The Weakest Tamer Begins a Journey to Pick Up Trash – Episode 1

By: Cy Catwell January 15, 20240 Comments
Ivy flees her home in the middle of the night.

What’s it about? Ivy seems destined for a life of misfortune: born into a life with a weak class and weak rank, she’s quickly abandoned by the world. However, not all is bad. Ivy learns to live off the land and even finds that life may change when she has a chance encounter with a small, helpless slime.

The Weakest Tamer Began a Journey to Pick Up Trash is another entry in the “reincarnated character with powers that seem useless gets kicked out of the village and decides to live a peaceful life” sub-genre of fantasy stories, and honestly there’s no shame in that. It fills a niche that has steadily become a really popular sub-genre, and I like it for that.

What I’m more interested in is what Weakest Tamer has to offer. How will it iterate? How will it hook viewers? How will it hook me? Well, you know what I’m going to say: before I get ahead of myself, let’s dive a bit deeper into this totally not trash premiere.

Ivy finds a trash heap and stocks up on things to help her escape.

Episode 1 is bleak y’all: we start off with a girl being cast out of her village. As she leaves her home behind, the village chief declares her bad luck and a no-star human. From there, we get a bit of exposition and like… Seriously, Ivy can’t win anything. Her parents hate her for her weak skills and lack of ability as a tamer, the village casts her out, and she’s left as a juvenile on her own. 

Worse, Ivy has to stay on the run because her village wants her dead: a starless mouth with zero worth won’t eat, and it’s clear that Ivy’s status as an unskilled nobody is enough that she’s considered trash herself. It’s also clear that she’s a very lonely kid, filling the world with her voice more for companionship than anything else. The gods have played a cruel trick on Ivy…that is, until she discovered a new friend.

Ivy uses old potions to heal her wounds.

A lot of whether or not you’ll like this is going to hinge on Ivy: either you’ll find her plight worth sticking with or you’ll find this story a bit too upsetting from jump. It’s hard too because we’re with Ivy during the entire premiere: very little positive happens to her up front, and without an appreciation for the source novels and manga adaptation, you might find it generally just…meh.

That said, I think there’s something bigger that’ll keep watchers from enjoying Ivy’s story: the lack of cohesion with the isekai genre. It’s clear, if you’re in the know, that this is an isekai—Ivy did exist in another world, though she doesn’t have many memories of her past life. This, however, is represented by a silent-to-the-audience voice in her head and the chime of a bell, which isn’t the strongest way to dive into that or to provide exposition.

And while it’s nice that we don’t start off watching her be abused in her home village, it’s confusing and kind of sets an incoherent tone to the first few minutes of the show. This is definitely something that I hope smooths out within the first few episodes, otherwise this will definitely go from pretty good to a full-on confusing dud, which really would be a shame.

Ivy reflects on how cruel her situation has been and her worth.

For me, I actually like the potential in Ivy’s story: I want to see her grow into a person that has autonomy, into a kid that smiles more often than not. She’s already got enough personality as is: it’s just a matter of time before Ivy gets her just desserts–and joy–in life. And with beautiful scoring, lovely visuals, and an already solid premiere, I think it’ll be an interesting story, although I expect it to remain fairly peaceful.

One thing I remain curious about is just how Ivy will grow. Right now, she’s a bit downtrodden and an underdog, though her life’s path is looking up already. She’s only got a single companion at her side, and that may not be enough. But there’s still a lot of hope in her heart, even though she knows she exists in a world that doesn’t want her. My hope is that Ivy finds lots of love outside her village, that she flourishes. Guess I’ll have to stick around to see that happen…right?

Thankfully, I do plan to hang around: The Weakest Tamer Began a Journey to Pick Up Trash is good for filling in the gaps in my watchlist, offering fantasy that’s not as food-centric as Delicious in Dungeon while also giving me a taste of another cute story to engage with. I sense this will become a personal favorite, especially considering the quality of the dub: it’s just a matter of time and another week’s wait!

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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