Uncle from Another World Volumes 1 and 2 Review

Takafumi’s uncle has been in a 17 year coma since he was hit by a truck at just 17 years old, a very long time indeed. Then one day out of the blue, his uncle wakes up, starts blabbering gibberish and then switches to Japanese exclaiming that he’s made it back from the world of Granbahamal! Takafumi doesn’t buy it at first, isekai really, but after his uncle quickly figures out how to make his old magic work in Japan, well, Takafumi is sure they can make something (money) work out from that!

But his uncle has worse social skills than a NEET and gets fixed on the weirdest things, like the outcome of the 1990s console wars?!

From the covers I thought Uncle from Another World would be a situation more like Welcome to Japan, Ms Elf! where Takafumi’s uncle wasn’t the only person isekai’d back to Earth but no, Hotondoshindeiru simply knows that their audience is far more interested in a story with a cute girl on the cover than any of the two actual male leads (Takafumi looks pretty average but his uncle is regularly described in-universe as looking like an orc). It’s not as if these characters never appear at all, there’s magic to broadcast uncle’s memories and let anyone else view them, but since they aren’t present in the present day it certainly feels a bit like false advertising all the same.

Uncle from Another World Volume Two cover

My biggest issue with this story is how if the story finds something funny to joke about (and realizes it), it will use that same set-up over and over and over again. Reoccurring gags include “using magic for mundane things” (the memory movies fall into this category), “uncle doesn’t realize that multiple tsunderes love him since tsunderes weren’t invented until after he got hit” (there is in fact an editorial note on this timeline), and “oh boy was Sega [S●ga] the greatest thing to ever grace Earth or what???” There were definitely some times when these gags got me to laugh and a few others that were varied enough that I didn’t mind them at all (just about anything related to uncle’s new youtuber career always got a laugh out of me) but I definitely felt like the creator wasn’t quite as clever as they thought themselves to be.

To be honest, I found this series exhausting in a few different ways, not just from the kinds of jokes but the density that needed more breathing room. I wonder if I would find it less tiring if I was watching the anime one episode at a time instead of reading one volume of manga in 30 minutes, but depending on how Netflix ends up releasing the show there may also be a group of equally exhausted anime binge-watchers. It wasn’t simply the reoccurring gags that left me a bit tired but even some of the more one-off “jokes” had this effect on me as well. Like, I understood the point of the “overly realistic art style” in order to make certain gags (about character’s appearances) land but I disliked the art style enough to find it repelling me away from the comic more than it did keep me moving onto the next page and the next gags.

I definitely think that your enjoyment of this series is going to partially depend on just how much you liked Sega consoles (I cannot over-emphasize how often this comes up) and how much you can stand the “guy who has absolutely no idea he’s building a harem and for no real reason” trope. As mentioned earlier, I certainly laughed multiple times across both these volumes and got a real kick out of the youtuber bits, more than I did in what I read of VTuber Legend: How I Went Viral after Forgetting to Turn Off My Streambut I suspect that the audience for this series is rather niche and with as little advertising as Netflix tends to do for their anime, I fear it won’t be able to find an audience at all.

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