Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig- Review

Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig- Review

Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig- anime series cover art
Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig-

Finally, An Isekai For Me

Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig- (Buta no Liver wa Kanetsu Shiro / 豚のレバーは加熱しろ) likely doesn’t seem like a good anime to most people. It’s an isekai series about, you guessed it, a man who was reincarnated into a fantasy world as a pig.

But, to me, this sounded like a great premise. Why? I like pigs. They’re pretty neat. So, when I heard about this series, I thought that this was going to be good. Well, “good.” I thought it would, at the very least, be an entertaining watch. And, I actually think it was — at first.

Now, I admit that Butareba’s comedy isn’t for everyone. I saw a lot of people hating on it from the very first episode. There are plenty of sexual jokes, which are always divisive. But, I thought it mostly used these jokes in a decent way.

Jess and Pig from the anime series Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig-
Jess and Pig

Pig — we never get his real name — is a virgin loser with some depraved thoughts. The gag is that his outward appearance now reflects his inner thoughts. And, to reinforce this, Jess, the other main character, can read Pig’s thoughts. Every time he has a dirty thought, she knows.

But, the dynamic between Pig and Jess isn’t quite what you’d expect. Yes, Pig thinks some unsavory things at times. However, at the end of the day, he’s a good guy who would never do anything to harm Jess. And, Jess believes in Pig’s good heart unconditionally. She’s never worried that he might be a bad person.

Now, to me, this dynamic is sort of the first piece of evidence that this isn’t a great show. Like, if Jess reacted negatively to Pig’s dirty thoughts, that would make it better. Her not seeing issues with the things Pig thinks doesn’t make for an interesting series.

Okay, So It’s Actually Bad

Despite my high hopes for Butareba, it didn’t take very long to see that it’s bad. Pig’s and Jess’s dynamic is only the very start. That’s probably the least bad thing about it. Problematic? Sure. But, that’s not what makes the series a bad series.

The entire premise of the series is the worst part. Jess is a magical slave called a Yethma who needs to go on a one-way journey to visit the king. This is a pilgrimage all Yethma have to make — and it’s unclear if any have made the journey successfully.

Along the way, the Yethma have to survive the wilderness and hunters who kill them for bounties. And, when they finally make it to the capital, it’s unclear how to actually get inside. This is why there are no confirmed accounts of Yethma completing the pilgrimage.

Pig from the anime series Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig-

So, does this sound like a good plot to you? It has some interesting parts, like the Yethma hunters. But, overall, it’s a pretty basic story of a journey that Jess is going on simply because she’s supposed to. It’s hard to get invested into the plot at all — there’s not much to it.

The next major issue with Butareba is the animation quality. It sucks. I mean, I thought it was fine at the start of the series. But, once you get farther into it, the poor animation is hard to ignore. Later in the series, there are more action scenes. And it’s in those scenes that the animation fails.

Animation quality is a funny thing. For a lot of slice of life and drama series, it doesn’t matter that much. Good animation improves those series. But, it’s not necessary. For action anime and action scenes, the opposite is true. Good animation is necessary.

Is This Only The Beginning?

The wildest thing about Butareba is that this season might only be the beginning. This entire journey with Jess and Pig may have only been the prologue. And, I say that because of the terrible ending to the season.

Jess and Pig successfully make it to the capital and receive an audience with the king. They request that the king to turn Pig back into a human, which he accepts. But, the king can’t simply turn Pig back. He has to kill Pig, at which point Pig’s soul will return to his body in his old world.

So, yeah, at the end of the journey, Pig gets slaughtered and goes back home. If the series ended right there, that would be a bad enough ending. It pretty much erased everything that happened throughout the story and reset it to zero — but not in the Re:Zero way.

Jess from the anime series Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig-

What made the ending even worse, however, is what happens next. Pig writes a fantasy book about his time living as a pig in another world. And, some people who read it reached out to him about their own experiences in that same world.

At first, Pig thought these people were coming up with their own fan fictions based on his story. But, it then becomes clear that these people had also lived in that world for a time. And so, together, they devise a plan to send Pig back into that world so he can be with Jess.

And, I guess the other people are also going to be sent back into the fantasy world, as well. I don’t know what happens after that. But, I’ve seen art from the series where there are now multiple pigs. So, to me, that says there’s a lot more to this series.

Final Thoughts

Butareba -The Story of a Man Who Turned into a Pig- is a 3/10. It’s very bad and I’m not going to watch a second season if it ever gets one — probably. I might still watch it. But, I’ve been trying to hold back and not continue to watch series I know are bad.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about the perks of supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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