Moriarty The Patriot Season 2 Series Review – The Lord Of Crime Less Interesting Than Expected

Moriarty the Patriot Season 2 Anime Review

Sequels are tricky things to get right and The Promised Neverland demonstrated in spectacular fashion how wrong a second anime season can go. Moriarty the Patriot hasn’t fallen to such a low point in this second season follow up but it also hadn’t risen to such lofty heights in the first place.

Season one of Moriarty the Patriot was a bit of a mixed bag and after a solid opening act seemed to struggle to maintain momentum or really capitalise on its strengths. However in season two we see those issues, and the issues the writers were clearly faced with in trying to write for not one but two super genius characters, cause the story, particularly in the mid-season to really flounder.

Moriarty The Patriot Season 2 – Not What I Signed Up For

Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

When the spring 2021 season kicked off I wasn’t really sure what I would watch and review though I ended up agreeing to review a couple of anime with Irina and then there were the series that were sponsored by readers. Moriarty the Patriot I decided to cover because I’d been looking forward to seeing the story continue and I’d hoped that I would be satisfied with how it went.

The opening episode of Moriarty the Patriot Season 2, with the heavy focus on Sherlock rather than Moriarty, wasn’t great but had some intriguing ideas. However, those who followed my episode reviews will know that by the mid-season I was pretty much over this anime and ultimately I stopped doing episodic coverage entirely, choosing instead to wait out the final arc and then watching in a single binge session.

As cool as that image is, it belongs in Dracula and not Moriarty the Patriot.

However it did make me wonder just what it was about this second season that really didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t like it took a huge deviation from the set-up in season one. Though a lot of that set-up ended up feeling superfluous with the final plan really feeling kind of thrown together and not well thought out.

Going back through my episode posts, I realised episode 15 was where I more or less admitted I wasn’t really enjoying watching it and a large part of the problem was that our title character, Moriarty, wasn’t really the main character anymore.


In season one, William James Moriarty was almost always in the centre of things and his plans were nicely detailed. He also seemed to be actively involved in their execution even if he didn’t deliver the final blow. The introduction of Sherlock during season one shifted the dynamic and as more and more cast members stepped up Moriarty’s role diminished.

And Moriarty is going to need to take centre stage again - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

Despite this being the story of Moriarty and supposedly telling the story of him actually being a patriot and not just a criminal foil for a master detective, Moriarty’s presence becomes increasingly irrelevant. Sure his brother’s defer to him and his gang all revere him, but his own actions becoming increasingly less important – you know until the anime just kind of throws its hands in the air and sends him on an outright murder spree.

Given a lot of the appeal for me in season one was his character and how much I enjoyed seeing the reframing of his villainous acts, season 2 of Moriarty the Patriot just felt like it wasn’t giving me what I wanted from the anime.

And a lot of what we were getting felt like bloat just to stretch out the conclusion of a story that really could have been told in a single twelve episode season without all the unnecessary additions and complications that ultimately added nothing.

Let's get to the point indeed Sherlock - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

Whether we are talking about Irene’s character arc and conversion into one of the gang or the entire Jack the Ripper near rebellion incident, neither of these ultimately contributed anything to the end story and really we could have got to the same place faster and felt a better connection with the central players without it.

Likewise, an attempt to bring in a third player who could rival Holmes and Moriarty, Milverton, proved just another distraction and ultimately he and his plots amounted to nothing. Admittedly, at least his interaction with the main pair forced the main plot into action but again, it just felt like he existed to give Moriarty the Patriot another handful of episodes before we limped over the finish line.

However, if I wasn’t going to get more of a character I loved, I was hoping at least that the plot would hold itself together. Yet season 2 of Moriarty the Patriot more or less doubles down on the same issues that plagued season one with the mob characters, both nobility and commoners, being particularly stupid and the schemes of those manipulating the masses being pretty transparent and poorly executed.

I really wish it had been fun, Albert - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

There’s little joy in seeing a plan succeed when it seems so incredibly weak.

Moriarty the Patriot wants to delve into serious issues of class warfare and seems to want to explore the character of individuals when placed under duress. Yet at no point does it have the ability to really write these scenarios in a way that makes them feel anything more than a superficial nod to themes that are kind of essential for the story to hold together.

