As a lifelong student of animation, I enjoy my job as “the cool old blogger dude who hooks you up with good anime series you might have missed.” I spend a lot of time combing through new episodes to find the most worthy shows to introduce to you here. When I find a “bad” show, I usually ignore it and move on to something else, but one isekai series I started watching was so positively horrible, with almost nothing good about it, I just had to share it with you. I’m talking about Shinka no Mi, aka The Fruit of Evolution: Before I Knew It, My Life Had it Made. Let’s see why it’s so bad!
Note: this is a negative review. If The Fruit of Evolution happens to be your favorite anime ever for some reason, you might want to stop reading now.
Why is Shinka no Mi such a Bad Anime?
We’ve all seen some bad isekai anime, and we know that even “bad” anime can be fun for a lot of reasons. Maybe the characters are well designed, and maybe there’s some decent fan service. If the story is too generic, at least it might provide 22 minutes of relaxing escapism for us, right? Not so fast!
Seiichi Hiiragi is a fat, ugly and unlikable high school boy who gets bullied by his classmates, who call him “pig” and exclude him from their groups. To top it off he possesses supernatural body odor, because why not? Suddenly a voice announces to the students in the class that they’re all about to be transported to an isekai world to become heroes.
There’s just one problem: poor Seiichi is a level 1 in all skills, the weakest possible. No one wants to form a party with such a weak member, and with terrible B.O. to boot, so he’s forced to enter the isekai with no friends or support. He finds some awful-tasting “fruit of evolution” that raise his level a little, but when a giant pink talking gorilla is about to smash him, he does what any of us would do…defending himself with his armpit stench.
(Aside: if I ever become the principal of a school, I’m going to randomly announce to the students that they’re about to be teleported to another world, just to see their reactions.)
Of course, no one would watch an anime if all it offers was a thoroughly unlikable main character and a bizarre gorilla. Naturally, he starts building a harem of cute girls, including a tough-talking tanned fighter, the requisite sexy receptionist at the local adventurers’ guild, and his sidekick Saria, whose backstory will surprise you. Happily he “evolves” from a dumpy kid into a more kakko ii version of himself, at least.
One thing I was struck by was the callousness of his classmates who get teleported to this new world along with him. Some of them actively bullied him back in our world, while the others did nothing to stop the abuse, and he appears to have zero friends. When his classmates teleport to the isekai world, only one of them (Kannazuki-senpai) expresses any concern that he didn’t appear with the other students. I was much more interested in the side story of the students from So I’m a Spider, So What?
Is There Anything Good About The Fruit of Evolution?
Of course, nothing is ever completely without redemption. First of all, Shinka no Mi is competently animated…but then, so was Conception, which is universally hailed as being the worst isekai or harem show ever.
It’s got inexplicably great voice actresses, including the Queen of Voice Acting Kana Hanazawa herself, plus Yoko Hikasa (Mio from K-On!, Koh from New Game!) and Marina Inoue (Yoko from Gurren Lagan, Yozora from Haganai). So if you watch anime based on which seiyu are in it, you might want to check out Shinka no Mi.
Next, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the waifus are pretty easy on the eyes. The trouble is that there are so many of them that there’s not much story to make us care about any of them. This is a Narou-kei anime after all, starting out as amateur web fanfiction, and not one of the good ones like Mushoku Tensei or Re:Zero.
Also, the official art by illustrator umiko is gorgeous to look at. I tried to sample the fanart to see what it was like, but there was none, as this show has no fans. I guess official art is all we’ll get.
How Does This Show Have Such a High Rating?
One thing I’m confused by is how this series has managed a My Anime List ranking of 6.16, putting it a bit below the not-Shakespeare-yet-thoroughly-enjoyable Maken-Ki! and The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, and ahead of the legendary Yosuga no Sora. While no one ever accused the MAL community of having good taste, when 50,000~200,000 users rank a given anime, the score at least becomes semi-useful for judging the quality of one show against its peers. Love it or hate it, MAL is the closest thing to Rotten Tomatoes for anime.
Since I had to see this image, so do you.
Thanks for reading this blog post on the truly awful Shinka no Mi anime. What do you think of the show? Am I expecting too much from the 7814th isekai anime from Japan? Or am I coming at it from entirely the wrong direction? Tell us below, or on Twitter!
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