The Unwanted Undead Adventurer – Episode 1

By: Caitlin Moore January 6, 20240 Comments
Close zoom on a skull. Subtitle: I'm very obviously a skeleton

What’s it about? Since he was a child, Rentt Faina has dreamt of being a mithril-class adventurer, achievable only by performing a great act of heroism. Ten years into his career, though, he’s still only ranked bronze, eking out a meager existence by taking on easy jobs and trawling a low-level dungeon populated with slimes and skeletons. He thinks it’s his lucky day when a blasted-out wall reveals a previously-undiscovered section, but that dream becomes a nightmare when he encounters a powerful dragon. He survives… well, after a fashion. Can you really call a skeleton alive?

Not an hour after I submitted my review for Sasaki and Peeps, opining my hatred for the excessive narration that marks lazy light novel adaptations, I watched The Unwanted Undead Adventurer; much like how the dragon turned Rentt into a skeleton, it turned me into the Joker.

Rentt the skeleton tossing a loaf of bread in the air in a blue-lit dungeon. Subtitle: but I'm mostly back to normal after defeating those monsters.

It starts off fine. Almost even good. The cold open is a dialogue-free scene of an enormous dragon with creepy hands menacing the adventurer who we soon learn is Rentt as the young man panics. The screen goes dark, and when it returns to the same chamber, a skeleton in Rentt’s clothing stirs. He looks at his reflection in the water, and begins to panic. Cut to the decidedly mediocre opening theme, where skele-Rentt is cosplaying Dr. Doom and a trio of pretty girls dance around and smile for the camera.

From there, the story jumps backward in time to Rentt getting up in the early morning, narrating how in society, only rich people can sleep until noon and poor people have to get up early. He proceeds to never. Shut. Up. He describes his plans for the day. He describes what adventurers do. He describes his choice to go solo, because he’s bad at his job. He describes the dull, blue-lit dungeon he’s entering. It’s annoying, but it’s also not unexpected for the genre. But then.


A skeleton falls down the stairs as Rentt walks by. Subtitle: Many researches [sic] are trying to explain their mysteries,
God I wish that were me

The exact same scene as the cold open plays again. Like, literally the same animation cut. BUT THIS TIME HE’S NARRATING IT AS IT HAPPENS. It was plenty effective on its own! He narrates how the “pressure it exerts [freezes him] to the spot,” when that was clearly communicated through the visuals already! “I’m a skeleton,” he says, as if we couldn’t tell that on our own. A blind man could tell he was a skeleton, and I say that with confidence because there was one sitting next to me when this happened. Seriously, it was like having the visual description audio track on. At that point, I lost it. I kept yelling at my TV for Rentt to shut the fuck up until the ending credits rolled. I would have thrown things if there was anything nearby that I didn’t think would damage the screen. 

The Unwanted Undead Adventurer has absolutely no faith in the intelligence of its viewers. Here is a list of things that Rentt defines in a story aimed exclusively at genre-savvy megageeks:

  • adventurers
  • dungeons
  • dragons
  • monsters
  • skeletons
  • the undead
  • slimes
  • the beauty industry. (This made me yell at the screen for him to shut the fuck up. He did not.)
Rentt kneeling over a puddle of slime with some beakers next to him. Subtitle: Women's desire for beauty must be endless
Nowhere near as my desire for you to shut the fuck up

I would have taken video game mechanics over this. His incessant droning was so tedious that I barely even noticed when his scholar friend was introduced boobs-first. I didn’t care that hey, as a human he was vaguely cute and was also introduced back muscles-first. All my earthly desires withered away, leaving in their place a righteous fury against the people who inflicted this upon me. If I died right now, I would come back as a vengeful spirit, haunting lazy isekai adaptation teams who look at insipid first-person narratives and decide they should make the transfer to a visual medium.

But I am not dead, nor am I undead. I’m alive, with a pot of chicken fat I’m rendering into schmaltz on the stove that is infinitely more interesting than The Unwanted Undead Adventurer. It’s an apt title for such a lifeless, forgettable series.

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