Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Anime Review

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (Japanese: ありふれた職業で世界最強 Hepburn: Arifureta Shokugyō de Sekai Saikyō) is a Japanese light novel series written by Ryo Shirakome and illustrated by Takayaki. Originally a web novel, the series has been published in print since 2015. The series follows Hajime Nagumo, who is transported to another world with the rest of his class but receives only the most average of magical abilities, forcing him to fight to improve himself. The novels are licensed in English by JNovel Club, with Seven Seas Entertainment publishing them in print. A prequel light novel was published in 2017.

The series has received a manga adaptation, serialized on Ovelap’s Comic Gardo website since 2016, as well as a yonkoma comedy spinoff and a manga adaptation of the prequel novel, all three licensed by Seven Seas. An anime television series adaptation by White Fox and Asread aired from July 8 to October 7, 2019. A second season has been announced.

Plot

The real tale begins when he and his whole class is transported to another world like Nanatsu no Taizai Manga and given special abilities to save a country from destruction. But what Hajime thinks is his chance to be a hero, is not what it seems.

Even with superpowers, he is the weakest one; with just the mediocre abilities of a “Synergist”. While battling different monsters at each level, Hajime and his classmates end up in a dungeon to fight an unbeatable monster, “Behemoth”.

They tried preventing the monster from attacking them all the while attempting to escape. During this raid, Hajime is betrayed by one of his classmates, who attacks Hajime and leaves him for dead as he falls deep into the abyss. In the depths of the dungeon, Hajime began his descent into madness.

The fear of dying pushed him over the edge but he survived due to his sheer will. However, a journey made him cruel and capable to kill any person who would get in his way; he became a monster in the eyes of his comrades.

Even though it is a fictional story set in a fantasy world, it represents the concepts of the real world. This novel explores the true nature of a being and how being pushed to the limit changes him from within, along with the themes of betrayal, love, and revenge.

He survives the fall and creates weapons to escape the dungeon and become stronger. On his journey, he meets with the imprisoned vampire Yue, and later is joined by the bunny-eared Shea, the Dragonoid Tio, and others.

Hajime ventures further into the labyrinth, growing stronger with each monster he consumes until he finds a little girl imprisoned into a crystal.Hajime and Yue at last arrive to the bottom of the labyrinth and confront the boss monster in a battle to the death Hajime frees the girl, an immortal vampire whom he names “Yue” and the two start exploring the labyrinth together. Hajime frees the girl, an immortal vampire whom he names “Yue” and the two start exploring the labyrinth together.Having conquered the labyrinth, Hajime and Yue collect its treasures and learn its secrets while making preparations to continue their journey.

Back to the surface, Hajime and Yue meet Shia, a rabbit-girl with the power to see into the future and was waiting for their arrival in order to ask for help. Hajime, Yue and Shia explore the Great Reisen Labyrinth together and have a hard time confronting its owner. Having conquered the second Labyrinth, Hajime and his party set to the next town, where Hajime has an unexpected reunion with his homeroom teacher, Aiko Hatayama. Accompained by Aiko and some other students, Hajime and co. embark on a rescue mission where they face a powerful dragon. Once the dragon is defeated, it reveals herself as Tio Klarus, a half-dragon who decides to join the party.

Hajime attends Aiko’s request to defend the town from an overwhelming army of monsters. In the occasion, Hajime learns that the monsters are led by one of his classmates who betrayed the others.After parting ways with Aiko, Hajime’s party continues their journey, eventually meeting a young mermaid called Myu and decide to protect her from a criminal syndicate.

Hajime and his party defeat the demon and rescue his classmates with ease. After the battle, Hajime’s classmate Kaori Shirasaki declares her love for him and decides to accompany him.Hajime returns to the city where he was summoned and learns that his classmates are being attacked by a powerful demon inside Orcus Labyrinth.

