When it comes to Isekai/Other World genre I normally show little interest to most shows (ones with male leads) of its ilk…unless they are centered around a female protagonist (preferably a group of girls/women). Some I enjoyed a lot are pre Sword Art Online ones like Maze and the classic Magic Knight Rayearth (1st season. 2nd not so much). The most recent Isekai show I enjoyed was Gun Gale Online. Here we have another one that caught my eye. Let us find out if it is worth readers’ time as we take a look at “title in image”. Let us shorten it to “Abilities Average” for the review.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai, Otaku
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: The main protagonist is a girl named Mile who died and was reincarnated in a run of the mill fantasy other world setting. Her main goal is to live an “average” life. Unfortunately what is considered “average” differs from person to person. Anyway the firs step to achieving this is to become a Hunter. She runs into three other girls who, by happenstance, join her to form a party and accept Quests, rise up the ranks in order to achieve their personal goals, all while strengthening their bonds.
From what I have heard from my good friend Rory (who is big fan of the light novels) the Abilities Average anime is not a page-by-page adaptation of the Light Novels it is based on. There are even anime exclusive episodes. This being a sort of episodic series with a main story eventually showing appearing the exclusives did not feel out of place or “filler-y” in my view. I, not having read the novels found no issue following the show. According to Rory plenty of inane stuff was left out (or briefly summarized in abridged form) but also some neat moments that could have added to certain scenes. Again it personally did not affect my viewing experience but for super fans of the novels it is worth keeping in mind.
Other than that, as a whole Abilities Average is an action-comedy with wacky shenanigans, isekai tropes, dramatic character arcs and plenty of anime references courtesy of Mile the anime otaku. While this meant the mandatory Dragon Ball reference in anime I was surprised how many more there besides the expected Super Saiyan hair and Kamehameha. Besides that she references old and new series from Doraemon and “Rose of Versailles” or ‘Onii-Sama e” to a “certain mega popular romantic animated movie”. Impressive range of titles. Other jokes will be hinted in the character descriptions.
Besides comedy our four heroines embark on several quests that involve protecting citizens, eliminating monsters or character specific quests, just like in a JRPG game, which this world is not surprisingly enough. The character arcs are handled well. They are given enough drama with a pinch of humor to lighten the mood. The serious moments are handled well and the humor is timed well enough to not get in the way of the seriousness…for the most part. There was one episode the jokes and reactions may feel off for some. Viewers who remember “that episode” will know what I am referring to.
The presentation is solid. Nothing noteworthy in neither the casual or action scenes. It does the job well enough. The animation and soundtrack are solid. Some may really enjoy the OP and ED. The character designs are pretty good.
Let us go over the main draw of the show, the leading ladies and their antics.
First up is Mile. Like most Isekai protagonists she is overpowered to a strong degree with very few capable of standing up to her. This for the majority of the show is something that bothers her due to it going against her “average life” goal. Again, “average” can mean different things to different people. Besides that she spends most of her time cherishing her friends, remind herself they do care about her, hid her uber powers and modern knowledge behind the “family secrets” excuse, otaku references up the wazoo and of course get herself into trouble thanks to her big mouth and ego.
Next is Reina. She is a powerful black mage tsundere and the hotheaded “sister” of the party. She has a crush on Mile.
Third is best girl Pauline. She is the “mother”. Very kind, caring and sexy. However, get on her bad side or misuse money and consider your life in grave danger.
Lastly is second best girl Mavis. She is an ojou-sama who dreams of becoming a great knight. Her character is acting chivalrous while being the most feminine of the four and a chick magnet at the same time. She is as beautiful as she is handsome. Of course she is the “father” and Pauline her soulmate.
Like the description length Mile has the biggest ongoing character arc while the others have their own struggles they are taken care of quickly. I mean in one or two episodes. Personally I liked this approach. Some drama does not need more than two episodes to resolve, otherwise you will get something like the overdrawn O-Tae drama in BanG Dream Season 2. These arcs were simple and to the point but still effective. Much appreciated.
The side-characters are solid with the ones who stood out most to me being the innkeeper’s daughter and the party’s first major foe, an anime original character. Her screen time was short and her presence divisive.
The yuri potential is in the above mentioned pairings and Mile’s harem powers and one more character I already mentioned.
Overall Abilities Average will not set the Isekai world on fire but what it does it does well. The main cast are wonderful, the references and jokes usually funny, the action and drama nice, the presentation solid and the yuri potential decent. The interested are welcome to give the show a go.