[Review] Parallel World Pharmacy – A Drawn-out What If

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about Parallel World Pharmacy‘s use of cosmetics and skincare, so I’ll refrain from speaking too long on the series now other than to quickly go over what did and didn’t work for me over the course of the season. As an isekai and slice-of-life, PWP did well to draw me into its world and our protagonist’s place in it. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Falma use his experience from his former life as a pharmacologist to aid in his current one as a pharmaceutist now that medicine and magic co-exist. The show’s attempt to ramp up the drama in the latter part of the season reminded viewers, perhaps uncomfortably, about our own recent pandemic. While I appreciated the higher stakes, Falma’s near perfect handling of this emergency in addition too all the previous ones dampened any real concern, resulting in an ultimately forgettable series.

PWP‘s shtick of “what if a specialist with modern-day knowledge of medicine reincarnated into a world far behind in medical advances?” was entertaining for the first few episodes of the season, as well as again at the end with the revival of the Bubonic Plague. However, the novelty quickly wore off with Falma’s impeccable knowledge and reactions to every trial placed before him. Magic, too, ended up a convenient aid to quickly producing medicines that would otherwise take a not insignificant amount of time to concoct, especially at the quantities demanded by his customers and eventually the entire nation.

I do want to make clear that I enjoyed this series, for the most part. Falma’s passion for medicine and health available to all is admirable and an ideal to strive for. I also appreciated seeing the people around him, family, friends, and authority figures, understand his concerns and work together to bring about a world better for all members of society. I admit to taking great pleasure in watching Falma flatten the church’s knights and terrify them with his literal goddess-given powers. It just isn’t that stimulating in the long run to watch someone succeed repeatedly with little failure. There’s a reason why the most memorable stories involve struggle, which makes a happy ending all the more fulfilling.

Rating: 0 dango

*Rating system:

  • 0 dango – average and forgettable.
  • 1 dango – very good in its category.
  • 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
  • 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.

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