Isekai Quartet

September 7, 2019

Oh God. The isekai genre is so freaking popular these days that in order to do the ultimate isekai series, here it is, the mother of all crossovers, Isekai Quartet. Four of the most popular isekai animes recently, Overlord, Youjo Senki, Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo somehow come together in this epic mash-up to relive their life in yet another world. School life, that is. And in chibi form too. I guess when life is too tough in the world you were sent to, they give you a chance of respite by sending you to another world. Because Japanese high school life is supposed to be the best time in one’s life, right? Unless it causes more stress and tension due to the vastly different culture and tradition. But can they smash all that difference and work together as one? That is what school life is for, right?

Episode 1
It’s already bad enough Kazuma has to put up with another one of Aqua’s complaints. Then he finds a weird button inside his bag. Meanwhile Ains is having a briefing with his Nazarick guardians when Demiurge reports the sighting of a strange phenomenon regarding buttons. Ains orders to take precautions. Kazuma tries to stop Aqua from pushing the button but it is Megumin who did it. Now they are warping into another world! As Ains sits back on his throne, he didn’t know he sat on the button. Warp time! Both sides find themselves in the school compound. Confused, it is going to get more confusing when they are ushered in as class is about to beginning. Also in this class is Tanya and her unit. She too is troubled over how this happened. She was testing a new prototype when it went wrong. The only way to abort was to press the button. Which button?! Schugel insisted there was only 1 button and so Tanya pressed both of them. Now that she is here, is this another test from Being X? Finally, the last group now comes in. It’s Subaru and his girls. Some going crazy at this weirdness, some in shock, some trying to stay positive. School life is fun, they say…

Episode 2
Roswaal is their teacher and he lays down the simple ground rules for their school life. Ains asks if he does not wish to participate in this and he is replied that there is no choice. For there will be punishments if there are violations. The class’ first task is to introduce each other. You bet it is going to be chaotic. For example, Kazuma briefly introduces all his girls rather than letting them do it by themselves because you know, it will take forever if they do it on their own to make it sound so epic. At the end of the day as Ains and his Nazarick guardians are walking home, they are being confronted by Aqua. She is not happy that there is another being who calls himself God as well as a myriad of undead creatures. She zaps him and WTF it causes Ains pain?! Though, still not effective enough to kill him. It ends only when Kazuma beats her up and takes her away, apologizing for the troubles caused. This has Ains to ponder a goddess was able to hurt him and yet a human beat up a goddess. This world has serious balance issues! Next day, Aqua is punished to stand outside the hallway while carrying water. Well, she is the water goddess after all.

Episode 3
Tanya narrates she would have really loved this school life had not the situation makes everything look baffling. Monsters as classmates, Rudersdorf as principal and Zettour as his vice, even the battlefield makes more sense than this! She remembers Roswaal warning Albedo wanting to get revenge on Aqua but Demiurge explains what he noticed why the school rules must be observed. Basically if they break it, they will not be able to return to their world. This makes sense to Tanya but I don’t think the upcoming hidden annual show for them to be closer friends is going to sit well with her. As Beatrice gets ‘teased’ by Koenig and Neumann as a little girl, she storms into the teacher’s room to complain to Roswaal. As he is not in, only Rerugen is around. She has not accepted all that is around her and demands to see Roswaal. It seems Rerugen’s words hypnotizes her to calm down and obey. Tanya thinks that Ains could be Being X and confronts him to have a private talk. This sets Albedo on rage mode, thinking she wants to seduce his beloved Ains. With Rem somewhat agreeing love knows no bounds, Albedo quickly becomes friends with her. Too late as Ains leaves with Tanya and Albedo can’t follow since Rerugen’s class is going to start.

Episode 4
At the park, Tanya accuses Ains as Being X. Of course he denies and soon points out if Tanya comes from Earth and more specifically Japan. Because of this ‘similarity’, they become good friends. It’s hard to think that Tanya is actually a salaryman and Ains a gamer guy-cum-programmer, right? Right at the moment the bell rings to signal school is over, Albedo and Viktoriya rush out to go get their comrade. Tanya sees Viktoriya and ends the conversation. She leaves a note that the food here in this world tastes good but unfortunately for Ains, he can’t eat. He then notices a very jealous Albedo stalking behind the trees. Barely keeping her rage in check… Next day, Rerugen is in shock. Did Tanya just smile? Never happened in their world, right? As Subaru is running late, she has Rem carry him. He isn’t the only guy being carried by a girl as Kazuma is letting Darkness to the same but he has no shame in doing so. Once the guys see each other, they realize they just need to get to school on their own feet. Unfortunately they are just a second too late. As they are being punished, both guys could tell they come from Japan. Best friends now. As they talk on about everything, it is only when Subaru starts talking about how great his harem that Kazuma starts getting jealous. He declares him the enemy and accuses him for having such a great harem compared to his. Some guys have all the luck, huh?