From start to finish my main complaint about Moriarty the Patriot season 2 would be that I wanted more. More from the characters I liked, more from the writing, and more intrigue from the plot. It all just fell that little bit short leaving the viewing experience feeling lacking.

It was always watchable. At no point does this anime derail and become a terrible incomprehensible mess. At no point are the characters so stupid that watching them another minute would be painful. But there’s little joy in watching it either. It just kind of is and the most disappointing thing is the potential that is in this premise and plot that feels like it was just missed.

Moriarty the Patriot

What I will say is that at the very least we were given a conclusion. It is as satisfying as could be expected from the series given how the second season plays out and while there’s room for a follow-up any such attempt would undermine what little good this season did bring to the characters (so let’s hope this is the end).

It is kind of tricky because this anime isn’t all that bad and I’m sure that there will be some people who quite enjoyed it for what it was. I can’t personally recommend it because ultimately I feel that Moriarty the Patriot just squandered too much of its own potential leaving me feeling more frustrated while watching than anything else. Still, there’s certainly worse anime out there and at least this one finishes.

Images used for review from: Moriarty the Patriot. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I. G. 2020.

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Karandi James

The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent Series Review – And Perhaps The Most Impressive Thing Is The Title

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent Series Review

I’ve said before that reviewing a series that is just all right is significantly harder than reviewing a series that is either very good or quite terrible. The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is very watchable, even somewhat enjoyable, but never rises above being all right in story, characters, animation or literally any other measure by which one would judge an anime.

The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is the very definition of an ‘average’ anime.

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent defines average in anime.
Aww… but it is kind of sweet.

For those wondering, The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is another isekai anime. It has two points that distinguish it slightly from the standard model in that firstly the summoned protagonist is a woman (though this is becoming more common particularly in stories that have characters reborn inside novels or games that they are familiar with) and secondly there are two characters summoned simultaneously (though again this has also been done as have entire classes of students being isekai’d).

However instead of the usual power-fantasy fare that an isekai would serve up, we instead have one of the most low-key power fantasy’s ever.

Sei, our main character is insanely over-powered. You realise she is from nearly the beginning and as she actually learns more about her power it just becomes a given that she is in fact an incredibly OP character. Yet despite riding out with soldiers into the wilds at various points the series can’t even make a pretence at tension. These are more excursions for the sake of a scene change rather than any kind of obstacle that need to be overcome.

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent has a fairly blunt protagonist.
Sei in one of her rare grumpy moments.

Dewbond from Shallow Dives in Anime likened the story to a fairy tale, and realistically that’s kind of what it is.

Sei is whisked away to a kingdom in a far off land away from her tiring life as your standard office drone. While she isn’t initially recognised as the ‘saint’, the second summoned character having that thrust upon them, Sei is allowed more freedom to choose her own path in this new world.

As such, she explores working in an institute making potions and studying herbs, she teaches people to cook food that she likes, and she helps others when they are injured.

Naturally one of those she helps from the brink of death turns out to be a charming captain who becomes the primary love interest of The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent and their romance kind of flows along more or less unhindered.

Sei and her love taking a tour of the town in The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent
Let me give you a tour…

However, just as this anime based on a light novel makes a small attempt at avoiding being another isekai story by changing the gender and number of characters summoned, it avoids the standard fairy tale in that Sei isn’t initially recognised as the chosen one and the brat prince pursues the wrong girl and isn’t the love interest.

In a story that put more weight on some of the inter-character conflicts, this could have been quite the interesting diversion for exploration and yet it becomes basically a side note. It is a plot that The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent plays out and resolves without any actual conflict and largely without any consequence other than the prince character all but disappearing after having limited impact on the story.

Equally, Sei originally starts out as a glasses wearing and plain looking woman (that was the reason the prince overlooked her arrival in the first place and pursued the other girl). Yet all too quickly various story contrivances make her face and hair look shiny and youthful and her glasses become unnecessary. Sei transitions into the most generic of kind-of-pretty anime girls and any unique identity is thus lost.

And lost also is any chance to explore a different kind of female lead or to play any contrast between Sei and the pretty girl the prince chose, Aira (who more or less vanishes for the majority of the story, gets a brief focus and then becomes just another side character who may as well not have been summoned from another world).

