The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Series Review: Inept Isekai Harem Story

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 10

I wasn’t planning on watching this show this season but with an incredibly small watch list and some small number of factors introduced early on in the show that might have developed into something interesting, I ended up sticking with The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar. I probably regret that decision now but let’s get into the review.

Review:

There has been a very low bar set for isekai stories, particularly isekai harem stories. And that bar for the most part works in the genres favour because people expecting some deep and intellectual story don’t bother at all and those who are just wanting something to casually watch and maybe be entertaining are happy enough to jump on board and hand wave the occasional clunky bit of exposition, slight character breaking moments and definitely dismiss plot armour as just a staple of the genre. That isn’t to say there aren’t some great isekai stories out there and that harem stories can’t be well told, but the majority of the genre should definitely be taken into account.

Yet, even by those dangerously low standards, I would find it incredibly hard to recommend The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser or Einherjar. The sheer number of things this anime does to shoot itself in the foot along the way is nearly mind-boggling and that is before you get to a final episode that just left me shaking my head and wondering why on earth I’d just given the show three months of my life in episodic reviews. This story of boy from the modern world travelling with smartphone to the past and somehow becoming the biggest thing ever is hardly original but that wouldn’t be a problem if it managed to be competent.

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That isn’t to say there is nothing good about the show. I did in fact watch it every week for three months so there was clearly something about the anime that caught my eye and kept my attention even as  I dropped the likes of Holmes of Kyoto. So we’ll start with some positives before I tear this less-than-middling story apart.

One thing  I did enjoy initially about this anime is that it didn’t start the story with Yuuto arriving in the past/other world (it is very unclear if he is on Earth even though he thinks he is – the people with seemingly magic powers kind of makes it hard to swallow). The story begins after he’s already been in the past for a number of years and has already risen to the head of the Wolf Clan. This by itself made the story stand out from so many others in this genre because we didn’t get the standard five to ten minutes of his everyday life before the confusion of landing in another world and befriending the cute girl. Nope, he was already there and established with the many cute girls by his side. The novelty of that, and the fact that it allowed this story to get straight into the fights between clans, gave it a little bit of a lift.

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I also liked that despite Yuuto being a complete push over to pretty much every female character, he did insist on the no marriage thing because he had someone he loved waiting for him in the present. He stood by this right until the end and I kind of respected that because at least we didn’t have another harem protagonist who couldn’t make a choice. He’d made his choice but just couldn’t really act on it because she wasn’t in the same time/world as him and all he could do was talk to her on the phone.

Finally, I actually liked that Yuuto did draw on real tactics (researched on his smartphone of course) and used these in the various battles he fought. I also liked that he seemed to be making a genuine effort to lead his clan into a more economically stable position. These ideas if properly fleshed out could have more than carried the show as maybe something of a mix between the likes of Lord Marksman and Vanadis and Maoyu. Tragically these were decidedly tagged on ideas that kind of got thrown at the audience one minute and promptly forgotten the next.  On that note, go watch either Lord Marksman or Maoyu instead, either one is far superior to anything you’ll find here and you’ll even get a decent amount of good looking anime girls wearing skimpy outfits in Lord Marksman if that is what floats your boat.

Master of Ragnarok Episode 5

However, these positives are not enough to offset a lot of the issues this anime has. The first I’ve already touched on and that is that the anime introduces ideas but does nothing with them or at least doesn’t give them enough time to develop. We don’t know why Yuuto went to the past (other than magic mirror and summoning) and we don’t know how his smartphone manages to work (I can’t even get internet access in my backyard so I’d love to know how his phone actually works across time and space). They introduce economic reforms, agriculture reforms, new technologies and none of these are given any real weight other than isn’t Yuuto awesome. We have an episode that for some reason focuses on school bullying but is resolved with shockingly little care for the lingering impacts of bullying. And finally we have an ongoing war with some conspiracies by the church and ultimately this goes absolutely nowhere. You won’t ever see the guy who originally gets the Lightning Clan to attack the Wolf Clan ever again. No one will mention it and nothing will be resolved.

