In the first episode, Yuji was powerful, but there was a clear limit to just how much he could do. By the time we reached the twelfth episode, they pretty much just nixed that and made him a mortal god.
My Isekai Life follows Yuji after his death in Japan and his reincarnation as a young adult in a fantasy world. He’s a tamer with one large wolf and an apparently unlimited number of cute little slimes, with whom he travels the land, helping good people and striking down villains with his vastly overpowered magic. Evidently, any magical text which his slimes touch instantly adds its spells to his inventory, and he can channel this magic through his slimes, making him a one-man battalion of arch-wizards, such that he is able to easily defeat enemies the likes of which strike terror into every other mere mortal on the planet.
Literally everything he does is too easy. It’s amusing at times, as he casually exceeds what people expect him to be capable of, to a hilariously overwhelming degree, but it really destroys the tension that we are supposed to be feeling. Even when he’s facing something godlike, there’s no excitement, because there is no chance of failure. His power is too great, his wits are too keen, and nothing bad is allowed to happen to him or anyone he cares about. Everyone else, the bad people, completely get the shaft, often at Yuji’s own brutal, cunning, merciless hands, but this is definitely the anime to be in if you’re not evil.
There was at least a little excitement in the first episode, when the audience doesn’t yet know any of this. Heck, after one really big spell, Yuji falls over in exhaustion, his magic virtually depleted. When faced with the necessity of doing the same spell again, there is significant tension found in how Yuji will have to dip into his life force (his hit points) to get the job done and save everyone, and he does it, falling unconscious as a result.
But come the final episode of the first season, Yuji apparently has no such limits anymore. He’s fighting a godlike being, using that same huge spell dozens of times, and defending four other regions through his slimes, simultaneously, spending his magic like a madman, far into the negative, but there’s no cost to his life force this time. The answer to how to deal with this enemy comes literally from on high, and Yuji momentarily wields a divine level of power, easily and without any cost to himself. It’s the climax, and there’s no suspense any more. None.
Oh, and apparently he’s an emissary sent by the deity of this world to save it from a bunch of false, destructive saviors.
Then there’s how Yuji’s character is “developed” through this. He remains aloof and stoic, from start to finish, showing little emotion, and yet somehow caring enough to defend the entire world all at once. He’s doing everything with only his slimes and his wolf to help him, completely avoiding getting close to anyone, making any friends, and yet he watches over everyone he meets even after he’s long since departed. His big “development” is when he realizes he doesn’t have to do everything alone… though he still continues to do so anyway.
It’s a whole thing where they repeatedly show the towns he’s visited and the people he’s left a lasting impression on with his overwhelming power and casual attitude. With enraged monsters coming at all of them, it’s supposed to be this big, inspirational moment when the people in each of these towns step up and defend themselves and each other (gee, how revolutionary, people fighting on their own without him holding their hand). And on all their lips, “Yuji.” Like he’s their god. And he has his grand epiphany, “It’s good to work in a team sometimes.” Not that he ever actually does.The slimes were cute enough, being small, blue balls with various cute expressions on them. They were also very powerful, being bouncy pocket dimensions and numerous conduits of Yuji’s magic. Proud Wolf was amusing, too, being more of a cowardly wolf, but he was fun. Various minor characters were easy enough to like or dislike as we were supposed to. But with exception to a priest, with wisdom gained from his tragic backstory, hardly anyone stood out as important in any way besides Yuji.
The cult of enemies was fairly standard fair, too. Fanatic zealots eager to give their lives in order to “cleanse this tainted world” of all evil, ie, utterly destroying it and everyone in it. Spies, traitors, agents of destruction, assassins, human traffickers, and so on. The music and scenery and everything else was similarly mediocre, not really standing out in any way.
All this said, I suppose My Isekai Life isn’t really “terrible,” per se. It doesn’t do any of those cheap, meaningless tricks to try and rivet the audience with shallow fan service or flashy explosions or over-complicated plots. There’s something to be said for that. It’s not a “bad” show, really. It’s just not that good or great, either. It falls pretty flat after such a strong opening, but Yuji’s adventures are still amusing, if not really that exciting.
It’s a lukewarm show, rather than either hot or cold. It won’t do it for people looking for something more thrilling, but it’s fairly nice. It makes one laugh, and it’s one of the more wholesome anime I’ve seen, both in general and especially this season. That’s still worth something, and, no matter how I might criticize the job it does in telling its story, it must be said: I dropped several anime this season for getting too inappropriate or too boring, and this was not one of them. I would certainly follow a second season as well.
Rating: I give it 6 stars out of 10, on the positive side of neutral.