My Instant Death Ability is Overpowered – Episode 1

By: Cy Catwell January 6, 20240 Comments
Yogiri activates his secret power to instantly kill his enemies.

Content Warning: Sexual Harassment

What’s it about? Takatou Yogiri wakes up to find that the world he left—peaceful, safe Japan—has been traded for a world filled with carnage and chaos; however, his bad luck doesn’t end there. Turns out Takatou missed out on getting a Gift, a power bestowed on his fellow classmates. Now, it’s up to him to figure out how to survive in this cruel new world without any special skills on his side. Unless…?

I’ll be honest: you can kind of tell what type of anime My Instant Death Ability is Overpowered is going to be based on its splash image. I’d wager that even a relatively new fan could tell that Yogiri is the main character, the pigtailed girl is going to be a companion, and it’s probably going to be just okay.

But you can’t judge a book by its cover: instead, let’s judge it by its content. Its…very mild, mild contents.

A young Takato Yogiri asks for a woman named Asaka.

Episode 1 starts off in medias res with a young Takatou Yogiri watching a clearly important woman, Asaka, get held at gunpoint in a mysterious lab…only for the assailant to fall dead. Thus begins Yogiri’s very immediate story, marking his hopeful eventual rise to power in a world where wyverns exist 

What ensues is a lot of infodumping, which is somewhat necessary to explain the “why” of the situation Yogiri and his classmates find themselves in. I’ll admit, it’s fairly funny: they get summoned in such a flippant way that it really adds a specific layer of horror to the series. It kind of adds to the immediate danger Yogiri and his classmates finds themselves in: a world wholly unknown to everyone, filled with dangers beyond belief.

Sure would be a shame if the show stopped being interesting immediately after any explanations.

Speaking of that…

The great sage Shion greets Yogiri and his classmates and tells them of their fate.

I’m not gonna lie: this is a bit hard to talk about because I just strongly dislike Yogiri. He’s an amalgamation of every mildly misanthropic black-haired boy with a bit of special blue hair that’s come before him, playing straight man to Tomochika Dannoura, his fellow classmate and fellow isekai’d teen, who’s kind of just Girl. Together, they’re just…two kids with very little flavor.

This lack of interest extends to the powers the students receive as well as the “Gift” system: it doesn’t really iterate on anything we haven’t seen before. The only interesting elements come from a hard time limit: all of the students have a month to gain mastery in the system, lest they be turned into beasts of burden. It is, once more, something we’ve seen before, which isn’t necessarily bad. What is bad is how rote it feels.

And let me tell you, this show quickly wears on you.

It feels like someone asked ChatGPT to write a funny, quippy anime. There’s jokes, sure; there’s jokes aplenty. But I didn’t laugh once. Coupled with the world’s most disorienting cold open, this show quickly feels like a slog to the ending. I looked at the time bar waaaaay too many times, y’all, and that’s never a good sign. It’s not that there’s nothing interesting: there’s the fact that some of the students have been the this world before, and the fact that Yogiri seems to have this dark past. It even obscures how self-aware this show is: it knows that this is a portal fiction and is fascinatingly aware of the fact that everyone’s been transported to another world. It’s just that the tired gags and incredibly bad writing get in the way of anything even mildly engaging.

Also, I’ve got to drag the opening song, “Killer Bars,” which is the most rote, tepid opener I’ve heard in the 2020s. It’s generic pop rock that is supposed to get you hyped but…just never does. It’s incredibly skippable and while I watched it for the sake of this review, it simply doth not slapeth. You can’t use the word “killer” in your song and not bring the beats—that’s just criminal in and of itself!

A fire-breathing wyvern launches a flame-filled attack at Yogiri and Tomochika.

Ultimately, there’s something unearned about this premiere: everything feels like the same perfectly average stuff we’ve seen this decade. It’s nothing new, does nothing new, and hints at being a very safe, very predictable isekai with your stock mildly antisocial protagonist. 

Sure, there’s some elements that could probably become more but for right now, it’s twenty-four minutes of tepid setup that feels like it should move me into this world, but never does. And I kind of hate that: I’m always on the hunt for a piece of portal fiction that immediately feels like a place I’d like to be. The world of My Instant Death Ability is Overpowered is decidedly not that, enough that I’m not sure I can give it the ol’ three episode try.

This is where I tend to say that I’m excited for the fans, and that’s no different: My Instant Death Ability is Overpowered’s novels are currently being localized, which definitely means there’s a more global fanbase. I truly hope that if you’re a part of that fandom, you enjoy this adaptation: nothing feels more powerful than seeing your favorite series, or even just something you’re passionate about, come to life on the silver screen. And perhaps J-Novel’s localization of the novel–and the novel itself–proves more interesting: for now, this is instantly dead on arrival for anyone who’s not already invested in the source material.

About the Author : Cy Catwell

Cy Catwell is a Queer Blerd journalist and JP-EN translation & localization editor with a passion for idols, citypop, visual novels, and the iyashikei/healing anime genre.

You can follow their work as a professional Blerd at Backlit Pixels, get snapshots of their out of office life on Instagram at @pixelatedrhapsody, and follow them on their Twitter at @pixelatedlenses.

Read more articles from Cy Catwell

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