Open up a light novel with a school setting with pretty girls and a protagonist standing in the middle. Then in the background, watch for signs of magical content like sparkles, circles, etc. I swear, almost every light novel adaptation these days has something similar in nature and it doesn’t take a creative mind to write a story about them. Given the way Rokudenashi is written, there’s no treasure you’ll find in this series. Instead, you’ll spend endless hours wondering why the characters’ school uniforms look so ridiculous.
Also known as Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor, the series takes off in an academy life setting.
From the first few episodes, the series doesn’t hide the personality of the main protagonist, Glenn Radars. To put it straightforward, he is a bastard. His personality is very sarcastic, lazy, and seems to never be able to stand still. However, Glenn has shown that he is a capable instructor with a decent knowledge of magic. And in essence, he has a good heart to help his students. So I guess in a way, he is able to walk between the line of a lazy bastard and as a guy his students can rely on. Unfortunately, my early impression of Glenn is that he is very difficult to take seriously and is someone that can barely act his age.
Given the context of the series, the girls doesn’t present a good impression of themselves either. The first time when Glenn interacts with Sistine, a promising student at school, he is literally blasted away by his awkward introduction. Her best friend Rumia seems to be more understanding although she seems to fit into the category of the classic damsel in distress. She is pretty, kind, has blonde hair with a cute smile but unfortunately never able to save herself. You ever see a horror movie where an innocent blonde girl is running for her life and desperately needs to be saved? That’s how I picture Rumia throughout the show as many episodes seems to put her into such position. At some point, I wouldn’t be surprised if viewers label her as a hostage simulator.
On terms of character relationships, the series seems to jump from one to another although the core focus is still Glenn. I have to admit, his relationships with his students is pretty uninspiring. On paper, Glenn and Sistine has a rocky relationship ever since from their first encounter. Their relationship seems to warm up a bit although can hardly be memorable given their contrasting personalities. Let’s face it, Sistine is a serious working student hoping to make her dreams come true while Glenn is a lazy bastard who seems to be taking life like a game. There’s hardly any connection between the two except we learn that Sistine does remind him of another character in the past. Given the length of this adaptation, that territory is hardly explored which is pretty disheartening to be honest. In the meantime, there’s Rumia and Glenn. They get along better and if I had to guess, she might have developed a girly crush on Glenn just because of how much times he’s saved her. Beyond that, it’s nothing home to write about. Oh and of course, there are some other characters we’ll encounter like Re=L, Albert, and Celica. Between Glenn and them, it just feels like these characters are there and hardly stand out with their role. The only character on that list worth mentioning may be Re=L but she has the personality of a doll and a peculiar background story. And trust me, with a character like Re=L in this show, it feels like they are trying to bring in every type of generic character personality they can into one place.
By expectations, the series probably excels most when it takes a more serious approach at magic. Understandably, this show surprisingly does a neat job at explaining magic, or at least on a level that makes sense. Antagonists are able to utilize magic at a level that looks threatening while Glenn establishes himself as a capable instructor with his knowledge of magic. By storytelling standards, magic is also a core motivation for Sistine as she wishes to discover the secrets of the Flying Castle. So if any positive stands out about this show, I can safely say that magic adamantly stands out. It’s even part of a tournament although the storytelling itself in that field is pretty underwhelming.
If I was to talk about the art of the show, the first thing that pops to my head is the school uniforms. Somehow, the female characters finds no troubling wearing them despite their ridiculous design. Attached to a string and exposing the bellies, it makes me curious if this school even has a damn written dress code. Character designs look somewhat noticeable such as Sistine’s cat ears, Re=L’s blueish hair, or Celica’s black dress. Character expressions for the main cast are somewhat entertaining to watch at times when the timing is appropriate. However, the antagonists in this show are very disappointing to look at. I mean, an evil maid? A guy that dresses like he works as a stagecoach driver? Can this show get any more awkward? On the other hand, I guess the academy itself looks normal or fits within the category of acceptable. The action sequences on most parts flows well. But again, it’s mostly the magic doing the work.
I don’t have much to say for the soundtrack or music as it feels rather blend. The OP and ED theme songs are pretty generic while the battle soundtrack is hardly original. My impressions of the voice acting also remains so-so. Glenn sounds too sarcastic for a guy of his age while Re=L is devoid of emotions. Sistine and her friend Rumia doesn’t bring in any memorable lines and often makes comedic scenes look shameful.
In retrospect, I can’t say this is a good show. Or in fact, it’s not even half decent. It fits more into the category of academy story with characters molded by the most generic personalities possible. The storytelling itself borders into the realm of gobbledygook as hardly any episodes are memorable. With cheesy character dialogues, weakly developed relationships, and attempts at crafting humor, the show doesn’t do well at it selling whatever it intends to. Oh and school uniforms…
Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records is in my opinion the greatest disappointment of the spring season. Don't misunderstand me, I really enjoyed the show but after watching the first episodes my expectations were really high, this anime had a lot of potential and it got wasted, so this is why I feel let down.
The story, which seemed really good at the beginning, went to nowhere, there's no plot overall, the anime consists in Glenn (the MC) saving continuously the girls he's bound to because everyone of them is important for some reason or another and the storytelling towards the end was very rushed: I
felt like it was lacking something so I read the manga (I know the LN is the original but I couldn't find it anywhere) and noticed that some details were left out of the anime adaptation. So, if you liked the show I recommend you to read the Light Novel or the manga.
I liked the characters and the comedy but I grew a bit annoyed at them with each passing episode because they lost their initial impact, I think the show needed to renew some gags, but it was funny nonetheless and I didn't get bored.
Speaking of the characters, the girls' chara design was beautiful, Rumia, Sistine and Re=l were extraordinarly cute. And I found the voice acting really good, I was most impressed by Sistine's VA, it was perfect and I loved it.
So, long story short: if you like the magic/school genre this is a piece of cake, it's entertaining and I had fun watching it, but don't make the same mistake as me, don't raise your expectations, because the anime starts off pretty well, but it becomes somewhat predictable afterwards.
If there is one trend I dislike more than anything over the past few years, it is the plethora and popularity of light novel adaptations. Now, of course, to clarify, I don't believe that just because an anime is adapted from a light novel, it is inherently bad. There have been plenty of light novel adaptations in the past that have actually been pretty good, but what I am referring to, in this case, are the light novel adaptations that feature some boring male protagonist with spiky hair that acts as a self insert for all of the filthy otaku, who goes to some random
high school that is usually one in which the students have superpowers (and for some reason it's always magic) as he becomes stronger and stronger while all of the female cast gets wet at his complete awesomeness! Most of these light novel adaptations follow the same basic elements, character archetypes and plot threads, and, if you've seen as many as I have, all begin to blend into one gigantic, horrible mess. I hate these types of light novel adaptations, because they're so lazy and so god damn unoriginal, yet, they still become widely popular; undeservingly so! While I have seen a couple of them done decently well, such as Chivalry of a Failed Knight, which plays around and subverts some of the troupes found in these typical shows, Akashic Records is not decent... it's not even mediocre! It's terrible! Every one of these elements I have listed in this opening paragraph is present in this travesty, and the writing, characters, narrative and the world presented to us are so boring, generic and cookie-cutter that I feel like throwing up just thinking about them! While this is not the worst light novel adaptation I have ever seen (that honour would go to Absolute Duo or The Asterisk War) it baffles me why this show is receiving such praise from some people and why it has sat at a score of around seven on this website. As soon as I saw the words "light novel" and "LIDENFILMS" in the seasonal charts before the show started up, I think I died a little inside and, to this day, this studio still hasn't produced a single anime I would actually consider to be noteworthy with this being their minimus opus, if you will. With all that said and done, let's jump into the narrative (if you could even call it that) of this absolute train wreck!
To say that the story of Akashic Records is generic would be the understatement of the year. If anything, this narrative is incredibly linear and predictable every step of the way with glaring pacing issues while shoving down your throat as many stereotypically dull speeches about life as it can possibly muster in each episode. It's set in a world in which magic is a viable tool and is used often for war against other nations, and, of course, as typical of light novel stories, the teenagers in this world are able to use said magic and attend special high schools. Enter the Light Novel guy for this series; a lazy man with an indifferent attitude who also happens to be a shut-in, takes up a job teaching magic at some random magic high school after being forced to by the woman he lives with. This, however, is greeted by disdain by the students in the class he has to teach, in particular, by two female students, called Tsundere-chan (Sistine Febel) and Basic Bitch (Rumia Tingel). While this first greeting is met with hostility, this new teacher eventually warms up to the rest of the class and they begin to develop more of a bond with him over the course of the series! And that's it for a plot! If it sounds like I'm being incredibly vague with this plot synopsis, that's because nothing really happens in this show from a narrative standpoint. It feels like a sequence of events that just happen because the writer needed to fill in some time and they connect so loosely with each other and have no overall bearing or impact on the plot that the narrative feels weak and lacking emotion. None of the characters has any motivation or any clearly defined goals in this series and thus it is hard to actually get invested or engaged into this world at all, or to care for any of the characters. The narrative has no sense of direction, and a weak narrative isn't exactly a game breaker for me as long as the characters are good (which they're not, but I'll get into that in a bit) but I'd like to have some kind of story actually happening! There is an evil magic organisation of some sort but they barely play any part in the narrative and feel so tacked on and vague that half of the time I forget that they're even present or playing any part in this story. They do introduce a new villain in the show but it's WAY too late into the narrative in order to flesh him out and instead, they rush this character's introduction, his involvement and his back-story within only an episode or so.
