Rainy night in Japan. An obese, barefoot man stumbles across the streets. Highschoolers giggle, unfazed and unconcerned. A truck approaches, they don’t notice, but the man does and sacrifices himself for them. We would think of this man as a hero. But when the show pulls back its curtain he is anything but, although he sets himself towards that path. He is a victim of the abuse he suffered during high school. He was treated so vile, so disgustingly, and shunned by those around him. This turned him into a NEET. His parents never gave up on him. But as time flew by, and it does faster and faster as one gets older, he started to, both inwardly and physically resemble the people who abused him. He acts horribly towards his parents, never trying to better his condition. He doesn’t even really exhibit any will towards betterment, at least not at that time. The parents die, and his siblings, furious to find him masturbating in his locked, messy, dark room on the day of their parent’s funeral, kick him out. Literally, kick him out into the cold rainy Tokyo night.
He dies but is resurrected in another dimension, given another chance by the weirdo God of that world. The world is a typical sword and magic setting. He is reborn as a baby but remains the same person in terms of his soul or mental capacities. He tries to embrace his new life, trying to make the best of this new life, a life worth living. And you really want to root for him, but at times it is really difficult. There is a pervy, even paedophilic side to him. Sure he is in a kid’s body, but the urges and intentions are of a grown man. So when he touches his teacher, who looks like a young teen, but in actuality is very, very old you can’t help but be grossed out. In general, the show tries to take a lighthearted tone on sexual harassment, which I honestly find disgusting. Nowhere is this apparent than in the scenes when his first magical teacher Roxy is around the prince she is tutoring. It is hinted that the prince might also be a reborn NEET from our dimension, which makes one wonder what kind of God is ruling their dimension.
But one has to give props to our NEET, now reborn as Rudeus Grayrat. He tries hard from day one to master magic, studying and practicing all the time. He for the first time makes his new parents proud. Hating physical activity in his previous life, he changes and even embraces practicing swordsmanship with his new father Paul. Paul, like his son, has some issues with his horniness, which will expand the family as the show goes on. The biggest step is conquering his former trauma of the outside world. While in a new body, the memories of high school, and all the abuse, shame, and degradation still haunt him. They paralyze him, as a sort of dense mental cage. But, with the help of his teacher Roxy, bit by bit he is able to once again embrace a life outside the house, and start to live in the world, full of people, animals, demons, and other beasts. He even saves a little girl, who he mistakes for a boy. They grow close, become friends and Rudeus even helps her learn magic.
The show is very well-paced. It jumps from one escalation to the next, never giving you a dull moment. There is always some complication. And it is lovely to see Rudeus try and embrace the obstacles in his new life, and not, like in his previous life, just fall and never get back up. We move very quickly from one phase of the story to the next. The training, the Sylphy arc, to his time at the castle, and the biggest twist of all that sets him on a huge quest, in the company of a character that has, all along the way of the show, been described as worse than the devil.
The world is incredibly diverse and well thought out. There are a lot of races, all with their own ways of life, beliefs traditions. Some live as long as we do, some five times or more longer. What makes the world wonderful to discover is also the animation. Every episode has a few just jaw-dropping landscape backgrounds. The fight animation is very fluid and the fight scenes or scenes when magic is being cast are irresistible eye candy. The music composed by Yoshiaki Fujisawa does a great job making the sword and magic setting come to life even more. Most of all the flute pieces are quite moving.