Rie KugimiyaKaito IshikawaJunichi SuwabeKent Ito
Life with an Ordinary Guy who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout
Also known as: Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Director: Sayaka Yamai
Writer: Toshimitsu Takeuchi
Original creator: Shin Ikezawa, Yu Tsurusaki
Actor: Amane Shindo, Eri Kitamura, Hikaru Tohno, Junichi Suwabe, Kaito Ishikawa, Kent Ito, M.A.O, Rie Kugimiya, Satoshi Hino, Yu Serizawa, Yui Makino, Yukiyo Fujii
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24376
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 27 November 2023
Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to
This one's good fun. I'd recommend it.
It's an isekai love comedy between two lifelong male best friends, thanks to the twist that one of them's been magically transformed into a smoking hot girl. They refuse to do the obvious. This doesn't appear to have anything to do with gay/straight issues, since you could have questioned their orientation even before this. (Jinguuji's never been romantically involved with anyone, despite being regularly chased by girls, and he's spent almost his entire life hanging out with Tachibana. At one point he flat-out states that he's not interested in women.)
No, what they both hate is the idea of getting railroaded by magical gender-bending into getting romantically involved with their best friend. Their bickering is hilarious (albeit a bit over the top in ep.1), because they're lifelong friends who'll cheerfully say anything they like to each other, no matter how rude, shameless or half-witted. Tachibana isn't really that fussed by what body he/she/whatever might be inhabiting, but she objects to being useless at everything except just being beautiful. (You could either call it a superpower or a curse. Tachibana can make men fall in love with her and want to elope with her immediately and have lots of children. This power came from the extremely dodgy goddess who summoned them here and is deeply and rightly mistrusted by our heroes. It's traditional for isekai heroes to die in our world and get reborn in the next... but this goddess couldn't be bothered with that and instead saved time by simply killing Jinguuji and Tachibana.)
1. JINGUUJI TSUKASA. Tall, handsome and a clever idiot. He's outstanding in almost all respects (looks, brains, physical fitness, etc.), but he lacks social skills and is basically a humourless dork who's in comedy denial about himself. His common sense goes out of the window when Tachibana's concerned. He also lacks filters on what he'll say to people's faces, even kings and goddesses. That said, though, he can do almost anything, is super-reliable and would walk on broken glass if Tachibana asked him to.
2. TACHIBANA HINATA. He used to be the boring, lazy, ordinary one who could never get a girl because they were all only interested in his best friend (Jinguuji). Academically he was rubbish. He's unlucky, he overreacts and he has no useful skills. (He's also willing to exploit his new girliness and sometimes gets clobbered by Jinguuji for overdoing it.) That said, though, he's open, friendly and fun to be with. Jinguuji's always been secretly jealous of him, because the easy-going Tachibana has all those social skills Jinguuji doesn't.
This is funny. I love them. They're endlessly entertaining. They can confront a giant doomsday machine robot and turn this into a love comedy scene about Tachibana wanting Jinguuji to praise him. I've got the anime playing in the background right now and I was laughing aloud at our heroes just being themselves.
The supporting cast also includes memorable comedy characters. Telolilo Lilili Lu is so narcissistic that she'll start arguing with her captors if they choose another girl for human sacrifice instead of her. Schwartz von Liechtenstein Lohengramm (called "idiot Kirito" by fans) is a hero with a cool black outfit and an insanely powerful sword who's also been summoned to this world by a goddess... but he's also a chuunibyou dork whose main priority is looking cool. The goddesses themselves are bimbos, loafers and extremely funny, especially when their worshippers start having to "translate" their airheaded pronouncements.
The anime's visuals are so bog-standard that it's a problem. It's essential for the plot that characters like Tachibana, Princess Ygraine, the Goddess of Love and Beauty and pretty much all her worshippers are beautiful, often to the point of mesmerising armies... but the art style just makes them generic anime girls. It's impossible to guess who's meant to be more attractive than who. Furthermore, the anime's mildly censored the original manga. The Goddess of Love and Beauty is always naked, but the anime hides this with iridescent special effect skin. She looks like a woman-shaped door to another dimension. (It thus feels puzzling that they've kept the manga's dialogue references to her exhibitionism.) Similarly, Telolilo Lilili Lu wears a thong in the manga, but a more modest miniskirt in the anime. None of all that actually matters, though, and I don't really care about any of it.
I want another season of this show. (Or perhaps I could buy the manga.) Tachibana and Jinguuji are interesting characters, with a rock-solid, likeable relationship because they're such firm friends... but they're both idiots when it comes to each other's attractiveness. You could keep writing this duo for years. Being well into their thirties also makes them more sensible and down-to-earth than most teenage anime heroes. When the local lord makes a job offer in ep.6, for instance, they discuss it more intelligently and thoughtfully than you'd expect. I also love Telolilo Lilili Lu (although she's terrible) and I enjoy the show's subversive portrayal of religion and deities.
Ultimately, though, I'm just a big softy when it comes to romances. Tachibana and Jinguuji will obviously get together. It's just a question of when and how... and finding that out is why I want more episodes of this show.