Speaking of the pacing, holy crap is this broken! The show tries to squeeze so much into its short twelve episode frame that it feels like a chore to watch since they're constantly throwing more and more things at you at every passing episode. It's also another kick to the nuts to realise that everything that does happen in the show is so inconsequential and boring to boot as well, which is also present in the setting for the show. The world of Akashic Records is one of the laziest thought out worlds I have ever seen. It's a world in which magic, goddamn MAGIC, is a part of everyday life but we barely have seen any examples of how people coexist with magic in the narrative in their daily lives outside of high school nor is the magic they use themselves all too great either. The great thing about setting your world in which features magic is that it allows you to be as creative as you could possibly want in regards to how the world operates and how its people live, while excusing it with the pretence that magic is an in-depth and intricate system that makes sense to the characters that live in this world, but, instead, they do nothing with it. For the sake of argument, let's compare it to the series Little Witch Academia, which aired alongside this show. Aside from doing everything better than Akashic Records, the world of Little Witch Academia is built around this idea of magic and is used in creative ways which bring the world to life. The world is interesting and alluring. Not only that but each of the characters have clearly defined goals which help to push the story forward and keep the audience immersed in the story; two things that Akashic Records doesn't have.
A lot of the time the narrative is just simply tasteless, making light jokes and comedy from molestation and rape of all things, especially from the second episode. The tonal shifts from watching a girl almost get raped to then making a stupid joke is painful and is almost as bad as the tonal shifts from Drifters. Speaking of the comedy, it feels so damn forced and trite as well as predictable that every attempt at a joke falls flat on its face and isn't funny in the slightest! The show also throws an insane amount of blood at the audience in a petty, pathetic attempt at seeming hardcore and edgy since the writing isn't strong enough to hold up by itself. Not only that, but the insane amount of blood half the time just feels silly, such as in episode nine, where Basic is lying unconscious in the floor with an insane amount of blood plastered on the bed, floor and curtains (enough that would kill a person), but her only wound is a slight wound on her stomach! How? Why? Who knows!
There actually is a tournament arc in the show, but just like everything else, it is terrible. Again, since this is a world full of magic, the writer could have written some very interesting fight scenes or competitions around the use of magic but all of them are just so boring and the show glosses over this arc so quickly that it feels entirely pointless. Some may argue that the true meat of this arc was, in fact, Basic's relationship with the queen and everything surrounding that, but, again, it feels so boring to watch, this is never brought up later again in the series and this scene is one of the worst cases of melodrama and bad writing I have seen in a very long time. And much of the show is forced with melodrama too, which, doesn't feel emotional since I don't care for a single one of these characters and all of these situations I've seen to much better effect somewhere else before. There is even a beach scene, thrown in just for some silly fan service, scenes that could have been used for character development and growth instead, but, nope, CLEARLY, the most important thing to do is show the audience what each girl would look like if they were in bloody swimsuits! The narrative is just so boring, predictable and unfocused that it's hard not to fall asleep whilst watching it and every single element in the story has been done elsewhere before in a better capacity. Even for Light Novels this story is generic and they use every cheap writing technique in the book to try and make you feel sorry and sympathetic for these characters when they have not been built from the ground up from victimisation, to the loss of a loved one in the past; this crap has it all!
The characters are just as bad and are essentially just all archetypes of previous anime character personality traits. Not a single one is interesting and none develop at all during the entire duration of the show; they're all stagnant. Glenn, as the main character of a light novel series, is a little bit more interesting than what I am accustomed to, however, not only in physical appearance but also in personality. He is an adult character, makes fun of people, is lazy and is just all around a twat. He doesn't get flustered when he sees girls naked (instead he actively tries to) like most light novel main guys either. Does this make his character good? No... not really. The main problem with Glenn as a character is that he is inconsistent and his back-story is both generic as hell and is very heavily underdeveloped to boot. He is made to be, at first, to be an incompetent idiot with no speciality for magic, but after episode three, he pretty much can do anything the plot demands from him because B U L L S H I T. While, at times, I did enjoy his random hijinks and ass-hole nature, I found him to be extremely boring and lacking when compared to the series Great Teacher Onozuka. The other main characters include Tsundere-chan, who begins to develop a crush on Glenn as the series goes along and GOD I wanted to smack this character in the face. She is constantly complaining, whining and nagging at every little thing and her character design, and personality has been done so much at this point, that every time I see a Tsundere character I want to slam my face into a wall. Basic Bitch, otherwise known as Rumia, is the only character with some emotional weight to her as her back-story is decently explored but is nothing to write home about. I refer to her as Basic Bitch because that is exactly what she is: basic. She acts as the good morale, angel type character which sickens me to death with how boring she is. The only other character who is given somewhat of a back-story is a character called Re-L, who assumes the deadpan loli archetype that has been done so many times up to this point, that every time she was on screen my mind sort of hazed out and lost interest straight away. While, sure, we do learn things about her character, it's, again, nothing all too great, boring and after her mini-arc is completed she is pretty much pushed to the sidelines afterwards and plays hardly any factor in the rest of the show.
The rest of the cast is equally as generic, boring and underdeveloped, and it's giving me a migraine trying to refresh my memory of them. The only character who is SOMEWHAT likeable, and I stress that "somewhat" greatly is Celica, mainly because of her personality but this character is given so little screen time that I forgot about her entirely. When she is on screen, she is fairly interesting but is not enough to save the anime.
The overall aesthetic and quality of the artwork were just fine, but the animation was just pretty lazy since they reuse the same shot of Tsundere-chan punching Glenn into the sky about twenty times, three within one episode sometimes. It's not the worst I have seen, and I do like some of the palettes as well, but it's overall just a very bland looking show. However, the character designs are some of the worst I have ever seen! While the boy's school uniform is fine and conventional, I have no clue what the hell happened to the girl's outfits. It looks like something you'd find straight out of a porno for god's sake! The skirt is about five millimetres in length, covering barely any flesh and they have these short tops, which exposes their stomachs, complete with garter belts and straps around from their skirts to their stomachs. How, in the holy mother of hell, was this allowed in a high school is way beyond me, and, as a result, it pretty much ruins every dramatic moment in the show since the uniforms are so silly, they end up distracting me from the emotional scenes. As for the music, it's perhaps the most stock and dull soundtrack I've heard in a while. Not a single one is memorable or even decently composed, and the opening and ending tracks are just generic pop music that you'll forget as soon as you listen to something else. The opening, in keeping up with the traditions set by the Gun Gale Arc from SAO, also spoils who the main villain is going to be!
If you've seen any light novel adaptation about a group of kids with magic powers inside a high school then you've seen Akashic Records, because each one of these shows is fundamentally the exact same thing with only slight variations, and I'm done with this shit forever. Each one of these boring, insipid, shallow, vacuous light novel series can seriously just go fuck themselves for their insulting storytelling, awful characters and terrible pandering. These series are essentially the anime equivalence of the films made by Illumination Animation; they're both produced with no soul or intent at creating a piece of art or telling a story with a message that can resonate with an audience. I love both the medium of film, and the animation medium very much since they have provided some of the most heartfelt, and most impactful pieces of fiction I have seen. Film and animation can make you cry, make you laugh, they help shape you as a person, especially at a young age, and I honestly don't know where I'll be without them, for as corny as that sounds. But, these light novel adaptations offer nothing at all; no emotion, other than genuine anger and irritation, and hence, I am done forever with these boring shows. I'd rather digest cyanide than sit through another show like Hundred or Absolute Duo, and, especially Akashic Records ever again. Of course, if you like these shows, then that is completely fine. I'm glad you're able to enjoy something that I don't. After all the world would be a boring place if we all liked the exact same thing. But, to me, this show is awful in every sense of the word. It has nothing. I'd rather watch Hand Shakers on repeat than watch one of these shows ever again. Now, that's saying something...
Highly underrated show that exeeded my expectations imo. I think some ppl need to be more open-minded. Some of the MAL reviews that quickly judge shows with a bad score just by looking at the 'genres: Action, Magic, Fantasy, School' and the 'LN adaptation' tag. Don't get me wrong, I have watched a lot of these type of light novel adaptation shows and I did not have high expectations at all when I started the show. And I was right, episode 1 was really bad, full of the usual clichés and tropes. But if you look past that first episode, this show actually gets better exponentially. This show is
surprisingly extremely entertaining, with intriguing characters. Though it still has some of the usual tropes and clichés, there was something different about the plot and characters, which are very welk done, that kept me hooked throughout. It IS without a doubt one of the BETTER light novel adaptations of these past few months. The plot is not really predictable, abd characters are not shallow in the least. Actual lovable characters that are quite different from the usual clichéd ones. Great music, art and action overall. And the ending was satisfying and made me want to know more. I am honestly gonna be a little lenient and give this a 9/10 ^^
Just watch past episode 1 and you'll love this I think. It's actually rare to see an okay light novel adaptation and LINDENFILMS did a great job at their second attempt.
I HAD to write this because I felt that this show definitely deserves more positive reviews.
I know not everyone does this, but imo, when it comes to mindsets when going into a show, I don't think one should judge shows completely before even finishing it, or giving it a fair chance. Because that's something I did and it really made me miss out on a lot of enjoyment and ruined my experience.
Don't EXPECT it to be bad, give everything a chance, at least that's my philosophy.
Thanks for reading.
(My first review.. Might do more of this. This is fun)
TL;DR at the bottom
Okay, so it's none of the 'professional and long' reviews you see often. Just felt like it would be great to give you a short glimpse on this anime, since I'm that kind of person who needs to be reassured that an anime is worth watching, and that's usually by checking out trailers or reviews (mostly to see if there are any positive reviews, because I mostly watch non-popular anime). Either way, is it worth watching? Yeah, definitely. There are only 4 episodes at the moment and I will update the review once it finishes airing, but for now, jump in as
soon as you can, so you keep up with the flow and don't need to do an all-nighter as I do all the time when watching anime (updates later below).
