This year, we reached peak isekai. And by that, I mean the genre has become so popular as of late that we’ve now taken our isekai characters from several different shows and isekai’d them again into yet another world, all together. What would happen if you take a bunch of formerly Japanese protagonists and placed them all in a Japanese school together along with their other world compatriots? You get the birth of a 12 minute weekly comedy called
The Anime-niacs Isekai Quartet. Spoilers ahead.
Isekai Quartet combines the main characters and their closest side characters from Overlord, Konosuba, The Saga of Tanya the Evil, and Re: Zero. As I said before, the premise is simple: they all have to participate together in a Japanese school classroom or face the (unknown but probably deadly) consequences.
Predictably, they are initially wary of one another and the possible threats they could present. They each group up according to whatever universe they come from, immediately forming what are essentially high school cliques. They’re especially cautious early on in the show as they try to estimate if their own power levels have changed while also simultaneously trying to assess the power levels of everyone around them.
The show is meant to be a comedy, so to fit this, as well as merge all the different show art styles into one cohesive unit, they went with chibi characters (essentially short, funny versions of themselves). The style choice is simple and effective, setting the slapstick and overblown tone for what you’re about to watch, which is essentially “silliness.”
It’s a good kind of silliness. Of the four shows chosen, only Konosuba plays heavily into the comedy aspect, so softening the characters from the other three shows (especially the demonic Overlord characters) was necessary. Fortunately, the other three shows weren’t completely devoid of humor in their source anime, so emphasizing the running jokes and integrating those moments into new jokes felt natural.
If you suspected that a cutesy comedy show about characters from a bunch of different anime wouldn’t have any large plot developments, you’d be absolutely correct. But between the music, the setting, and the art style, it’s easy to go in without having high expectations of the story. You’re there for the jokes and humor of seeing these characters you (presumably) already know and love face the dreaded life of a high school student.
It’s fun to see each faction consulting among themselves as they all aim for classroom dominance. They occasionally cross one another and get mixed into little scuffles (that are always shut down before a winner can be determined). It becomes clear to most that, for the most part, each group has an almost trump card against another, preventing anyone from taking the top spot.
As with all high school anime, rivalries eventually emerge, but always in lighthearted fashion. As I said before, what this anime does best is humor; it never takes itself seriously, and that’s good. It’s a ridiculous premise laid on top of already farfetched fantasies. It won’t work if it tries to be completely serious all the time (seriously, take some notes D.C. Universe).
If you enjoyed even one of the anime that these characters come from, chances are you will have a lot of fun watching them in Isekai Quartet. The formula doesn’t really have a chance to become tired since the episodes are only about 12 minutes each and there are only a total of 12 episodes. The jokes are solid, especially if you’ve seen the source anime and are already accustomed to the humor. It won’t win any awards (except for maybe deepest rabbit hole isekai), but it’s still incredibly entertaining. And, good news for anyone who is a fan already, they have announced that a second season is coming and characters from a new anime will be added. It certainly was always a highlight of my Tuesdays, so I’m looking forward to new episodes.