First Impression: Parallel World Pharmacy

It’s the year 20XX and Professor Kanji Yakutani is working himself to the bone. Driven by the loss of his young sister, who died because there wasn’t an effective medicine to treat her brain tumor, Kanji works day and night to create medicines that can help others. However, after a long session of working in the lab (heaven knows I can totally relate), he goes to sleep and awakens…wait for it…in another world! In addition, Kanji seems to now be in the body of a ten-year-old boy named Farma de Médicis, a member of the noble de Médicis family who are Royal Pharmacists of outstanding magical skill and ability in their field. Kanji, now going by Farma, discovers that he also has the ability of Divine Arts, which allows him to create materials by imagining their molecular forms. Later on, he attends lessons with his teacher, a young woman named Eléonore Bonnefoi, who immediately picks up on something not being right with her pupil. This is confirmed when Farma reveals that he can see a person’s medical issues by looking through his fingers. Elénore freaks out saying that his abilities are just like the Panactheos’s Divine Eye, and then freaks out even MORE when she discovers that Farma does not have a shadow. DUN DUN DUNNNNN…

It’s an isekai, guys. I don’t know what more you want me to say. It’s yet another isekai anime and a pretty lackluster one at that. The first episode of this one doesn’t really do anything special that any other isekai anime hasn’t done before. I could go into a long tirade about how overused the genre is in today’s anime market, but I would be here all day and I have shopping to do. And no, before you ask, my shopping does not involve going to the pharmacy. This show just feels a lot like a copy of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation; a man gets reincarnated as a young kid into a world where people can do magic and he just so happens to be highly skilled at it. In fact, the main characters in both shows express their magic for the first time by conjuring water! I guess if you’re going to imitate a show, imitate the best? The only difference is that Mushoku Tensei features characters that are interesting to watch and gives them a more fleshed-out backstory, especially the protagonist. What do we know about Kanji? He lost his little sister and he overworks himself. And that’s it. Heck, even the way he is isekai’d into the new world is boring! All he does is just fall asleep and wakes up as a ten-year-old. No magical interventions, no body-swapping, no getting pancaked by a delivery truck, no falling in a Playstation video game into a world where monsters rule. Just…a nap.

Though I have to admit, this show does do a few things right. It doesn’t throw our protagonist right into the thick of the action from jump street—he’s not immediately making medicines and healing the first-episode stereotypical maiden in distress with his magical powers that he only just became aware of. Instead, the story infers that there might be something amiss with his abilities. We see him learn about his powers, and, instead of being praised for them, at least one character is genuinely terrified. Typically our protagonist is immediately praised and worshiped for his other worldly abilities. This time, it might be seen as a bad thing.

So where does that leave us with Parallel World Pharmacy? Well, if you like isekai anime, then sure, go for it. You don’t have much to lose. It’s just like every other show out there, right down to the stereotypical bubbly OP. If you’re curious about it, then go ahead and give it a try with the expectation that you’re not getting anything you haven’t seen before; if you’ve seen one isekai, you’ve seen them all, and better, if you ask me. For everyone else, if you wanna watch a story about an older guy being whisked away to another world of magic, just check out Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation. It’s a more interesting story with more engaging characters.

Parallel World Pharmacy is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

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