Now, I don't talk about people, yes you, who despise or dislike harem / ecchi genres. I, in particular, see no problem in watching these genres as long as it's not over the top or has actual plot. Maybe this show is a bit similar to a cliche, what is a strong MC; hides the powers; has a dark past; blah blah... But the execution itself and the kinda original spin of the cliche is what I like, because it reminds me of Konosuba, No Game No Life, Mondaiji-tachi, Gakushen Toshi Asterisk (even though it didn't have insane ratings) and such shows (ex. No Game No Life has an interesting plot to me, and it's good, further more it includes comedy, the MC doesn't strain / limit himself nor his character acting however he wishes, yet knows his abilities and thinks about them and proceeds knowing he can do this or that). That is basically why, you should watch this show, since it reminds of those shows, yet it's original. The MC is similar to a one of NGNL / Mondaiji-tachi, yet it is original in ways, because he's not too OP, however has a lot of knowledge. The plot is growing around the place where he works, yet the story has a great flow, considering there's a lot of stuff happening and yet it all makes sense. It keeps me pumped waiting for the next episode, so I do recommend it to you.
Plus, kawaii girls, what else do you need?
You get shironeko (white cat), Rumia, the calmia and kawaiiaa (and nobleaaa, too, apparently), and a bunch of students who adore the teacher who didn't even want to work for the school in the first place (and was forced by the carelessly careful Celica. Seriously, they're close, I can tell that), but probably knows more than most of the teachers there considering the popularity he's gained.
Keep in mind I have no idea what the show is like in LN, nor I have read it, because I love watching the animations rather than reading (probably due to my photogenic memory that prefers remembering animations, and not the pages), so I take no responsibility if it's worse, or whatsoever, in the LNs (I believe I've seen someone tell it's worse or better).
• Story - 8/10 (the flow is fine, fillers are fine, fan-service is fine, everything is preserved, nothing distracts you from the action and flow, maybe just not enough epic fights that give you those chills that I love)
• Art - 9/10 (it's fine, quality is truly amazing, although I disliked one moment in the episode about the quality at one part because of how the quality was sacrificed during fast-pace action in order to keep the animation smooth without letting the people to notice, however it's not possible to see it so easily so it's fine.)
• Sound - 10/10 (can't judge it, fine by me, I can hear even the birds, so it's goody goody for me, even objects falling have great sounds)
• Characters - 9/10 (don't expect much from a harem, this is a lot already because to me they seem unique in the sense of communication and their placement and such, but considering the main character, he has changed quite a lot compared to the start of the show)
• Enjoyment - 10/10 (seriously, it's fun, it kept me watching, I liked it, and I wait for the next eps. same as for when Konosuba 1/2 aired)
• Overall - 9/10
It's been a long time since I updated this review. I want you to know that it's really worth watching. I myself love when there's romance in anime, however I prefer it preserved. In this particular one, well it's a typical harem, except that the teacher doesn't actually let it to be a harem, he actually represents a teacher as the anime gets going, even though careless he would seem, he's a mastermind.
No idea how about you, but I loved the ending. I had various ships throughout the anime, and I couldn't really decide. I myself like romance, but I really don't even mind if it's not there as long as the author doesn't tease me to nerves. I loved it, I personally was amazingly satisfied by the ending and what was the last conversation of the whole pinnacle. I wished to see more and to see the romance develop, but on the other hand I guess it would push out the action and mystery out of it then, unless it's kept to minimal.
I recommend you to watch it, no matter if the start or some parts feel like bore or unacceptable to you, I have no problem with harems and ecchi genres, and I fully advise you to watch this. It is completely not over the top and I ensure you will have both great time, and be satisfied. It has action, comedy and mystery in it, at least for me. I'm pretty sure it's a good one this year.
What are you doing?
Start watching, you bakaaaa!
"If the best thing I can say about your show is that the girls are hot, then your show is terrible!" -some lazy jackass
*Spoilers for Akashic Records*
Before I start the review proper, or rather, this dissertation about why this show is a generic and irritating fraud that actually manages to squander any potential it had for some lazy comedy and infuriating LN bullshit clichés, I have two things I feel I must notify you of. First, a decent chunk of this review will be spent analyzing the ideas this series had and how with some major and minor tweaks, the series could've been better, at
least from a storytelling perspective. Secondly, I'm about to let out something I have to get out of my chest because while this insufferable mentality I’m about to describe isn't truly widespread, I've still seen it a handful of times, and quite frankly, it's sickening. People who have this upcoming mentality infuriate me with their ignorance and sheer vindictiveness.
If a title is almost nothing but recycled content from shows prior, then to me at least, it has no excuse and little reason to both exist and be defended as a work of fiction. It seems like creativity isn't as valued as it should be and this has been a problem in every industry at almost every point in history for one reason or another. With the anime in the 80's/90's, it was schlock bloodbath OVAs and nowadays in anime, it's Light Novel School Battle and/or Harem anime. Titles that largely or even entirely fit these descriptions can still break the mold and achieve something greater.
We do not have some "mythical, absurdly high, nigh-unachievable standard" these assholes keep accusing us of having! I'm sick of ignorant pricks assuming that we do! We just want anime to actually have a sense of life, a sense of passion, and a reason to exist outside of making corporate money from people who have loved tons of shows borderline identical to what they're currently watching and fapping to. Even among school battle (usually harem) anime, there are some that go above and beyond, like the aforementioned Chivalry of a Failed Knight. In fact, even among the standards if these "copy-paste" anime, some manage to really sink below to almost creative levels of suck, like The Irregular at Magic High School, as if to prove that there is a standard to hold titles like this by and that even this kind of anime has its own hierarchy like all the rest.
In summation, we do not all have some absurd standard for anime, we just want these kinds of titles to die out (or rather to not be as widespread, which in fairness, is already happening somewhat over the past year) so that anime that actually have passion and creativity can more easily flourish, and even by the standards of the now incessant LN school battle harem anime, some can go beyond the expectations or fail to even meet such bottom of the barrel standards. If you enjoy these titles, that's fine, just at least have some standards regarding these things since not all of them are of equal quality and the ones with the least amount of effort put into making them worthwhile works of fiction do not deserve to be defended, at least to me. Again, like them if you want, just don't accuse us of bad standards or incorrect views since we dissented from your "it's done before but that's fine because I like it" viewpoint. Before we start, let me state that this mentality pisses me off about as bad as this show did, hence why my tone will sound insanely aggressive throughout, since, well, this show was offensively bad. Leave now if you're not ok with kind of atmosphere and tone, and/or if you're not ok with me bashing the show (assuming you didn't leave by that point since I'm showing it absolutely no mercy). With that tirade out of the way, let's start the review proper.
Mixing Konosuba humor and Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is like mixing a liter of ghost pepper juice and white paint. You know, shit like this is why I invested in a tomato farm. Wait, I'm sorry, was that joke not predictable enough for you? My bad, let me try again: Ahem, “This show is cancer.” Actually, my previous joke was funnier than both this one and every single joke here in this godforsaken show. Let me grab those tomatoes now.
Akashic Records. For some reason, people thought this was actually funny and “totally not exactly like all of the other trash we hate because it has more comedy in its trashiest scenarios than those others shows that do the exact same thing but with a permanently straight face.” This show isn't funny; it's predictable. It has no semblance of tact or actual self-awareness on how awful its writing and gaudy cheese-fest self-justification for subsequent action exposition dumps that last up to a minute are. You people call SAO terrible? At least it has more tact and worthwhile humor than this show ever did, as well as more originality, better music, a much more tolerable color pallet. Even with its bad pacing, at least it never showed off early events that feel like they should be coming in much later than they should, or give flashbacks to equally terrible and popular shows with specific plot points. This show thinks it can get away with being the trashiest LN garbage ever as long as it adds “hurr-de-durr” to everything and adding a funny face just to really make it even more obvious than it is. It thinks it's the Konosuba of school battle harem trash; it's not. It takes itself just as seriously for most part, so that doesn't work. Hell, it's even worse since those shows take horrible scenarios like attempted rape seriously when presenting them. This show doesn't. But enough rambling; what makes Akashic Records so awful to the point where I actually believe that The Asterisk War is a much better show than it? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
Let’s address the elephant in the room before we really rip into the logic of this show: the female school uniforms. You know, I think it should be the woman’s choice as to whether or not she’ll be so scantily clad that not only are her midriffs and things exposed, but that she also has suspenders at the thighs and waist to make sure that two-piece outfit doesn't fall apart, not something that a school, let alone an “esteemed private academy” such as this one, should mandate. This kind of uniform that would make any real school principal revile in horror is, while sexy and appealing, downright disgusting in the fact that a school mandates women wear that as their official uniform. I get that this is a trash anime, but no successful school in their right mind would pull such a stunt without raising absolute hellfire from parents, true gentlemen, feminists, other schools and districts, and SJWs across the nation, especially when this show’s one obviously hot and fanservicey character is more decently clad than the high school students (aka, generic archetype bitches) that are forced to wear this. I mean, the men wear regal and classy suits befitting of gentlemen (even Glenn wears something of decent clothing, and he’s the lazy asshole pervert), so wouldn't it make sense to have the ladies wear something even more regal and classy, like Celica, the obviously hot fanservice character? You wouldn't believe how badly that made me lose hope in any logic found in the story. I mean, I am a teenage, straight male, and I like hot women like the rest of my kind, hell, I can ogle at Celica all day, but this is just ridiculous!Now, to everything else.
To be fair, the series doesn't really have major plot holes, even despite a few minor ones (nor all of which I'll cover), but it does have many leaps in logic for the characters, bad pacing, and it manages to portray certain scenes horrendously. But there are decent moments, like the rare joke that hits, occasional (if not successful due to poor pacing) attempts at emotional scenes, and the scene where Glenn goes Grammar Nazi on students to show just how convoluted magic can really be. I'll start by going rapid fire on a few dumb things from episodes 1 and 2. Still, prepare to be here a while, the story segment takes up a vast majority of the review since there is a lot I need to say here.
