Being kind to others, even at risk to yourself, is a value deeply held by Yuuya Tenjou. It was instilled in him by his grandfather, the only person in Yuuya’s family who treats him with love. In contrast, his parents and step-siblings join with his classmates and others in mocking Yuuya for being overweight, ungainly, and low-achieving academically. So when his grandfather passes away, Yuuya is understandably distraught; the only person who cared for him is now gone. But the teen’s grandfather does not leave him completely bereft: he wills him his house, a place where Yuuya can escape from a world full of bullies who mercilessly beat him and grown-ups who treat him like a disease. But that home is more than just a safe place. Yuuya discovers a hidden room, and within, a gate to another world. In this isekai land, Yuuya gains incredible abilities, defeats monsters, farms unusually nutritious crops, and is able to return to his world with a currency that the fantasy system converts to yen. But it’s all just a distraction for Yuuya, something to keep him engaged until he has to begin high school and return to his miserable life. Unless, that is, Yuuya’s transformation isn’t just something he leaves behind in the other world.
Overweight kid gets revenge by becoming hot, gaining isekai powers, and saving the world! No one would blame you for assuming that’s the plot of this series. But happily enough, I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World doesn’t go the way of cheap laughs and bloody thrills. Yes, it is wish fulfillment, but the kind of wish fulfillment we can all get behind. From the get-go, Yuuya is introduced as a empathetic character. While the life he’s endured is over-the-top (but if you can believe it, actually made a little more believable here in the opening episode than in the first volume of the light novel), it helps establish the inner strength of Yuuya’s character. And because he’s written as a young man with integrity, there’s hope that the relationships he’ll develop with female characters won’t be crass and as materialistic as in many other series. Perhaps more importantly, there’s also hope that Yuuya’s change in physique from obesity to dang! will continue to be treated not as the height of his revenge, but as just another part of his growth into a hero. I think this is really important because I really don’t want to watch a series that ultimately boils down to the protagonist getting respect because he’s no longer “ugly.” I do believe this episode handles Yuuya’s weight and his physical change nicely, portraying those who pick on him for his weight as the worst of the worst and giving such detail to Yuuya’s face and body. He’s drawn carefully and never shown jiggling in a manner meant to elicit laughs. Instead, he’s treated as a character rather than a caricature. And while I think I’d find it rather more interesting to see him remain in his original body, I’ll accept our suddenly-lean character as he moves forward (presumably getting into the beautiful ojou-sama’s limo) from the introduction into the basic story in episode two. It doesn’t look like we’re going to get anything groundbreaking here, but if the rest of the season is imbued with the same heart as the first episode, that may not matter. If filled in with other interesting characters and some humor and action, this will be a fun and heartfelt ride.
I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World and Became Unrivaled in The Real World, Too can be streamed on Crunchyroll.