Another season, another isekai! We are headed into another video game world in Trapped In A Dating Sim Episode 1, and it might be more unique than you imagined. Let’s see what the series was all about in this review!
Trapped In A Dating Sim Episode 1 Overview
Trapped In A Dating Sim, or Otome Game Sekai wa Mob ni Kibishii Sekai desu is a fantasy, romance and isekai anime based on a light novel written by Yomu Mishima and Monda. The anime is being directed by Kazuya Miura, known for previously directing anime such as Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai, and Shinichi Fukumoto, who served as the assistant director of Tantei Wa Mou Shindeiru.
The series is being animated by Studio ENGI, which was also behind director Miura’s previous directorial work, Uzaki-chan. The series is being published by Kadokawa, which is the entity behind several other anime giants like Your Name, Mushoku Tensei, and the Fate series. This episode is also known as Mobuseka Episode 1, or The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs Episode 1.
– Otome Game Sekai wa Mob ni Kibishii Sekai Desu Episode 1 Review does not contain spoilers –
Trapped In A Dating Sim Episode 1 Review- I Quite Like It, Actually
Metacommentary and Metacomedy are dangerous grounds to tread upon for any form of media. They can be phenomenal when done right, giving some great insight into the intricacies of a medium or entire genre at times. However, you risk making fun of your own medium alongside the genre, and you end up emulating it more than parodying it, essentially becoming your own worst enemy. There is a very thin line between absurd straw-manning and literal emulation that constitute the sweet spot and the golden stage for meta storytelling.
However, one could say metacommentary in isekai shows is becoming too common these days. There is only a certain amount of headspace allotted to isekai shows each season, and most isekai shows get lost in the shuffle because of the sheer number of them. Thus, some isekai shows have to do absurd things to stand out among the crowd, which includes a lot of meta-narratives. The show we are watching right now is but one of them, but this one’s a little different.
First off, the backdrop and worldbuilding of Trapped In A Dating Sim explicitly indicate they are parodying an extremely specific kind of medium, Otome games. These kinds of games are made for a mostly female audience and involve a lot of dating and other adventures. However, that’s not it. Ever since the Fate series got big, there has been a trend of violent war based stories in seemingly innocuous plotlines such as this. One can expect to see everything from Mechas to Wars to Mecha-wars in this show, which can’t be anything but exciting.
Secondly, the series seems to be very high quality. The animation looks crisp and appealing, and the music sounds great. Studio ENGI is a relatively new studio with only 5 completed shows under its belt, but this could be its breakout show. The opening theme is catchy and previews many exciting storylines yet to come. The start has been somewhat generic so far, but the quality of the product makes up for most of the things that feel off about this show. This could be one to watch out for this season, especially since Shield Hero is predicted to lose a lot of its steam in its sophomore outing.
However, there’s one issue that remains to be addressed. A recent trend in media has been self-aware incompetent stories. These constitute stories with flaws, but instead of working on said flaws, the writers have the characters address the flaws in a self-aware manner. Not only does that not fix anything, but breaking the fourth wall like that is counterintuitive and immersion breaking. There was one instance of this happening in the first episode, and while one can be forgiven, more might not be. Addressing such elements comically can work, provided you aren’t laughing at your material being bad. That’s just pathetic.
In Trapped In A Dating Sim Episode 1, we have another show with tremendous potential that can earn a lot of success if it is executed correctly. The first episode was fun and established the world and characters immaculately, which can only lead to good things in the future.
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