Why does Celica threaten Glenn to get him to work at this school despite knowing that he is beyond unqualified and that he hates magic? Is it because she just wants him to get a job and if he a deadbeat regardless of whether or not he is remotely qualified, because if so, that's stupid (since she needs to make sure he is at least remotely qualified for his job). The series checks out one important trite bullshit (aka bad cliché) from the list really early with a scene where the flatter student (Sistine) helped the big-tits student (Rumia), but here, it's portrayed in such a sexual manner to the point where in other series, they are still sexual harassment despite teasing, this is easily a more blatantly disgusting and uncomfortable act of sexual harassment that sent out of its way to be as horrid as possible (partially since it made me hate the Sistine, one of the main characters, by the first episode, the episode where we are supposed to be sold on these characters).
The entirety of episode 2 felt like it should've been stretched out over multiple episodes given how here is a small time skip in the middle of episode 2 after Glenn reaches the importance of grammar in changing magic, and how much is packed into this episode story-wise. In order of appearance: Glenn starts the episode same as before, he goes so far into dissing magic that Sistine slaps him and leaves in tears, each character has an emotional moment before Glenn realizes how little students truly know about magic besides one particular method for each spell, he schools them, then his students like him, he has then made progress and is now infinitely more passionate about work, we go back and reaffirm that there is a moment in which Rumia was saved by presumably Glenn (we even see the hair color, and in episode 1, she looks familiar to him, but this isn't spaced or enough to feel organic or that it would take a little while for us to really explore this point without coming up with the answer so early into the show), and then terrorists. All of this should've been episodes 3, 4, and even 5. I mean it. We could've just done the same shenanigans and have episode 2 end on the moment where Sistine slaps Glenn and walks off in tears, then episode 3 have an emotional episode that shows us another side of our (at the time) 3 important characters while showing us that terrorists are soon to some before at the end, he busts out some knowledge on the students, then episode 4 not only shows us how much all of this is working out while at the same time showing us that he is actually becoming happier overall while doing this, but then the episode brings us back to that moment where we see him and Rumia interact before we learn that she was saved by someone who looks suspiciously like Glenn, and then it ends on terrorists moving in. Episodes 5 and 6 would be a bunch of terrorists raising hell in the school and then Glenn, and all students and teachers fight back in a mini war arc, by editing the final few minutes of episode 2 where terrorists show up and turning that into episode 5, and editing some of the intrusive comedy of episode 3 and making it episode 6.. There, I just vastly improved the show just by taking episode 2 stretching it out, and adding and editing parts as I went along,like making episode 3 episode 6. If only the writer was this capable.
The moment that made this show awful beyond redemption was the attempted rape scene. Let me set the scene. Terrorists have just captured Rumia who turned out to be a former princess but her family was killed and she escaped (hence why she said she was saved by someone before terrorists would've killed her). Sistine is alone in a room, and a terrorist walks in. He then begins to toy with her, saying that people like her are surprisingly and deliciously fragile while pinning her down and slowly undressing her. Then, Glenn walks in and it turns from trite to actively offensively terrible. In the midst of a scene of attempted rape, Glenn walks in, pays no mind, and lackadaisical comedy ensues for like 40 seconds! WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS THIS SHIT?!?! A character is in the verge of getting rape, and the supposed “hero” who busts in not only doesn't recognize the situation, but acts all lazy! Needless to say, this moment made this show practically impossible to redeem. When SAO can treat this kind of scene with infinitely more tact than this show can, in regards to content and tone, you know we have a problem here! Sure, eventually Glenn saves her, but then we get the rest of the scene.
Glenn busts out this arcana card which nullifies all magic (especially opponents’ and enemies” magic). This is a very generic magic for an MC to have, and it's giving me Mahouka flashbacks as if the school terrorism thing didn't do that already. Glenn just busts out an arcana card unceremoniously and explains what it does in his usual lackadaisical tone (tired of me using that word yet?). This is the first time we see this kind of magic card in the series, adding to the already surpassingly convoluted magic system of this world, so at least the show could do is unveil it with grandeur. Even Mahouka did that right! Whatever, a badly animated curb stomp commences in which Glenn wins, and episode 2 ends. As you can no doubt tell, the rape attempt scene should've never happened and in my version above, it never would.
Actually, there are a few things in episode 3 I would alter, since it's not a great episode either (I mean, what did you expect from this show). I think the worst thing this episode does is prove that this crock of shit had potential, potential that it, predictably, squandered. I mean, Glenn was a mate killer, so that could've been explored and built up a bit better since before then, the only buildup was him saying magic kills people. In this episode, I would edit out the numerous and always monotonous self-justification for what someone is about to do exposition dumps there always last for around 30 seconds, some of the intrusive comedy of the first 6 minutes, and do one last crucial thing in the last few minutes of the episode. Remember how Professor Huey apparently left (hence why they have a sub) prior to the events of episode 1? Well, here he is again, but has no exposed motivations for being here, and he just stands there, saying that it's a game to see if Glenn can free Rumia from a bunch of magic circles, so, none of that makes any real sense. He needs a reason for doing this, and why he is treating this like a game. Also, at the end, they completely gloss over what Rumia’s true name as princess was Eruminia, and I don't know why. This also confirms that yes, Glenn was the one that unknowingly saved her. It's a shame that one of the most potentially interesting hook questions about the series was dealt with only 3 episodes in out of 12.
I'm not going to go or if my way to really break down the rest of the episodes since that would take fucking forever and I'm already spending a lot of time doing rapid fire on a few problems per episode while fixing the series as a whole. But now, we reach the tournament arc, starting with episode 4, so time for me to keep doing what I've been doing. The queen is still the mother of Rumia but apparently everyone was killed but her. Why did she pronounce her daughter dead after the terrorists came? What actually happened? Did terrorists simply kidnap her from everyone? Has the school heard nothing about the Queen? What about the dad/king?
The other thing is that we are suddenly introduced to what all of the students can do during the beginning of this tournament arc via a pep talk from Glenn. Want to know how to have made this moment work. Have it so that when the terrorists showed up, they all do what we would hear them being capable of, that what this moment would be actually gratifying since by then we would've known a bit about all the students and then have epic realization that Glenn was exactly right since that what they did in that hypothetical. This has been another round of me improving the series. In fact, the actual tournament section in episode 4 could've been 2, maybe even 3 whole episodes in order to make an interesting tournament arc up until the next episode (specifically, 7-9 on my version), since there are so many games that are glossed over since most students are not important. Hell, even before that, we saw a typical asshole vs underdog rivalry set up with Harley and his class vs Glenn and his, and then it would be gratifying and exciting to see both groups compete and Glenn’s class do well on each of these events. This has been another round of me making a better series out of the pieces this one failed to put together. Also, the asspull of Rumia winning her round because the big buff guy suddenly blacked out for no reason was infuriating, and the fact that it came after a rushed and stupid bit of her teammates telling her to quit since they “care for her” despite her being in no peril and her wanting to do this, is especially galling. When both The Asterisk War and Fairy Tail can make a better tournament arc, then your arc is shit, and by extension, you're shit!
Episodes 5 and 6, barring a few really dumb moments (as per usual), are probably the best in the series, as little as that says about them. The comedy is still pretty miss for me but not only are there a few genuinely sweet moments like Glenn’s conversation with Rumia I episode 5 and her true reunion with her mother at the end of episode 6, but also, the way Glenn defeats the villain of this arc is actually pretty intelligent and entertaining, reminding me of some of the most popular protagonists in anime like Lelouch from Code Geass, Light from Death Note, and Sora from No Game No Life. Still, time to fix ‘em. I'll give this series a compliment when it deserves one; it's already like...96:0 in problems (and you get a cookie if you get where that reference came from). The way to make it better this time is simple, and it builds from the last fixing I did: actually juggle the rescue attempt and the tournament matches equally and flesh them both out, that way we have all of the emotional payoffs actually pay off (at least if you give each scene enough space), and so that we can actually enjoy the tournament side of the arc, and have that whole thing from episodes 5 and 6 take up 3 more episodes (10-12 in my version) while removing some of the fake out comedy, taking away the explosion speeches about “me saying why I'm doing what I'm doing”, removing the dere moments Sistine has with her teacher (I get that he is 19 but still it's sorta creepy for a student to have a hunted romantic interest in her teacher) and altering the ending where the students spend all his money to him actually treating them with some of his money, that way nothing about any of the arcs each character went through get cheapened upon rewatch and hindsight (namely Glenn’s). Also, have more animation in the arc since this series doesn't really have much actual character animation.
See? It's simple. If we create a brand new episode 1 from scratch to replace this episode 1 and take all of the ideas I brought up that modify these episodes, we could've had an actually good series on our hands since despite all of the LN trope bullshit, awful comedy moments that ruin certain scenes, and a few other things, all the pieces were there for the first 6 episodes to be a good 1 cour series. The other 6 on the other hand...yeah, I haven't been really living up to my promise of tone, and these episodes are gonna change that; they are that bad...
*sigh* Episode 7 is where things go back to being abysmal instead of just bad, partially due to almost half of it being a cliché beach episode and the irritating comedy, partially due to the character Re=L (make your Ergo Proxy joke elsewhere). She is such a bad character, and it is the impetus of the arc and why it's horrible. Her heel turn is insanely telegraphed and still incredibly forced, being out of jealously in episode 7 about the fact that the deuteragonist females are quote unquote “stealing Glenn away from her”, and because she is just a double agent who likes her dead brother who she saw again (which means he was revived, which is a major plot point in the arc, revival) in episode 8, while the rest of episode 8 before that is just the introduction of revival, one of the villains of the previous arc showing up and being a crazy bitch, and Re=L moving around and being an insufferable bitch. Fuck this arc in its entirety. Oh, and she nearly kills Glenn because of this and badly injures Rumia. When you consider that up to this point, she had been trying to kill Glenn (or at least she attacks him as greeting and always wants to settle a score with him) and the fact that she genuinely talked of the fact that she had a lot of fun with the people she immediately afterwards hated) and the fact that she had just been a generic deadpan loli character, this sudden turn is infuriatingly stupid and forced. The 9th episode is just as bad honestly, and they rushed the shit out of a villain death and the backstory Re=L has can't redeem her in the slightest. Also, the main blue-haired villain of the arc was wasted in the fact that there is a malicious character named Reiner, but this guy was just some random who wasn't connected with anything and is just a “bad person who does bad things because villain” character. I literally have no way to really remotely fix this arc; it was dead on arrival.
