Yeah Im not introing this. In like a year this show wont need it. There is so much wrong with Arifureta that its impossible to tear through the show episode by episode and I cant really break it down into animation music characters etc because the flaws of each area bleed together and become difficult to separate. Ive shied away from doing Plinkettstyle reviews because imitating Plinkett reviews is what hacks do but I dont have much of a choice here. Buckle up this is gonna be a long one. 1: Continuity Pacing and Editing Continuity. The establishing of events characters and setting in a narrative. It is arguably the most important part of a story as without it...literally nothing would make sense and no one in the audience would even be able to understand what is happening. Establishing shots tell you where events are happening before scenes in that location start. Character introductions are done to familiarize yourself with a character before they become a part of the story. And from scene to scene things like where characters are located what clothes theyre wearing their visible injuries the way they look needs to stay consist to establish a stable and believable continuity for the audience to latch onto. Without this it is impossible to tell where scenes take place who is and isnt in a scene and who isnt and scenes can fall into confusing nonsense when a proper continuity is not established. And good lord Arifureta has a massive problem with continuity. The first 7 episodes are so chock full of this shit that were gonna have to go episode by episode to properly show how confusing and messy it is. The first episode is told in reverse like Memento but not deliberately. Its told backwards because they wanted to start with an action scene even if it meant the rest of the episode would be a confusing mess. After the first scene we start with the main character Hajime with a puddle underneath him in the cavern. Then when they do a wide shot of the cavern you dont see any puddles. But then he goes down a tunnel into another part of the cavern and you dont see any puddles in the wide shots. Hajime wakes up after eating the meat and hes laying down with his face in a puddle. It does look like theres some holy water in the background of the shot right after he eats the meat but no puddles. Right before he passes out we do the see the puddle in front of him. So Im to assume he just happened to fall into the only holy water puddle in that section of the cavern. This is whats SHOWN to the viewer. Heres what HAPPENED based on rewatching this scene 6 times: Cavern with tunnel visible Hajime first drinks from the first puddle which is in an upper portion of the cavern. We dont see him move after drinking from it so I have to assume its right next to that cave he himself dug. He then goes down into the tunnel he dug and the monsters chase him. He then he kills them and eats them and passes out in this second area and wakes up with his face in a different puddle. This is all taking place in the same cavern even though we see Hajime go into a different cavern and travel downwards. This cut is misleading. He is still in the same cavern after traveling downwards through a tunnel. Through the first 7 episodes this is the general level of storytelling and conveyance prowess Arifureta has to offer so buckle up. The same cavern despite traveling through a tunnel Episode 2 starts off with current events then it flashforwards to some sort of briefing over what happened. After that they start backtracking via flashbacks to the events of the attack on the traum I wrote this in my notes and I dont know what it means soldiers. They show half the fight that was used as a flashback in the last episode again. Then were in the scene where Shizuku is checking on Kaori in bed who I guess is injured. I am unsure if this is happening now or if this is flashback. Then they do a mega super flashback to before the events of the first episode but before Pope Ishtar can explain anything someone starts doing a voiceover to explain some aspects of the universe. Then they exit the voiceover to go back to the scene with Pope Ishtar. You notice how some of these events Im describing sound uncertain? Well this is after rewinding the episodes multiple times. The reason it sounds uncertain is because the show doesnt give me enough information to be sure not for lack of investigation. There is no logical progression of scenes and the way they are edited. Every episode feels like a giant jigsaw puzzle that the packaging company threw together while they were drunk. Half the pieces are reused in places they shouldnt be none of the pieces that are placed next to each other have the right connecting pieces to fit together and some pieces feel like they might be from a different puzzle altogether. But the editor drunk as shit at 4 am hammered them into place anyways. Arifuretas editor putting in the extra effort to make Arifureta great After that theres some shit about humans demons and beastmen thats placed in the middle of a random flashback for some reason. Then after that scene were back to maybe current events with Shizuku doing sword stuff in a courtyard area. Then a flashback to events that appear to be before the mega flashback from earlier which then proceeds to the events from the attack on Traum soldiers and back to Shizuku in the courtyard. That last one all happened in 20 seconds. Then back to the cavern with Hajime. Feel confused yet? Imagine what watching the show feels like. Finally at the end of the fight between Hajime and the cyclops giant thing we get an establishing shot transition that implies that what is happening with the MC and Shizuku in the castle courtyard/Kaoris room are