Cliche and yet kind of fun.
Be prepared for the new self-aware cliché driven title as Spring 2019 delivers Wise Man’s Grandchild or Kenja no Mago. Shin is reincarnated after a close encounter with every isekai anime’s favourite traffic related death and is raised by Merlin in a forest. There he learns magic, combat and more or less everything except life skills and becomes the single most overpowered being ever. Then they enrol him in magic school just to throw yet another trope in.
Despite the trite and been-there-done-that subject matter, it is difficult to dislike this first episode. As a protagonist, Shin isn’t doing anything new, but nor is he annoying or particularly obnoxious. The magic has so far been pretty cool to see, and they aren’t exactly wanting you to take it overly seriously. I’m getting serious In Another World With My Smartphone vibes here where provided you didn’t try to take it too seriously or expect much from it, what you ended up with was moderately entertaining and occasionally amusing.
Whether this succeeds or not depends on whether they can keep it fun or whether they’ll start taking themselves too seriously, or if they just roll out tired trope after tired trope and hope that it somehow sticks. Still, there’s certainly some interesting potential here with demons, famous ‘grandparents’, knowledge from another world, and magic and combat skills. Whether they do anything with the ingredients remains to be seen.
That said, after one episode, I’m pretty happy with what is on display here and I’m kind of hoping for something relaxing to watch. I’ll see what the next couple of episodes have to offer before I make up my mind though.
The cliché continues in episode two of Wise Man’s Grandchild. This week Shin takes the test for the magic school and in the process makes enemies with an over the top noble, friends with a Prince, and continues to win the affection of the cute girl he previously met. There’s nothing really out of the ordinary here and yet it still works well enough.
Most of the characters we’ve met so far are pleasant enough if fairly unremarkable. Though, the handling of the bully character has been pretty lacking in anything resembling subtlety. He’s self-entitled and selfish and has more or less decided to fight Shin because the show needs someone to make some sort of conflict in the story in the early stages or else nothing would be happening outside of Shin being awesome. That said, it seems likely that they are setting him up to later become a demon or an actual threat but it is really hard to take that seriously as a future problem.
The other thing that the anime keeps coming back to is that other nations will either declare war or try to get Shin on their side. Part of me wonders if these are empty lines just to make things seem like a big-deal or if they are actually foreshadowing future conflicts. I’m kind of hoping it is the latter and that they do look into the political situation between countries, though at this stage it is hard to tell whether that would make for an interesting plot line or not given Shin is incredibly over-powered.
There were some amusing moments in this episode of Kenja no Mago with my favourite being the practical magic test. Watching the other kids chanting for all they were worth for very little magic was highly entertaining as was Shin’s overly embarrassed reaction. While it isn’t an original idea by any means it was executed well enough to be worth a smile.
Two episodes in an this remains entertaining enough and will hopefully continue to be enjoyable.
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- Kenja no Mago Series Review
- Kenja no Mago Episodes 1 + 2
- Kenja no Mago Episodes 3 + 4
- Kenja no Mago Episode 5
- Kenja no Mago Episode 6
- Kenja no Mago Episode 7
- Kenja no Mago Episode 8
- Kenja no Mago Episode 9
- Kenja no Mago Episode 10
- Kenja no Mago Episode 11
- Kenja no Mago Episode 12
- Images from: Kenja no Mago. Dir. M Tamura. Silver Link. 2019.