Malnourished and maltreated, the orphan Rio awakens with a clear story in his head of a him in another time, but instead of living in the slums of a fantasy world of magic and knights, this other version of himself, named Haruto, in living in the modern world until he dies in a bus accident, unable to fulfill a vow of marriage he made as a child. But this newfound clarity will have to wait, for Rio finds himself questioned by a belligerent princess and her entourage, which includes the kind Celia who explains to him that he has magical potential, and then, much worse, by an assassin. Will he awaken the powers within to protect himself, as well as that of another?
During our summer anime preview, I discussed this series among those that intrigued me, in part because of the confusing premise. Haruto apparently doesn’t get isekai’d to this world. Instead, Rio is still Rio, but also has Haruto’s memories, and the opening and closing also make clear that others have transferred their souls as well, with the settings perhaps alternating as well. Episode one doesn’t bring much clarity to the situation, but that’s a good thing. Instead of explaining right from the get go, it seems that the series will unravel this confusion in time, with the story focusing first on Rio, whose background (seeking revenge for the death of his mom) and the reveal of his power is nothing special, but whose path reveals a sweetness in Seirei Gensouki that’s highly engaging. Celia is a warm character, as is the the object of his saving, balancing the evils of this world which feel absolutely authentic to either a fantasy setting or a real-world middle age one. Even more appealing to me are how the slighty-rounded faces in the characters, together with the opening and closing songs and soundtrack, evoke series from ten or twenty years ago; there’s a strong feeling of nostalgia and warmth with this one. Plus, what other isekai trumps truck-kun by having the hero get mowed down by bus-kun PLUS train-kun? That scene, lifted straight from The Fugitive, alone makes the show worth checking out.
Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles can be streamed through Crunchyroll.