In a world plagued by magical dangers and threats, there exist special warriors—known as Inquisitors—who are tasked with non-violently preventing these threats and nefarious actions. The Anti-Magic Academy is a specialized school built to educate and train these Inquisitors, which splits its students into small squads in order to train them to work together. Among these talented squads is the 35th Test Platoon, also known as the "Small Fry Platoon" due to its low ranking and incompetent members.
However, everything changes when Ouka Ootori, a powerful yet rebellious former Inquisitor, is forced into joining due to her tendency to break rules and committing a serious violation: the killing of a witch. Tempers flare upon her arrival, as she clashes with their clumsy captain Takeru Kusanagi and argues with the rest of the squad over her views on witches. This eclectic group has a long way to go if they wish to succeed and climb the ranks at the Anti-Magic Academy: they must first set aside their differences and come to work together as a team.
It’s easy to describe what Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai really is. Just like the reputation of the “Small Fry Platoon”, being described as a group of failures at a school known as the 35th Test Platoon of Antimagic Academy, this show is also a failure of itself. Before getting to the what, how, and why, there’s a few things new viewers should understand about the show.
Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai (also known as Anti-Magic Academy 35th Test Platoon) is a light novel adaptation that has over 10 volumes and currently publishing. Common logic dictates that such an adaptation could only be tolerable if
adapted into at least a 2-cour show. What do we get instead? A chunk of mess and missed potentials that gets buried by Silver Link and the director’s incompetence. Don’t get me wrong though, the show has an interesting premise. Unlike many normal schools, the 35th Test Platoon of Anti-magic Academy is part of a group that is designed to hunt down witches, beings branded with dangerous magical abilities. It’s easy to theorize what they learn is more than the usual textbook stuff like math or literature. While this stands out as somewhat unique, the show is unable to carry itself with its oddball set of characters and messy storytelling.
The series follows the bizarre adventures of the “Small Fry Platoon”. Like some light novel adaptations, its story structure is formatted in arcs although it interconnects and has direct relations with the overall premise. In hopes for a faithful adaptation, director Kawamura Tomoyuki instead delivers a disappointing story that fails to capture the magic, emotions, and powers with its characters. It’s pretty much a washed out action flick and nothing more as each episode dashes hopes for what fans will have expectations for this series. And it all begins from the very first few episodes.
There’s no official written rule but I think it’s common that most people judge if they drop or keep a show of interest with a span of three episodes. This show will likely take just one. The pilot episode establishes the main premise while also introducing some of the main characters. Because the main cast is composed of female characters, expect some generic impressions like the ‘main guy walking in on girl half-naked’ type of situation. It actually crosses that line not once but sort of twice too when Takeru Kusanagi, the leader of the 35th Test Platoon sees two of his teammates in a lewd fashion. The rest of his squad members are also all girls and throughout the show, their relationship with him ventures into the harem-esque territory. We got Ouka Ootori, a girl with a hate for witches and cold personality. As time goes on, she develops unrecognized feelings for Takeru that is acted out in a slightly tsundere fashion. Her rivalry with Mari Nikadou, a witch formerly affiliated with Valhalla, also gets personal and irritating to watch as time drags on. Then, there’s Usagi Saionji, a shy yet emotional girl with some lack of common sense and desire to marry Takeru. Her background story isn’t pretty despite her high class family status. Ikaruga Suginami, the genius and professional hacker of the group is also well known for making suggestive and often sexual jokes towards her teammates. Oh and finally, the show has to include a girl with a “lack of emotions” so Lapis, a relic eater is added to fill in the void.
As the storytelling is handled by arcs, each of these arcs consists of a set of episodes that focuses on a problem and specifically about a girl. Takeru and the rest of his squad always somehow gets involved in these affairs. It’s as predictable as any generic writing when Takeru attempts to save them from whatever problem they have. While it initially handles the buildup and emotional appeals well, it quickly dies out as an arc is wrapped up with the rushing. As a 1-cour adaptation, it fails with minimal plot development and feels more like just a group of ideas thrown altogether in one piece to entertain the audience. I will admit that the action flows pretty well on par with acceptable production values but everything in the end seems to lack charisma. The comical jokes gets old fast and the fan service seems to be forced into the viewers’ minds every time it tries something funny. There’s even some major filler content for this adaptation despite being already rushed. And that’s really tragic considering how much the series dropped the ball with its ridiculous directing. Don’t expect strong characterization but do be prepared for a lack of originality. There may be times that a few of the characters can be quite fun to watch though as their personalities adds some excitement to the messy story. But in retrospect, it’s still not far from disappointment.
