Content warning: Graphic sexual assault and gore from the first frame of the episode.
Editor’s note: Screenshots have been altered in this review for “funsies.”
What’s it about? A gamer wakes up in his highly OP fantasy MMO avatar’s body. Rather than despair, he is dazzled at the opportunity to live a new fantasy life as a courteous white knight. The only problem is, his body is now a skeleton!
I cannot stress enough how graphic this show starts off from frame zero. A quick subtitle informing us that “scenes that some viewers may find disturbing” does not cut it to describe the 40 seconds of graphic, clothes-ripping assault and humiliation that ensues, before capping it all off with 10 seconds of edgy blood-splattering gore as the assailants are sliced into chunks like they just got run through a Slap-Chop.
And I know that animators use a lot of smoke and mirrors to make good-looking animation while saving time and money on production. A lot of times, shows will splice in cuts of previously animated segments so that the animators don’t have to animate a full 20 minutes of screen time. Skeleton Knight saves roughly a whole minute of production by reusing, in its entirety, the entire 58 second cut of the show’s cold open 13 minutes and 45 seconds in with very small changes to add Arc’s contemplation on whether to get involved or not.
What’s even more infuriating is, the entire first episode of Skeleton Knight in Another World manages to do what Goblin Slayer did over an entire cour. That is, starting things off with graphic sexual assault and relaxing into a story that’s just about some dude who kills monsters in a fantasy setting.
Aside from the opening in question, Arc’s only real fault is that he’s what every fedora-wearing white-knight wishes they could be. He is just a courteous, fun-loving guy who studied the blade and just wants to live life to the fullest despite looking like a monster. He is the consummate female respecter and there’s nothing exactly wrong with that, but that’s only because the story writes this guy as infallible, even if he can kill a bunch of bandits without feeling any form of remorse.
Add to all this the obvious callbacks to everyone’s other favorite Isekai MMO bone-daddy, Ainz Ooal Gown (Overlord), and you’re left wondering, do I really care about this show?
And the answer is no. I have better uses of my time.
This is just another goddamn isekai fantasy about some misunderstood nice guy who looks like a monster (How Not to Summon a Demon Lord) steeped in MMO mechanics (She Professed Herself Pupil of the Wise Man) to follow his fun little over-powered adventures in another world without much of a goal in mind (Wise Man’s Grandchild). There are so many other shows I would rather watch or promote.
We get it. He can do the video game thing! He has powerful unique end-game equipment! There is the funnies on occasion that will make you chuckle, because the show is meant to be light-hearted when a girl isn’t getting raped on screen! Sure, fine, okay. None of that really matters.
The show’s production quality is fine. I’d even say it’s even on the “good” side of things, aside from the obvious CGI look of Arc’s armor. But there’s nothing unique about this show that makes me go “well if you’re looking for this one very specific thing, I would recommend it,” so long as the opening scene gets in its way.
And as AniFem’s resident trashmonger with worms for brains, I’d even say to you chuds going “but hurr hurr, what if I want the edgy sexual assualt,” go watch something edgier! Even you can do better here.
And I’m honestly being very fair here, because I thought about not even giving this show a fair shake after the first minute. I almost wanted to drop it and go “don’t care about the other 23 minutes. I’m just gonna say this show sucks.” I was up until 4 a.m. last night covering a city meeting for my day job. I’m sleep deprived. I’m tired. I don’t care. But I decided I’d spend a couple of hours to make sure this is actually done with the attention it deserves because I wanted an excuse to Photoshop my fedora on Arc for the review. You’re welcome.