happening concurrently. Good job showrunners it only took an episode and a half to establish that Okay episode 5. We start with the dungeon boss. Then they cut from the dungeon boss to a different building. I have no idea where this is. They dont show the outside of the building. Theyre just in it. Initially I assumed they got out of the labyrinth somehow but then they cut to them in the spa again. So they never left? We never find out where that room is actually located. As a warning episode 6 is the point where the pacing fucking dies. An entire story arc is crammed into half an episode. This is the most confusing episode and will be the hardest to describe. Youve been warned. Episode 6 starts and we are once again immediately thrust into a location we as an audience have never seen before. The geographical schizophrenia of this show is the bane of continuitys existence. After a quick fight scene they do a montage. You might think this is just a montage of certain uneventful battles but youd be wrong. This montage is the show skipping over the entire sequence where they travel to the Sea of Trees. An entire story arc is crammed into a single montage which results in skipping all of the character development world building and anything that might make the audience care about this arc. By the way the only reason I know this is because it was implied they had finished their journey and I assumed the forest they reached was the Sea of Trees. Im grasping at context clues to determine whats actually happening which is a clearcut sign of awful conveyance. Oh I guess were here Oh and the bunny girl character Shea instantly falls in love with the MC despite being onscreen together for less than 2 minutes. Now in the novel/manga its likely there was a lot of character development that occurred between the 2 during their journey to the Sea of Trees. Problem is like I said earlier the anime skips over ALL OF IT. Episode 7 starts off at the entrance of a cave before proceeding to the opening credits. From here we are instantly transported to somewhere else in the cave as they skipped the scenes where they figure out how to get to Shea. They just appear there. Then right after that they transition to a building. I have no idea where this building is what it looks like from the outside how they got to it or even why theyre in it That is literally the what where why and how of storytelling that the show fails to clearly establish. The only thing Arifureta gets right from scene to scene is continuing to use the correct names for characters. That is literally it The mystery building complete with horrible cg boulder traps Then after that scene they arrive back at a room they claim looks familiar which...does it? Apparently this was the first room they appeared in which is news to me I have no idea how they got into that room from the cave entrance but apparently it didnt require them to enter any more rooms than the one theyre currently in Has it clicked yet? This show tells the viewer nothing and expects the viewer to desperately attempt to piece together its fragmented continuity and plot progression. Then were taken to what apparently is the castle the students are in. If you had forgotten about Hajimes classmates dont worry the show did too. Theres a red haired guy Im almost certain I have never seen before talking about a character that either has barely been on screen or we as an audience have not been introduced to yet and I have no idea who these people are or why this conversation matters enough to randomly cut to it. I know theyre his classmates but why are we here? They havent been relevant in ages if my assumptions about how far into the manga/novel we are is correct. Then back to the labyrinth with the main characters. Hajime says something about this being the lair of Miledi which...who???? Who is Miledi? Is it a boy or girl? Were they a king/queen? Why would it be in a random labyrinth and why would he instantly recognize it when there has been nothing to establish who this Miledi is before now. Seriously how does he know that thats the lair of Miledi? I think it may have been the name that was mentioned once at the start of the episode offhand by the computer thing? But given how batshit confusing the rest of the episode is there was no chance I was going to remember such a small detail. Like the episode before they skip over all the fights and conflict that I assume was in the novel/mangas arc so we basically saw none of what would make exploring a labyrinth interesting. We see them go in appear in a room appear in another room for a terrible cgi fight then they teleport back to the first room and then they teleport to Miledis lair. So in what I assume was originally a large expansive underground labyrinth we only get to see the entrance a cavern the inside of a building but not the outside and a throne room. Its also likely that in the original novel/manga Miledi was built up over the course of their exploration of the labyrinth. But they skip over all that. Fuck this show. Nothing is built up because the show skips over entire story arcs in the course of one episode and I cant get invested in the fantasy locations they explore because 1 we never see them exploring them and 2 WE NEVER GET TO FUCKING SEE MUCH OF THE LOCATIONS. And if you dont think establishing shots are that important Id like to present the opening of one of the greatest horror movies of all time The Shining. The Shinings opening sequence is literally just Jack driving his family to the infamous Overlook Hotel. But why this sequence is so great is that it serves multiple purposes. One it builds tension. All were being show is a bunch of pans and establishing shots and its a good 3 