Thursday, May 11, 2017

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor: From Scum to Sensei

¨The Alzano Imperial Magic Academy is located in the southern part of the Alzano Empire, and is among most prominent magic schools in the world, where students can learn the highest forms of magic. All those who strive to learn magic dream of studying at this academy, and its students, as well as its teachers, are proud to be a part of its 400-year history. Glenn Radars is a new instructor who has suddenly been appointed to teach part-time at this highly respected academy. The previously unheard-of lessons of this man known as a good-for-nothing bastard are about to begin."

A new simulcast on Crunchyroll, this series seems to be making quite the stir. At first glance it seems like just fanservice and the typical magic school setting, so what could this new series possibly have to offer?

The series did NOT have a very strong start. While it received a lot of advertising and was in the public eye as a new series, the first episode didn't leave the best impression. It gave the series the air of being some sort of fanservice series, with comedic characters and no real plot. Everything seemed really interesting and descriptions, review, and previews. But the first episode failed to reflect that. All we saw was girls in somewhat sensual school uniforms, a good for nothing magical instructor, and the typical magic school where there's going to be some sort of harem around the male teacher and all the cute magic wielding girls.
Image result for akashic records of bastard magical instructor battleThe first episode lacked the hook needed to engage the viewer, and if it weren't for all of the popularity it was receiving, as well as the fact it was all over Crunchyroll media, I would have dropped the title.

But the second episode was incredible. I feel like it was there that it picked up steam and reached it's potential as a show. It's in the second episode that we begin to see more to the various characters, especially Glenn, our bastard instructor. As the series then progresses, we begin to see deeper sides to Glenn, and some of the other characters as well. Backstory and plot are also provided, and all of the magic in this world actually makes sense, it's almost like a scientific process. One issue with most fantasy magic series is that magic is thrown in without much explanation for how it functions, but that's clearly addressed here.

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But back to Glenn, he's a very interesting character to watch as he grows into more than a lazy ass. The starts out as an unmotivated slacker who would rather just sleep the day away. But then he shows he's not stupid when it comes to magic, and he actually knows tons of minute details about magic that can make significant differences. Then we see another side to him as we learn of his proficiency in combat and magic, and his earnest efforts to help his students. And more recently, we learn that he had an unsatisfactory past. It the general assumption that he wanted to be a mage of justice and save people with his magic, before he learned that the path he was taking was filled with bloodshed, thus crushing his dreams. Glenn Radars grows so much from when we first encountered him, and while he still has a certain degree of listlessness, he's still a genius with the right intentions.

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Episodes are still coming out, but this a genuinely interesting title, with a lot of different plot elements coming up. The art is also very visually pleasing, and there isn't too much going on all at once with magic battles which make it easy but also fun to watch. The opening credits and song are super bad-ass and get you really pumped up for the episode. But what really takes it interesting is the plot, and the mystery surrounding it. The viewers are given hints and tidbits here and there, but we're left to speculate for a lot of the various things that aren't directly told to us. The antagonist is also unclear for the most part, which makes us go in blind in figuring out where they're planning on guiding the plot.

More that a magic school, this feels like a modern fantasy with the undertones of a coup-de-Etat. One of the highlights of this season's new anime, and overall very enjoyable. This is not the shallow series that we initially thought it was, Bastard Magical Instructor is actually a damn good show.