I Shall Survive Using Potions! – Episode 1

By: Caitlin Moore October 10, 20230 Comments

What’s it about? There’s been a terrible accident, ending Kaoru’s life before her time. However, if they revived her, that would just cause even more issues! Instead, the guardian deity of Earth sends her to another world with a generous compensation package: infinite item storage, the ability to create any potion she wants, and many other minor perks. It’s tough out there for a young woman, but with a little help from the gods, Kaoru may manage to do just fine.

I have to be honest here: I’m struggling to figure out anything to say about this show. Most of my shows thus far this season have been truly meaty offerings, giving me plenty to talk about when considering things through a feminist lens. But I Will Survive Using Potions? It’s a whole lot of nothing.

Kaoru talking to a drunk man. Subtitles: Medicines to heal injuries and illnesses are made from medicinal herbs, of course.

It’s isekai, so I suppose I could start out talking about what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t flash status screens or talk about levels every five minutes, so that’s nice. Kaoru doesn’t go out and buy any slaves, though I haven’t looked far enough ahead to see if that happens eventually. She doesn’t abandon her old life with no considerations, but asks the god for a chance to visit her family and friends in their dreams for a chance to say goodbye. That was kind of nice. The bar is buried deep underground here, y’all. There’s no fanservice. All those things alone do make it a less actively unpleasant viewing experience than 90% of the other series in the genre.

But enough about what it doesn’t do! Let’s talk about what it does.


Okay, okay, just give me a second. Let me think.

Oh, I know! It’s… Wait, no, that’s not a thing.

Kaoru holding a passed-out maid with a rag in her hand. Subtitles: Woah, there...
It’s not even yuri, toxic, problematic, or wholesome

Yeah. For better or for worse, we’ve reached a point where a game-based isekai having a female lead isn’t interesting in and of itself. There are some weird things, like how Kaoru asks to be the “youngest age considered an adult” in this world, pops out as a 15-year-old, and is treated like a kid. And the dude who offers her food to rub his feet at the hunters’ guild? Kind of gross, dude, even if it didn’t end up being sexual. Well, I hope it wasn’t sexual, since Kaoru proceeds to give lots of massages and talks about how good she is at them because she gave them to her dad all the time. Oh, and she knocks out a maid and steals her clothes. Sure, the maid’s underthings were fairly modest, but not cool, Kaoru!

But I’m resorting to nitpicking, which can be fun but feels a bit like doing CinemaSins for feminism. It’s just not an interesting or useful mode of analysis. Otherwise, there truly isn’t a lot to say. There are some false attempts at building tension, like when a badly injured hunter comes in and Kaoru springs into action with two kinds of potions, saying how those are her last ones… but considering how she can create any kind she wants at will, it just comes across as forced.

A blond man standing over Kaoru. Subtitles: but do you wanna rub my feet instead?

I suppose the best thing I can say is that the world isn’t falling at her feet the instant she goes anywhere. She struggles to sell her potions, until the convenient injured hunter comes in so she can show off her stuff. She gets more or less held against her will by a greedy baron and has to disguise herself with a potion that changes her coloring and the maid’s clothing. She’s a smart lady, and I’d be much more interested to watch her navigate the world without the near-literal deus ex machina powers she has.

Except I probably wouldn’t because I won’t lie, I hate the character designs. The men have normal proportions, but women have HUGE heads and tiny bodies. Like, I’ve made fun of character designs for being proportioned like toddlers with tits, but this goes beyond that into bobblehead territory, but isn’t quite cute enough to be chibi-style. It’s more bobblehead than nendoroid, and it’s just unpleasant to look at.

Kaoru in a skirt suit and the goddess Celes against a sparkly pink background. Subtitles: Make me the youngest age that's considered adult in this world.

I Will Survive Using Potions isn’t the worst show this season by a long shot, but dull as it is, I doubt it will survive on many watchlists.

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