Every season has at least one isekai anime, and it’s almost a rule at this point. However, the quality of said anime always varies significantly. Sometimes we get highly repetitive and derivative, watered down content, other times we get a unique take on the genre. Reincarnated as a Sword Episode 1 so far manages to fall right in between the two categories.
The anime begins with a frustratingly little amount of exposition, explanation, and introduction by simply letting the audience know a random male passerby has been hit by yet another malicious truck and wakes up in another world. Only this time, as a sword. After quickly accepting his fate, he decides to do a bit of grinding and kills enough monsters to become significantly powerful. Unfortunately, as he’s a literal sword, he can only do so much and eventually gets stuck on a piece of land where he stays for several days. This changes when a slave cat girl named Fran appears, picks him up, and uses him to escape danger and her slavers. Afterward, the two decide to stick together and go on adventures, freeing the oppressed and enacting justice.
My main gripe with the story so far is that it leaves several basic questions unanswered, like who the main character is, why he reincarnated as a sword specifically, or the details of the fantasy world he’s in. Instead, we’re shown his capabilities as a sword through what was basically a training montage showcasing the sword gaining more strength with video-game-like power levels by cutting down several monsters to acquire various skills and abilities. This takes up a significant portion of the episode’s length and shows how the strong sword becomes an overpowered sword.
While the scenes showing the sword’s gradual increase in strength are executed about the same way as other series in the genre, I did appreciate how these scenes displayed several of the world’s fantasy creatures and intriguing areas in a very natural and easily digestible way. It does this while showcasing all the interesting combat approaches and possibilities yet to come. In fact, most of the world’s details so far have been shown and not told to us, such as the existence of several races like beastkins and elves along with the fact that slavery is very much a regular thing in this world. However, it doesn’t do much beyond that, as many other aspects of the show are unexplained, like how some of these races are able to “evolve,” languages, and more. Although, this is just the first episode, so hopefully this changes as things pick up.
The episode admittedly makes up for its dull narrative with Fran’s appearance. While we’re yet to know much about her, she successfully grabs and maintains the viewer’s attention with the short but highly impactful action scene upon meeting the sword. This first action scene is excellently animated, fast-paced, well-choreographed, gory, and overall highly impressive. You can tell Studio C2C put most of the effort into the fight scenes, as it overcompensates for its incredibly plain character designs. It’s also worth noting the great soundtrack that works well with the hype moments in the anime.
All that said, I still worry that the action scenes will be the main appeal of the anime. However, since it’s just the first episode, I’ll have to give it the benefit of the doubt and hope for more narrative depth in the next episode.
Reincarnated as a Sword Episode 1 is streaming now on HI DIVE.
Reincarnated as a Sword Episode 1
While the anime’s first episode disappointed me with its lackluster storytelling, the excellently choreographed fight scene made up for it.