Title: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! / Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?!
Length: ? x 24 minute episodes
Genre: Comedy, fantasy, adventure
Year of release: 2019
And here I have yet another isekai! You know the drill – take a character from our world, create a situation where they’re transported into another (probably fantasy) world, and let them use their specific powers and worldly knowledge to make a potentially charming and interesting story. The gimmick this time is to mix in some easygoing cute-girls-do-cute-things style, which gave me a throwback to Winter’s Endro~.
I rather like that we get to see an entire day in the life of Mile before we’re finally told the low-down, so we get to think about some of her weird actions from an outsider perspective before realising that, yes, she’s one of us. Genre lampshading hijinks ensue.
Misato Kurahara was an exceptionally talented high schooler, however, her exceptional abilities caused her a great deal of isolation. When she saves a young girl from being hit by a truck, she is killed and given a chance to reincarnate into another world, and prays to be average and have a shot at a normal life with normal friends in this second chance. The big kicker is, in itself, a gag that the show takes a minute to explain, so I’ll save that one for you to see, but the long and short of it is that she didn’t quite get her wish! As she becomes Mile (and we catch up to her aged 12, though it was implied she had lived Mile’s entire life, though I’m not quite buying that due to some writing inconsistencies), she tries to hide her superhuman abilities, but makes a lot of mistakes, and her good nature means she has to use her powers just to be responsible. It’s a good comic push-and-pull, as she does the right thing consistently but at the cost of her own pride. The fact that her inner monologue, which sometimes bleeds into her dialogue, gives some rather cheeky genre gags, such as a bit of awe at cheesy villain lines, is just the icing on the cake for a solid comedy lead.
In this episode, we see her getting used to the city where she’s going to start going to school. She runs into a concoction of particular people and checks in at an inn, where she learns young girls are disappearing. When Lenny, the daughter of the innkeepers, doesn’t come home one evening, she takes it upon herself to investigate! It’s this kind of good heartedness that makes the show quite charming, and the comic beats have a ‘doh!’ silliness to them that makes it all rather sweet. For the majority of this episode, the pleasant gags and strong background humour gave me a good smile, and really helped overcome the show’s barely-passing grade of animation.
Sadly, the show shoots itself in the foot just a few too many times. There’s a few jokes that are in bad-taste and break that wholesome atmosphere. It’s cute when Mile runs into the female knight and gets a bit flustered over her androgynous charms, and cuter still when she runs into the fire mage and declaring her a term that doesn’t exist in this world: tsundere; it feels like the writer’s odd fetishes coming into play when her first instinct is boob jealousy when running into the older-sister type. Need I remind that Mile is 12?. Later on, Mile runs through a scenario in her head of what might be happening to the potentially imprisoned Lenny, and she worries that something ‘indecent’ will be happening to her, and this is demonstrated with some rather cringe-inducing visuals. Lastly, while the big-bad of the episode admits that her intentions aren’t so dirty, there’s still a predatory aspect to her wanting a harem of little girls – and more uncomfortable boob jokes.
I’m a bit hesitant, then, to give a glowing recommendation for this Average Ability Isekai. The feel-good vibes were very pleasant, and we could definitely have on our hands a fun, easy-going adventure to check in with every week. Our party is all formed by the end of the episode, and there’s no doubt going to be some amusing hijinks for our genre-savy protagonist to gawk and wisecrack over. Sadly, this episode had a few cracks in the formula that ruined the facade. Well, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and hope that these uncomfortable (and frankly unfunny) gags won’t become a recurring thing.