The Anime Man recently made a YouTube video talking about a light novel called “I Was Reincarnated as a hot spring in this alternate world, and I’m way too effective – It’s not like it feels good because I’m inside you or anything” and he was complaining about the fact that it was a stupid idea that will be executed poorly.
Whilst I do agree that it would probably be bad but I feel like there are many ways to make an idea like this good and I’ll go into what I expect could happen to make the show better.
This light novel seems to be set in completely the wrong genre as from the title and picture it seems to be in the romance comedy / harem genre which doesn’t really fit. A better idea might be to make it more dramatic and put it in the drama and psychological genres. These seem inherently more interesting as I think it could work and I’ll explain why.
Let’s think of how he could become a hot-spring. Maybe he drowned in the hot spring but it’s not really that interesting. What if something worse happened like him getting murdered in the hot spring. This would make it more dramatic as he would be constantly living in his grave like a ghost, constantly having to re-live the trauma of his death every time he woke up. This to me could make it far more interesting.
What also can make the light novel good is the fact that it’s quite short. When a light novel is adapted to anime one volume usually takes up about 4 episodes. This is enough time to not really make the idea of a hot spring boring and explore every aspect in its entirety. Any more than two light novels would seriously be overkill.
If we’re continuing with the psychological theme then I’d prefer it to focus on everything outside of the hot springs opening hours. It’d be interesting to see the characters mind after a year of suffering as a hot spring. Would he be completely insane or just bored and longing for the times when a hot girl finally decides to enter? It might be interesting to see why he descends into madness.
A topic that could also be explored is time passing, because hot springs can’t die. What if he had a favourite person who came regularly for several years and then stopped? I feel like it could be made interesting as we’d experience the constant anguish that he feels due to the fact that his favourite human was gone. We could grow this fondness of the girl from listening in on her conversations with others so we might actually care about it. What if the girl was just weird and tried to talk to the hot spring expecting an answer back, it’d actually be quite emotional knowing that both people are trying to talk to each other but can’t. If you can get over the fact that it’s a hot spring.
Time passing can also be taken further with a sad narrative of the hot spring gradually closing down. He could start there on opening day to see loads of people and gradually see them dwindle in numbers until it closed and nobody saw him. I think it would be sad if we were able to feel the main characters pains of not being able to do anything.
We could also learn more about how a hot spring works and how it’s run, it might be something that the protagonist focus’ on more. This isn’t particularly interesting but it can be made interesting if the way the hot spring is run commercially changes.
I would also find it interesting to see if the character sees being a hot spring as a good thing. Even though theirs hot girls, how would he feel about other people being inside him? Not very happy I’m guessing.
Another idea was the trope of boys peeking over the sides to try and look. I’d just be interesting to see how he might try and deal with that situation. What if he could spout water out to knock them down? What if he wasn’t the entire hot spring but a person made of water that was put in to the hot spring? Could this mean that as the water cycles through he only spends one day in the hot spring and gets flushed into a river, how would he feel if he couldn’t get back? If he was a human made of water would he try to get back?
Whilst I don’t think the light novel will actually good, I don’t think it’s an idea that can’t ever be made good. There’s lots of different unique perspectives or ideas that could be used (even though they won’t be used) to make it actually entertaining or meaningful besides using fan service to try and attract attention.
By the way if you think this is some kind of drama or row against The Anime Man then that’s not quite true. Whilst I do agree with him that the idea is stupid and won’t be good I’m arguing that it can be good if it would just change what it was about to be different.