Manga & Light Novel Reviews

[Manga Review] Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! Vol. 1

Volume 1 Synopsis

Yuya Kamigasaki is living the life any high-school boy would dream of: he’s got a house to himself, classes he can sleep through, and a childhood friend next door who grew into a total babe. But when an otherworldly princess with looks to die for shows up in his room and asks him to become the hero that will save her people, how can a guy refuse? That is, until he realizes she’s asked him to get reincarnated, and plans to send him through the great cycle of death and rebirth herself!

Information

Title: Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! (Goodbye Isekai Tensei)
Author: Kenji Saito
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Pages: 158
Genre: Fantasy

Review

One trend that seems to be prevalent in anime, manga, and light novels is that of the “isekai” or “another world” element. You know, those stories that usually have the main character spirited away to a world unlike where they are from by some strange unexplained McGuffin or just from dying a miserable death. Man, life is hard for a light novel protagonist. Having a great distaste as well as love for this concept that I refuse to acknowledge as a subgenre, it feels nearly impossible to find a few that manage to be interesting after going through the same mindless facsimile of a narrative hook. Written by Kenji Saito, the creative mind behind Trinity Seven, Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! is one of those works handling the isekai framework, but feels slightly refreshing for what it is trying to accomplish. Just slightly….

Enter Yuya Kamigasaki, a regular highschool kid enjoying life with his busty childhood friend. One day, his ordinary life becomes anything but that meeting Angelia Eito Grancia, princess of the world Phatulia. Needing a hero in the fight against demons, he is a perfect candidate. She just needs to kill him in order for Yuya to be reincarnated to her world! In a twist, Luciel Von Drakbreed, daughter of the demon king is ordered to keep Yuya from meeting this fate, thus beginning Yuya’s struggle not to become a hero of another world. Loving titles trying to stretch some length out of the basic formula, Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! does surprisingly succeed by subverting the audience’s expectations of the standard hero vs demon and inverting the roles. The “good” guys are not that virtuous and the “bad” guys seem to have more of a righteous goal even if it is for their own benefit. From Angelia’s sweet demeanor to a borderline psychopath and Luciel’s standoffish behavior to fully committed mindset, Saito has no problem selling the audience into this position mixing quick juvenile humor with adequate action sequences aiding in moving events at a smooth pace. Between Yuya trying to say alive, there are a few tinges of interesting things happen in the story hinting at something larger as well as being introduced to a few characters in Yuya’s life that might or might not be more important than they seem.

From a visual perspective, most of the artwork and direction in the series is not bad. Panels from page to page come to life with bold and striking linework and easy to follow the action without having to flip back and forth to make sense of it all. Character designs are less than exciting but easy on the eyes. Designs like Luciel and Angelia personally standing out with no problem and Yuya seemingly generic. Having said that, Angelia’s design is probably only interesting in how menacing her face looks thinking about how to kill Yuya and the main character himself looks do suit his jovial and oftentimes, carefree nature. The aforementioned busty childhood friend Konami is something of a conundrum: appreciating the cheap attempt to use sex appeal, her exaggerated (almost comical) voluptuous design does stick out like a sore thumb, especially during later scenes. Of course, considering that Parabola, the artist for the series also dabbles in hentai…I think that speaks volumes for itself. In any case, the scenes with fanservice prove not to be too much of a distraction and act as decent eye candy if that is your thing.

As the first volume ends on a cliffhanger that seems to be something promising but can easily see it turning out to be nothing critical, Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! starts off on an interesting foot for a lack of better words. It is very hard to say if the series can keep up the momentum if it is planning to drag things out but will give it credit in goading me to check out the next volume. Being so fascinated and put off at the same time with how the isekai concept is carried out in most media, I owe it a chance like anything else. Just don’t hold your breath for a mind-blowing start.


Final Verdict: Taking the standard tropes and cliches of an isekai and turning them on its head, Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! sets itself up for a great start. Easily having the ability to fall into mediocrity even with a lateral move in concept, the execution, and overall end goal is enough to suffice for the time being.

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