Hey! It another gender-blender show. I hope that this isn’t the latest anime craze, especially since the focus of these shows is what once was a guy is now a gal. And it’s an isekai as well, so, all bets are off. We find ourselves in the reshaped world of…(take a deep breath; it’s a long title)… “Life with an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated into a Total Fantasy Knockout” (“Fantajī Bishōjo Juniku Ojisan to”, or “With a Fogie Reincarnated as a Pretty Fantasy Girl”, which has been abbreviated as “Fabiniku”). And since we have thrown everything into it, including the kitchen sink, well, it certainly has a lot to take in, so here we go.
We enter the lives of 19-year-old Hinata Tachibana (him/her left) and Tsukasa Jinguuji (he right). They have been friends since, perhaps, the third grade. They work for an office and one day, after work, they go a-drinking. Collapsing to the street in a depressed, drunken frame of mind, Hinata, who has no girlfriends and even fewer prospects, wishes that he were a woman. Suddenly, a Goddess of Love appears (as if that would happen in America. Could you see this going down in, say, “Road House”? Yeah, didn’t think so) and before you can say “Prang!”, they both find themselves in a strange new world. They are now heroes, tasked with defeating a Demon Lord.
Junguuji is upset that his friend was transposed (but he wished for it, right?) and refuses the quest. Alas, never piss on a God or Goddess, so she cursed them with a desire TO save the world. Now, if that wasn’t bad enough, they start to realize that they have ‘feelings’ for one another, which they try to deny, but that’s like playing Hide-and-Seek in the desert. Then, a horrible, hideous, horrific monster appears before them, which Jinguuji defeats with one blow. So, at least they have some power stats to survive in this world and resolve the quest before them. The series looks at their interactions with this world and with each other.
Now, do NOT consider this yaoi or BL. They both realize that Hinata is still a man at heart; he’s just been moved into a different vessel, but they cannot deny the feelings that are starting to grow. When Jinguuji goes off on his fantasy tangents, as he imagines marrying the woman before him, he has to remind himself (constantly) that this is his best MALE friend. Still, a lot of comic gold is extracted from this mine.
For Hinata’s part, s/he finds that s/he is endless attracting hordes of men in this world, which is both disturbing (“Uh, you know, I AM a guy, right?”) and enthralling “(I’m liked for the first time!”) and has absolutely no idea as to how to handle this, as well as having to turn down numerous and endless request of marriage. It’s just that they lurch from one crisis to another and the path to even getting to the Demon Lord is long and strewn with obstacles to slow them down or deter them fully.
Now, I like a good farce and having a show where the people aren’t too bright. This show isn’t bad, but they needed to dial it up just a bit, so the full ridiculousness of the situation and circumstances come to light. Yes, you can have dramatic instances, where things take a divergent path, but it has to right itself.
I would have like to have seen more Hinata’s frustration in being a woman and learning it ain’t all that easy on the other side. As for Jinguuji, we have him balanced just right, caught between a rock and a hard place. Also, looking to the future as to how things will play out once they complete their task, how will his relationship with his childhood friend change?
Oh, yeah, right. Since we did not accomplish the task that we hoped to do in 12 episodes, there will be a second season of this madcap mayhem.
So, you binge. There might be a worry that we see the same sameness over all the episodes, but it is the manner in which these problems are overcome that will quell the standard pulls of ‘everyone wants to may Hinata’ and ‘Jinguuji is so freaking strong!’ I am more impressed that Jinguuji keeps that suit nice, clean and crisp, despite all the fighting he’s doing and that there isn’t a dry cleaners for centuries to come.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (The regular template)
Plot 8 (Played out quite well)
Pacing 8 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 8 (Trying to resolve a lot of problems at once)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (You deal with a NEW set of problems, man)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. What is this? I mean, WHAT IS THIS?!!?