The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Yuto Suoh is a boy from modern times who accidentally ended up in the warring world of Yggdrasil. In a world where various clans fight for supremacy and survival of the fittest rules supreme, Yuto managed to use his modern knowledge as a weapon and the age of sixteen, managed to become a Patriarch with a force of thousands. Welcome to an exhilarating battle fantasy chronicle about a young man who became a king in a parallel world and the beautiful battle maidens who swear absolute fealty to him!! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: As if this season didn’t have enough Isekai, The Master of Ragnarok turns up just to showcase that it can take the cake as the most generic and painful cash grab offering this season. As Isekai go, Ragnarok feels like it has little unique to offer. Its plot is littered with contrived conveniences, many of which have already popped up in the Isekai sub-genre, even recently! It doesn’t help that we’re thrown late into the narrative, with things like the Protagonist’s trusty cell phone being solar powered, or making it possible for him to call home and talk to his real world crush feeling oh so convenient. Furthermore, it stretches the limits of the imagination that this generic young man could become so highly regarded as the leader of this massive clan almost entirely based on his ability to google ancient battle tactics (never mind the fact that this strange world has access to wifi?) It’s not to say these ideas are automatically cheap, but without easing us into the setting everything feels stacked in our heroes’ favor, and those always make for the most mundane and uninteresting Isekai, where the hero has all the power, and it’s only a matter of time till he wins outright.
Linny: It also doesn’t help that Ragnarok screams harem/male power fantasy from the get go. From the very flirtatious and devoted buxom blonde clinging to his side, to the whole contrived miraculously working phone with solar charging and perfect internet reception to the fact that apparently our protagonist became the leader of this clan despite, BY HIS OWN WORDS, not even speaking the language. What further grinds my gear is the fact that the two women introduced early on cannot stop fawning over our cliche, bland and generic protagonist and singing his praises even though both these women are clearly very powerful and competent in combat on their own, with one actively leading their army to victory on the battleground and the other using magical combat powers to stop a giant hail of arrows from hitting her and our protagonist. This reeks of hormonal male fantasy and destroys any credibility or chance for the show to reveal itself as anything beyond that.
Tom: The harem stuff really does hit you right in the face, and that might be okay if what was there actually felt worthwhile. But much of it is the bog standard, pandering to the horny male teen gaze, with girls fighting oh so desperately between each other to relieve our heroes’ morning wood so that he might be more fit for the trials of the day. Harem content can be fun, but it needs to feel unique. None of this is aided by Yuto Suoh’s classically chaste and pure personality, as he only has eyes for the girl he loves back home, making these harem, pervy moments feel like forced comedy that has a punchline you’ll have seen all too often. We need to be surprised and The Master of Ragnarok is anything but a master of surprise. Further bringing the already bland writing, that takes itself far too seriously, down are generic visuals, suffering from a washed out color palette that makes your eyes eager to glaze over.
Linny: To its credit, the story does do something different with the world our protagonist has found himself in. We’re given hints that the world Yuto is stuck in may not be as foreign or unknown as most other Isekai worlds are. In fact, he may have traveled through time, rather than across dimensions. But that little nugget isn’t enough to wash over the scenes of women fighting to help with Yuto’s morning wood and lamenting their small breasts because they’re not enough to tend to Yuto’s needs.
Tom: As a final nail in the coffin, the opening credits boast some truly cringe 2D and 3D blending, as the camera pans over two girls fighting, with CGI ground that doesn’t keep up with them, making the whole thing a nasty, washy, disjointed mess. The Master of Ragnarok is perhaps the worst Isekai offering this season, in a Summer that’s already filled with sub-par entries in this overly saturated sub-genre. If you’re dying for an Isekai, even How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord is the superior title, and The Master of Ragnarok should be left to those who are simply obsessed with the sub-genre.
Linny: You’d have to either be a devoted fan of The Master of Ragnarok’s original Light Novel series or extremely hard up for any and all Isekai stories to be able to enjoy this anime. What’s presented here is bland, uninspired and visually hideous. It’s nothing but the lowest and most predictable mix of power fantasy, harem and lazy, contrived story telling that’s bound to leave a bad taste, making this show an easy pass for the majority.