I went into the My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered, No One in This Other World Stands a Chance Against Me! premiere expecting to watch 25 minutes of a standard issue isekai and I was very, very pleasantly surprised with what I saw instead. It seems that in the past ten years each season has featured more and more isekai that followed a similar format; a less than compelling main character would arrive in his new world, have some ridiculous power, and then spend their days gathering a harem and just being strong. My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered (I’m shortening it; that’s just way too long a title) also has a main character with incredible abilities. However, unlike most isekai characters, he parodies the trope rather than fall prey to it. His ability is exactly what it sounds like. If he wants something to die, it just dies, plain and simple. Unlike a magician with an absurd mana supply and many spells or someone with a unique, complicated skill, main character Yogiri Takatou’s ability is straightforward. He’s more than aware of how ridiculous it is and doesn’t act coy about it. Instead, as he finds himself transported to another world, he dryly makes use of his abilities and is fully unbothered by the ridiculous things happening around him. His unaffected demeanor, the wild circumstances, and how this story progresses juxtaposed to how similar isekai progress is what come together to make My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered as hilarious as it is.
We got the chance to watch an exclusive premiere of this series at Anime NYC along with some other lucky fans. The long title just begging to be shortened made me anticipate a generic isekai I wouldn’t mind never seeing again. Instead, I walked away from the episode definitely wanting more, both for comedic reasons and out of interest for the plot itself.
Transported to Another World
My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered starts off in the past, looking at a moment from Yogiri’s childhood. He moves through a scientific lab as staff panic and try to stop him. Each time that one does, he looks at them and demonstrates his power to the audience for the first time. He looks at them and they immediately drop dead. This, to me, was the first stylistic aspect of this anime that immediately grabbed my attention. Usually when people die in anime there’s a bit of flare and drama to it, even for nameless characters. In action series this comes from things like blood splattering from a wound, the character letting out some sort of guttural scream, or someone pitifully grasping at the wall as they fall dead. My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered does a very good job of emphasizing the “instant” aspect of instant death; everyone Yogiri uses his power on drops dead like a ragdoll and it’s both chilling and hilarious. Those who don’t know his power are understandably confused and the flashback ends with him killing multiple people before reuniting with someone who he appears to know.
Back in the present, an older, high school aged Yogiri is woken up by classmate Tomochika Dannoura on a school bus. She chastises him for sleeping through what was apparently a very hectic series of events. We can see signs of chaos everywhere: the bus’ frame is destroyed, multiple people are impaled, and a girl is leaking blood everywhere. The pair see a monster with scales on the bus and Yogiri guesses at it being a snake or a lizard before realizing it’s…a wyvern. This is when we realize he’s been isakai’d and the first time in the present we see Yogiri use his power, and he takes out the wyvern, causing it to hilariously and unceremoniously fall from the sky in front of the bus. While panicking about her impeding death, Dannoura inadvertently pushes her chest into Yogiri, leading to some comical jiggle physics and giving Yogiri a convenient excuse to decide chivalry is alive and save Dannoura. This, to me, was something of a fake-out for My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered. The interaction wasn’t quite fan service but the emphases on unintentional breast contact felt very much like something you’d see in an ecchi or fan-service-filled series. But, one again, this seems to be another instance of My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered being self-aware.
The fan service I expected didn’t happen in the episode. Instead, when Dannoura speculates that Yogiri had some sort of stereotypical isekai reason for saving her, like her being so beautiful that he protected her without thinking about it, he says he saves her because her boobs were soft, causing her to declare there isn’t a decent man in the world. Dannoura provided that example and almost sounded disgusted saying it, creating a weird twist where the perverted answer went against the norm of isekai answers and therefore parodied them. It was a hilarious twist.
Mission from a Sage
After Yogiri saved her, Dannoura explained from the beginning exactly what happened and how they ended up in another world. The group’s bus had gone through a tunnel on one end and emerged from the other end in a grassy field within a fantasy world. A woman named Sion appeared in their bus and exploded the head of their teacher after being questioned in the slightest. She tells the students she’s summoned them to look for potential sages (literally using the word isekai to describe what she did) and “installs” something called Battle Song within most of the students. A few students, like Dannoura and Yogiri, noticeably don’t have the telltale glow of other students receiving the installation. The students that received this ability are granted RPG like powers, some increased physical stats, and told they need to complete missions and produce at least one sage with the alternative being turned into livestock for producing magical power. Their first mission, appearing in their minds via Battle Song, is to travel to a nearby city and avoid enemy dragons. Notably, the mission offers a “hint” to them: humans are a dragon’s favorite food.
This is the basis for all of the other students’ coldly abandoning everyone who didn’t receive Battle Song. Immediately, it’s clear this sort of hyper-rational thinking is out of character for these students. In addition to unique powers, like having the ability to lead, buff others, and cast magic, it seems whatever Sion did changed the personalities of the students. When a few come back to kill the dragon and capture Dannoura to use as a slave, Yogiri ends up killing two of them and the last, ironically ends up using a magic item to enslave himself under the command of Yogiri and Dannoura. We learn that in addition to instant death, Yogiri can detect someone’s intent to kill him as well.
This early sequence of events was weirdly compelling. Oftentimes in isekai, one of the core mysteries that main characters investigate is “how and why was I summoned to this world.” In My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered, Sion answers that question in the first episode and literally calls it an isekai. This means we understand a lot of mysteries that normally take whole seasons to get to. The bigger mystery then is Yogiri’s power and exactly how others are going to deal with it. It’s a nice flip on the typical setup to an isekai series and, notably, even a flip on the typical set up to other self aware isekai series.
My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered Is One for Your Watchlist
I’m calling it now: this is going to be one of the best anime of the season it releases in. I’ve never been so certain I would think a series was mediocre and been so convinced to the contrary within minutes. The story is interesting and I constantly find my assumptions shattered by a series that seemingly knows what an isekai-watcher expects to see next. All the while, the animation is of decent quality, the magic and mystical parts of the series are well executed, and combat is satisfying to witness (even if the main character can end it instantaneously). The people of this world seemingly know of abilities like Yogiri’s and refer to them as instant death magic. We don’t yet know how abnormal it is to them, or how he managed to get it in the real world. Effectively, that means the mystery of this isekai is not solely about the world the protagonists were transported to but also the world they came from.
Personally, I can imagine ways that someone who can conceal themselves and their killing intent might take out Yogiri but I’m curious to see how the residents of this fantasy world and his classmates will contend with it. I almost wish I hadn’t seen this show early; I want to see more immediately. Like finishing a first season of an anime and being impatient for the second, I’m finding myself wanting more and more to read the light novels this series came from. That’s a testament to how much I enjoyed it.
My Instant Death Ability is So Overpowered will be broadcast in Japan in January 2024. For fans elsewhere the series will be available to stream on HIDIVE. The TV anime is written and directed by Masakazu Hishida at animation studio Okuruto Noboru. You can read more about the adaptation’s staff and cast here.
Images via Youtube
© Takashi Fujitaka / Earth Star Entertainment / Instant Death Cheat Production Committee