Content Warning: Minor fanservice, infantilization
What’s it about? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Shiina Kazuya is an orphaned high schooler living in modern day Japan who one day saves two girls from a crazed man swinging a knife at a convenience store. His gallantry (later revealed to be wholly unnecessary) cost him his life and he reawakens as a three-year-old Cain von Silford, the third son of an esteemed and well regarded noble in a world of swords and magic. Being a teen in a toddler’s body, smashed up against his mother’s ample breasts, he does what is expected of any healthy and sound minded boy his mental age: he becomes fascinated by the world around him and plunges himself into studying how to read and write, even learning a spell or two in secret so he can cast fireballs for funsies.
When Cain turns five, he is baptized and transported to the realm of the gods where he discovers the gods are really sorry for letting him die back in Japan and offers a mea culpa through a laundry list of blessings and super powers, though they also want him, in secret to save the world with those powers too. Cain, armed with immense power, promises to help those around him as an adventurer. You must be absolutely enchanted reading this. You must be wondering, what do I call this fanciful show? I call it: “THE ARISTOCRAT’S (OTHER WORLDLY ADVENTURE: SERVING GODS WHO GO TOO FAR)”!
I did the joke, I don’t think I have anything else to really report here.
What’s that, Vrai? I need to actually write a review? I can’t just charge you $20 for an Aristocrats joke? Fine.
For all that Cain could have been the next iteration of our favorite trope to hate: the horny baby, he is actually the most standup kid around as far as isekai protagonists go. However, you can tell from the opening sequence he’s going to be smothered in fantasy world women (and men as well, perhaps). So the fact he’s not a letch is stunted by the fact everyone else is going to be tripping over themselves to proclaim their undying love for him.
Take your pick. You got your well-endowed mom smothering Cain with her breasts, an overly affectionate older sister, and whoever are these girls in the opening credits who seem to be head over heels with Cain.
Cain himself is alright. Most of the episode is spent with him narrating how he’s learning about the world around him., but there’s very little to really learn about him. Back in Japan, everyone in his family was dead. He was all too conveniently killed off and taken into this magical world where he can be the ubermensch, because why not? This is how these stories go.
Dude’s a bit of a white knight, and his gallantry is nice, but he’s so sincere about it you kinda can’t help but roll your eyes. He even died sorry he made two girls cry when he got gutted with a knife. He then saves his sister in similar fashion, driven to “show some backbone.” I get it, he wants so desperately to be the hero, although the irony is not lost to me that most of the harm is a result of his recklessness. Kazuya could have not interfered with his knife-wielding murderer, and no one in that situation would have died according to the gods. Later, when he saves his sister from a monster, the problem sprang from him accidentally summoning a demon instead of a fluffy magical familiar.
Kid’s powerful, but I guess he is gonna be a teen about it.
What kinda stands out otherwise in the show are the bog standard setting pieces of isekai fantasies. Do you like menus and status screens? There’s plenty of them. Cain even reads out how all seven gods gave him level 10 blessings while we stare at a static status screen displaying just that. His family also treat “status screens” as a fact of life. You just get it after your baptism when you’re five years old. I’d complain how tiring this trope is, but I’m getting tired even pointing it out in these reviews at this point.
The one somewhat weird thing in the show is how it wants to make sure the audience knows Cain was being babied despite mentally being a teen. The gods had even said they initially hoped to keep his memories of being Kazuya locked away until he was older so he wouldn’t have to suffer through being babied as a toddler while retaining his previous life’s memories. Moreover, you get his protective mother and his maid Silvia, who seems hellbent on stuffing a bottle in his face or burping him at the age of three.
Production values are suspect for this show. Everything looks fine, but you realize the production team probably was going through it trying to get the final cut of the episode out. The theme song’s opening animation is reused… at the tail end of the same opening. The ending reuses the same cut of the wistful looking goddess of life and rebirth not two times, but three. We hang on static menu screens as Cain reads them out and the sequence of Kazuya getting stabbed probably gets reused three or so times.
It all looks good, but if you’re paying attention, you can’t help but wonder just how strapped for time were they on this.
Regardless, this show is “exactly what you expect” from an male-led isekai fantasy adventure. Cain’s going to kill monsters. Women love him. He’s too powerful. He has a loving family, which he lacked back in Japan. I’m not holding my breath for anything subversive here, but I’m sure it’ll serve up what you want if you’re into this sort of thing.