Silver Links adapts this series and given the production quality, they seem to have taken their sweet time with it. It’s tolerable in terms of action packed choreography especially in the more intense fighting angles. But when it comes to characters, it’s lacking in their expressions. Most of the characters seems to have the same face most of the time. While the character designs holds uniqueness to some degree, it’s hard to make it up when over-saturated fan service is mixed in with it. On the other hand, I am impressed by some of the combat gear the show produces. These include a wide range of guns, vehicles, and magical spells. The technological aspect of the setting also looks solid despite the shallow backgrounds.
If there’s one thing to write home about, it would be the music and soundtrack. For a sci-fi military flick with its production values, the soundtrack is surprisingly well crafted. With the stereo beat and fast paced cinematics, it correlates effectively with the action. Character theme songs are also designed with a decent amount of effort as well. While the OP and ED theme songs aren’t stellar, the overall coordination of the soundtrack deserves some praise. Character voice mannerism is another story though. While they have credibility with their personalities, there’s nothing impressive about them.
It’s like the group of producers for this show gathered together and thought, “let’s make this show with some pretty action and everyone will have something to talk about!” But really, besides the action and soundtrack, this show is more like an advertisement for the light novel. If you are interested more in the story, then do feel free to give it a read although by this point, it might feel like a waste of time. And time really is something they messed up for this adaptation. With its heavy rushing and lack of characterization, there’s hardly any time to craft a consistent story. In the end, it’s a waste potential.
MC does some cheesy shit and gets all dem girls, next kirito but kirito kun not that cheesy saying lines like VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
"let me carry half your burden"(something like that) best line ever
cant submit cause not long enough lel
Ummmmm what else?
Its r-17+ LOL never realised, maybe cause its pretty bloody?
Nothing amazing like the top animes but i found it really entertaining to watch
Really bad at picking out bad stuff, but worst part of it for most people will probs be how he repeats that cheesy line to each girl lel, i personally think its funny asf
cause repetition, damn my english so good i can name english language devices
So yea watch it if u havent, if u have watched it, dont hate me, its my first time reviewing chill
There isn't anything particulary new for the art. It is not bad, just okay. So animations are - there isn't spectacular show to see but it's decent. Characters could've been designed a little better for me but i didn't dislike it all.
Firstly, Opening and Ending songs are pretty good and somehow cachy. Too badly that there isn't too much "background" music in the actual show. Sound effects and voice acting are just okay for me - just like with art.
Basically we have here standard set of characters, typical for romance/ecchi/harem anime. Every female "hero" 35 is in love with our MC. We
have booby-one, perv-one, shy-one, open-one and they all are like: He's mine! Don't try to take him away from me! So it's nothing special but it's kinda funny after all.
On the other every character have some problems which we discover tro the show although the plot is too rushed.
I've seen a big potential. I thought it may be something different from typical harem/love/friendship (dunno) anime. Story is too rushed and too focused on romances and friendships in the 2nd half of the show. So it's just okay - nothing more.
I did enjoy the show. It made me laugh in some parts and generally it was light to watch. Decent show If we have some free time.
As I mentioned above this show have had potenial but it turned out to be another harem focused anime with bad developed romance and rushed story. Other than that there isn't anything special in art, animation, sounds and characters - everything is just okay.
Ah Silver Link. You...you really didn't do a good job this season, now did you...
Story: Kusanagi Takeru is a student at AntiMagic Academy. In a world where magic and witches run rampant, only one platoon is fit for the job. No, not the top ones, this little one called Platoon 35 with only 5 people. One guy and four girls. That's...that's a harem right there.
The story, as mentioned before, follows the 35th or "Small Fry Platoon", comprising of what many in the Antimagic academy call a platoon of failures. Following a more arcic setup on account of
the way that the light novels are arranged, the show organizes itself to follow the story of the LN's (with quite some variation might I add) from start to end. As a fantasy series, Antimagic requires quite a bit of explanation in order to progress the story, and that's really only when the problems for this adaptation begins.
Pacing (like every other show Silver Link made this Fall 2015) is the main issue for this adaptation. Because Silver Link wanted to do so much in so little, a lot of the content that was in the original LN was cut out to the point that most of what was happening didn't make complete sense or was made so insignificant that even if it was key to the plot, you would never know whether or not it was.
