Alternative title(s): Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to, Fabiniku
Manga Adaptation by OLM
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Thirty something salarymen Tachibana and Jinguji have been inseparable bros since childhood. After a night of drinking, the two meet a goddess that transports them to a fantasy world. To their surprise, she has also transformed Tachibana into a beautiful girl!
Jel’s verdict: I Can’t Believe This Terrible Isekai Premise was Reincarnated into a Decent Romantic Comedy???
Reading the title and premise, I was cracking my knuckles, ready to tear into this for transphobia, homophobia, and whatever other hate crimes you might expect from your isekai power fantasy flavor of the week series. And yet, while there are some occasional doses of “no homo” going on here, this kind of turned out OK????? At least as OK as I, being a straight cisgender man, am comfortable declaring it. Your mileage may vary.
The difference maker is the show clearly demonstrates these two love each other regardless of their physical appearance. The only thing Tachibana’s transformation does is shock them into realizing something they’ve known all along. Granted, they are still somewhat in denial in this first episode, but what anime romantic comedy DOESN’T have the main couple in denial at first? That’s just how these things work.
The end result is a comedy that a lot of people have compared to Kaguya-sama: Love is War, with two terrible people trying to force each other to admit they’re in love. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying this is going to be a comedy of that caliber, but they are channeling that kind of vibe. Add in some stellar animation and good comedic timing, and… I still can’t believe I’m saying this… it was all pretty good?????
I do remain skeptical the writing will continue to walk the razor thin line required to avoid becoming transphobic or homophobic to some degree. You could already argue there is some of that in this first episode. But if, and this is a big “if”, they can keep up this level of quality, we might end up with a solid romantic comedy in the end. I hope it doesn’t make me eat my words.