Seirei Gensouki Anime Series Review – High Potential But Limited Pay-Off For Anime Only Viewers

The Seirei Gensouki anime is going to be a challenge to fairly review. Because objectively it isn’t that bad. There’s actually a number of positives I’ll discuss throughout this review. However, with the anime series ending the way it does it more or less makes this an impossible recommendation in terms of anime to watch. Largely because clearly this is for people who’ve read the source as there’s little satisfaction to be found otherwise.

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Seirei Gensouki anime

Seirei Gensouki anime – It’s a race to adapt.

From early on in the Seirei Gensouki anime it became fairly apparent that this was an anime intent on getting through material fast. Characters get isekai’d (at least through a bus accident rather than main character getting hit by ubiquitous truck) and the main character rescued a princess, is tortured, accepted into some academy, learns sword fighting and magic, is framed for potentially putting the princess at risk, runs away, saves the assassin sent after him, and so on and all of this is within the first third of the series.

The pace doesn’t slow down after that as Rio, our main characters, plunges on to new settings and situations, learns new skills, meets new characters, faces various potential challenges (none of which actually seem to challenge him and we’ll discuss that in a moment) and then moves on.

Seirei Gensouki anime

What this means is for anime only viewers of Seirei Gensouki is that none of these characters or settings leave much of an impression. None of it is actually bad. I kind of think the world we very quickly see in this anime series could be incredibly interesting. But nor can I say that the anime gives us time to appreciate any of the places or people Rio meets and by the end they all just kind of blur together. I’d really struggle to name more than three characters and all three of them would be characters who appear at the start and end of the series.



Fortunately though, while we’re doing this travel style anime, visually Seirei Gensouki looks really pretty. That isn’t quite the same as saying it has good animation because the actual movement is serviceable. But backgrounds and character designs are really nice to look at and I like the bright use of colours. If I had to continuously watch a character move through different locations, this at least felt like it was visually up to the task of bringing those places to life.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 4 - Volcanic terrain

And if you went in knowing you were going to very hastily skate over a story and settings that are probably told better in the source (never read it so won’t say for sure) you can probably end up appreciating the Seirei Gensouki anime for what it does do and in terms of isekai light novels, while there’s definitely some of the common tropes I get the feeling that this story could be a lot more interesting than the usual cliché paint-by-numbers efforts.

Where Seirei Gensouki stretched my reasonably favourable view to far was in how it ended. I’ve kind of made my opinion of episode 12 clear in the review so I won’t rehash it here. However, in reviewing the whole series let me be clear that this story won’t resolve any of the main plot line and will still be introducing new ideas right up to and after the closing credits. If you want any sense of resolution, this adaptation will not deliver it.

Seirei Gensouki Ep12 4

Which actually makes me wonder if they ever had any intention of making this anime a story or if they really were just making an advertisement for the books. And even if they were making an advertisement for the books, that’s no excuse for not considering viewers at all and thinking about where a decent resting point might be for a season end. The way they’ve done it here really does just feel lacking and somewhat lazy and it leaves a bitter taste in the viewer’s mouth when actually the series as a whole wasn’t brilliant but it also wasn’t bad.

Talk about shooting yourself in your own foot.

Anyway, the Seirei Gensouki anime follows Rio/Haruto who at first is kind of an interesting isekai protagonist. Sure he’s overpowered in some respects and being able to access Haruto’s sword training from Japan gives him some advantages. However Rio makes the decision to live in his current world and while he takes advantage of some of Haruto’s abilities, he really sets out to make himself his own person. It’s an interesting decision and one that feels different from so many isekai characters who lean heavily on their former lives.

Seirei Gensouki Ep1 1

Equally, Rio starts out in a quite low position in society and a lot of characters work to keep him there. This inevitably leads to him finding out that his mother was… you know what, it is a pretty obvious reveal but even so I’ll let you find out for yourselves if you ever watch the anime or read the source.

At times, the younger Rio even has glimpses of an actual personality.

Unfortunately, by the very short number of episodes we have until Rio is older, somehow that all kind of gets washed away and instead we have the usual kind older brother character who saves girls but asks for little or nothing in return. He’s nice to everyone except those who have clearly demonstrated themselves to be evil (or completely idiotic) and then he easily defeats them giving them their much deserved comeuppance.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 - Rio saves the girl

He usually doesn’t even break a sweat. Not against idiots. Not against wyverns. Pretty much the only fight that even damages his cloak is the final one in episode 12 and even then he wasn’t really in danger.

This makes it hard for the Seirei Gensouki anime to really get an emotional response from the viewers. The main character is never in danger so there’s little to no tension. He equally has insufficient personality traits to really be more than your standard isekai trope wandering through a story that is being rushed so I’m left with little to say about him other than he’s good with a sword, has learned spirit arts, has a harem of girls, and is nice. We could apply most of that description to way too many other characters so Rio isn’t really going to stick in my memory very long.