My Personal Thoughts

When I saw this was in production by White Fox 2 or 3 seasons ago I was reasonably hyped for it to come out. White Fox has done reasonably good to great work on other series that I have been reading long before an Anime adaptation happened and with only minor nitpicks at some plot rearrangement with my full understanding that Manga and Anime are essentially marketed to separate(but still overlapping) audiences. So I tempered my anticipation with a fare amount of reasonable change but than I watched the first episode… and now I’m past the 4th episode and I’m dropping this series there. This is a total betrayal of the series as well as burning some reputation White Fox had(at least with me) over it.

The good;
Sound design is excellent and clear, all the voices sound appropriate for the characters so far and the opening song Flare by Void_Chords is now a permanent resident on my playlist for just how kickin it is.

The bad;
Hajime’s character is completely different from his manga persona, being changed from a traumatized(symbolized by his Marie antoinette Syndrome after eating his first monster), angry, ready for bloodshed at any moment attitude that made him such an antihero of the manga to a mostly neutered re-humanized tragic protagonist. He has, for what I’ve seen so far, been completely defanged.
Yue has been altered from the much more capable if slightly bratty counter balance to Hajime’s ever encroaching psychotic break. She’s now a much more meek and soft spoken loli character who seems to be present more for the shows marketing than for the actual story, which is a blatant betrayal of her character when you learn that her roll in the manga is being the primary force that keep Hajime from murder on reflex.
And if these 2 are any indication of character design for the show I have no positive outlook on how Shia or Tio will be played, both most likely will be shoehorned into more marketing rolls as their characters barely resemble who they are in the written works.

The Ugly;
Most of the show. That’s not a joke. For a pseudo-RPG Isekai style series the biggest draw for me was the dark and hard art style that really accented what was happening in the story. But Hajime looks flaccid and weak, Yue is still sporting a fur towel(probably because Waring Hajime’s trench coat wouldn’t be TV appropriate, even though its a staple part of her character design after she gains her own set of clothes), and the monsters being in CG being the biggest design mistake. They look nothing like their manga counterparts and look either reticulated our outright pathetic(in the case of the Gale Bear and the Hydra).

If you where coming into this series completely blind, with your only knowledge of it being its MAL score and synopsis, you would probably passively enjoy it. If you started this series because you read the Novel or the Manga and where hoping for just another way to enjoy the series from a studio that HAS done good work in the past, than like me; you have been betrayed. Read the Manga or the Novel and hard pass on this Anime.

Most people seem to be really hating the series for having the 1st ep be a power struggle than the keeps getting cranked up with power. I won’t deny that it’s unlogical for an anime MC to be getting ridiculously OP by the second however I think most of you are judging before waiting to see what happens. As he mentioned in the ending of the 5th episode he could end up facing god-level threats, as a maverick yes he is OP as it stands but he could get annihilated by gods. On top of all of that this anime gives you the fan service (Well more of it is the fulfillment of romance) then most shows. Most shows will string you along until the very end and then some times not even show exactly how it goes, I’m not sure about everyone else but I hate that feeling. (Shield Hero is a good example of what I mean, Raph x Naofumi) P.S. Just because of the fact that he is in love now doesn’t mean that won’t change. As we’ve seen before his classmate is seriously in love with him when they are reunited it could mean that sparks fly because of the loli. I’d recommend waiting before everyone jumps down the throat of the maker of the anime, also calling the show trash / whatever seems rather unreasonable. Please wait until we see what happens before you predict the future and write it off as a bad anime.

The disappointment of the season. Worst anime of the year. An anime that should never have existed. No matter how many insults I throw at Arifureta, I’m afraid it will never be enough to convey just how loathsome I consider this atrocity.


There are several levels of bad isekai anime. You’ve got the disappointing kind like How Not to Summon a Demon Lord. Then comes the horrible kind like Kenja no Mago and Isekai Cheat Magician. And then you have Arifureta in a league of its own with not a single competitor in sight. It’s so bad that I watched it every week just to make myself feel better. I assured myself by saying that anime watching can’t get worse so the only way is up. And yet, every week, Arifureta hit new lows that I didn’t imagine were possible.

