Oh? What an interesting ending to the season. It’s really setting in that Yotsuya killed a man and it seems that impact isn’t… going quite like the Game Master had intended it to go. But honestly! With the announcement of a second season, I’m not terribly mad with the way it ended. But for a season ending…. it wasn’t the best. I really just felt like a transition episode more than anything, but again because we’re getting a second season, I’ll let it slide for now.
But what I am excited about it Yotsuya’s ultimate conclusion and the fact that he acknowledges that he has a wrong conclusion. That’s really going to make for interesting story telling later as he could potentially become an evil/villian hero. I could see him turning into the type of character who might decide to play god with those in the parallel world, or at the very least turn into a little bit of a Light Yagami but stuck in an isekai. He’s never had the strongest sense of justice when they were in the parallel world, but he does follow through with what he believes to be the right decision in the moment, and he does believe that certain people are more “worthy” than others. Seeing the conclusion he came to in this episode, does make me interested to see what’s coming in the future of the series! How will this play out?
Alright, but let’s take a moment to talk about what happened in the episode, because I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. Again, I thought it was more of a transition episode rather than a conclusion. I mean, we’re introduced to a new player character and we really don’t get any more information about him after this. I did, however, enjoy how they incorporated the murder aspect into his introduction. At the point where the new character is introduced, Yotsuya is still coming to terms with his actions over in the parallel world. He still hates the city and the people that are in it, but after taking someone’s life – even if by all accounts they were deemed to be morally wrong – it still messes with him. So, he makes the decision to stop the new player and his brother by ultimately beating up the gang that is here to take out the drug lord. In that instance, he essentially saves the new player and gives him an out to the current situation. But rather than treating it as a rescue or an act of faith, Yotsuya instead twists it to be something that’s beneficial for him and their success in the next quest. The Game Master doesn’t seem too fond of this conclusion and the lack of interest in talking about the value of human lives, but hey! I’m certainly interested to see what Yotsuya does with this conclusion.
However, despite my general excitement of the development in this episode, I’m not really sure how I feel about the episode as a whole. I’m not too fond of the fact that this is the last episode until the second season because there doesn’t feel like there was any closure or at least conclusion to an arc. However, I have seen people refer to this season as more a prequel to the rest of the series, so perhaps we’re just about to wrap everything up and really get into the meat of the series. This episode really doesn’t satisfy the acceptance that we’ll have to wait a little longer for the next season. I’m necessarily excited for it to come because this episode didn’t generate that excitement, but at the same time the rest of the episodes as a collective do cover those bases. I’ll give it a pass though because I trust that when the second season comes out, this episode will just flow on nicely into it.
It’s hard to talk about I’m Standing on a Million Lives because I personally feel that the show was pretty darn average. There wasn’t really anything new or spectacular that came out of this season, but at the same time, they did average really well! It was one of those series where I dropped my high expectations for them after episode one and then was just pleasantly surprised that it was developing better than expected (Also that opening? I’m a fan).
The characters aren’t really new or fresh, but there were some instances where they really dug into their personalities that made them more exciting to have in the series. Iu is the popular girl who has probably fallen for the very unpopular guy. Everyone adores her and she still shows them that she’s valuable and likeable even when stripped away of all of her friends. Then there is Kusue, the sick girl who can finally participate in something now that she’s not limited to her physical body. She of course wants to help everyone and find a cure for her unnamed sickness. Then there is Yuka who honestly adds a little spice to the group. She’s not a likeable character and generally doesn’t end up becoming a likeable character. She’s an otaku and when she does get moments where she shines through, we are quickly reminded of who she really is. There isn’t a whole lot of change with these characters. None of them really have big revelations that completely change the way that they view the world or how others perceive them, and honestly that’s okay. I loved having Yuka in the mix because she always brought that cynical view into the mix. She really provided that viewpoint that maybe the heroes aren’t super heroic and that’s okay. They have their own selfish wishes and are really just trying to make it through so they can get back to where they want to go. I always feel weird giving so much praise to Yuka because I don’t really like her! But I like what she brought to the dynamic even if sometimes it felt like she was starting drama or causing problems on purpose.
But then there is Yotsuya who is honestly a surprisingly interesting protagonist. He’s consistently the one to mention how much he hates the city that he’s in and how he does not care for the people in it. And yet when it comes down to it, he does his best to save his player mates because he then finds value in them. And talking about this final episode I love seeing his ultimate conclusion because it’s wrong and definitely not what he should have concluded, and he knows that but he’s not going to change himself for that. He’s not trying to be the good guy in every situation, but rather he tries to decide the best course of action for their success. He’s able to “other” those he doesn’t know quite well.
As far as the story, again it’s fairly average. They all are tasked with completing goals in order to eventually save the world. There are of course occasional shining moments that come through, but they aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel with the story… at least not yet. It follows the typical formula of: heroes get quest > heroes attempt to accomplish quest > things are going well! > oh no! a roadblock or challenge how will we ever get through > woo! we made it through > quest complete, then rinse and repeat. But the nice thing is that these quests never really seem out of scope for their abilities. There are times where some anime gives our characters a completely impossible task and yet the heroes manage to make through. This series give them a very, very challenging task, but the way that they are able to complete the quest in the end is believable. And all that’s to say that having a pretty average story is okay, they do it pretty well. Anyone who has been watching anime for a while probably saw a lot of the twists and turns coming, but it wasn’t as if knowing those twists and turns really complete broke the story. Of course, I would like to hear your thoughts on it!
Overall, if I had to give this series a rating, I’d probably give it a solid 5.75/10. It’s not bad and if you’re looking for something to fill that generic void, this is something that could do the trick. I also wouldn’t necessarily call this good either, it’s not groundbreaking and it didn’t completely overturn my expectations. In fact, it completely failed to meet my expectations in episode one and that’s why I had to lower them substantially. Instead, this season is significantly average. And that’s ok! Not every anime needs to reinvent the wheel or be the most stellar thing to watch. But at the same time, I think there are things you can enjoy in each episode as well as things that you’ll down right despise. It really is just average!
Would I watch a second season? Honestly, yeah! It may not be groundbreaking or the best thing I’ve watched, but I generally enjoyed the time I spend watching it. It’s not necessarily memorable and probably won’t go down in the anime history books, but I think it did a good job in maintaining what interest was still there. In each episode, I felt there was always something that would make me look forward to what was happening next. Even if it wasn’t a particular character or the overarching story, there just always seemed to be a reason that I wanted to know what happened next. So, with all that said, if you’re interested in giving I’m Standing on a Million Lives a shot, I’d recommend not getting your hopes up, but definitely give it a go and see if you can find something you like!