Isekai Cheat Magician [Review]
- Source Material: Light novel
- Studio: Encourage Films
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
- Synopsis: “Taichi Nishimura and his friend Rin Azuma both get transported into a fantasy world. While in their previous world, Taichi is a normal person who just has higher than average reflexes, both he and Rin gain high levels of physical and magical ability, and begin their new life as magicians.” – ANN
The Isekai genre is a staple in the anime world that includes many beloved series. Heck, my first anime was an Isekai (Spirited Away, if any of you were curious). There are a lot of possibilities with Isekai shows and the love of fantasy makes it an attractive and appealing genre for both rookie and veteran anime watchers. To be brutally honest, Isekai Cheat Magician is not one of those shows. Taichi and Rin both get transported to a fantasy world ad quickly learn of their aptitude and overwhelming powers in this world. A typical Isekai plot point until you realize that they constantly overestimate their own abilities and always end up getting push back by enemy time and time again. The story does this in rotation with each of the big fights, which quite frankly, get very tiring. The show crutches on the relationship between Taichi and Rin to create interest and even then there is no real development between the two as the interactions stay repetitive throughout each episode. The underlying plot is mildly interesting at best and brings up a lot of questions…and plot holes.
Artwork & Animation:
While I really enjoyed the art style of Isekai Cheat Magician, the animation wasn’t quite as satisfying as you would think. It lacks dynamic and even fights sequences, which are typically intense and action-packed, become dull and mundane.
I’ve already hinted at the characters in the previous sections, so this portion will elaborate more on those ideas and thoughts. The biggest downfall of Isekai Cheat Magician is the characters themselves. The plotline could be the most boring thing in the world but it would still be enjoyable had the characters been interesting enough (Take moe/cute girls doing cute things type of shows for example). Taichi’s generic Isekai main character attitude falls flat as he and Rin included, constantly overestimates his own abilities and falling into simple trap episode after episode. The lack of satisfaction that comes from training/power up moments in the show is also a big disappointment. Taichi and Rin gain more power without struggling. Taichi does gain new powers through emotional ordeals later in the show, but is there really a point when the seemingly overpowered character trope has already been established?
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
The one saving grace about this show. Yoshiaki Fujisawa did a phenomenal work on the soundtrack and has created a new fan within me. Each track feels like its own story, the arrangement of the instruments and the attention to detail is extraordinary, to say the least. For a song to have a wide range of instruments, each with their own dynamics, yet the overall track still feels balanced as to not allow one to drown out the others is no easy feat. The sound designs, as well as the score, are beautifully crafted that feels wasted on a plot that is as shabby as this. Who would’ve thought a low distorted synth, war drums, followed but orchestral strings would work so well with each other?!
All in all, the soundtrack and a handful of characters were the things that made Isekai Cheat magician bearable to watch. Without those elements, the rest of the show is an empty husk of an Isekai anime.
The Isekai genre is loved by anime fans far and wide and while there are good apples in the basket, there are also bad ones. While Isekai Cheat Magician’s soundtrack and select characters are to be applauded for their articulation and finesse, that cannot be said about the rest of the show. Nothing can save poorly written characters.
Best Girl: Anastasia
The only character in the entire show that kept me going week after week watching this show. Anatasia’s role as the Heel-Face turn was such an exciting moment for me personally. Her development is a pivotal point in the show as she creates a domino effect that inadvertently saves the whole kingdom from destruction. I’m not happy with how everything ended but I’m glad she was the saving grace in this godforsaken plotline.
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