Arifureta literally means “common” or “mundane”. But in the anime community, this word is now going to be referred to something which is terrible beyond measure. I think I’ve watched a decent amount of anime, and in all of those, only a couple of shows even come close to Arifureta in terms of the dreadful watching experience I’ve had. Arifureta has set the standard as high as possible for a show to be absolutely and unreservedly appalling. This is the kind of show that the rating of 1 on MyAnimeList exists for. An anime series that has no saving grace; something that might make you question why you watch anime at all.

Even after having suffered through 13 episodes of this tragically forsaken show, I can’t quite point out what it was or what it wanted to be. I doubt the creators or the studio had any idea either. It’s an isekai but what did the author really want this to be? A harem? Yeah, because all the new girls wants Kazuma as soon as they meet him.

The premise of the show has Hajime and his class transported into a fantasy world in order to save it from some sort of disaster that’s about to occur. In one of their expeditions, he’s betrayed by one of his friends, falls into the abyss of the dungeon and that’s where his changes start. He’s a weak little boy before falling and then by eating monster’s shit and meat, he obtains their powers.

When I was watching the first episode and all of this happened, I honestly thought that the second guy that I was watching wasn’t even Hajime. By just eating and drinking some crap, his entire body changed shape, his hair color changed and even his voice wasn’t recognizable. Damn, what a transformation. He goes from a weak little guy, who wants to look after his friends, to a strong, monster eating maniac who only thinks about getting stronger. His transformation also boosted the shitty level of his character. He was a normal shit guy before he changed and became a stupidly powerful but even shittier guy afterward.

Suddenly, we’ve got this overpowered, invincible “protagonist” (if you can even call Hajime that) who’s going around the abyss, killing monsters with his guns and snipers, eating them and stealing their abilities for himself. You’ve gotta be kidding me! How did he even learn to create guns?! He was nothing but a support-type before, and now he’s suddenly this all-knowing, omnipotent genius. Terrible, absolutely terrible and irredeemable writing.

So, what was the author thinking when he wrote Hajime? That’s a question I’d like answered. His personality changed more times than there are episodes in the season. It’s not unpredictable in a good way, no. It’s embarrassingly predictable, but it just fluctuates between a guy who wants to save his friends, to one who cares about no one but himself, to caring about a vampire girl he’d just met, to having a dream of going home while caring about no one, to not caring about his former teacher, to caring about his former teacher, to not caring about the friends before his “transformation”, to caring about them. It’s kind of a cycle that repeats itself in every arc. His attitude towards the people who help him (except towards vampire loli of course) is stupidly obnoxious, and this doesn’t change.

Since the second episode of this abomination, the characters that are introduced are nothing but objects to praise and aid our amazingly charismatic Hajime. Let’s begin by talking about the naked girl tied to, and hanging from the chains in the opening: Yue. After being saved by Hajime (how surprising), the only reason for her existence is to suck up to him. She doesn’t have a single personality trait worth mentioning. She really doesn’t. All she’s done is help Hajime defeat monsters and get jealous when other girls get close to him. I honestly don’t have a clue what else I could write about her.

The only character who was even barely relatable, or bearable for that matter, was Kaori Shirasaki, one of Hajime’s classmates who’d been transported into another world. She’s the character whom Hajime tried to save when he fell and for that, she’s shown to bear great responsibility. The emotions she goes through are interesting to watch as she goes from blaming herself to firming her resolve in finding Hajime. Alas, she didn’t get too much screentime after those initial few episodes. And even if she did, I doubt it would’ve made much difference to the overall experience of watching Arifureta.