But now, we finally reach the final arc. It is one of the stupidest story arcs I have ever seen in my life, if not the absolute dumbest and most wince-worthy of them all. Here is the main plot of arc 4: Some creepy teacher guy continually confesses to Sistine and after Glenn overheard him dissing her dream, he puts on this front about wanting to marry her for money, and it all becomes a pissing match, except between teachers over a student. Fucking creepy! It's beyond stupid a premise given the age ranges (adult and teenager), and given how this is the impetus on having another evil protagonist bent on using Rumia for some scheme, you'd think this wouldn't exist and that they'd find a less disgusting way for this to happen. The sub plot is about Glenn suddenly realizing that Sistine looks like Sera, a now dead girl he once loved before he left the Imperial Corps, and that now angel dusts addicts (I wish they meant the real life Angel Dust drug) are dying, even a year after that substance was said to have been eradicated. All of these have no right of intertwining with the main (disgusting and wince-worthy) plot of the arc. Also, Re=L is off scot free after the betrayal (did she not ever get arrested for treason for that whole thing in the previous arc?), just to add on to what an irredeemable crock of shit this final arc is! Then, the finale. Oh boy. It's probably the most generic episode in the entire show. Turns of there was another traitor that posed as Leo's after he killed him part-way into episode 11, and the only thing resolved is the immediately inserted grudge match between the two. I don't even have the energy to go into any depth with this one, it's just generic and bleh, as if the show is not even trying to hide it's true colors anymore. Serves it right.
You know, if the narrative wasn't so shit in the way that it was, Glenn might have been an actually good character. Think about it: a cynic gave up his pursuit of being a hero of justice after the lives he took and lost now teaches the very thing he hates against his will while growing attached to his students despite everything. Despite what a radical shift in personality he has from past to present, if the writing did how I laid out above, he could've been a pretty good character, assuming they toned down the perviness completely and just made him cynical and partially lazy instead of basically a cross of Archer from UBW and Kazuma from Konosuba. I also like how he is an LN protagonist who isn't very overpowered, but that's not enough to save him from this awful writing. Celica is a hot and haughty woman who is basically never capable of being there since she’s so overpowered that the narrative wouldn't throw a challenge unless they restrain her or just keep her or entirely beforehand. What I like about her is some of her almost motherly nature towards Glenn, like how she threatens Harvey for dissing him in her presence, even if the whole blackmail job thing was nonsense. Now, for the actual named side-characters with relevance outside of just one arc since I'm not even gonna cover the antagonists (partially since I kinda already did in as much detail as they deserve, barring one who I'll get to), nor will I cover small characters like the queen mother or the annoying parents of Sistine.
Sistine is a nightmare for her archetype. She aggressively checks out all of the boxes of a bad and cliché tsundere and does it in a way that makes her especially obnoxious. The fact that she has this dynamic with a teacher makes me even more grossed out (regardless of both the nonsensical age dynamic and partially because nothing about this is brought up). She's also absurdly useless, to the point that this is a legitimate plot point that carries throughout each arc until she finally does one thing right in the finale. Rumia is basically a typical dere-dere of the group who is basically the MacGuffin for all of the arcs in this show. I've already talked about why Re=L is such a shit character so I'll cover one more: Albert. He’s the stoic badass of the bunch whose hunch is always right, so there’s not much to say on him. Lastly, why don't we talk about Leos? He is such a shitty character. He apparently had been asking Sistine our since they were kids and not only has he not let go of that, he has gone pathetic over it despite coming off as a decent person (typical of this trope), but again, the whole teacher and student bit makes it worse, and the fact that ha managed to spend only a paltry evening to be able to decipher everything about Glenn, Re=L, and Rumia is absurd, though it turns out it was this Justine guy from episode 11 who is just another evil LN bad guy for LN bad guy sake villain, since literally every single antagonist in this show is the exact same. They turned a crap and generic character into something creepier and stupider and then replaced him with the exact same character as every other villain in this retarded ass show; how typical! So yeah, that's everyone relevant. What a shit cast, am I right? As if the wasted potential as generic characters weren't bad enough, they reuse the same bad guy personality and have some truly horrible characters thrown into the mix. Let’s move on before I die of embarrassment.
The audiovisuals aren't much better than the writing, unfortunately. Part of the problem this time isn't that the show is badly animated per se, but that its animation insanely limited. Its own damn OP has about as much animation as a typical episode of this show, and there are plenty of reused clips, like the clip of Albert pulling Re=L’s hair or Sistine blasting Glenn with wind, and the slew of reused clips are reused at an insane rate with no remote variation. Hell, even the fight scenes have little animation, especially the one in episode 2 when Glenn beats up the attempted rapist. I initially couldn't stand the color palette but I got used to it. I already mentioned how awful the uniforms are so no need to repeat that. There is minimal (albeit terribly some CGI though it's blink and you miss it), but did there also have to be minimal animation too? Oh well, at least I like the eyes (they remind me of the trademark Studio White Fox eyes) and some of the admittedly humorous facial expressions.
The OP, "Blow out" by Konomi Suzuki is a pretty generic (if somewhat catchy) OP that feels like it should be part of a generic fantasy adventure anime, not a generic school battle anime with fantasy elements thrown in there. The ED, "Precious You☆" by Sistine Fibel (Akane Fujita), Rumia Tingel (Yume Miyamoto), Re=L Rayford (Ari Ozawa) is absurdly MediocRE that I never bothered listening to the entire minute and thirty second ED. The OST is decent in its own right but honestly feels misplaced here in the same vein as the OP in terms of where it feels more suitable, even despite the darker tone the series boasts on about half of the episodes.
The dub is probably one of the worst dubs Funimation has produced in recent memory. Next to none of the voices even remotely fit the characters and sound like they'd fit completely different sounding roles, like Monica Rial as Rumia and Josh Grelle as Glenn, but the absolute worst offender here is Sistine, played by Rachael Messer, whose acting not only sounds miscast, but at times, bad in its own right. The tertiaries and antagonist roles aren't good either, and some of them were doomed to be inferior (like Re=L since it's much harder for a dub to pull off a loli voice), and the only voice I sort of see working is Morgan Garrett as Celica. Then again, dubs have been getting worse in recent years, so I guess this is to be expected.
Needless to say, I hate this show. I hate it so damn much. I only found one joke funny since it was the only one that wasn't predictable as shit, and that was in the very first episode. Any potential the story or characters had ended up being squandered rather quickly, which is frustrating since the first 6 episodes could've actually been pretty good had they removed the bullshit elements and made it a 12 episode series that fleshed these episodes out, though the last 6 are beyond terrible and impossible to redeem. Then again, the show lost any path to actual redemption during the rape attempt scene where they treat it with so little tact that there is comedy in the already drawn out scene. The lack of animation made the fights pretty dull as well, and a lot of the characters, namely Sistine and Re=L were infuriating to no end. There are times when a show offends me with how terrible it is, but when it happens more than once, let alone up to 5 times, that's when we know that the show is dogshit and that I'm in for a terrible experience.
When I wasn't aggravated to some degree, whether it be mild or insane, I was pretty bored since the action was mediocre and the comedy didn't stick with me at all, and a lot of the awful LN school battle harem tropes are here in full display, sometimes taken to the most disgusting degrees possible to the point where I almost wanted to vomit. Also, the final arc is one of the most wince-worthy pieces of animation I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing as if arc 3 didn't piss me off enough to the point where the show went back from being bad but salvageable to irredeemable and truly abysmal again. Shame really, since the second arc was actually somewhat enjoyable at times and has the most potential to be good. So yeah, I'm basically repeating myself at this point so let’s just move on to the final thoughts.
You know, it's almost cute to know that this show thinks it can get away with being typical trash that gives LNs a bad name just by adding more comedy, disgusting elements, and an occasionally bleak tone and more blood. It pretends to not be exactly like its brethren but does all of the same awful things you'd expect a show like this to do, only with a tinge of extra putridness. When there's a good idea, it's gleefully ruined, and the comedy is more predictable than a generic shounen anime. I've already spoken ad nauseam about basically everything wrong with the show and I'm basically repeating myself, but yeah, suffice it to say, this is one of the worst anime I've seen all year. Hopefully, this is a lesson to all of you that even among shows like this, there are still standards that some of them can meet and surpass their contemporaries, and that we don't just have absurd standards that only value high art. Also, hopefully you realize why this show is such a trap that you shouldn't fall for. This show scores disgustingly low compared to its peers. Well, with all that said, I bid you adieu.
This show follows your regular, run of the mill action, school show. You have the tsundere who actually cares about the mc but doesnt show it. Then you have the nice blonde haired ojousama. Then the sterotypical strong but lazy main character. The thing is, is that this show does everything right!
If you didn't know the show follows the light novel. Having reading both the manga and the light novel I can safely say that the anime adaptation is really good. Of course this review is only for the first four episodes, but if it continues along the route of the novel and manga faithfully.
This will be one of the most entertaining shows that comes out this season.
I enjoyed this series, it was different for me, especially how the magick worked, the spells and how they work, the theory craft behind them was creative, I just couldn't help but find myself enjoying how this worked.
Story, it's fairly decent, your usual laid back lazy teacher that is stronger then first appears teaches kids about magick, but what worked for me was that while it was a bit basic in that, the characters were interesting to watch each being unique, and most of the situations were creative I felt till near the end, but didn't ruin it.
Art, like I mentioned how the magick works
is nice, a but reminiscent of doctor strange, but in a good way, very flash spells with good use of everything else.
Sound, never sure how to score this as not fully sure what counts, but I had no issue with it.