Handsome man intervenes - From The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent.
This is as much conflict as we’re going to get.

This is pretty much the pattern of The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent. They introduce ideas that have potential but then the story seems determined to remain calm and even. Sei performs miracles and yet the other characters react so calmly it is impossible to really feel how incredible her ability is.

Even the climax is marred by characters saying words that seem like they are amazed but the tone feels like they are discussing someone preparing a cheese sandwich.

The Prince acts like a complete jerk and then they spend an entire episode providing a rationale for his behaviour, try to make it a noble gesture, and then just kind of whisk him away apologetically like they are worried that this small conflict may have somehow damaged our calm.

A second character is summoned so surely there’s a space to compare two characters, potentially a rivalry, or maybe even a deep friendship? Instead we get almost no interaction between the two before Sei reaches out a hand to Aira and Aira ends up being just another background character of almost no importance.

A point emphasised again toward the end of the season when the two women are standing side by side talking and the various guys come up to them and only greet Sei. Aira may not as well even exist and removing her from the story would barely cut even an episode from the run-time.

Saint 1
That is true, but your motives are still pretty weird.

None of this takes away from the fact that watching The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is pretty fun and relaxing. Sei is an entertaining, matter-of-fact character and seeing her genuine joy in her new life is certainly charming. The people who she interacts with are all very pleasant and visually there’s a kind of sweet aesthetic going on here with bright colours and music that just kind of carries you along.

It almost covers over the fact that so many scenes in this anime rely on stills with panning rather than animation and we get a lot of close-ups of faces probably because when characters are seen in motion there’s some interesting things that happen to their facial features.

It isn’t that The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is horrendously animated or ugly. Far from it. It is just that there are obvious short-cuts being taken in the animation and they are relying on the charm of these characters rather than spending a lot of time or money on the animation. For those who are charmed it will be fine but for those who watch anime for the animation, they may find this one lacking.

The cool and calm one in the group of men surrounding Sei in The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent.
This is his surprised face.

Realistically, if you are up for watching a calm and soothing story about a girl going to a magical land where every guy who speaks to her is a different kind of hottie and wants to help her do whatever she wants, The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent will work for you. There’s a lot of fun to be had in a very low-key kind of way and it is very bingeable as I discovered when I tried to watch 3 episodes for watch-or-drop and ended up watching the fourth just because.

If you are wanting something with some action, drama or tension, you probably should look elsewhere.

With that said, I’d love to know your views on The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent so be sure to leave me a comment.

Images from: The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent. Dir. S. Ibata. Diomedea. 2021

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Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Is Full Dive Worth Watching?

Full Dive Watch or Drop
Full Dive - How many people would actually want a game to reproduce pain?
Why would anyone want a game that does that, Full dive?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
The best friend and childhood friend - yet neither want to explain why he can't leave the city (at least not properly). 
Full Dive gets off to a rocky start.
And why can’t the friends simply explain their reasoning to Hiro? Communicate.

First Impressions of Full Dive:

Right off the bat the premise was always going to be a problem. That someone made a game that would reproduce real life, including pain, just strikes me as a terrible marketing decision and I’m sure two seconds of research would have convinced those who bank-rolled the game Kiwame Quest that it was a stupid idea.

More importantly, assuming the game did get made and assuming our protagonist was ‘tricked’ into purchasing the game, why would he log in again after the first experience. Full Dive seems to have wanted an excuse to put their protagonist through the wringer and they weren’t too picky about how they got to the point where they could torture the main character in episode 3.

Sure, they are overly exaggerating the reactions of characters and every character’s personality is way over the top in an attempt to play it as comedy, but realistically we’ve seen a teenager boy get beaten up for asking questions, accidentally kill someone, get pursued by guards, betrayed by another player, led in chains through the street and stoned before being haunted by a ghost and chained to a table and almost had his leg cut off.

Not entirely sure I’m getting the humour of it all.

That said, I also didn’t stop watching prior to the end of the first three episodes of Full Dive so there’s something about it.

Full Dive Series Positives:

I’m actually struggling a little here.

So far we have awful characters who have either endured awful things or done awful things playing an awful game where so far only bad things have happened.

It doesn’t even really look that great.

Full Dive - Hiro's sister lets him know how she's feeling about his hobby.
Ah, a supportive little sister.

