A big bombastic episode to ring in the fourth outing of My Isekai Life. I really enjoyed this one, and feel like it sets up the series for yet more interesting future events.
The big draw, of course, is the battle with the blue dragon. The dragon’s design is quite interesting, with the wings, separate arms, and the additional winged sides of its head evoking the more “spiky” fantasy designs of Yu-Gi-Oh! or perhaps certain Digimon forms. I mean that as a high compliment by the way, as I think it gives the dragon a more menacing appearance.
The fight is very good as well, with really engaging animation and a solid back and forth. Even Yuji’s considerable strength seems genuinely tested in the confrontation, and I really liked the sense that he was taking on a kaiju on the outskirts of town. The damage effects on the dragon’s eye and neck were excellent, providing a feeling of truly dire straits for both Yuji and the beast. All in all a good fight, if a short one.
There is also the addition of the Dryad character. I assumed we’d meet her at some point soon, but I like the callback to the first episode with the collection of flowers. Again, it’s a good way to show Yuji’s general concern and care for others. There’s a lot of specific but also not-quite-specific-enough technobabble about potion creation and the life cycle of dragons’ vital essence. It’s pretty standard stuff for any fantasy that involves monster slaying and crafting, but I think the idea that the dragon’s blood is just a tool is a good one, and the design of the clear saucer dish is great as far as fantasy containers go (odd to comment on, I know).
Lastly, we get a slight preview of possible future antagonists. Obviously the robed weirdos are part of some kind of growing threat Yuji will have to deal with, and he must have more work to do before he can go back.
My Isekai Life brings out the heavy hitters this week, with more likable Yuji content and excellent visual gags.
Again, Yuji surprises me as an isekai protagonist because he actually, you know, helps people. The power fantasy here seems to be “what if you had the power to do actual good for others?” and that is enough to keep me coming back week after week. Yuji is not only helping with the town’s firewood problem but also addressing the core magical issues causing the sudden snowfall in the first place.
All of the sequences involving chopping firewood are a real delight. The absolute best is the visual callback of Yuji taking out an entire swathe of forest with the cool-guy-strikes-a-blow-then-strikes-a-pose setup, detached logs twirling in the air. And the way he incorporates his slime and wolf friends into the mix is terrific too. I love the way they sort of eject piles of logs out of their mouths into the nicely stacked palettes for ease of use later.
And what can be said about the food reaction portions except, “bravo!” I love the completely over-the-top reaction faces to good food à la Yakitate!! Japan, Food Warsand God of Cookery (look if I can sneak a Stephen Show reference into a review, I’m doing it). I think the art style transitions help sell these moments as good comedy bits, but most important of all is that we get reaction faces out of the slimes and Proud Wolf too. Watching adorable mustachioed slimes sail through the heavens on delicious stalks of leafy celery is a unique image only this show can provide – and I for one am thankful.
Lastly, I also like the simple magical elementalism element. Many fantasy works will have “ambient magic” affect the surrounding environment – often times too much magic or too little magic will lead to unnatural or exaggerated forms of flora and fauna. My Isekai Life It portrays this as a much simpler binary instead – too much magic HOT, but too little magic COLD – but I think it works in the show’s favor. All a trope needs is a bit of a twist to give a world a sense of uniqueness, and it works great here.
My Isekai Life is currently streaming on HIDIVE.