Characters, you have a few generic chars at the start, but over time you learn about them and feel to me like they have more depth then you might expect.
Enjoyment, "I did enjoy the series, nothing overly problematic least for me.
Overall, I enjoyed it and suggest a watch if your looking for this kind of anime. Feel free to PM me if you can think of better anime's to watch.
I love Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor. Sure, it isn't a totally unique anime by any means, but I still believe that something doesn't have to be unique to be great. Especially since almost everything can be average or close to it if everyone broke down every show to a simpler form. I'm sure even acclaimed works can be average if you approach them with a mind set of breaking the story into simpler aspects. Well, before I start rambling too much, I love Akashic Records. I'm not sure if this or Re:Creators takes my top spot for the
season, but either way, they are my top 2.
The story isn't the most unique, but it was really fun to watch. It's suppose to be that Sisitine discovering some of the mysteries about the floating sky castle, or at least it sounded that way at first; I realize after reading the description again that what I assumed was never the case and I just misread it. So, it's actually more of what you would expect from a magic school anime, with some unique parts mixed in together. The students favorite teacher leaves and is replaced by Glenn Radars, a very lazy and sarcastic professor, yet capable at the same time. He doesn't show his skills at first though and he actually beaten by Sistine when they dual in the first episode, I believe it was. His students realize they don't know nearly as much as they think they do, once Glenn starts teaching them all the ways to alter a simple shock bolt spell that they never knew was possible. Pretty quickly, dark forces/ people lurking within the empire they live start showing up Glenn, Sistine, Rumia, and the others start being caught in all these traps as they arise. Rumia is the damsel in distress many times, but it's more due to her past than just being a pretty girl people capture in order to use for stupid reason; it's not completely ok that her abilities and past lead to her having that role, but it seemed to serve more of a purpose than just we need a girl captured type of thing, to me anyway. As Glenn's past, Rumia's, even a little bit of Sistine's, all get revealed, the story just got more and more interesting. It will probably feel like a dull story if you're not more than an average/ are a below average fan of magic battle shows. In addition to these elements, I'd also say it's like a story of growth between Glenn and his students. His students bring out his better side and vice versa. There's also a ton of funny moments through the plot and you just need a good comedy sometimes. I'll give a 9/10 here, but I'm also a huge fan of magic battle shows.
The art is probably the most controversial part of the anime. I love the character designs, detailed background scenes, detailed magic circles and move displays, etc. The animation was actually really fluid too for the most part with some pauses and re-start ups, but that could've just been due to my computer and the settings I had up on crunchyroll. I personally find the designs to be extremely memorable. The weird school outfits (the controversial part) definitely help with this. I'll admit they are weird, but they do help the character designs stand out. Another personal 9.
The sound is rather great too. The music scores just felt like they had a slightly different tune to them than other magic battle scores. The same goes for the opening and ending themes. They may seem typical, but I'd say that they sound different and actually stand out as great songs. I consider them among some of the better ones I've heard and each of them is pretty high up on my favorites. I'll give the sound a 9.5/10 since both theme songs are among the best ones of the genre, in my book. Precious You is my favorite ending theme of the spring 2017 season.
The characters are more of the love them or hate them kind of group, or at the like them or don't like them kind. I don't see there being many in between opinions. Glenn may be there to almost always save the day, but he sure as hell doesn't feel like a self insert. I don't think a self-insert would be so snarky, lazy, have a dark past, and mess around as much as he does. His personality just doesn't fit the self insert criteria to me, and he's a great protagonist, in my book. Sisitine is a tsundere, but she doesn't seem like the typical one that acts out all the time and tried really hard to hide their feelings for most of the show. She does act out in the beginning, but she's grows more accepting of Glenn and lets her guard down a bit earlier than many tsunderes do. She also has a pretty strong sense of responsible and the will to fulfill her dream without taking drastic measures to do so. I'd rather just leave my thought focused on the main two, and let the readers see the others for themselves. I found something to like and or love about every character in the series, especially Glenn and Sisitine. I'll give another personal 9.
I'll make my thought on my enjoyment very short. I loved every minute of the anime and actually find some of it's weird aspects that are considered stupid and appalling by others to be parts of the show that make it stand out and put it at a high place among shows in the genre. I'm giving a 10 here. I'm also sorry that my review doesn't seem convincing, but I'd rather write it more for people who like the genre and are only a little hesitant to watch it rather than to convince people who generally don't like these types of shows. I hope it's of at least help.
Rokudenashi is an unfortunate case of "what could have been".
I'll try to keep this relatively concise and straight-to-the-point: Rokudenashi had the potential to be a modern version of Great Teacher Onizuka. While it has an overused magic academy premise, unlike most battle harems, the protagonist here is actually the teacher of one of its classes, and he is also a huge troll. Just like Onizuka, Glenn Radars is largely incompetent at normal teacher duties, preferring to let his students have self-study sessions all the time instead of having to put any effort in. However, he also has a lot of talent in other areas, especially
concerning unorthodox magic usage. What Glenn lacks inside the classroom he makes up outside of it, and his trollish interactions with his students is the main selling point of the anime.
As a result, the first episode or two of Rokudenashi are very funny and entertaining, and show a lot of promise for the show as a whole. But unfortunately, from there on out it slowly starts to decline. Starting in episode three, the anime starts introducing actual outside villains and a much more serious story starts taking over as the main focus of the show instead of the previously light-hearted comedy theme. And sadly this is a big loss, because the majority of the show ended up becoming a rather generic action/fantasy light novel adaptation mixed with some drama as a result, featuring a somewhat overpowered MC and his sidekick heroines fighting a bunch of cheap bad guys with some rather uninteresting ulterior motives. In other words, the kind of anime you've seen dozens of times over already. It's not terrible but it's just extremely average when it's doing this, and considering how promising the show seemed to be at first, it feels like such a huge waste of potential. Sure, the magic system in this universe is pretty interesting and well-designed, but that doesn't actually end up amounting for much when the overall plot itself is so uninspiring.
The one thing that is still pretty good about Rokudenashi in the end though is the character cast. As mentioned already, Glenn is a pretty huge troll on top of being a good magic duelist, and overall he is a pretty likable protagonist, especially by harem MC standards. And yes I do think Rokudenashi should be called a harem even if it isn't currently labeled as one on MAL; while there aren't any public romantic themes, the vast majority of the supporting cast is female and it's pretty clear that most of them are very attached to Glenn. This is especially clear in the case of Fibel Sistine, who I guess would have to be considered the main heroine if you have to pick one, and who is also a skilled and clever magician, albeit a bit naïve and dishonest at times, and she's also extremely pretty if you ask me. Her verbal arguments with Glenn are always a treat to watch.
Overall, Rokudenashi is still a pretty decent anime with generally likable characters and good chemistry in-between them, but it's also unfortunately dragged down quite a bit by its bland and generic storyline. It's hard to not be bothered by the feeling that it could have been so much better still had it just gone down a different direction plot-wise. But compared to most magic academy battle harems out there, this is still probably one of the better ones all things considered, even though I doubt I'd go out of my way to actively recommend it to people in the future. Though if you don't care too much about the story and you just want to see a fun and intelligent protagonist goofing around with a bunch of cute and likable girls then you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better.
Oh and by the way, Rokudenashi probably has the best female school uniforms I've ever seen in anime. Say what you want about the show itself, but hot damn those exposed bellies, miniskirts and garter belts are sexy as hell. A+ clothing design; top tier fanservice at its finest.
im just here to express my absolute disappointment in this show lol
i love love loved the first 6 ep of the show. i don't like fanservice but i somehow managed to ignore those uniforms and enjoy the show?? there was comedy, action, characters are likeable and the backstories are interesting enough. (there's even a line by glenn that really stuck to me)
and then the latest arc happened and im like.....why. i even enjoyed the chibi preview more than the actual episode itself. cliche af, ridiculous reactions, sistine is reduced to one of those "oh MC is dying and i need to do cpr buT oH
mE??? Do cPR?? LiPs TouCH??" kinda girl and there are other flaws that make you go ?????, especially if the rationale part of your mind can't switch off
it just becomes really lame and boring imo, especially compared to the first few eps. should probably give it one more chance since there are only 3 more eps to the end but ugh idk
This is my first review, I got an urge desire to write it as soon as I completed 6th episode. I will try to avoid or warn about spoilers that will be included in the review. It's supposed to be subjective. not objective, so it's highly possible, that you will not agree with things that I wrote.
I was really amazed after watching first episode, I thought that it would be one of the better shows at the moment, however episode by episode I was getting more and more disappointed.
First episode really hyped me about the serie, even though I do not like anime with fan
service elements this seemed to be decent one.
I got everything I could imagine, story as well. It looked like atleast avarage script: main storyline, a piece of mystery and unknown history of the characters.
In the next episode I was feeling really sad about the development, the point of mystery has been revealed very fast - didn't have time to try and solve it by myself, storyline got worse - nothing more surprised me, new threads that has been introduced had less and less sense, it got dumber and some situations happened out of blue, without any backgrounds just appeared on the stage like a block of ice on a desert.
I can't say anything special about the art, it was nice, not bad. Just like one of those generic shows that are airied to just exist, without further purpose. I didn't pay big attention to details, but the art didn't delight me and didn't disappoint as well.
There weren't any tracks that would caught my curiousity, opening music seems mediacore to me as well. For me it's one of those shows that the only purpose is to watch and forgot after a week.
It's one of those things that made me really sad about the whole.
At the beggining we get a few characters that could be developed great...
But they aren't.
After the second or thrid episode we realize that the main character is one of those pseudo badass characters, who is legitimately OP, everything that he's doing ends good, there is no bad ending for his actions.
Another character is a grey haired (for the next few lines there might be a minor spoiler) tsundere girl, aka notice me pedophile senpai, the thing is that the senpai is not a pedophile.
So yeah, she is just another "person", that is supposed to be a part of the background and support to main character, wasted opportunity to make this show better.