On the other hand, an anime doesn’t need to be sunshine and rainbows to be enjoyable. I’m just not entirely sure what the appeal is here. Part of me wants to know what it will take before Hiro genuinely doesn’t log back into the game again. The end of episode 3 of Full Dive has him declaring he’s over the game, but that seems unlikely given where we are in the story.

The other part of me wants to see if these negative experiences ultimately lead to something worthwhile. Let’s be real, even before Hiroshi started playing the game his life wasn’t exactly going great. While I don’t need a happy ending, it would be kind of nice to see that through overcoming his current tribulations maybe he finds something better.

Or maybe Full Dive really is just about making the character as miserable as possible. I guess I won’t know if I don’t keep watching.


Full Dive Series Negatives:

I kind of feel perhaps the biggest negative for me so far is that Full Dive: The Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG is Even Shittier Than Real Life! is labelled as a comedy and while I can kind of see some exaggeration for comedic effect, I’m not exactly seeing this as funny.

That’s naturally a subjective point of view but without this actually landing in the funny category, mostly it is just depressing and a little bit morbid. Then again, others who have reviewed Full Dive found it delivered on laughs so maybe this will work for you.

Full Dive - Really knows how to make you pay for your mistakes.
It isn’t like he did it on purpose. I doubt he could have done it on purpose.

That said, I am kind of curious still about where they will take the premise. It is nice to see a character in a video game who doesn’t get instantly stronger and isn’t automatically recognised as a hero. In an over-saturated genre of being trapped in a video game, Full Dive has taken the path of Bofuri in that the character isn’t technically trapped, but then has dialled up the difficulty to Aincrad SAO levels if it had an insane mode that also made pain a thing.

Still, what it might be isn’t what it has done and in three episodes this one has been visually dull, the voice acting consists of a lot of shouting and whining, and so far I haven’t found a single character that I actually sympathise with, care about, or really want to spend time with.

I think I like the idea of Full Dive far more than I am liking the anime.


Karandi Shrug Transparent

I actually don’t know just yet if I am going to finish Full Dive or not. I probably will because it made me curious and that’s perhaps my greatest weakness. That said, after trying three episodes, I wouldn’t exactly be telling anyone else they should be checking this one out. There’s plenty of anime out there with similar ideas that have been done better.

Maybe Full Dive will change my mind before the end but I’m not that optimistic.

Images from: Full Dive. Dir. K Miura. ENGI. 2021.

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Karandi James

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω Series Review – Not Quite A Cataclysmic Failure.

Series Review Template 2

People have been telling stories forever. We love tales of adventure and danger and heroes who overcome obstacles. We just do. The isekai genre really just kind of taps into that love in a nice simple way by taking ordinary person A and throwing them into adventurous world, usually giving them some kind of power up, and then sitting back and watching them pretty much dismantle anything in their path.

It isn’t complicated, most of the time, and as long as there’s a little bit of deft in the way the story is stitched together fans of the genre will largely be satisfied. Let’s be honest, we aren’t expecting Shakespeare.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season One kind of got this. We summoned a guy from the normal world into a fantasy world that kind of resembled a game he just happened to be awesome at playing and then gave him all the stats of his character in said game. Naturally, he’s overpowered to the max and walks through a whole range of scenarios.

They also hit us with a lot of over the top comedy and fan service which mostly worked and at the very least didn’t actually prevent a fun little adventure story playing out.

Then we get season two.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω – How the mighty have fallen…

Though that may be an exaggeration given the first season was largely just kind of entertaining and hardly a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.

Diablo standing in front of Horn, Rem, Lumachima and Shera.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
Sequels don’t always live up to their predecessors but some don’t even seem to try.

I’ll be honest and point out How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω doesn’t actually look as bad as that screen grab above. My internet was having some issues that day and I had to drop the video quality just to finish the episode. Still, season two took a definite hit in the visuals. The fun and cute characters spent a lot of this season looking either wooden or just like a stock image of themselves.

This wasn’t helped by Rem and Shera, the two female characters from season one, largely doing little besides standing behind Diablo or off to the side and reacting to stuff. It felt like a serious down grade for them as characters and even when they got thrown into fan-service mode it no longer felt like it served a narrative purpose so much as the writers realised they hadn’t had a bath scene in two episodes and so it was definitely time to get Shera out of her clothes again.