Episode 5
Roswaal will randomly draw a name from the box and he/she will perform his talent. First up is… Rerugen! I suppose he must lead by example since he is their teacher. So what does he do? Sing the national anthem? Lame. Nobody impressed. Maybe except Darkness. How embarrassing. Somebody please kill him. Then we have Subaru doing some lame cat’s cradle out of Tokyo Tower followed by Rem smashing a watermelon with her mace (hitting Rerugen in the process). WTF Weiss tries to strip himself but luckily Tanya puts a stop to this shamefulness. Darkness wants a volunteer to whip her to show she has a strong body so for some odd reason, Grantz volunteers. Since she is pestering him and looking so forward, this leaves Grantz in a lurch and everybody starts calling this poor guy a scumbag. Even his own comrades. Aqua wants to vaporize everybody but is stopped by Kazuma. Hence Roswaal considers her talent being idiotic with Kazuma as her show. Megumin wants to do her explosion so Roswaal prepares a target outside. Indeed the most impressive explosion. This in turn has Ains wants to show off his. So he uses his magic to make it snow. Super impressive.

Episode 6
It’s that time that every class must have: Elect a class rep. With the Nazarick team vouching for Ains, only Aqua opposes. Quarrel ensued, of course. With Emilia also volunteering to be one, Roswaal starts the draw. Emilia becomes the class rep while the vices are Ains and Aqua. Of course this means Albedo and Aqua protesting. With Aqua threatening to quit, this means an open post. The Nazarick guardians now become enthusiastic to be serving next the Ains. In the end Albedo wins the lottery becoming the vice with Ains. Other roles are: Animal care (Subaru, Aura, Aqua); Disciplinary (Tanya, Demiurge, Kazuma); Lunch (Ram, Viktoriya); Library (Beatrice, Mare); Gym (Cocytus, Darkness, Weiss, Koenig, Nuemann); Nurse (Rem, Shalltear) and Intercom (Megumin, Grantz). Demiurge once again comes up with the deduction that all of them are in different groups so as to gather info for Ains for his world domination plan. Yeah. Let’s go with that. When Demiurge orders Kazuma and Tanya to kneel, it only has an effect on Kazuma. Also, Tanya’s orders seem to have an effect only on Kazuma too. Since Demiurge and Tanya are having the same opinions about rules, both of them get along very well together. Oh Kazuma, you’re always screwed wherever you go. Meanwhile Darkness is trying to take out her masochism before her gym committee. It just gets weirder and weirder…

Episode 7
Emilia feels tired after a hard day as a class rep. However she feels happy as nobody calls her a half-elf and of course she’s never been to school before so this is fun. Subaru narrates how he was taking care of Hamusuke in her pen and that giant hamster had the penchant of chewing on his head! Rem is upset because he was injured but didn’t come to see her at the infirmary to get treatment. Beatrice doesn’t think much of her librarian job. Just reading books all day. With Mare. Subaru teases her about making a new friend and this makes this princess throw a denying tantrum. Ains and Albedo are discussing with Emilia and agree with her plan to do an activity that involves making school fun for everyone. With Roswaal announcing the upcoming field trip to the beach, Ains gets this idea to do an activity that all can participate. Emilia is motivated and gives off her best smile.

Episode 8
Ains chairs the class to discuss about their beach trip. Does anyone oppose this? Not unless you’re Aqua! Opposing for the sake of opposing? She really does have a bone to pick with Ains, eh? She only relents when Emilia says it is her idea and wants everybody to get along. Everyone discusses the activities they’d be doing but when it comes to night activities, certain females get turned on fantasizing about the other kind of ‘night activities’. Kazuma suggests kimodameshi but Subaru opposes. There are real monsters in this class, right? Unwittingly he exposes his own ulterior motive to get some sexy fanservice scene of feeling their boobs in jump scares. Eventually everyone agrees on it. I guess that is because pure Emilia doesn’t know what it means. Yeah, it sounded great but she doesn’t know how ‘scary’ the truth is… We see Albedo and Shalltear shopping for swimsuits. For Ains. Then Aqua shows up. Oh dear. B*tch fight on the cards? Luckily Kazuma is here to remind them about getting along. Kazuma gets turned on when he realizes Albedo is a succubus. Shalltear then whispers to him some embarrassing secrets that makes Albedo seething in anger. Something about she is supposed to seduce men but finds herself being seduced by Ains. Amazingly it is Aqua who butts in and lectures that it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you’re in love. She’s a real goddess for once. Then she hints about Shalltear wearing pads. That’s bad because it’s like lying to others. Now it’s Albedo’s turn to have the last laugh and Shalltear seething with anger wanting to kill Aqua. Patience, my vampire girl…

