I think this might be the last of the entries into the Spring Season of 3 Episode Rule for me. Because, truth be told, nothing else I can find to watch online has really made me want to see it. There were a ton of very generic looking series out there, this one included. But I thought I’d give at least one of them a go before I just wash my hands of the season and just bury myself in Disney+.
Which has nothing to do with the fact that I’m not watching quite as much anime as usual…
The 8th Son? Are you kidding me? is about as Isekai as these Isekai-ass shows get, giving us our overworked office guy protagonist getting hit by a truck and waking up in a fantasy world with some kind of advantage to get himself ahead. What usually helps the individual show put itself high above the crowd that is the staggering number of these shows coming out, is by giving itself some big unique quirk or spin on the genre.
So what’s the 8th son’s big differentiating factor? Hell if I know.
As the title suggests, our main hero wakes up as the 5 year old 8th son of a poor minor lord. He quickly realises that any kind of title or inheritance is not in his future when the six brothers between him and his newly married eldest sibling all leave home, giving up any rights they have and beginning new lives.
Doing the lame thing of pointing out the tropes of an Isekai story whilst acting them out, the kid discovers a crystal ball in his father’s study, through which he realises he has a high aptitude for magic. I’m not going to get into it too much, but he finds a master in the woods, learns magic, becomes ungodly powerful and leaves home on his 12th birthday to join the adventurer’s guild.
From there he meets three classmates who become his first friends and his adventuring party members. And then moments later he inherits his old master’s wealth and estate. Oh, so no adversity for our Isekai hero here then, despite what the title of the show would suggest. And just three episodes in? Great.
This series is about as generic and uninteresting as Isekai gets, and the main reason behind why I don’t enjoy them as a rule. For one, was there any real need for this series to be an Isekai at all? By the time we’re half way through the first episode, our protagonist has stopped acting like an adult Japanese office worker and started acting like the 5 year old child whose body he now inhabits.
This could have just been a fantasy show about a kid overcoming the odds of poor birth and getting to the top through grit, sweat and hard work. But nope, this is a series about a guy getting everything handed to him on a silver platter after 2 and a half episodes of minor hardship. So I guess it still is an Isekai in that regard.
Plus, this show jumps around so much in these first three episodes. Starting us off in his family home with a father and eldest brother who regard him with disgust. Followed by an inheritance drama that goes nowhere and then they’re both written out as an afterthought.
Then we’re at school and it seems to be a show based around that. But then there’s a segment at the beginning of the series when the protag is an adult with his own personal harem, so we’re due another time skip any time now. I just couldn’t get invested in anything that was going on or these characters based on these three episodes.
Which isn’t to say there isn’t any substance there. When we meet the kids that will eventually become his party members, there are a series of misunderstanding all born from the fact that they’re 5th or higher in line for any titles in their noble families. Seemingly everyone in this adventurer’s school has the same complex, in that they immediately jump to the conclusion that they’re not deserving of anything simply because they’re low in succession within their own families.
The message here is one about overcoming the perceived limitation of your station at birth and becoming something more through hard work, skill and teamwork. Which a great message, which is pretty much undermined right away by the the chosen one treatment the main character is getting almost right away. Despite being the most “disadvantaged” of them all due to being the eighth born.
Oh yeah, except for that incredible well of mana that allowed him to become a master mage in two weeks.
Verdict: Yawn, no thanks.
This bored me. It was only in the last 10 minutes of the third episode that I started to feel some interest in the newly introduced supporting cast. But just as I thought about toying with the idea of continuing this series considering how little there was to pick from with this season, our main dude becomes the equivalent of a millionaire and gets a free mansion for no reason.
Then I decided to sod it off. This series is the perfect example of why Iskeai frustrates the hell out of me as a genre and why I can’t understand why it’s so popular right now. Power fantasy is fine, but power fantasy for little more than its own sake is so boring. And this is more boring than most. There is absolutely nothing about this series that makes it stick out amongst the crowd.
It’s no any more charming or funny than any other example of the genre, and even its title feels like a non factor in the story at the end of the third episode. So it begs the question, what the hell reason is there to keep watching it? There are plenty of better examples of Iskeai out there and I’m not desperate enough watch something simply because its there when there is much more to pick from.
Apologies for the lack of images on this post, I’m decorating my flat and my PC is in pieces. And I’m not doing that work on a MacBook.