minutes of these shots and nothing else. The music doesnt help in this regard but it fits the scenery. Two and most importantly it establishes the isolation of the Hotel visually. We see how far Jack travels to get to this hotel from the lowlaying forests and hills to the top of snowblanketed mountains. So instantly as an audience you know that this place is way the fuck off the map and if something terrible happens there no one is coming to help for quite a while. All this done with establishing shots. We dont learn anything about the locations theyre at from wides or establishing shots. And that lack of context serves to constantly confuse the viewer and is a missed opportunity for potential worldbuilding something that show desperately needs. Episode 8 starts off with a detour where our protagonists go to eat rice or something. Why is this the thing that gets full attention? Also the establishing shots in this first part are awful. The citizens are only moving in one of the shots and the water near the mill isnt moving so were basically being shown a slideshow. None of these people are actually moving It is episode 8 that the main problem with the show changes. For the first 7 it was horrendous pacing and horribly confusing continuity. From here on out though its 2: Visuals Visual Effects Character Designs Animation Art Design Art Direction A lot can be said about how awful Arifuretas visuals are but the sheer number of things wrong with the art and animation is honestly kind of impressive. This show does things wrong with its visuals I didnt even think it was possible to get wrong. At some point in episode 8 we get the scene where Hajime attempts to tell the backstory of some war which is accompanied by crappy drawings that appear to be drawn by a 7th grader with colored pencils. Also in tow are some of the dumbest zooms and pans Ive ever seen. I dont think Ive ever seen a show so incompetent that they do zoomins and zoomouts on a still image. Its honestly incredible. It honestly feels like the cameraman was just fiddling with the zoom and waving the camera from side to side to distract from the fact that theyre showing a still image that looks like garbage. lolololol Then we have the scene where Hajime meets the dragonthing. Visually this is one of the most pathetic scenes in the entire show. So the dragon is talking but the mouth literally doesnt even move half the time. Like this fucking thing is center frame talking with its mouth wide open the entire time. That is an incredible amount of laziness. They even have the nerve to close the dragons mouth after the entire paragraph of dialogue ends as if no one would notice she didnt close her mouth once during that string of horrible dialogue until she was finished. Rewatching I was still just as shocked they actually animated the dragons mouth this way While partially due to bad writing a big part of why the comedy never works is the show tries to use reaction shots to sell the humor. But theyre always underanimated or not expressive enough which makes most attempts comedy the show attempts feel awkward rather than funny. This is especially true when theyre to write comedy that comes from a dragon whose mouth doesnt move. Its the big battle that comes up next that really cements in the viewers brain how appallingly bad the art style is. Mainly because this scene actually does have big wide shots which unfortunately only serve to drive home how little effort was put into making the various elements of the art design feel at home together. Overall there are 4 different clashing aspects to the art design: The main characters that is to say anyone that is humanoid are 2dimensional. They are drawn in a very cutesey way with very bright colors and often lots of pastel colors used on clothing. The backgrounds and locations appear to be mostly painted and are rarely stylized. They are very plain and appear to be deliberately drawn so that they dont stick out. The monsters are 3danimated cgi and look robotic and unpolished. Their movement is extremely stiff and I dont recall them using many colors other than black or brown for most monsters. Cg weapons tend to always be gray and sometimes black and also look unpolished and rough. The visual special effects range from really terriblelooking cg effects to rather lame 2d effects. They stick out like a sore thumb against the painted backgrounds. Most special effects are unpolished and tend to look like the animator or editor whatever just pasted it into the frame and then just forgot to clean it up afterwards. This is also due to clashing artstyles as the special effects are animated in a way that dont look like they would be produced by the object thats producing them. This is especially true of muzzle flashes from MCs gun lightning spells and any spark effect. These 4 elements are shoddily thrown together in battle scenes and jesus are they an eyesore to bear witness to. You could have a 2d muzzle flash coming from an unpolished 3dmodeled gun or a 2ddrawn bunny girl holding a cgi hammer generating a hand drawn dust cloud or a drawn character throwing a cgi grenade that generates a drawn blinding flash etc. Sometimes the cg looks okay like the hammer the bunny girl uses. But it looks fake when she holds it because they dont touch the hammer up to look flatter to match the flat look the hand drawn character has so it still looks bad. This is what Im talking about. The show looks like a visual clusterfuck because nothing was done to make any aspects of the art design look at home together. The other part of why the art direction doesnt work is due to color choices: The characters usually have very bright color palettes. Even the blacks of Hajimes coat are pretty