Now Streaming: THE 8TH SON? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?, Well, Not Really
Is it a comedy? A drama? Or an adventure? One thing is for sure: it's pretty.
The spring 2020 anime season continues with a series that I have no idea how to categorize, based on the viewing of its first episode.
As a young (in viewing experience) anime fan, I find that unusual; most series make the intentions of the creators clear from the get-go. Some have grabbed me from the first sequence -- like Tower of God -- while most others raise or diminish my expectations within the first three episodes.
In the case of The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?, which began its first season today, I am impressed by the level of artistry in the character designs and the backgrounds. Based on a light-novel series -- written by Y.A. and illustrated by Fuzicococho -- that first appeared in 2013, it was adapted into a manga with art by Kusumoto Hiroki and has now been adapted into an anime series by Shin-Ei Animation (Doraemon, Crayon Shin-chan), and the recent Null & Peta, which I've enjoyed) and SynergySP.
The first episode begins as Lord Well, apparently living sometime in the late middle ages, performs magical acts upon farming property in a rather perfunctory manner and then retreats into his lavish castle, where, surrounded by three women, he sighs and says something to the effect that, no matter what, 'he'll always be a white-collar office worker.'
Ten years before, he was, in reality, a twenty-something, modern-day, white-collar office worker, before he slumps over on his couch and wakes up as a 5-year-boy in an unknown kingdom. The balance of the episode sets up his situation further, as the young man, named Wendelin, discovers that -- somehow, not yet explained -- he is now the youngest son of a large family that is noble by birth. Even so, they are impoverished. When his oldest brother marries, the next six brothers in line renounce their nobility and move to the city to seek their fortune (or, at least, a lower-middle-class living).
Due to his youth, Wendelin remains, eventually discovering that he can (potentially) become a magician and thus break out of poverty!
I've watched enough anime so far to recognize that this is a series that will require several episodes to show its true narrative interests, but the general feel is very positive and I've added it to my watchlist to see what happens. Here's part of the official description:
"This is the story of that young man earning his keep and his freedom through magic, with no world saving involved, and spending quite a while escaping his solitude. Ultimately, it is also the story of him being unable to escape the shackles of society."
Check out the trailer below. New simulcast episodes are scheduled for Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. EST.
Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.