I haven’t done a review in almost a year. So, you would think Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil is ‘that’ special. Let me tell you why it ‘almost’ was.
First, the concept. You could more likely compare Wizard Barristers into being a legal representative of Wuds (people who possess magical powers) in Tokyo Year 2018. Cecil Sudou, being the youngest ever Wizard Barrister, tries to make use of her knowledge to ‘defend’ Wuds and give them an unprejudiced trial.
However, being involved with strange people along the way, she discovers more about her past, and something about herself.
Don’t get me wrong. I would say that the story is ‘quite’ original as I haven’t really watched a lot of animes that involved Law in them. Or, maybe because I haven’t encountered those kind of animes, so I don’t really have a standard.
A story combining law and magic? I mean, who wouldn’t love that? And they even made a separate law, called the Magic Probihition Law, which Wuds are subject to. That really got me, especially when the protagonists casually say it just to make a statement.
Now, I was thrilled as I typed those from above, and then I thought: What made Wizard Barristers suck? Easy. That would be the story in totality. I love the law-plus-magic idea as much as the next guy, but this was not implemented well with the whole series. The story gets you thinking, “Is this even going anywhere?” Sure, the story was fluid. Sure, the story had continuity. But, for what? For Wuds to have to have a fair trial? That doesn’t really apply when you could see there is already an over-complexity between the characters themselves, which makes a case insignificant all the way.
Then, a question again popped in my head. “What made Wizard Barristers TOTALLY suck?” That, my friend, would be the pace of the story. It goes from one scene to another, having no proper transition at all. And don’t even get me started on the eye-catches.
‘Colorful’ would be the first word to say of Wizard Barristers. The anime had vibrant colors that are such a sight. And the neon-glowing ‘circle’ thingies really add effect to the spells they use. And the CGI for the Metamoloids are relatively superb.
I think no one would disagree that the opening animation of the anime was splendid. But, like they say, you should never judge an anime with its opening animation (and theme). Really. Unfortunately, Sentai Filmworks did a terrible job with the animation itself. A lot of inconsistencies would be seen in it. Strange movements (and etc.) made the anime unpleasant to watch. I think it would’ve been better to just put your earphones on and just turn off the monitor.
There is also that one episode that looked like it was a Microsoft Powerpoint Slideshow of still pictures, with dialogue. What? The producers are getting lazy because they already knew that it sucked that they got tired of ‘actually’ doing the movements?
Also, maybe it’s just me, but it had that Saber Marionette J-type of feel.
For a reason that I don’t know, Lia’s themes strike me in the heart. Angel Beats! And Clannad would second that. That Lia opening was just amazing. The ending theme was also good. But the producer of the song Rui Tanabe sang didn’t get you that I-have-to-watch-the-next-episode-but-I-need-to-listen-to-this-first kind of feeling.
I think I should give praise to the soundtrack itself, as it gave suitable ambiance for most scenes, like when trials are about to start, or when the employees from Butterfly Law Offices are just slacking off. Voice actors were also good. Most notable would be Wataru Takagi, voice of Seseri Chono, which gave justice to the character himself.
Character development was good, but it wasn’t great at the same time. There were still characters that have the right to have more background stories. There were also no explanations to how one possesses magic, or how they got this specific type of power.
And although it wasn’t clear, at least these characters are likeable. Especially Cecil who, at the same time, was the center of humor in the entire show.
There were 2 major discrepancies on it though. Who is Moyo Tento? I certainly don’t want to end the anime without having to get to know her first. And the other: WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THOSE USELESS FAMILIARS?
Something to look forward to in this anime would be the action. As a fan of magic-related animes (like To Aru Majutsu No Index and Alice Academy), I definitely can’t get enough of those kind of action. They were spectacular. Too bad there wasn’t much of it. Even the trials, which are something that would interest a viewer, didn’t last long enough for it to actually be considered a ‘proper’ hearing.
They just weren’t enough. That aside, they were still awesome.
Should I recommend this to you, reader of my review?
If you want magic and action, combined with wacky (and some, cold) characters, with Law (just an amount) being the underplot, and Lia having an opening theme, then yes.
If you want to watch an anime that is fully detailed, does not miss facts and provides broad character development with great animation, I suggest you watch something else.
All in all, Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil would have been a great anime. Really. Maybe it was just the number of episodes. Or, it just lacked that ‘total feel’ which most viewers would think so, too.