Episode 9
The beach trip is here. Tanya’s men think this is their reward after fighting hard in the battlefield. Until Cocytus tells them to give him 1000 push ups! Darkness also joins in and as expected her depraved mind hopes she’ll be exhausted and the men do something unthinkable to her body. Maybe those men are satisfied in just staring at her boobs… Kazuma tries to peep on girls but Demiurge flashes him to temporary blindness. I don’t think he flashed his monster dick… After loads of fun in the day, it’s time for kimodameshi at night. Nothing scary happens. Well, with monsters and far worst things that happened in their world, this is relatively tame. Aqua is in the same group as Ains, Subaru and Tanya. She notes how all of them are from Earth since Kazuma is also from there. After all, she is the one who sent him to his world. This statement makes Tanya lose her sh*t. OMG! Did she go full Super Saiyan?! With Aqua reduced to chicken sh*t, Tanya is absolutely mad that she is Being X. Luckily Ains and Subaru calms her down that this so called Being X can’t be as weak as this self-proclaimed goddess. They got a point. Sorry for getting worked up. That forced knocked out some of Tanya’s men so she berates them for lacking mental discipline. Aqua complains to Kazuma that nobody believed her as a goddess and they got mad when they did. Probably she deserved it. Ains noticed Subaru managed to withstand Tanya’s rage. In Nazarick, only those level 8 or higher can tolerate that. He wonders what kind of mental stress he used to live under.

Episode 10
The sports festival will soon be here. Roswaal motivates his class to win because the reward might be returning to their worlds. However, who are they going to rival with? Roswaal points out the other class besides them. So if you’re wondering why you don’t see other characters like the Pleiades Maids, Reinhard and Chris, yeah they’re in this class. Subaru, Ains and Tanya discuss their chances against these characters in their rival class when they overheard Chris talking to Kazuma and his girls that if you die in this world, you will not revive. This makes Subaru wonder if his curse is still relevant. Not sure what he did to Tanya’s ears but looks like his curse is still alive and well. But it also causes Hamusuke to run amok? With Ains rallying his class to win, however the only person against it all is Kazuma. He is fine staying in this world and doesn’t mind being a lazy scumbag. This is when Tanya snaps and will have him undergo some harsh training. Tanya and Puck rain magic on him. Not so lazy now, huh? Kazuma using all his energy to dodge and run. Even Megumin wants to join in the fun. Look out for some explosions!!!

Episode 11
Sports festival is here. Yunyun approaches Megumin who at first pretends not to know her. Yunyun is then spammed with the usual Megumin cockiness and is being told off if she even knows what to do and has friends to help her. So apparently there is a third class? The games start as we see snippets of it. The main rivalry is between the first and second class until before the final game is to be played, it is announced the winner will get 100 million points! Yeah, everything they played for was for nought, eh? The final match is kibasen but only 4 are chosen to represent their class. We have Tanya-Ains-Subaru-Kazuma on one side and the other consisting of Felt-Reinhard-Julius-Chris. And if you’re wondering about Yunyun, yeah, she is the only person in the third class. No wonder we don’t see her class participate in any games… However, surprise teacher team of Roswaal-Vanir-Pandora-Rerugen join in last minute. Hence both classes agree to cooperate to take down this menace before resuming their fight. All have their tricks up their sleeves but with the teacher’s team slightly at a disadvantaged, Rudersdorf and Zettour decide to unleash a giant robo spider to aid them. Beat that!

