Kenja no Mago Review Episode 9

Happy Times

Shin and Sicily - Kenja no Mago Episode 9

Kenja no Mago Episode 9

I genuinely don’t expect much from Wise Man’s Grandchild which is good because what we get has been pretty average even for those who like generic isekai fare. That said, episode 9 of Kenja no Mago needs a pat on the back for jumping straight past the blushing dating and confession episode and into an engagement. While I might in the back of my mind see this as setting up a sudden and tragic death for Sicily, the overall tone of the anime doesn’t support that so mostly this is just pleasantly forthright about their relationship.

However, we have plenty of training camp shenanigans still to go with this episode. Whether it is Shin learning float, or anti-gravity magic, the rest of his classmates getting suited up in even more over-powered protective gear, or taking on a catastrophe class demonoid, there’s a lot going on.

One thing I do need to point out is that visually this anime is getting sloppier by the episode. While the magic still looks great and individual expressions on characters or the characters in close up look relatively good, the rest of the anime, particularly group shots and distance shots, look at absolute best like they were hastily completed and more like they were deliberately cutting corners as facial features disappear entirely and heights between characters just suddenly alter. While some of this is played for comedic effect, some of it really just seems badly done.

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Then again, Kenja no Mago doesn’t seem to be trying to compete on visuals and it isn’t really trying to be more than an average isekai story. It remains fun enough each week, the main cast are engaging enough, and while I still think they are potentially setting up the death of a character as a trigger for Shin to go berserk (that would be an interesting change in tone) mostly this is pleasant and undemanding viewing.

At some point though I am going to have to write a post about how this anime has framed the majority of its female cast because to be honest there’s an entire post in that.

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Karandi James
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Kenja no Mago Review Episode 6

The typical ‘work together’ message undermined by super powered teen.

Episode 6

Kenja no Mago shows us the right way to blow off some steam… Okay, maybe not but I have to admit that Shin made that look so satisfying even if the results were kind of destructive.

The war ended up being pretty abrupt, much like its set-up really. One minute they are fighting and then the empire realises there are demons in their capital and return just in time for the guy who declared war to be killed by Schrom in a fairly confronting early scene this episode. I will point out, I’ll give the demonoid points for at least knowing that if he wants to make sure someone is dead you do have to kill them yourself. Most villains never get this point down which is why they end up losing.

Finally a villain that makes at least a little sense.

Still, the realisation that there are plenty of demonoids around and that they aren’t exactly what the original description of them made them out to be, gives this narrative plenty of fodder for future confrontations for Shin. We already know Schrom at least managed to survive a fight with Shin and so overpowered or not, if Shin has to fight all of them he’s going to struggle alone.

Which might be the whole point of the get along and work with friends message of the rest of the episode.

The Knight School and the Magic School run some joint training in the forest but the Knights and the Magicians absolutely don’t get on despite clearly having complementary abilities. I think the point was supposed to be for the group to learn how to get on but then somewhere along the way that message got dropped and we got another round of isn’t Shin awesome as a horde of demons stormed toward them and Shin wiped them all out.

This is just asking to become a meme.

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Naturally he was in a bad mood because the Knights had started fawning over Sicily and we got another round of the two kids blushing and denying but not denying a relationship.

Honestly, as silly as this anime is and as cliché as a lot of the developments are, it actually just makes me smile while watching and I’m quite enjoying it. There’s certainly no argument to be made that this is brilliant. The static images with panning during the war sequence and demon invasion of the city displays the corner cutting and averageness of the visuals, even if the off-model faces from a distance on almost every character didn’t, but that doesn’t actually take away from the enjoyment of the overall experience.

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Karandi James
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Kenja no Mago Review Episodes 3 + 4

This one certainly isn’t taking its time.

Episode 3

Yep, bully boy was being set up as a future threat only one they pulled out in episode three for the sake of a cool battle and to introduce another character who might actually be a more serious threat. However, if we wanted to see what happens when humans become demons this gave us a small taste test of potential danger later without lengthy exposition so it all kind of works. Plus, it moves the main character straight to hero status rather than just overpowered.

Again, there’s nothing really new here as the characters go about establishing a class dynamic within the magic school and we learn about magic study clubs. The continuation of Kurt’s insanity followed by his losing his mind after an encounter with an old teacher just adds a little bit of energy to the otherwise pretty standard establishing episode. But, it is undeniably fun while it goes through the same old steps so I’m really not going to complain.

Shin’s reactions remain fairly entertaining as he never really knows what others will find astonishing and he tends to get super embarrassed about things the other characters are really enthusiastic about. While I’m still not entirely convinced we needed a reincarnation to end up with this personality, it works well enough as a throw back to his previous life to remind us that this is a reincarnation story without them having to mention it every other minute.

If I did have anything I was actually disappointed about it would be how ordinary the fight between Shin and Kurt ended up being. Shin has produced some amazing magical devices and effects and the fight just seemed too standard with throw the glowing thing at the other guy and when that doesn’t work hit him with a glow stick (okay, magic sword, have it your way). I think there could have been a few more twists and turns in the magical fight but again, it isn’t as though what we got didn’t work.

I’m still pleasantly surprised by this one and am beginning to allow myself to actually be hopeful about this one.

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Episode 4

That was quick.

I think that was my main reaction when I realised that this episode of Kenja no Mago was going to reveal that the middle school teacher was in fact the one behind Kurt’s demonization. I really thought they were going to drag this on a lot longer with more people or students being turned before they closed in on him. Not that I’m upset it doesn’t turn out to be that kind of story, just kind of surprised because it really seemed like that was where they were heading.

The downside of this episode being about that reveal is that Shin and his classmates are more or less the fluff content of the episode. They mess around at the school club having two new members introduced after the teacher vetted the influx of applicants. Then on their way to one of the new members houses there’s an explosion which is where the story of the investigation into the demonization incident and the school kid’s crosses paths. Then it is just a straight Shin-saves-the-day fight sequence.

The magic fight this week was much better than episode 3’s glow stick saga. The fight was quick but suitably interesting. It is all over the top light and colour effects but you know what, it is supposed to be a magic battle. Let it be over the top.

Meanwhile, like they don’t let the mystery of who is responsible for Kurt linger, the after credits sequence takes out any suspense about whether or not they killed the middle-school teacher. So episode four has clearly taught me that this anime is not about mysteries or suspense. It is simply about the over-powered magic fights and again, if that’s all I’m looking for it works well enough. Certainly this one isn’t going to be setting the world on fire with its narrative nuances or the like, but it is pretty easy viewing so far.

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Karandi James
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