English Dub Review: Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest “Guardian of the Depths”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Nagumo and Yue reach the 100th floor, where the Maverick could lie. Before they can reach the door of the lair, a gigantic, multicolored hydra arises from the tile. Every head does something different: the red one breathes fire, the blue one breathes ice, the green one spits energy boomerangs. The yellow one is armored, the white one heals, and the black one makes the enemy see their worst fear. Yue quickly learns this in battle when the black dragon makes her view a scenario where Nagumo leaves her in her prison. Paralyzed with fear, Yue is about to be eaten but is saved by Nagumo, who places her behind a rock and gives her a deep, reassuring kiss to ground her.

He and Yue face-off with the dragons and destroy them — except for the white one, who attempts to blast Yue. Nagumo defends her and takes the brunt of the hit. He appears to be dead, but a very weak Yue heals him with holy water before attempting to shoot the beast herself. She appears down for the count, and the dragon gears up to fatally blast her, but Nagumo gets back on his feet to help her. He then plants bombs on the stone ceiling and detonates them, causing the stone to crush and defeat the white dragon.

Meanwhile, the students are back in the Labyrinth to avenge Nagumo.

Our Take

Well, that was a whole lot of nonsense.

No matter who uncultured someone is when it comes to dragons or anime fights, anyone off the street could say that Nagumo and Yue had no chance of winning that face-off. There were so many times during that fight where realistically, they should have died — instead, the white dragon appeared to just have really careless aim at any point the characters were in danger. It would have made more sense if they had at least managed to blind it beforehand. At least if it were partially blind, it wouldn’t have had to view that creepy ass, forced-as-hell, battlefield romance scene between Nagumo and Yue. Lord knows we weren’t that lucky.

Seriously — where did that come from? There was absolutely no buildup to it whatsoever. It’s also just icky to watch — Yue’s anatomy and voice is so childlike that even if there was pacing, it still wouldn’t have been okay. There’s literally no reason why she needs to look like a child. None. Good luck telling Kaori about your newly-found 12-year-old girlfriend, Nagumo. We’re sure “she’s actually 800 years old” will hold up swimmingly in court.

Even to viewers who haven’t read the light novel, it’s blatantly apparent that the translation from book to anime has lead to some horrible, obvious pacing issues. It’s a shame because the general plot seems pretty complex. Too bad we’re getting none of that complexity — instead, we’re just left confused and unattached to the characters. Like many anime studios, they made the mistake of pumping it out in the cheapest way possible, but wouldn’t it have been more profitable to invest in more episodes of a series that already has a decent following?

Not taking that gamble has really cost this series its quality.

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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