Episode 12
At least they have a chance to beat it. Not destroy it but as long as they take off its headband, they win. Of course it won’t be easy since it is so powerful and the teachers are putting up resistance. Julius and Reinhard discuss with Subaru to split their jobs. It seems the former duo will handle the teachers and they’ll leave the spider up to Subaru’s team! Why are the most powerful characters handling the easiest opponents? Something about not wanting to steal the limelight… But remember, we have the powerful Ains. So after unleashing his brand of magic, he throws his teammates into the air. Then he summons the undead to protect everyone. The trio are now flying towards the spider. Subaru sounds like he is going to sacrifice himself but that’s okay. His ability is to revive, right? He did just that for the rest to fly further but luckily the undead save him. Now it’s Kazuma’s turn to give Tanya her final push as he claims luck is his best ability. Well, I take that as long as it is not luck with girls. With all that, Tanya is able to steal the spider’s headband and win it for her team. In the aftermath, looks like they are still stuck in this world. Roswaal reminds them that he only said maybe. With them resigning to their fate of staying in this world a little longer, they think it is not a bad idea since they are having fun. Then Roswaal introduces new transfer students…

School Daze – Nippon Koukousei Banzai!
I guess the only logic that since everybody is having so much fun, they can’t return to their own worlds yet and thus this warrants another season! Hooray! Banzai for another season of chibi comedy isekai crossover! Uh huh. They did a lot of standard and typically cliché Japanese high school stuffs but they haven’t done everything yet. That is why the cliché transfer student trope as the surprise and shocking ending twist that leaves us hanging means we have to come back next season to find out more, right? Only then when all of them had their high school fun, their graduation means returning to their original worlds. Yeah, they’ll have so much fun, make so many close bonds that they’ll start crying and not want to leave each other. Sob, sob. Oh yeah. I can see this coming from a mile already. Assuming this speculation of mine comes true, that is.

If Avengers: Infinity War was the ultimate crossover for the Marvel universe, I guess this series is the anime equivalent. Although there is literally no real storyline and that everything is just random and light hearted, it still helps if you know the characters and the series that they come from. Not to say that you will totally miss out on anything if you did not see one or any of the other series but you would seemingly understand why some of the characters act so. Like for example why Kazuma is the only one among the main character quartet who is being ‘mistreated’ by his loser harem. Those who watched Overlord would definitely understand the subtle b*tch rivalry between Albedo and Shalltear. Among the cute maids, there is a reason why Ram treats Subaru coldly compared to her twin, Rem. But don’t worry, as I’ve said if you have not watched any one of these series, you won’t be at a total lost. Everything is meant to be funny and light hearted so nothing really serious in expecting any sort of drastic change in the characters.

I’m glad that the epic crossover is confined to these popular isekai series. Because imagine if they had crossovers from other crappy isekai series or do another series incorporating those sh*tty animes, it would have been a total disaster. Can you imagine if there was a crossover on shows like Isekai Wa Smartphone To Tomo Ni, Hyakuren No Haou To Seiyaku No Valkyria, Death March Kara Hajimari Isekai Kyousoukyoku, Kenja No Mago and even Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken. It would have been an absolute disaster! Imagine these overpowered main characters getting together and owning it all in this alternate high school world is one thing, imagine again bringing their damn harem over! Damn, this world is going to be filled with overpowered cheesiness and girls! Babes, babes everywhere!!! So I’m happy we have popular and amazing isekai series for this crossover and not those sh*tty ones. I hope I didn’t give those producers any weird ideas! Because I sure hope these characters from these crappy animes aren’t the hinted transfer students!!! Say it isn’t so!!!

Still weird when you think that a high school setting is used. Sure, as said, high school days are the most fun in a Japanese kid’s life, right? RIGHT?! However as you can see, many characters here don’t really need high school or go to high school at all. The Nazarick floor guardians, Kazuma’s harem, Subaru’s harem and Tanya’s military dudes. Just take a look at them. Do they really need school? Monsters, fantasy babes and military guys all coming together to experience something they don’t need because it is not applicable in their lives back in their original world. A sad reminder that what we mostly learn in school aren’t applicable in real adult life… :’(. Good thing we see them having fun like field trips and sports festival. No homework too. Because seriously, if they are supposed to be studying for a test… What test?! For what purpose they need to receive an ‘A’???!!! Totally weird. But whatever. Three cheers for high school life! Now we need a crazily powerful student council body as the ruling autocratic dictatorship to fight against…

Despite all the familiar characters from the 4 series, unfortunately there isn’t enough screen time to let them all have their proper limelight. Uh huh. Me nit-picking that there are too many characters! While the main quartet like Ains, Tanya, Subaru and Kazuma get the bulk of the limelight (since they are the faces who represent their respective series), some mostly fall to the wayside and aren’t as memorable like Beatrice and Tanya’s men. Don’t expect to see any sort of character development because what’s the use of having so when everything is just for fun. Part of the fun sees how the characters try to get along despite coming from different worlds. Some try to do their best and assimilate like sweet dear Emilia, others doing it because their superior says so (Tanya’s men and the Nazarick floor guardians) and some just simply opposing and be a pain in the ass. Like Aqua. Although I can’t say they are 100% compatible but at least we can see them get along without turning this into a battle royale bloodshed. Oh yeah. Thank goodness it didn’t. Just when you think other characters in those series won’t appear, surprise! Another class! Oh boy. This is really getting crowded for one small but epic crossover.

