Anime Review: "Handyman Saitou in Another World"

This is a STRONG 7. Like... 7.99

I'd say this is well above average in terms of quality isekai series. I generally dislike it when an isekai with a ridiculous premise, such as this one, gets serious, but somehow, I wasn't overly bothered by it here. The plot of this show is pretty much right there in the title. A handyman, named Saitou, ends up being transported to a fantasy world; he joins a party of adventurers who’re exploring a dungeon. He’s good at picking locks, disarming traps, kinda fulfills the role of a rogue in general ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ terms, but without the stealthy backstabbing. I bring up D&D because I could definitely see this entire series being played out on a table-top. It felt like a really whacky campaign, designed by the world’s weebiest DM. For example, one of the biggest, plot-centric turn of events involves a Roomba. So, even when the anime is at its most serious, those bits were balanced out well with laughs and general silliness. It gets precarious, but not bogged down in a dark, depressing way. I really liked the cast of characters too. Saito’s party of adventurers includes a bad-mouthed fairy, a blushing maiden of a fighter, and a lecherous old wizard who can’t remember his own spells. Definitely reminds me of a D&D group generated with quirkiness in mind. Each of them gets a great backstory, some even having entire arcs dedicated to resolving their past conflicts (I cried during the wizard’s). Outside the main party, there’s also a really diverse group of side characters who add their own unique flavor to the show, and here is where I think the series really shines because they’re all so vastly non-standard, that you’re always in for something special when someone new shows up. Even the villains are given their own time to shine. This series was a delightful little piece of isekai popcorn, and I’m glad I stuck with it, even though the start was a bit rocky.

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