comedy dragon transformation powers. She helps run the adventurers' guild, so she has a logical story role.
3. Ruri is where the show starts a bit eye-rolling. She's a perfectly nice girl and again has a clear identity (the official hero). Unfortunately, she sends the show into Harem Comedy mode, with the girls bickering and competing with each other. It's not overwhelming, mind you. It's only ever just a bit of business to the side of the main plot. Nonetheless, it makes the show a good deal more stupid and tiresome.
4. The childhood friend in ep.9. Her story is meant to be tragic, but she comes across as stupid because the episode doesn't establish that Al would have been in danger if she hadn't given him all her food. Result: she dies and the audience is going "you could have eaten it and Al would have been fine".
5. The underage girl in ep.10. I found her annoying, with her habit of making uncorroborated and untrue sexual accusations.
6. And let's not mention Al's "love love love" mother, who mildly terrifies him.
The episodes themselves can be a bit silly. The threat of "Marrying Mr Evil" in in the eps.7-8 two-parter falls flat because I didn't believe the marriage would have lasted five minutes to begin with. (He's a gloating evil bastard, yet he wants to marry Princess Fal-Ys? I admire his taste, but not his intelligence. She's got a spine and a strong moral sense, so I'd have bet money that within 24 hours she'd have either walked out on him or snapped him in half.)
The show's light and good-natured, with a likeable cast... but it's the kind of nonsense that's wobbling on the boundary of "enjoyable" and "tiresome". Some episodes go one way, while others go the other. The letter comedy in ep.7 is stupid. Al being frightened of orcs to the point of uselessness doesn't make sense, since he could crush them with his little finger. The vegetable names (cabbash, etc.) wound me up. Also, ep.12 is massively sequel-hunting, but I'm not expecting a second season since the show got very little fan attention as far as I can see.
I do, though, basically like this show. It's nowhere near the worst recent entry in the sub-genre of farming-related anime, e.g. Farming Life in Another World (which left me shaking my head in disbelief). When it's not being a little bit too stupid, this show's a laugh. Some of the jokes are quite good, I like the cast and I like the premise. I might even watch a second season if it happened (although I don't expect one). I still wouldn't recommend this to anyone else, though.