As a result of the pacing issue, the series lost a lot of its own content and became only a hollow shell of its former self. They rushed so much that I began questioning what was even going on in front of me, and that is never a good sign. The ending itself didn't really solve much of anything either because the show just...ended. It dropped everything that was happening and created an original ending that was just kinda shoehorned in there just to finish off what they were doing. That is not only a bad move, but leaves a lot to be desired.
Characters: Characters in Antimagic also share some semblance of lacking quality similar to its story.
Up first we have Kusanagi Takeru, the main protagonist of the Antimagic series. As the main protagonist of a harem series, he has the 'nice' quality that almost every godforsaken one of those dense asshats have. As a wielder of the Kusanagi sword arts, Takeru spends most of the series on missions to aid the girls in his Platoon of their problems and does so with promise to share half of their burden. As such, he has built up quite a legion of potential wives just like others of his kin. (Kin being other harem protags.) He's also apparently prone to anger, but that just doesn't seem like it's in there.
Then we have the girls in the series. Ouka, Mari, Usagi, Ikaruga, and Lapis. As with all harem series, I will give a quick rundown for all of them.
Ouka: Token tsundere of the series.
Mari: A witch forced to be part of the platoon. The one with the bust complex.
Usagi: The small one with the oversized chest. Quite easy to tease and is quite the wimp.
Ikaruga: The last one to give a shit about anything. Also flirty.
Lapis: Kusanagi's Relic Eater. (Basically, a zanpaktou of sorts.) The loli/kuudere character.
The entire runtime of the series is essentially devoted to these girls (except Lapis) and their respective arcs. With each proceeding arc, we tackle one of the girls' issues, cure or take care of it, induct them further into Takeru's harem, rinse and repeat. The problem here is that the pacing issues really hamper what we know about the characters. Because it's so rushed, the explanations are either incomplete, or so pushed through that it doesn't really make sense. As such, the reason as to why or how they changed really doesn't make the most sense and doesn't fulfill the character development that they should have.
In addition, the show doesn't really focus on a lot of the other characters as much. All of the other characters are pretty much shafted to the side to be plot related more than anything else. Even going to the extent of showing you a few scenes of characters that Antimagic fans know, but never get to experience because the time they're shown in is so miniscule.
+/- Semi-decent main characters
- Lack of character development/personality
- Other characters are pretty much ousted and/or only show up when needed
Art: Art for Antimagic is a bit of a rickety subject. For the most part, Antimagic has a lot of fairly nice animation, as the general look of the show has a moody yet bright look to it that genuinely looks nice as an artstyle. They also have quite a few magic circles and other magical bits like that that look nice and detailed.
On the flipside however, because Antimagic has power suits, mechs, and the like, a lot of the action scenes with those qualities have CGI attached to them, making Takeru's fighting form and other things in the show look like clunky bits of CG that are only semi-meshed with the background. As such, it looks quite awkward to see the CG in an animated background, creating a clash that just looks off. Especially in the last episode.
+ Good standard animation
- Bad CGI
Sound: The OP and ED tracks for Antimagic are quite hit and miss. The OP for starters sounds so generic and one-note that I don't think it's really think it's worth mentioning. The ED on the other hand has a tone to it that connects more to the Antimagic series, as it's a more technical, more darker or melancholic tone that relates to some of what goes on in the series.
Personal Enjoyment: I heard quite a few good things about Anti-magic academy before going into it. Things about how the females were very strong despite being a harem series, there were some pretty deep and personal arcs for the characters, and there was an imouto that turned into cthulu. Well...I guess one out of three wasn't bad?
Did I enjoy this anime?
I wouldn't say I enjoyed this anime as I was intrigued by it. A lot of what was shown was ok to watch, I laughed a bit, but there wasn't really anything that made me think that this was worth more than I'm giving it.
What didn't I like about this anime?
The rushing. I had to get someone to explain to me what was going on with every passing episode, and just saw how much there was missing. Plus, the CGI is eye gouging. It's not as bad as other series' I've seen, but it's definitely not good CGI. (I don't think any CGI in anime is really that good tbh.)
Would I recommend this anime?
Not...really. I would say you're better off reading the LN. They skip over so much detail that you'll be left with more questions than answers if you watch this by itself. (Or without someone to spoon feed you information like I did.)
With so many anime using manga as its source material, it's easy to forget just how many really good stories were based on light novels. Despite the relative rarity of this type of adaptation, light novels have produced some absolutely mesmerizing stories. Some may surprise you!