The girls, for the most part, are very cute and most of them seem to have a personality, they just don’t ever get enough screen time to really let it shine. This is another case where the Seirei Gensouki anime’s pace hurt it. None of the girls travel with Rio for very long so as he moves on they disappear from the story until he passes back through their lives. While each one could be an interesting character, they inevitably don’t get the chance.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 - What kind of egg?

All and all, I wanted more from the set up here and I feel that the worst offense the Seirei Gensouki anime commits is wasting the potential of this story and these characters. If the goal had been to tell a decent story based upon these ideas and with these characters, that fit within the confines of an anime season, they really could have done a better job. The waste of potential hurts more than anything else.

Which means, I can’t recommend this anime. It isn’t the worst thing you’ll ever watch, but nor is there any point to watching it. If you want this story, its probably better to explore it through a medium that takes a bit more time with each part and may at some point conclude. Here, you’ll just be left with an incomplete narrative and feel like the goal was to get through it as fast as possible rather than to enjoy the journey.

If you watched the Seirei Gensouki anime what did you think?

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021


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Karandi James


3 thoughts on “Seirei Gensouki Anime Series Review – High Potential But Limited Pay-Off For Anime Only Viewers

  1. The good with Seirei Gensouki: Loved seeing scenes from the LN animated, and the character interactions were neat. In general the anime conveys some of the material properly where you can get a sense of the source and at least think about reading it, so in general, the staff at least had a basic understanding of the material. Character designs were pretty good, and at times, the quick pacing did work. I think Rio and Celia’s relationship was portrayed good enough all things considered, as that’s a big thing in the LNs as well.

    The bad: When most things get animated it can’t always be exact from the source for various reasons, so going in you expect certain scenes to be cut. The anime however takes Seirei Gensouki and makes it more like a highlight reel. So on the surface seeing Rio continuing to understand his powers or how he’s perceived — for example, in a chapter after leaving the school, he stays at an inn, gets harassed by a couple annoying people, essentially displays his powers and then even shows he can heal someone, yet due to the difference between commoners and nobles, a number of commoners see this and don’t want to interact with him out of fear for potentially upsetting a noble, and the one girl who convinced him to stay at the inn is actually frightened of him — might be a minor thing. But that minor thing could enhance the major moment that needs to be kept or the character themselves. I’d say the staff didn’t balance what to cut and keep too well for the most part, as ultimately, it’s hard to say most of the characters or the actual world was realized enough.

    I’ll also maintain to include certain characters in the OP and ED animations is something that should stop if they’re not actually going to appear. Like can you believe we have those two kids (Aki and Masato) appear from the very beginning with Miharu in the OP and yet…if you’re an anime only, you’d wonder who they are from Episode 1…and even after it ends since the anime doesn’t bother to explain them in their only appearance in the show. You can just guess they know each other right? Do we even need to talk about the girl that was also on the bus who was also isekai’d like Rio and Latifa?

    And then well, them deciding to adapt volume 5 first while stealing moments from volume 4 could’ve worked out functionally enough in the last three episodes, but instead, it only created more problems. What’s funny is they didn’t have to add the last minute of fighting and rescuing. I think it would’ve been preferable to keep it subtle. Like the three characters showing up would’ve been just ok. But the last minute really makes you think they don’t plan on adapting any more.

    Final impressions

    Ultimately, it’s just an average adaptation that can’t be recommended unless they announce they’re doing more. If they do happen to do more, good luck. Not to say they can’t, but minor characters that appear in future volumes (a few even more prominently) were cut, and the final episode ensures there needs to be a new scenario for the three characters and Rio. Since they also swapped volumes the chain of events will have to be a bit new as well. Needless to say they would have a lot of rewriting and writing to do to make it make sense for anime-only viewers before getting back to the source. Unless they choose to retcon stuff and just move forward. Their options would be to go with the Negima route or the TWGOK route at best lol

    I will also add that from what’ve seen, the LN did blow up a bit in Japan while over here, according to JNC President Sam Pinansky, it went from being a moderate seller since they picked it up a couple years ago to going “gangbusters” for them over the summer. So in some respects, the anime did its job. But I can bet the staff is likely kicking themselves for how they planned on adapting it, as they might’ve misjudged how much it would blow up. I do sympathize with those working on it since the budget was definitely not high, but the execution just leaves a lot to be desired.

    1. There were definitely characters in the OP who I still have no idea about. It would be cool if this story gets a rebooted version in the future because this adaptation doesn’t seem to do the story justice.

      1. lmao thanks anime staff!!!

        hmm…funny enough I don’t know if it would be cool to do a reboot, if only because A) that rarely ever happens with anime…not counting something like HxH, Digimon, Fruits Basket, etc. B) you have to then hope enough people didn’t like this version enough to reboot it and tell the story properly, but it’s still in general the same story — why reboot it when you can adapt future volumes properly to satisfy the fans?

        I guess what I’m saying is there are no easy answers, but rebooting seems like the last choice in terms of how to move forward with this series.

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