The full name of this piece of shit show is “Arifureta: from commonplace to the world’s strongest”. What it fails to mention is that this change happens in the span of one episode. Since episode 2, no enemy’s even posed a challenge to Hajime. He and his party members are the only characters on the good side who’re not totally useless. Everyone else who’s not introduced as the enemy is shown to be weak; pathetically weak. Then, Hajime will appear, act as if helping them isn’t his problem and eventually be convinced by one of the girls to help them. And then, we’ll see our great hero pull out his guns and shoot down the bad guys with little to no effort. All while the animation hurts your eyes and makes you wonder if you’re really in 2019 and not in 1969.

The other characters are so pitifully useless that it made me wonder how the world wasn’t overtaken by demons and monsters before Hajime had his little demonshit-eating transformation. I know I’ve made this point a few times already but I just can’t stress enough how stupid and weak anyone else that’s not in Hajime’s party is.

If there was one anime where the studios deserved shit for their terrible, lazy and disgraceful commitment, this would be it. I don’t like to shit on writers or production studios, but for once, I can’t say that the deplorable plot or storytelling is the only major reason for an anime to be the crappiest of crap. White Fox and Asread are both massive production studios, especially White Fox. Believe it or not, this is the studio that has produced shows of the ilk of Steins;Gate, Katanagari, Akame ga Kill, Hatarakou Maou-sama and Re;Zero. I’m not a fan of Re;Zero. In fact, I hated it. But that wasn’t due to the fault of the studio. The production was top-notch in each of the anime series I’ve mentioned above. However, for Arifureta, both of these studios share the blame. Big time. I’m not kidding when I say that even Maou-sama Retry! which was produced by a no-name studio had better animation than Arifureta at times. And there’s no excuse for this. Absolutely none. The opening was decent as far as the sound goes, however, nothing is noteworthy in the audio aspect either.

If you don’t already know, Arifureta was scheduled to air in Spring 2018. Apparently, the production was already underway but because the author of the light novels didn’t like what he saw, everything was scrapped and the anime postponed till Summer 2019. The utter lack of responsibility by the producers is mindboggling. They scrapped a series because they didn’t like what they saw and the final product of what they “liked” is this abomination. I don’t even want to imagine what the thing they scrapped must have been.

Even if the answer to all of the above questions is yes, I’d still not recommend this. It’s easily the worst isekai I’ve watched overall. I may have watched some with just as bad story-telling and characters as Arifureta, but they at least had okay animation. Arifureta doesn’t tick the box for being decent in any department, be it characters, story, or animation.

GenreFantasy, harem, isekai
Novel series
Written byRyo Shirakome
Published byShōsetsuka ni Narō (Self-published)
Original runNovember 7, 2013 – present
Volumes8 + 4 side stories
Light novel
Written byRyo Shirakome
Illustrated byTakayaki
Published byOverlap
English publisherNA J-Novel Club (digital)Seven Seas (print)
DemographicMale
ImprintOverlap Bunko
Original runJune 25, 2015 – present
Volumes10 (List of volumes)
Manga
Written byRoGa
Published byOverlap
English publisherNA Seven Seas Entertainment
DemographicShōnen
MagazineComic Gardo
Original runDecember 22, 2016 – present
Volumes5 (List of volumes)
Manga
Arifureta: I Love Isekai
Written byMisaki Mori
Published byOverlap
English publisherNA Seven Seas Entertainment
DemographicShōnen
MagazineComic Gardo
Original runJuly 11, 2017 – present
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Light novel
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Zero
Written byRyo Shirakome
Illustrated byTakayaki
Published byOverlap
English publisherNA J-Novel Club
DemographicMale
ImprintOverlap Bunko
Original runDecember 28, 2017 – present
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Manga
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Zero
Written byAtaru Kamichi
Published byOverlap
English publisherNA Seven Seas Entertainment
DemographicShōnen
MagazineComic Gardo
Original runFebruary 23, 2018 – present
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed byKinji Yoshimoto
Written byShoichi SatoKinji Yoshimoto
Music byRyō Takahashi
StudioWhite FoxAsread
Licensed byNA Funimation
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, SUN, BS11
Original run July 8, 2019 – present
Episodes13 + 2 OVAs (List of episodes)
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