Blonde girl is pretty similar to previous one, just a character that needs a protection and needs being supervised by the hero 24/7. Nothing much to tell about them.
First episode really caught my attention and curiousity, however any further made me want to turn of the show and drop it as soon as possible.
Just another generic show that doesn't give me any joy at all, because of earlier overused jokes and clichés.
TL;DR | Summary
First episode seemed to be great, the rest were generic poop.
Personally, basing on my own feelings I would give this show 1/10, but on the other hand thanks to an avarage art and sound I'm giving it 3/10.
Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records is your typical cliché harem anime, with bits of comedy, action, magic, and of course high-school girls. Now, bashing this anime for that would be very illogical, since the target audience is not the people that look for a good storyline, it's not the people that look for a lot of character development, and it's not the people that want to decode an anime in every single aspect. Therefore judging it on these factors does not make sense, so I will judge it based on it's intended audience, and based on the overall delivery.
This anime is for
people that want to enjoy a bit of cliché, it is for the people that don't mind the slightly erotic schoolgirl uniforms and it is for the people that enjoy a bit of magical action thrown into the mix. Now don't get me wrong, it's not all fanservice, there is a plotline, there is some character development, but nothing that hasn't been done before, and like previously mentioned, these factors are irrelevant, due to the intended audience of this anime. The characters are likable, the MC is fairly unique in many aspects, with some character development, and decent backstory. We do explore a bit about the backgrounds of some of the students of the magic academy, and the characters that were previously associated with the MC, but obviously with there being only 12 episodes, you can't expect those to be very thorough or go into a lot of depth. The art is average, it is nothing that differentiates itself from the other anime, therefore it is not something I want to write about. The sound and music do help the story portray the different themes, and it does help the viewer understand the mood and the situation, although again, I'd say it's average.
To conclude, I have enjoyed this anime for what it is, I think it has delivered what it aimed to deliver to it's intended audience, and in my opinion, it is a great anime to watch if you're looking for something to kill the time with. It also did well on keeping me intrigued, even though it's fairly predictable at times, at no point did I feel like not wanting to watch the next episode, probably due to the attachment I had to the characters, and the contrasting, complex character of Glenn's, the fact that he is not at all portrayed as a strong MC, and his creative solutions when it comes to problem-solving. So, I think if you do have some spare time, and you're looking for an anime that just wants to make you cheer up, laugh, and enjoy yourself, then do give Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records, and personally, I would rate this anime as 7/10.
In a world where students wear stripper-like uniforms:
One man--- a “bastard” of a teacher--- is called upon by a powerful and beautiful mage to teach those young stripper students the fundamentals of magic theory. ---Although in reality the powerful mage was just trying to get his lazy, isolated, moochingass out of the house.
Thus, the story begins…
At first the main character, Glen Radars, appears to be a generic all-powerful MC at first, BUT WAIT! Is he really...? This anime has a knack for throwing in (kind of) unexpected plot twists for comedic purposes. Glen Radars has more depth to him than meets the eye.
The story follows him and his interactions with his students as he builds his pseudoharem--- wait what? What I meant to say was, “the story (supposedly) follows him as he builds a relationship with his students and helps them reach their full potential through his unconventional teaching methods”. However, you never know when tragedy might strike in this magical world, because there is always a hidden air of danger lurking in the shadows. Who is Glen Radars? Who are the students, really? Does any of that really matter? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this series.
Reading the previous paragraph may make you believe that show is relatively serious, but, while it does have some pretty serious aspects, the bulk of the show is more focused on comedy and magic. Some of this anime’s main selling points are largely related to its unexpected comedy. Often times this comedy happens between Glen Radars and the white haired girl, Sistine Fibel. It was a bit refreshing to see a pseudoharem rather than a real harem, which has overplayed over the past few years. Each of the main character students have their own hopes, dreams, and issues. Their issues are revealed more as the series progresses, and I believe that they were revealed at the proper pace. If you are not a fan of harem anime, you most likely won’t like this anime.
The characters are probably the weakest aspect of this show. Generic archetypal side characters, generic main characters, the only real exceptions are Glen Radars and perhaps ReEl, who also happened to be my fav char in this anime. Sistine is presented as a very intelligent, dedicated student who will not stand for any teacher that disrespects magic and her right to learn. However, Gled Radars, being the lazy bastard that earned this anime its title, will not be broken so easily and forced to teach stripper students. The clashes between their personalities creates an interesting dynamic as the series progresses. Rumia Tingel is basically of your generic warm character that isn’t clumsy. ReEl comes off as kind of odd/aloof and ends up being all types of annoying/interesting in my opinion, but I’ll leave that up to decide after you watch because I can’t include any more information without spoilers~
The art in this anime is very basic. In comparison to more recent anime, the characters do not have a wide variety of facial expressions, the backgrounds aren’t too detailed, and the special effects aren't exactly the greatest either. The art is pretty average for a professional studio. Still frames, few dramatic camera angles, relatively low frame-rate. The art is really nothing special. However, the character designs may be appealing to a lot of guys. Especially so if you like garter belts, crop tops, and mini skirts. Other than that there’s really not much special about the art.
The music sounds like music that you would hear in the background of old TV advertisements, you know the ones that go, “But wait… THERE’S MORE! If you call now, we’ll DOUBLE the offer.” Yeah. It’s a bit of a change from most other anime out there and it’s kinda interesting. The characters were voiced pretty well. Though there wasn’t really anything too special about the voice acting either. There wasn’t a voice acting scene that stood out so much that it left an impact on its viewers. For example, if you search “When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace - I don't understand” on youtube, the first result will be a great example of great voice acting. There was nothing like that here.
I thought it was pretty good. It was a slight change of pace from a shitty and generic harem anime. Good enough for me. I could see myself recommending this to some anime fans of comedy and harem anime though.
It had its moments, it had it’s flaws. The story, at times, can actually be pretty serious. At other times relatively humorous and has some innuendos. It does a good job at balancing the comedy and humor, but the characters are pretty generic overall. That quality takes away from the story’s potential quite a bit. The music was TV ad background music and the voice acting was pretty average.
Would I recommend this to you personally?
If you’re a fan of harem anime, comedy, magic, romance, cute girls, ecchi, then go for it. It’s pretty decent.
If you’re looking for something more serious, then you are definitely not in the right place buddy.
Akashic Records Of Bastard Magic Instructor is a fantastic series. The main character and the white cat girl is hilarious. The comedy in this is almost on par with that main protagonist in Steins;Gate. Was my kind of humor and it's consistent throughout the whole series which I love.
It's quite short and I wish they would make more because although it doesn't bring anything new to the table the comedy is quite unique which other animes are lacking especially with the consistency part.
Definitely an amazing anime, really good story and awesome laughs. Would recommend even as one not overly obsessed with anime. :)
A surprisingly entertaining anime, never expected that after reading the long title of "Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records"! It starts with a bang, delivering perfect episodes that balances out fresh Comedy with serious Action very well in a Magic Academy setting. Sadly, it can't end on the same note as new arcs with new characters are introduced late in the game that aren't given much exposition. Still they do a good job with explaining the magic of this world logically, making it sound both interesting and realistic. This is further supported by the shows focus on the students
to NOT just become a bookworm, rather participate willingly to field work as well. However, I would have liked more explanation with the makeup of spells and their mana cooldowns. In addition, I would have liked more types of magic used during combat rather than the few we get to see. And the competition arc needed a bit more flare to it cause at certain parts they came close to mading me felt like I was in Hogwarts! And while the plot is nice, the storytelling is weak which is why some things go unexplained like what’s the use of gems when casting strong magic or what’s the secret behind Rumia being an 'Amplifier' or what is really an 'Amplifier' in this world? The current story arcs don't have a conclusion and they leave an open end to the series, so I would have liked more closure, who doesn't? Plus, the last few episodes felt rushed and I am not a fan of it! We also get to see a lot of blood in this show, but then again the anime isn’t exactly 'Rated R' since it refrains from showing violent deaths. And while they couldn't get their storytelling right, they did a better job with their characters.
The main characters all get fleshed out pretty well and have their moments to shine! But the spotlight wasn't consistent with the girls, since the show would focus on each individual while the others would remain more of a side character like Re=L for instance. She is a weird one who apparently has only 1 strategy on her mind, which is Attack! And I’m afraid no matter how much our MC squeezes her brains out, she will remain a thickhead forever! However, she is scary and despite her deadpan look, her unpredictability can make you her enemy or a friend in a matter of seconds. Removing swords from the ground and stabbing people is all she knows! Rumia, on the other hand, is strongminded but comes across a bit naïve as well as an optimist which is further explored by her insight and desire to help people with magic. Regrettably, she's also the unlucky one who finds herself in the 'damsel in distress' situation all the time which gets boring so I would have liked something else from her. Albert comes across cool and mysterious but turns out to be a good friend who apparently has a thing for cats! And 'White Cat', ahem, I mean Sistine has quite a temper, I particularly enjoyed her frame of inner struggle dilemma which she gladly overcomes. (Side Note: I found her parents funny!) While she comes off as a hardworking student from a prestigious background, her relationship with Glenn is the most interesting thing about her. The have a rocky start but they do warm up to each other eventually. I particularly liked this setup since the 2 are polar opposites of each other so we get to witness the classic romantic tale of Opposites Attract! (Though they still need a lot of work for us to take them seriously) Thankfully the MC is always at the centre of the story cause he's just amazing! I loved his quick remarks and his constant trolling nature despite being a lazy bastard as the title entails! He's very strong as well with a rich yet dark history that's moderately explored but it’s his attitude and resolve as a magician and teacher that helps him in standing out! Radars is hella lot of fun to be around as he makes fun of his students and teachers. Thankfully this is just an outer layer, like a mask, to hide away his true self which is dark, gloomy and bloody. Constantly haunted by his past mistakes, he wants to erase all of that with something useful and positive. And lastly, Celica was left as a background character which sucked cause she’s so powerful, but she seems to have more going on in the next season so I won't complain for now.
