Chillin’ in Another World with My Level 2 Super Powers – Episode 1

By: Caitlin Moore April 11, 20240 Comments

What’s it about? Banaza was just living his life as a merchant when he was summoned to another world to be a hero. When the summoners discover he has totally ordinary stats and no special powers, the king decides to silence him by sending him to live in a demon-infested forest. When Banaza encounters some aggressive slimes and hits level two, his stats suddenly have a weird symbol next to them that looks like a sideways 8.

Chillin’ in Another World with My Level 2 Super Powers has a couple of novel points. For one thing, Bonanza (which Google keeps autocorrecting “Banaza” to so I’m just rolling with it) isn’t from Japan, or even Earth. He already lived in a fantasy world populated with demihumans and magic, albeit one without RPG-style stats and mechanics. He also seems like a genuinely nice guy, rather than a “nice” guy who is positively champing at the bit to turn into a bitter misogynist the moment he’s even slightly disadvantaged. The rest of his party is competent women who don’t immediately start fighting for the chance to ride his dick, and there’s a warrior lady with great big muscles.

a party of four adventuring women in non-fanservicey outfits

In most other respects, though, it’s a perfectly middle-of-the-road isekai series. Whenever there’s multiple summonings, the protagonist is always cast aside in favor of the other and sent off by a malicious king. Then, it turns out they were secretly super-powerful in a less obvious way! The kingdom is fighting the demon army, of course. There’s a guild hall where adventurers can take on jobs based on their level. The animation and character design are fine. Blah blah blah, etc., etc. Nothing there we haven’t seen a million times before. 

Sparkly image of Banaza as a girl
There’s also a weird moment where he turns himself into a girl, seems to enjoy it, and decides to go back to being a dude.

Let’s talk about slavery in isekai.

More often than not, the protagonist of your average wish fulfillment isekai will find himself in a situation where he cannot function on his own. Maybe everyone is being really mean to him, or he needs to ramp up production of something. Either way, he encounters some sort of hardship and someone suggests that he buy a slave. The slaves are pretty much always demihumans of some sort, typically attractive women with animal ears. The protagonist knows slavery is wrong, but he’s not going to make a difference in this world, so might as well use it to his advantage. Plus, he’s really nice to them, and sometimes they benefit from his powers, so they actually like being enslaved! Slavery is fine if everyone else is doing it and you don’t boss them around too much!

We’ve all worn our fingers to the bone typing out explanations of why this sucks ass. I’m not going to do it again, because my time on Earth is worth more than repeating that discussion. It was shocking when the first slave-owner light novel adaptations started rolling out, but now it feels like there’s one or two every season. If there’s an isekai premiere I like, I have to look up if the protagonist ends up purchasing another person down the line, and more than one has been ruined for me.

Banaza talking to a lizard person. "You came from a pretty horrible place then."
Yeah, it’s rough out here

But Chillin’ in Another World with My Level 2 Super Powers does not share that permissive attitude. Bonanza is considered a weirdo in his home world for paying demihumans for their labor, where they are enslaved and exploited. In the new world, he asks the demihuman cart driver if he’s a slave, the cart driver laughs and explains that there are no class differences between humans and demihumans in this world. For all that he’s basically being exiled for not being special enough and the kingdom is in a war against demons, the lack of slavery alone is enough to make Bonanza think, “Maybe this world isn’t so bad.”

Well, shit. Not only do we have a protagonist who is actively opposed to slavery despite having grown up in a place where he benefits from its normalization, but also happy to be in a country where that’s not the case, even though he’s in a much worse situation personally! That made me think that Bonanza might actually be a genuinely good guy, and not the kind of self-serving asshole who’s nice when it’s convenient that we usually get. He actually has like… values and morals that don’t collapse the instant they’re challenged. This shouldn’t be remarkable! But it is!

floating infinity symbol. "What does this mark mean?"

It also flies in the face of the claims that if Potato-kun gets isekai’d into a world where slavery is accepted as normal, there’s nothing wrong with him taking part. The “when in Rome” defense is pure cowardice, especially since abolitionism has gone hand-in-hand with the existence of slavery. Bonanza may not be out raiding armories to arm the enslaved people and start a rebellion, but he has his own moral compass and is capable of empathizing with people who don’t look like him.

Too bad all of this comes in an otherwise perfectly mid series like Chillin’ in Another World with My Level 2 Super Powers. It may appeal to isekai junkies, but it’s unlikely to grab anyone who isn’t already inclined to the genre. But hey, if the only thing stopping you from getting into generic isekai #707 was attitudes about enslavement, this might be the one.

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