A First Impression: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!/Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life? Episode 1

Sorry for such a wait on the First Impressions on Moeronpan this season. There’s been a bunch of coincidences that have prevented all three of the reviewers from working on them again. I’ll do the shows I was assigned (they all aired on the 7th or later, since I’ve been away), and we’ll figure out what’s happening for the shows that already aired later on.

Well, at least it’s not your typical Protagonist Factory protagonist this time.

A magic user named Mile has just arrived in the capital city of the kingdom of Til’s in order to start at an academy for ‘Hunters’. Before the school starts, she decides to explore her new surroundings – engaging in some sight-seeing, checking out the markets and meeting some new people. Recently, there has been cases of missing children in the city and with the help of these people she meets – Mavis the lady knight and two other magic users, Reina and Pauline – searches for them when the child at the inn she is staying at also goes missing.
The truth about Mile though is that Mile is fake name and her attempt at a brand new identity, because she’s really Adele von Ascham, a noble from the kingdom of Brandel – which she has left behind to start anew after something went wrong. But she’s also the reincarnation of a Japanese high school girl named Misato, yet another poor soul who got hit by a truck and reborn in another world. In life, Misato’s natural abilities and intelligence were so high that while she was a the top of everything, it made her unapproachable and thus she had no friends. When she originally awakened in an alternate dimension after her death she was told by ‘a god-like person’ that she would be reborn, and so she begged him to make her average – whatever the average for this world might be.

The problem is that when she made that wish she didn’t realise that it was a) a magical world and that b) the most powerful creatures that exist in this world are dragons, and thus being the ‘average’ in terms of magic abilities across the whole world means that she’s still 6800 times stronger than an average human. Despite how much she wants to be ordinary and unremarkable, in this life too it just may not be possible.

She really looks more like a magical girl than an Isekai proag, but considering the average Isekai protag design has all the charm of a soggy piece of bread I’m not complaining.

Obviously there are a billion isekai anime, so its only natural there are now a whole load of isekai parody anime, and we have multiple ones in this season alone. Like any other parody, an isekai parody still runs the risk of falling into tropes of the exact thing its parodying. Luckily, Heikinchi does avoid a good deal of this by having a female protagonist, and its remarkable how much more pleasant a protagonist is to follow when they don’t feel like a blatant reader (and even author) self-insert as the typical male protags often do. Mile is cute and her design is appealing, and the central gimmick of ‘well, technically her abilities are some kind of average for this world’ is, admittedly, pretty funny.

As for why its such a terrible thing to her, though, it’s clearly got something to do with why she left Brandel for a new life. According to readers of the original light novel, the anime (and apparently the manga as well) has skipped right over what this incident actually was, which should have been at the beginning. It’s an odd choice and it makes it a little hard to understand her motivation for essentially going into hiding. (Although, from the cues in this episode, I can guess she probably blew something up.) A lot of what is going on is kind of awkwardly explained via voice over, and it makes the episode feel a little clunky overall, and no one actually explains at any point what a ‘Hunter’ actually is.

The central kidnapping plot is also pretty uninteresting, the twist being that another ‘Hunter’ wanted a harem of cute young girls. Since this Hunter is an older woman, it’s probably meant to be funny, but meanwhile I’m just puzzled why there’s been so many older women who are blatant lolicons in anime recently. Another trope I’m tired of, to a much larger extent, is girls getting upset about their breast sizes being commented on – and since Mile has such a childish appearance (…I still have no idea how old she’s meant to be other than the fact that she’s apparently much older than she looks) this happens frequently. This, as well as some of the other attempts at humour, also feel somewhat flat, especially Mile’s habit of constantly pointing out tropes or cliched lines when she sees them. (It’s sometimes amusing, but often just seems forced). It’s not well explained in this episode, but for some reason she gained all her memories of her past life as Misato after she turned 10 years old in this world, and that includes knowing what a tsundere is.

The characters may have potential, but it’s too early to really say. The most interesting is the lady knight Mavis, although her discomfort at having her gender called into question seems like it could get pretty grating. Pauline, who seems like the typical soft spoken, big-boobed archetype, and Reina the tsundere witch seem less interesting, but I did find myself feeling sorry for Mile and hoping they could all be friends. Compared to her, though, their designs seem somewhat lacking.  They’re also mostly not animated very well, although the animation in general is a little on the cheap-looking side. The CGI magical effects in particular look extremely lame, and the battles in this episode were pretty poorly done.

Ironically, all things considered it’s not a terrible show, it’s just…average. Mile may at least be able to take comfort in the fact.

this cat thing has the voice of a man and it unnerves me.


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