bright for the color. The backgrounds and locations have a more neutral color palette that rarely strays into shades that are very bright. They occasionally use darker shades but only in caves or at night. The monsters and weapons are always colored very dark which was likely done deliberately to hide how hideous and unpolished the 3d models are. Okay now imagine that clusterfuck of visual styles and color choices all coming together in one fight scene. No effort whatsoever was put into making the characters look like they belong in the locations that are presented nor was any effort put into making the backgrounds and locations look like they come from the same show as the characters. Ganon and the boys wishing theyd been touched up before their closeup So basically no parts of the art direction work well together and each part looks out of place among the rest of the art. Nothing looks like they really belong together or feel real and it makes it really hard to pay attention to whats happening when literally everything is distracting me with how fake it looks. Thats it for the 2 biggest problem areas. All thats left is the writing and sound. 3: Writing Storytelling Characters Plot Specifics So for starters the game doesnt make sense. At level 8 all his stats are over 100. Then he kills 3 monsters and hes up to level 12. Now his stats are: 200 300 200 400 350 350. What do these stats cap at? Hed go over 1000 in every stat by level 30. Why are the numbers so arbitrarily high? Doesnt it make sense to operate in single and double digits instead? Why would the programmers do their stats like that? Also why would the digits at level 8 be rounded but not 2? Why not just start at 0 if youre only going to increase each stat by 2 after the first level? The stats never stop being confusing until they completely forget about them later in the show. Heres each instance of them showing Hajimes stats: level 1 10 10 10 10 10 10 level 2 12 12 12 12 12 12 level 8 100 300 100 200 300 300 level 12 200 300 200 400 350 350 level 17 300 400 300 450 400 400 level 76 1980 2090 2070 2450 1780 1780 So at level 76 theyre moving in intervals of 10 but at 17 they were intervals of 50. Like what??? Even the different in stats between levels doesnt make sense: The difference in stats between levels 2 and 8 is a total of 1288 6 levels The difference in stats between levels 8 and 12 is a total of 500 4 levels The difference in stats between levels 12 and 17 is a total of 450 5 levels This would mean that between levels 2 and 8 levels 3 4 5 6 7 and 8 you get 214.66 skill points per level. But you get 125 skill points per level between 912. And then you get 90 per level between 12 and 17? I thought the number of skill points you get per level was supposed to be increasing. How the fuck does that make sense? So basically you move in increments of single digits to start go up in intervals of 50 through at least 17 and then down to increments of 10 at level 76. What the fuck? I guess if you wanna dig into the bigger writing problems a good place to start is the characters. Theyre all fucking terrible. The main character is so grossly overpowered he actually exceeds Kirito and hes probably the single edgiest main character Ive ever seen. Were talking about a guy who stops his own arm from bleeding out after his arm gets chopped off by sheer power of will. He also likes to yell dumb shit like Im going to kill you and eat you because apparently someone on the writing staff let their 5year old write some of the dialogue. Picture of Hajime Nagumo The rest of the cast consists of female characters that represent different sexual appeals. Yue is for those who are into lolis. Shea is for those who appreciate the bustier figure and also people who like bunny girls. Tio is for those who are into perverted girls as well as sadists. Myu is 4 years old. If she appeals to a fetish I dont even want to think about it. All of these girls are in some way attracted to the protagonist because its a harem. Obviously. But it stoops to the level of trash like Smartphone having them all at one point outright claim they want to have the MCs babies. Is this where we are now with anime? The only remaining step left here is for Hajime to turn to the camera and say You want to be me. Im a badass. All these chicks want to fuck me. You want to be me. 220 Oh wait did I mention he doesnt even want to fuck them? Whenever Shea or Tio flirt with Hajime he gets annoyed. He acts like they have cooties. Why doesnt he want to fuck the bunny girl? Id fuck that bunny girl and use her ears as handlebars as I railed her. Who wouldnt? Nothing in this show makes any sense. Why make a bunny girl character thats clearly only there for sex appeal and then have the power fantasy male lead pretend shes disgusting? That makes no fucking sense. Speaking of male lead lets get back to how overpowered he is. He can make literally anything he could ever need and the show still cant manage to set up the shit he uses properly. Like you made it to where he can make anything. Then why the fuck are you not setting things up that are going to be used later? Are the writers seriously that lazy? You should not be resorting to asspulls when your main character can literally make anything. Want some examples? In episode 3 Hajime gains resistance to plant parasites by eating unrelated monsters. No clue how that works. The Miledi fight is won by a device Ive never seen before so theres another asspull. This isnt Hajime but Tio claims a man used mind control magic to usurp freedom from her. I have no idea what that even means and it isnt brought up again. In episode 11 the writers make up an ability called Sense Presence. This allows you to detect everyone