If there was the most dislikeable character, it would be Aqua because even in another world, she still tries to be a b*tch and pick fights especially with Ains for whatever dumb reasons. Then she becomes a total chicken when she starts losing. That’s so Aqua for you. I guess some things don’t change. Albedo is also a b*tch herself but at least she obeys Ains. Aqua is like a loose cannon that not even Kazuma could control. Not that he really wants to care anyway. And then there are characters who are meant to be losers or the punching bag. Aside Kazuma, we have the lately introduced Yunyun (poor girl, still trying to be Megumin’s friend-cum-rival in another world – they really set he character up to be a pitiful loser) and Rerugen himself (always getting the raw end of the stick among the teachers if you noticed).

I’m not sure watching this series is meant to hype us up for any upcoming sequels (other than this one). Because the most I can see is the second season of Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (date yet to be confirmed) as well as the prequel movie. Then there is also a movie for Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo movie but it might be just me as I don’t see as much hype for the former. Youjo Senki’s movie just came out before this series aired. Oh damn, you mean this movie was the sequel to the TV series that I was hoping for another season? Not sure if I can sit through 2 hours of little evil girl… But the most anticipated series that I would love to see have another season is Overlord. Nope. Still no fourth season. Grrr!!!

The art and animation look great and of course with the characters in chibi mode, everything looks cute. But those who have watched these series other than their main TV series would be of no surprise with how these characters look in their chibi form. For instance, the characters of Overlord already have their chibi style in the Pleiades Maid’s special. Youjo Senki too have their chibi parody called Youjo Shenki. Remember those Break Time specials for Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu? I guess only Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo only didn’t have their chibi versions, so uhm, welcome to the club? This series is animated by Studio Puyukai who specializes in chibi shorts. As you have guessed, they did the chibi specials of these anime series here as well as the chibi specials in Madan No Ou To Vanadis, Suisei No Gargantia, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou and Kaijuu Girls.

For an epic crossover like this, it needs to have a really epic theme song. And nothing sounds really better and epic than this song that is of the same name of the series. Sung by the main quartet and faces of each of the 4 series, there is this frenzy pace to match all that greatness. But is it just me that there is one stretch of the song that sounds a bit like some Christmas shopping commercial? I don’t know. That thought comes to mind first when I heard that part. The ending theme isn’t as epic but doesn’t sound too shabby either. Isekai Girls Talk is a quartet piece by Emilia, Aqua, Albedo and Tanya. I guess they had to replace the guys for the ending but since Tanya is the only main female, it’s like she won the lottery and managed to sing for both themes – I guess Viktoriya doesn’t sound good, huh? This song has synthesizer effects and sometimes sounds close to those techno dance songs. Maybe it would if they hasten the beat and add more blaring synthesizer effects. Hollow Veil by Nonoc is a special ending theme song to complement Ains’ special snow magic as it is a nice and lovely slow ballad.

Overall, even if this is an epic mash-up, it is only in terms of fun, light heartedness and comedy level. I mean, compare this to Avengers: Infinity War, it’s easy to see which is one his seriously more epic, right? It has been a while since we have had a funny and satisfying crossover like this. Oh, you don’t remember Carnival Phantasm? But Carnival Phantasm is mainly characters from the same universe of their creators (Type-Moon). Something like Tsubasa Chronicle and those under the CLAMP name. But Isekai Quartet is a little different. They are characters from different creators and the only similarity they have in this sense is that they are all published by the same manga publisher, Kadokawa. Still much better than that One Piece x Toriko x Dragonball crossover still…

With another season confirmed, they could add other awesome series as well to the mix. Then they’ll have to change their name to Isekai Quintet or Sextet, Septet, Octet, Nonet or even Dectet! Hell, Centitet! That’s 100, for your information. But let’s not overdo this crossover thingy because adding too many worlds might dilute its worth and then explode since the world is not big enough to cram in everything. That’s why classes are more effective if they are smaller in size compared to having stadium level ones. Still, all of us could learn a lesson from a classroom like this one. Because it is so inclusive and has cultural diversity! Diversity is our strength! With such badass characters like these, you bet they’ll whoop your ass right back to your alternate universe safe space.

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