The Isekai genre. I’ve discussed it before (the link to that is right here if you’re interested), and my opinion hasn’t changed. While there are a few golden geese here and there, like Overlord or No Game No Life, the number of bad ones far outnumber the good. And in this season of anime, we’ve got two brand new ones to talk about.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime and the significantly less long winded (and less good) Conception. The ladder of which is the topic for today’s rant.
Allow me to break down the board room meeting that lead to Conception being greenlit.
“Okay guys, we need a new Isekai show, as those are easy to churn out and make money.” Announced the head of the company. “Does anyone have any ideas?”
“PREGNANCY IN ANOTHER WORLD!!” Screamed Ted the Intern, who may or may not have been high on meth.
Silence hollowed the room for a moment. Then the head of the company stood, crossed the room to Ted the Intern (who was delivering their sandwiches when he entered) and clasped his hand in his own. “You’re a genius sir!” He exclaimed, a tear in his eye.
And then, one production cycle later, we got Conception. Which would be the worst Isekai I’ve ever seen if Master of Ragnarok and Blesser of Einherjar hadn’t aired last season.
Conception is a show about a guy who gets sent to another world. In order to save it from a terrible threat, he must get a bunch of women pregnant. No I’m not joking. That is the premise of the entire show. And no, it’s not a hentai.
People might have actually watched it if it were. I mean, I know I-
This show represents a problem with the oversaturation of a genre. Within the years since Sword Art Online came out, the Isekai has been so over done that the only original ideas left are literal hentai plots without the hentai in them.
“But Jonah!” I hear you saying. “Yesterday you talked about Megalobox and you even said it was unoriginal, but you still jerk off to that show!” First of all, I don’t, though your guess isn’t too far off base. Second, you’re right.
See, a story needs to do two things when it’s based around an extremely overstuffed genre. One: it needs to execute new ideas that refresh the genre in a fun and interesting way. Konosuba is a great example of this, ad it turns your typical unstoppable Isekai hero into a total loser getting by on luck alone for the sake of a comedic tone.
Or two: it needs to execute on the ideas and cliches of it’s predecessors in a high quality way. My Hero Academia is a great example of this. At it’s core, My Hero is a classic Shounen anime, with all the same beats and ideas. But it executes well enough on those cliches, as well as subverts them when absolutely necessary, in order to deliver a powerful and engaging story.
Conception does neither of these things. It is a transparently lazy production with little to no genuine passion behind any of it. The only way it manages to stand out in the genre is by being so absurd in it’s premise and being borderline pornography.
A story shouldn’t stand above the crowd by being absurd and shocking. A good story should have genuine quality and passion put behind it to put it above it’s competition. And when a show has so little going for it as Conception does, yet somehow manages to climb above the rest, then you know the standards are falling by the day.
I don’t have any comedic conclusion to this rant. This genuinely upsets me. Instead, I’ll simply make one request of you: don’t support shows like this. You deserve better, and if you hold art to a higher standard, then the creators will have to meet that standard. And when that happens, the artists who truly deserve it will finally have their time to shine.