thats nearby. He uses this ability to find a person in the sewers. Hes in a village surrounded by people. Its probably catching tons of people. Why would he focus on some guy in the sewers? This also means he can sense people through walls and floors. So its impossible to sneak up on Hajime. Our main character can make anything he wants at any time and cannot be surprised or caught off guard. There isnt any tension here. Nothing is a threat to this guy and its impossible for him to get hurt. MC is omnipresent Then I guess theres the lore. It starts being introduced in episode 5 with some shit about a Holy Church and godly beings which comes right the fuck out of nowhere. It comes back in episode 8 with some more nonsense about mavericks and overcoming trials to get superpowers which I guess is the shows attempt to pretend any of these events make any sort of sense. Why is this shit here? You skipped over the entirety of a story arc plus Sheas development with Hajime but this dumb fucking shit needed to stay in? What was the editor on???? Arifuretas editor still hard at work 4: Sound Sound Design Music Sound Effects Arifureta embodies all the traits of a true 1/10 anime and that includes terrible music and sound. The music is terrible across the board but the battle theme in particular is just shit. You can hear like some drums and a crappy trumpet? What the fuck is that??? Theres a saxophone but its mixed so far into the background I cant make out the structure of it. The rest of the score is pretty bland and forgettable but amazingly its also placed poorly Heres some examples Theres the first scene of episode 9 where Hajime is using a power the writers made up to scout the mountain. Watch the episode yourself and you will notice this song is not only a fucking pain to listen to but it does not fit the current scene in the slightest. That level of incompetence regarding the score and use of it is usually impossible to achieve as either the music will usually be okay or the music will be placed decently. Here it is neither. The music is awful and the editor has no idea what hes doing with it. 4:45 into episode 11 you have a totally random insert song pushed into the middle of a random scene which is immediately distracting and ruins the scene. 16:17 in the same episode it happens again. Finally the sound design and effects are shit too. Generally the sound design is pretty mediocre rather than bad but there are occasions where its actually so bad youll notice itll manage to distract you from the hideous visuals. For example 11:17 into episode 11 the sound mixing they do on the stomach grumbling sound is just turned way up in the mix to I guess make it clear? But neither Hajime nor bunny girl react to this soI assume it was the girl? Apparently thats how you do sound design. Just make the important sound really loud and thats good enough. Why is it turned up louder than anything else in the mix if the character dont react to it? That implies visually that it wasnt audible You absolute fuckheads For an example of bad sound: Check the cat creatures in episode 12. I swear they sound just like the dad crying in the best cry ever video that went viral like a decade ago. Conclusion I think Arifureta is an imteresting case study because this is an isekai anime has been pretty widely rejected by the anime community on MAL AL etc. So if you want to see what it takes for mainstream anime fans who rarely tend to care about art design or story structure to turn on a series Arifureta appears to be the series that crosses the line of what people consider to be an acceptable anime to be. As for the score other series I give low scores to almost always have some redeeming aspect in the music art artstyle you know something. Like Alicization has decent music despite being horrible and Highschool of the Dead actually is pretty solid visually despite how fucking annoying it is. And sometimes terribad shows are entertaining and Ill gives them points for that. Cipher and Dark Cat avoided gettings 1s for this exact reason. But Arifureta has no redeeming qualities. Literally name anything and its done wrong. The story is stupid when it actually makes sense and half the time it doesnt the pacing is way too fucking fast for the first half and way too fucking slow for the second half entire story arcs are skipped over within a single fucking episode character motivations are not always clearly established basic continuity is often broken establishing shots are rarely used so half the time you have no idea how characters got to locations or where they even are the main character is a cringey overpowered power fantasy and they constantly make up powers for him to have the female characters have no depth and only exist to appeal to specific sex appeals the background art is bland and uninspired the characters are all poorly designed as well as poorly drawn and animated the animation in general is stiff corner cutting is very visible in every episode the special effects are downright pathetic the sound effects are all terrible the monster cg is some of the worst cgi work Ive ever seen as well as constantly sticking out against the 2d drawn people the music is fucking awful and is never placed correctly the attempts at humor are fucking pathetic and pander to the lowest common denominator of brain dead isekai fans the premise is isekai which is beyond oversaturated at the moment and the entire thing is either boring or annoying. There is nothing redeeming here. Literally everything is awful. I would only recommend this if you hate yourself AND you want to learn more about art design and pacing. Otherwise stay away. 1/10
10 /100
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