Isekai anime series are a dime a dozen. You can’t have a single anime series these days without stumbling across six different isekai stories, or at least one western fantasy-inspired story with a title as long as a sentence. I am relaxing in my 30s after being discharged from the demon king’s army it might not feature a young man or woman uprooted from their everyday lives to live in a brand new and completely different world, but it might as well have, given how miserably predictable this series has been.
Opening shot: A young man with brown hair looks up into a bright light as he asks if he has been fired. The camera cuts to a maroon man who tells the man, identified as Dark Soldier Dariel (Tomokazu Sugita), that he is right. The pair continue to talk to each other as the crimson man grows more rude as he completely dismisses Dariel from the entirety of the demon king’s army while insulting his intelligence. Daryl is stripped of his powers and banished.
The gist: Dariel is a former member of the demon king’s army and just lost his job. It seems no one is safe from layoffs these days, not even fancy demons.
When he was recruited to join the Army, Dariel was given a special mission to complete by one of the Four Generals: Lord Granbarza. But that doesn’t save him from being kicked to the curb. After being told that the lord has retired, there’s simply no room for a member of the Demon King’s Army who can’t use magic – or so Dariel is told, anyway. So he takes his leave and goes out into the world, unemployed and without a place to live.
Having done nothing but work for the Demon King’s Army his entire existence, this vet has no idea what to do with his life, until he happens to save a young girl named Malika (Akane Fujita). by a huge ape-like creature. Having prevented Malika from being flattened like a pancake, Dariel is accompanied to Malika’s village, where he tells the girl’s parents what he has been through.
And just like that, Dariel finds a place to live in Malika’s village, with her parents’ approval. To top it all off, Malika’s father wants Dariel to work as an adventurer who joins the village order and undertakes a variety of missions — that only humans can do. Dariel works to complete various training tasks to start as an adventurer and uncovers some interesting truths along the way.
But Daryl gives us a hint of his true origins early in the episode: between demons and humans, the only real distinguishable difference is the fact that demons can use magic…and Daryl can’t, he sets the setting the stage for one of the most predictable and obvious revelations of all time.
What shows will it remind you of? You could trade almost any fantasy story I’m relaxing in my 30sbut it looks like Appointed by the Hero’s party, I decided to live a quiet life in the countryside, Helloor even By the Grace of the Gods It all has a similar tone to the whole “exile” or “dismissal” thing while living in a fantasy world.
Our opinion: There is nothing inside I’m relaxing in my 30s that you have never seen before in one form or another. Dariel, the “dark soldier” that he is, is your average anime protagonist, only a bit older. Otherwise, every single character feels like a rehash of the same ones we’ve seen over and over again throughout the genre at some point.
But familiarity doesn’t always have to mean outright evil. There’s nothing here that’s completely offensive or objectionable – it’s just boring. This is the main issue. The plot is simple, the characters are decently likable, but it’s so low-stakes, so uninspired, you feel like you could have a richer experience if you just left your house for a day and went on an adventure in your town.
Daryl is the milquetoast lead, Malika might as well be a busty cane, and you can see the “twist” in this episode coming a mile away. Hell, ten miles away. This just isn’t up to par with what anime can do.
gender and skin There’s no overt sex or skin, but Malika’s breasts do puff out whenever there’s a slight breeze, so it’s safe to assume there’s likely more to come if you’re worried about that bit of content.
Parting shot: Daryl comes face-to-face with another adventurer named Gasita, who relentlessly berates Daryl for his age. Gasita demands to know Daryl’s rank as an adventurer and brags for no reason – he’s only one rank ahead. In the end, Dariel discovers that he has already defeated a monster that has been plaguing the village for months, and realizes that from now on he will have to deal with Gasita while taking on jobs from the guild.
Sleeper Star: Atsushi Abe lends his sinister voice to the demon Bashbarza, but unfortunately has extremely little screen time during this first episode. This seasoned voice actor could make any character sound good, even if they were spouting nonsense. We hope to hear more from him in the future, which we almost certainly will.
More pilot line: “You are dismissed from the demon king’s army. You are really stupid. That’s why you’re fired,” Lord Bashbarza tells Dariel at the beginning of the episode. It’s the catalyst for everything that happens in the series and sets things up for another story later as well.
Our call: WAIT FOR IT. There is nothing inherently terrible about it I’m relaxing in my 30s, but it’s so unmemorable and bland that there’s really no reason to watch it. You’d be better served flying through the manga or watching one of the many other, better series if just finding something to sit down and watch was the most important thing on your agenda.
Brittany Vincent has covered video games and technology for over a decade for publications including G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Variety, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot and more. When he’s not writing or playing games, he collects retro consoles and technology. Follow her on Twitter: @MolotovCupcake.