What’s it about? When a plane carrying seven exceptional high school students crashes, its passengers find themselves in another world. Now the world’s greatest surgeon, inventor, swordswoman, journalist, entrepreneur, illusionist, and politician must strike out and discover the secrets of this world of magic and beast people.
You like Danganronpa, right? Of course you do. Everyone does. I don’t know why I even asked. High School Prodigies Have It Easy in Another World bears some immediate similarities to the cult video games – it even uses the same term in Japanese to describe the students, just translated differently. If you ever wanted an isekai version of Danganronpa without Monokuma coming along to ruin their peaceful school life, High School Prodigies comes close. Just remove any wit or personality from the writing, and boom! There you have it.
It’s really incredible how time after time, season after season, isekai find new ways to be bland and boring. I’ve watched some real stinkers over the years, including Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody and Conception, but this may be the dullest one yet. We have seven characters, a full pre-made, pre-assembled, pre-portioned ensemble cast, and not one iota of personality between them. It’s like getting a pre-made meal kit delivered and it’s full of mayonnaise and potatoes.
Which, about that. One of the Big Moments in the episode is when Mikogami Tsukasa, the first directly elected Prime Minister of Japan who is also 17 and has silver hair and heterochromia, serves the poor beast people steamed potatoes covered in mayonnaise. That should be a war crime. He should live in infamy. Instead they all gasp and coo over how delicious it is as he tells them about the condiment that took the world by storm. It’s disgusting.
Imma keep it real with you, 17th prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, this will not make you look hip with the youths.
Honestly, disgust is the only real emotion this episode invoked. Not the constant, pervasive disgust of pilots like The Rising of the Shield Hero, but brief spurts of grossness interspersed throughout the boringly polite, calm, rational discussion that makes up most of the episode’s dialogue. In an early scene, Heterochromia Abe has only been out of his coma for a couple minutes and is incapable yet of eating solid food, so instead of sticking to soft food for a while, the boobtastic elf girl Lyrule chews up a meatball and feeds it to him like an uncomfortable sexualized baby bird, complete with visible tongue and a string of drool when they separate.
Am I kinkshaming? Yeah, I’m kinkshaming. That shit is gross.
There’s a bizarre disconnect, because you’d think that a series where the female characters are a swordswoman, a surgeon, an inventor, and a ninja journalist, without it being a straight-up harem, would come out looking pretty nice for the purposes of this review. But nope, wrong, complete failure at this. The prodigies have barely any lines other than Shinzo Odd-Eyes, and the surgeon has exactly one.
To be fair, the beast folk and random-ass elf do speak a little more, mostly to exposit about how their world works in the moments when their enormous, unsupported breasts aren’t wobbling all over the screen. Can you imagine what it would be like if your boobs visibly bounced when you did so much as shrug your shoulders or cock your head? Not to mention the random shot of the surgeon’s thighs at the end of the episode. We may not get to hear her thoughts, but we do get to ogle her legs!
They aren’t kidding about the title – the episode can’t even offer any interesting conflict. It really is easy for them. Everything is driven by convenience. Their plane was powered by a small nuclear reactor, which is still intact after the crash and can be used to power their cell phones, which the inventor was able to modify to work in this other world. The illusionist can still do his tricks, even though techniques like levitation or removing your own head requires a lot of specialized equipment and set-up that he definitely doesn’t have with him. At this point, he’s just doing magic and not ~illusions~.
By the end of the episode, I desperately wished for Iruma Miu, Pekoyama Peko, Togami Byakuya, or one of Danganronpa’s other many, many more interesting counterparts to these exceptional-yet-desperately boring slugs. For some conflict or wit in place of convenience-driven storytelling and stolid dialogue. For some supportive undergarments. But it’s none of those things. It’s like digging into a big bowl of potatoes-and-mayonnaise — bland and tasteless, but still somehow revolting.