Voice Acting is top notch across the board with Josh Grelle stealing the show once again! He just has so much fun with this role and it clearly shows with his Comedic line delivery like ‘Later Nerds!’ or ‘You may now kiss my A**!’ which always springs a smile to my face. Glenn's expressions are on point which helps in delivering his lines across and that makes him a fun Main Character. The smile of Rumia mirrored her mother’s which was a nice touch. Sistine, voiced by Rachael Messer and Celica, voiced by Morgan Garrett had a certain flair to their accents which helped them in standing out. Sistine rages of fit or screams are well done and Celica’s concern for Glenn is shown by the warmness emanating from her which further bands the Big Sis, Little Bro kinda relationship between them. The animation is simple but beautiful when it wants to be, especially the magic casting parts. I liked how healing spells represented bright colours with soothing sound effects while dangerous spells had sharp colours with quick and loud sound effects. The OP is catchy due to it’s upbeat track that can easily be assigned as your ringtone, but I didn’t like the ED very much as it sounded very generic.
This is one of my favs from last year, it even ended up in my Top 5 Anime list of 2017! It’s not perfect as it tries to cram around 4 arcs in just 12 episodes, so you can tell when details are omitted out. Still it's very good for it's 1st season and I have high expectations for S2. I hope they organize their storytelling better and improve the screentime for their characters along with some further development. Also, if they had refrained from rushing their story, this anime would have made a bigger impact with the audience. I also thought the costumes for the girls were too showy which didn't make sense and I absolutely adored the short theatre skits at the end of each episode. Overall this certainly made me laugh and care for the characters and I would love to see their next adventure in the coming season. (P.S. where's the Comedy tag cause this s*** is funny!)
Why must they ruin everything with "cheap sexual hints" and "transfer students"?
I was literally so annoyed by this continuing stupid trend I had to come and say it in here. I hope for a day where they will make a comedy-adventure (perhaps magic or demon including) anime, which DOES NOT rely on idiotic fanservice moments, with their predictable transfers, unnecessary shots etc. This started like a promising anime, but eh. Somehow there are always people gifted enough to ruin me some enjoyment.
Also what's with this review system?... How come "Decent" accounts to the score 4 and "Mediocre" is for 5. Clearly they are misplaced. And
there is a supposed length for a review, yet no counters are displayed? How ridiculous.
Man I sound so hateful. But in truth, I'm just tired of people giving up on innovation. Started a bit different than your average anime, but somehow morphed into yet another ecchi-relying template.
Because do not be fooled, the first episode is absolutely AWFUL. The cast is uninteresting and full of tropes, the motivation is stupid, the magic is mediocre to look at, the ecchi feels like it was included as an afterthought (yeah, yeah, just make all the girls in the school wear 50% less clothes for no reason) and the main character is pathetic at best... Until you get to the second episode. This is by far the best example of how NOT to start your show, but holy crap if it doesn't change its tune for episode two. I'm actually mad that the author undersold
his own work so bad right off the bat. Especially since the approach this show takes to magic is actually really interesting once they dive into it.
Episode two feels like the beginning of something great. It cuts a lot of the bullshit and has some much darker (even somewhat disturbing) content, as well as a lot of hints and explanations for each character's motivation and attitude. The classic stuck up rich girl gets a logical and even somewhat heartwarming reason for why she takes magic and her education so seriously. The typical nice girl gets a darker albeit cliche past, and the teacher gets fleshed out into a real, likeable character. There's still a lot of show to go, and obviously there are some growing pains, but I genuinely think it will be worth keeping up with if the second episode is any indication of things to come.
I have seen videos about this anime so i decided to give it a try and i wasn't dissapointed.I realy enjoyed interesting plot twisted with good humor and characters were so well performed that i couldn't decide which of them i liked the most.The biggest disadventage was forced plot in late episodes and unfinished plot line.
+Good and interesting plot line
+Lots of humor
+Characters have really interesting stories and are well performed
+There are a lot of moments where we see our characters from diffrent angles
-Plot is forced in last episodes
-Some characters are just background and they have no inpact to the story
What starts off as a setup with substantial potential in the first three establishing episodes of this series, rapidly devolves over the course of the next nine. Don't get me wrong -- a lot of the elements put in place for this anime are highly cliche and uninspired (and not in a satirical way); however, don't get me wrong in the other direction -- this anime is also not awful. In fact, I'd say the first three episodes led me to believe that it'd be significantly above average.
Enter Glenn Radars -- deceptively versatile, but incorrigibly opportunistic and frustratingly dispassionate. Did this anime attempt to
make him an antihero but miss its mark? From the moments we meet him, showing absolutely no concern for his female students' right to privacy (and basking to their nakedness before him), to the final episodes, admitting harboring motivation that would see him wedlock out of shallow desire to never work another day in his life (through marrying up in caste), his lazy demeanor and sleazy treatment of other characters doesn't end up being integral to the primary plot (or his development as a character). (If we can even call this a plot -- it's mostly just a disjointed series of "things happening", which doesn't define an actual plot.) An anti-hero is supposed to be someone who acts out of self-interest because of their nature, environment, past experiences, and other context, and that says something about the world around them. For example, Holden Caulfield from A Catcher in the Rye is a true anti-hero; he's disaffected, cynical, and sarcastic because he experiences the alienation and isolation associated with growing into an adult world full of hypocrisy and fakeness. Han Solo from A New Hope is another great example - he does things that advantage him in a galaxy ruled by forced order mixed with unattended lawlessness. And while this Glenn Radars main character has clearly-needed back-story to exposit why he's first shown to detest magic (I suspected it involved tragedy that would be tied directly to the forthcoming narrative), when all of this is revealed it still doesn't explain why he is how he is. Why is he so lazy and so scummy? It only explains why he "doesn't like magic" during the first two episodes of the anime; otherwise, the reasons for his attributes are weakly expounded. He also had clear room to grow as a dynamic character that could face his past in an increasingly mature way while learning from his new experiences in a new position of guiding, teaching, and protecting his students. This also didn't happen. Holden Caulfield remains jaded, but at least he learns things and tells his story with surprising honesty. Glenn Radars doesn't learn anything. Han Solo realizes that there's value in risking his life for a greater cause of liberty and autonomy, through developing connections with Luke and Leia. Glenn Radars always knew that risking his life is worth it (as evidenced by his back-story), so why attempt to make him an anti-hero? If they wanted to do something that made sense with his back-story, the writers should have explored his dealing with loss in a much different way, instead of making him lazy and contemptible. But it's hard to make things funny that way with levity, so they built him into a chauvinistic asshat with little regard of other human beings as people with feelings, even behind the bravado of protecting Sistine's prospects of applied magic, or safeguarding Rumia's life. This lends the anime to funny moments, but also fails to delve into real, human experience of love, loss, sacrifice, withdrawal. Revenge and acceptance. Depression vs drive. It never feels like Glenn is internally vulnerable; he's too sure of himself and the backstory feels too devisive.
But the main character isn't the only flaw. I've already referenced it, but the more egregious problem (which probably ruins the characters in terms of development), is the narrative.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Sakamichi no Apollon. Usagi Drop. If you think of short-form 12-episode anime that are *exceptional*, their compact form justifies their scope and reflects their pacing. Everything starts from a strong foundation of structured, deliberate form, as well as unique storytelling of smartly-crafted character-driven narrative. Characters change. Relationships between them are ephemeral. And, most importantly, the narrative tells a story, through those characters, that means something. Kids on the Slope brings very contrasting characters together through mutual appreciation for the language of jazz. Usagi Droppu explores the challenges associated with raising children. And Madoka Magica is about existentialist themes of dedication and creating meaning. But I'm confused what Akashic Records is about. Is it about finding meaning after loss? Is it about pursuing passion? Is it a critique about just vs unjust use of power? This leads me to the core fundamental problem with this series - it's unfocused. It turns into a rushed jumbled mess. It assaults the viewer with so much sensory resulting in too many unresolved threads, fails to fully address plot holes or tie up plot points, or fully flush out the back-stories so that we can actually care about the characters more than, say, a "5, mediocre" status. We get a main character whose true characteristics (underneath all of the "lazy asshat" facade) are unclear, faced by antagonistic forces whose motivations are under-developed, rushed into the story's plotpoints with little establishment, with arcs that are unnecessary or random. Imagine attempting to cram 25 episodes of some great anime (say, Spice and Wolf or Code Geass) into 12 episodes, but then remove two key episodes and add two filler episodes. That's what this feels like.
It borrows a lot from current hype trends in anime, but it still had definite potential that feels wasted because of poor planning and a rushed structure . But don't tell me that I need to read the manga or wait for another season to come out, in order to have a firmer understanding of this anime's purpose. This should stand on its own merits alone. In the end, it's not meaningful to me, but it's still a fun time. Sistine is a cute, if overdone, tsundere archetype, and Re-L is adorably clueless. I like the way magic is represented in the anime, and the action scenes are competently choreographed and animated. The dialogue is good in general, if you can look past the contextual plot problems. The voice acting is pretty good, as well as other elements of the production value, and it's entertaining even while I'm frustratingly trying to connect with the characters or themes of the show. I won't bother getting into many details about the revealing character designs, the fan service, or the minor inconsistencies and weird plot arcs - this anime had more fundamental issues (than just execution) that I wanted to address, like how they dealt with the anti-hero and how they structured the narrative, and I think other reviewers have talked about these various other problems sufficiently.
Overall, I'd recommend this if:
* you want a new best-girl tsundere that's well animated and voice acted
* you don't mind a confused plot in an overdone magic high school setting
* you could use some light fun with moderately humorous scenes and dialogue
* I have to admit that it's a cute show, even if it's nonsensical - especially the preview cuts at the end of each episode, with this kind of self-referential humor, etc. that this anime doesn't take itself too seriously as an art form