So if they aren’t developing any of this what are they doing in this anime? Poorly animated fight sequences would be one answer. While I won’t say they are dreadful, they aren’t exactly impressive. Then on the other side of that we spend a lot of time with the girls in bathtubs, hot springs, and generally just trying to get as close to Yuuto as possible. Keep in mind the girls are quite aggressive in their affections and it is set up on a number of occasions where it seems clear that Yuuto has been assaulted off-screen by his harem on mass despite his protests. It isn’t exactly comfortable viewing if you try and insert any kind of moral reality into the viewing experience (then again that probably isn’t the best mindset to watch any harem with, but I can’t help but think how unforgivable such a scene would be if a male harem pounced on a protesting female – and what makes it unpalatable for me at least was somehow this was supposed to be amusing).

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 6

Also, the sheer lack of explanations about the runes and powers some of the characters have is frustrating. It is like the world we’re in is never fleshed out and we still don’t understand it even as the season ends. There are more questions then answers but the desire to ever see more of this is pretty minimal (so if they were aiming for a sequel please just say no).

However, the worst is the final episode where mid-episode they seem to legitimately just toss their own plot to the side and meander on with some rubbish before throwing a parade celebrating Yuuto. There is legitimately no explanation for what happened to the armies and the whole conflict that was going on. Just throw a parade, have a kind of wedding and hope no one notices that all the conflict that had been set up just kind of vanished for no good reason. This was a truly frustrating way for the show to end.

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I very rarely insist that my opinion is correct about a show and normally I believe that there is an audience somewhere who will appreciate what an anime has to offer, but in this case I’m simply going to tell you that this one is not worth your time even if you are mad keen on harem stories in isekai settings. There are simply so many anime that do similar things but so much better that there is no reason to watch this one.

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Karandi James

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13 thoughts on “The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Series Review: Inept Isekai Harem Story

  1. Watch Lord Marksman instead? Oh no is this Grancrest Senki all over again? Haha.
    You know I’ve so tempted to watch this because I love fantasy (and isekai by extension) so much. I’m pretty torn, but I 100% believe you when you say this anime is not worth watching. I’ll put it off for now at least!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is worse than Grancrest Senki. That one at least had moments where it looked like maybe it would work (it didn’t but it at least look like someone tried). This, despite my attempts early in the season to be optimistic, it just wastes your time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, watched this and was underwhelmed. So underwhelmed, in fact, that I couldn’t bring myself to give it a full review. It had some entertaining elements, though, so I watched and eventually gave it a paragraph in a catch-all post on the last day of September. Wish it had been better. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This season showed the two sides of the Harem genre.

    Demon Lord is made with love, compassion and is sexy, funny, and heartwarming with great action in a genre that is VERY saturated.

    Ragnarok is cynical, rushed, and pandering to the worst aspects of the harem genre, and I am VERY forgiving of these types of shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This show man…god do we all owe Isekai Smartphone a big apology.

    I agree with your positive points here Karandi, but man did they not follow it up with anything to chew on. This show was the anime equivalent of a movie company rushing out a product to meet a demand, or cash in on a fad and it shows almost everywhere. It’s the DC universe of Harem animes.

    At least it has given us a new bar for shows to clear, it’s not a big bar, but it will be easy to tell if someone is better than this. Just a complete and utter disappointment on every level.

    Thank CHRIST for “How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord” though, or else I don’t know what I would have done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think How Not to Summon a Demon Lord just made watching this harder. It was like, same genre only done well at the same time. It really made the flaws in this one really apparent (in case they weren’t already blindingly obvious).

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  5. Having of course read your weekly reviews for this one, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to watch this one anyway. But this final review of the entire show confirmed it even more: this one I really won’t be watching….ever 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hm🤔 Honestly don’t know if I am so smart: remember I stuck with Angels of Death…so…😅😅😅 I have heard some really great things about Planet With by the way. Should probably have watched that one too instead of Angels of Death 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have 4 episodes left, which I will binge once the 12th dub is available. Totally agree about the military tactics being the most interesting part of the series, and the battles are absolutely not done to a high standard, not to mention that it always seems to happen on an absurdly open plain. There are definitely more interesting harem comedies with better premises.
    I skipped over the last two paragraphs of your review, so I can see how the final episodes makes me feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you enjoy (or at least have fun).
      I just wish they’d done more with this one. The premise had some real promise to it and I just kept thinking it could get better but it just kind of meandered along and never really stepped up its game.

      Liked by 1 person

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