Business and Adventures
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy
- Airing Date : April 2020 – June 2020
- Producers : Half H.P Studio, Nippon Columbia
Adapted from a mobile game. After a goddess descended from the heavens and blessed the land of Gatepia, gigantic gates began materializing all over the world. Beyond these gates lay dungeons filled with various dangers, but also containing humanity’s greatest energy source to date: kirakuri crystals. As a result of the discovery of kirakuri, many adventurer guilds have been established in order to capitalize on this resource. After Minato’s father disappears inside one of Gatepia’s largest gates, his childhood friend Yutoria asks him to take over Kibou Company–his father’s treasure hunting company. He agrees and begins his career as leader as he and the staff keep the company alive.
Minato’s father goes missing inside one of the largest gates in the land, leaving his company without a leader. Minato ends up accepting this responsibility in his father’s absence, kicking off the events of the series. His staff members are initially skeptical about Minato’s ability, putting him through a difficult test involving a quest for a rare flower and a battle against a wolf demon. After passing the test, the Kibou Company staff members accept their new leader.
In the second episode, Minato also uses his inheritance in order to get the company out of bankruptcy, entering a contest for young adventurers in a bid to win the prize money and use it to pay the steep inheritance tax Minato has to incur. The reason why this theme stands out above the rest is due to the huge part it plays in growing Minato as a person and to that end, Shachibato’s development hinging on inherited responsibility is a positive because it enables the show to pre-emptively start on building Minato, starting with getting him out of the house and into the office, uh, dungeon!
The world of Shachibato is set in a universe filled with various fantasy elements. Dungeons, monsters, adventurers and magic are natural aspects of this world. Despite this, the series is actually focused on the characters in a professional environment, especially when it comes to the company president, Minato. The fantasy also influences the party-based adventures that the characters have throughout the series, as well as the comedy that carries the show overall, which akin to the kind of comedy we’ve come to expect from fantasy and fantasy isekai.
The fantasy is important to note because the world of Shachibato is very much like our own but set in a universe where the most lucrative form of business lies in mining kirakuri from dungeons. This gives it an interesting texture because fantasy usually implies medieval, which isn’t necessarily the case here, but there are still things that nod towards medieval fantasy like enchanted weapons, adventurers and dungeons that feel familiar.
Familiar Feel - Good or Bad?
Shachibato has a premise that places the series firmly in a culture of adventure and fantasy. However, the aspect involving the protagonist’s leadership and bearing of responsibility is one that gives it an attractive edge. However, the show does feel incredibly generic, to the point where it could almost be described as if 2016’s Dagashi Kashi did a fusion dance with DanMachi. This also gets pretty weird when considering that the former title’s Shidare Hotaru looks oddly similar in basic appearance to Shachibato’s Yutoria, another character who had to convince the series protagonist to take up a leadership position in a business and industry in which said protagonist’s parents took part..
The characters of Shachibato fit well-known character archetypes and roles. Minato is the good-natured protagonist who, even at his worst, attempts to do good. He also happens to be a dark horse with his lowly two-star rating, setting him comfortably in the realm of “MC”. Rivar is the hard-headed rival turned comrade. Guide is the “otome” type and this is reflected in her undertaking of admin roles in Kibou Company. Yutoria is the childhood friend of the protagonist, and we’ve seen how that in and of itself can be a character’s whole life. The problem with certain tropes is that they become begrudgingly stale especially when put into the same show and that takes away the novelty that we think fantasy worlds are built upon.
Honey’s Anime Verdict
Shachibato is the type of anime that appeals to fans of fantasy, adventure, and slice of life; however, it does nothing novel in that regard. The plot and characters are fairly generic and so the series doesn’t stand out too much in terms of anime from this past season. In many ways, it feels like Shachibato follows a similar formula as many other shows in the fantasy genre, giving rise to the series’ biggest draw and drawback. There are many other shows that have done something very similar to Shachibato and have made for much more compelling watching experiences.
The events of the series seem to be reminiscent of various other titles, doing very little to subvert or alter any of the character archetypes or series events. This is disappointing considering the fact that a fantasy plot gives ample space for something mind-blowing, something novel that still speaks to the fantasy genre in some way. Overall, Shachibato is an okay watch, not quite the most riveting or exciting but also not the subject of too much disdain either.
What did you think about Shachibato? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts!