Parallel World Pharmacy – The Summer 2022 Preview Guide

What is that?

The story centers on a young pharmacologist who was so focused on his research that he died of overwork. He was transported to an alternate world and reincarnated as Pharma, the scion of a noble line of court healers. In this world where cures and wrong cures run rampant, he takes all sorts of misfortunes to save lives, thanks to his intimate knowledge of modern pharmacology from his past life.

Parallel World Pharmacy is based on Liz Takayamathe novel series and broadcasts on Crunchyroll Sundays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

To make your way to a fantasy world, it seems like you have to be hit by a truck, be a hardcore MMO player who refuses to log out when the game stops serving, or die from overwork. Parallel World Pharmacy take the last option. While this has obviously happened in enough other works to be cliché in itself, what’s interesting about this case is that our protagonist’s overwork is solely his doing. Professor Yakutani does not work in a company that exploits its workers, but rather as a researcher at the Japanese equivalent of an Ivy League university. His death is ultimately caused by his own desire to do all he can in the world of medicine, catalyzed by the loss of his little sister to an incurable disease. It’s an interesting character rhythm that explains his willingness to figure out his magic once he wakes up in the fantasy world as Farma.

Also, I like the idea that Farma’s magic is rooted in the scientific understanding he gained in his previous life. He can create not only elements but also compounds based on his knowledge of molecular dynamics. This makes his magic both familiar to audiences and something different from the normal magic of the fantasy world.

That said, most of this episode is just going through the motions. We get a basic rundown of the setting, meet her new family, and learn a bit about how magic works. But what really sets this first episode apart from most isekai stories is that the first person who finds out how overpowered Farma is completely freaks out. While Farma is nothing but kind and caring, she only fears him as she learns. A being she believed to be a myth stands before her, either a god or a monster (and either way, she fears for her life). Oddly enough, this might be the most realistic reaction to a superpowered character I’ve ever seen in anime; such moments are almost always played for laughs, and the most common reaction seems to be either being stunned by the silence or cracking a weak joke. Sheer terror seems like the most logical reaction, especially given the “no shadow” thing in Farma’s case.

Overall, while this was a decent first episode, it was largely just groundwork. Also, I don’t know what the tone of the series will be – will it be a lighthearted adventure or a more serious take on reincarnation in a fantasy world? Either way, there were more than a few intriguing twists in the formula of this one and I’m interested to see how it all pans out.

James Beckett

I don’t have the time or the reserves of mental energy to fully unpack the implications of the fact that we live in a world where “Reborn In Another World Isekai Where Protagonist-Kun Is Specific A Pharmacist, For Some Reason” is a movie fully fledged. anime subgenre. What I can tell you, however, is that if we to have to live in such a reality then we could do worse than anime like Parallel World Pharmacy. Given that it perpetuates an industry stagnation that I grow more fed up with with each passing season, this show is more or less a best-case scenario.

For one, it starts by doing the one thing I beg all of these isekai to do more of moving forward: it lets us care about the life our main character had before he was isekai. Sure, the tragic backstory and death from overwork is nothing new, but it’s the minimum possible to establish a half-decent narrative, so I appreciate that Parallel World Pharmacy gets to work. Also, that feeling of melancholy carries over to Farma’s new life in this other world, like when he reflects a bit on the family he never had, and how he basically stole that boy’s life. that everyone around him already had real relationships with.

It’s solid stuff, and it gets me through all the awkward exposition and Farma scenes having to figure out the rules of world magic and whatnot. These superficial configuration tropes are more or less unbearable when a show can’t even be bothered to try to tell a functional story, but in Parallel World Pharmacy, they end up being perfectly fine. I especially like how Farma’s “Panactheos” powers are seen as much of a liability as a blessing by people like Elen. Who would have thought that real conflict could make a show more interesting, huh?

I’m still not the target audience for this kind of show so I don’t expect to review Parallel World Pharmacy soon. Still, given how prone I am to rolling my eyes out of my skull whenever the words “parallel world” appear, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the premiere of Parallel World Pharmacy ended up being. Fans of the genre will probably be delighted with this one.

Rebecca Silverman

“Pharmacy isekai” is perhaps a more confusing subgenre than “slime isekai”, but Parallel World Pharmacy
seems to have an advantage over some of its competitors. He certainly doesn’t pull his punches in the first few minutes – we watch Professor Yakutani literally kill himself (his assistant finds his corpse in his office), driven by the death of his younger sister from incurable cancer when they were children. Not quite making the connection that she might not want him to die trying to save the others, he’s actually not very surprised when he wakes up in a new, younger body, as a Part of him clearly knew he was in danger of dying from his punitive program. He’s not jaded, just ready to accept what happened. On the contrary, he is most confused as to why people keep calling his Lichtenberg characters (the fern-like scar left by a thunderbolt) the marks of a god.

That they could, in fact, be both hasn’t occurred to him yet, perhaps because people keep talking to him. Between his maid Lotte and his tutor Elen, poor Farma (as he is now called) is inundated with handsome info-dumpers. On the one hand, how nice people are to explain the things he’s supposed to know and ready to buy that a crush zapped his memories. On the other hand, it’s holy crap, it’s a clunky and boring exposition, made worse by Lotte’s bubbly attitude and Elen’s tendency towards histrionics. Throw in a mother who says maybe two words and a little sister who looks younger than she looks and I don’t have high hopes for the female characters in this series.

There may, however, be some hope for the story. Yes, Farma is overpowered, but all of his powers seem to be in service of the wish he was working on in his past life, the cure for cancer and whatever else takes people too young. That these powers can also prevent him from killing himself on the job a second time seems like a blessing based on his admirable goals that he executed poorly, and that’s the kind of karma I like to see: a chance to redeem mistakes made in pursuit of something good. Yakutani’s goals were admirable, he just let himself be eaten away by them. Farma has the power to carry them out without this danger.

So even if it’s dragging and not great overall, I think in this thin season it can have potential. Maybe it’s just hope born out of the fact that both my parents are struggling with issues that I wish there was a magic solution to, but I’ll take what I can get.

Nicholas Dupree

Besides its pervasiveness, my major problem with the ongoing isekai deluge is the lack of friction typical of these stories. It takes a narrative device that used to be a fish out of water and turns both the world and the characters into pretzels to make it as easy as possible to set up our regular-faced Melvin lead without any problems. Any knowledge they need about this new world is either buried in their brains or conveniently provided, and they usually gain superpowers that make it that much easier for them to brute force themselves into prominence. So imagine my surprise when this new addition to the (so far extremely innocuous) sub-subgenre of Pharmacy Isekai actually uses its own premise for some interesting drama.

Much of this comes from the nature of this particular isekai-ing. Just like Hand in Ancestry of a bookworm, our protagonist suddenly finds himself taking on the body of someone who already lived in Fantasyville – someone who had friends and family and an established life that the new Farma finds himself ill-equipped to maintain. They still escape some of those growing pains by having the genius doctor join a family of renowned medical specialists, with a brave maid to explain everything to him, but there’s a genuine feeling that Neo-Farma is balanced on a tight ever tighter. rope, and there’s a narrative tension to seeing when and how it falls.

It also helps to get an idea of ​​who he was before he reincarnated. Granted, his story was mostly comprised of medical drama cliches, but a brilliant doctor who dedicated himself to medicine after losing his sister to cancer is still a much more engaging start than your typical tracksuit-wearing otaku or employee. overloaded office. Rather than a laid-back vacation away from the stresses of life, this new world offers mystery and challenges that are only heightened by Farma’s unfinished business from her previous life. This unfortunately means our hero spends most of this episode having things explained to him instead of establishing a personality, but there’s at least room for him to develop as a character here.

Also, although Farma does get some enhanced magic powers when he arrives, they aren’t the Get Out Of Plot Free card they usually are in other shows. Instead, her magical guardian is rightly frightened by her sudden, otherworldly powers shattering the scales of their entire world. Even though Farma himself isn’t a threat, his OP magic represents a complete break from this world’s norms, and that understandably scares people. And a bit like Bookworm there’s the disconcerting side that he’s essentially a changeling – a totally alien personality now controlling the body of the boy these people once knew. Again, I don’t expect this to last too long, but it’s still an intriguing drama that at least leaves me curious to watch another episode.

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