Now I review How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Omega episodically and discussed each episode with Irina. It was a lot of fun revisiting this anime with her because we both liked season one but we liked different aspects of it. I don’t think either of us knew what season 2 would be like but I do know that by the time we got to our episode ten review we were both pretty happy the season was drawing to a close and didn’t try to push for a thirteen episode run.

Even Klem has had enough of being sidelined in season two.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
Violent death always helps teach lessons.

For me, season two of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord was a lesson in how not to write a sequel. It makes the mistake of trying to keep the original characters together and includes short appearances from almost every character in season one even if they serve no purpose in the new story. Rem and Shera could have stayed behind on this adventure and Diablo could have gone off on his new quest and we probably would have ended up with a less bloated plot and less screen time eaten by interactions that served no purpose.

As a consequence of refusing to let go of a single character and freeing up space, the new characters all feel shallow or feel like they could have been interesting if we’d been given a little more to go on. The first episode of season 2 introduces Diablo to the damsel in distress of season 2, the head priest of the church Lumachima.

She’s a young and idealistic girl who the church is trying to kill and so she first wants to travel to some city to enlist the aid of some other higher up in the church before returning, but that largely becomes a side quest that results in little other than costume changes for a few characters and eats up more screen time from this already faltering follow-up season before we just go and confront the church.

It really feels like How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω could have skipped a few steps here and Diablo could have solved this whole issue in about an episode if left to his own devices.

Demons and harems?
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
Don’t worry who these characters are. They aren’t around very long and have zero impact on the narrative.

You would think in ten episodes there wouldn’t be time for all these random little asides that go nowhere. And I clearly wasn’t the only viewer feeling like a lot of these things just made no sense. They could have gone somewhere but they just didn’t.

Some characters are introduced and killed off quickly.

Other characters introduced who look like they’ll be an interesting addition who then just stand in the background or are left behind as an unresolved plot thread.

There’s a disease being spread and a search for a cure but it doesn’t end up having any real impact on the plot.

These’s also a secret dungeon with a treasure trove.

We introduce another demon lord who makes a big opening and then is unceremoniously discarded.

All of these things kind of come and go from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord before we get to actually move the plot forward and confront the church.

On the one hand, it does kind of feel like a video game. I could go and challenge the boss or I could run over to this map location I haven’t yet explored and grind for a few more hours. Which is fine when you are gaming because you can decide when you’ve had enough fluffing about and get back onto the main quest. Also, you usually are levelling up and gaining something from the experience of all that fluffing about. Here that’s not so much the case.

Actually it definitely isn’t the case.

Sure they pick up two new characters, Horn and Rose, but neither really make the ending of how Not To Summon a Demon Lord any better. Horn’s ‘contribution’ in the second last episode really felt like a forced side plot just to extend the run-time and largely added nothing but some really poor humour and fan-service.

I know I’m not the best judge of either given I don’t really find comedy or fan-service appealing when picking a story, but here it just felt so forced and ultimately I can’t quite figure out who it was supposed to appeal to. Even Irina couldn’t help me out as she also seemed to find it a little on the baffling side.

Worst power-up ever.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
So cute. So unnecessary.

The finale did at least provide resolution to the plot with Lumachima. That would have been the worst. Having sat through the series that at best was average and then being left without an actual ending. I think at that point my series review would have just been a rant.

Though ultimately, there’s little that can be declared a clear positive for this sequel. It is watchable. Diablo is still Diablo and there’s the occasional moment of hilarity as his inner geek clashes with his exterior personality as the tough and detached demon-lord.

Along the way there are sprinkled moments that capture some of the fun and energy in season one but it is all too little and too buried in a paint by numbers, unfocused story that feels overburdened with unnecessary trappings and unclear on what it wants to uncomplish.

I'd almost believe Diablo was demonic.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
I am the anime reviewer from Australia.

I didn’t hate How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω by any stretch. I just ended up feeling indifferent to it. Which is actually kind of worse because it means this one is fairly forgettable. If a third season came out, I’d consider starting it at least but it wouldn’t be high on my priority list. I’d be keen to see if it could re-energise this franchise or whether all the best moments were delivered in season one.

That said, I’d love to know your thoughts on How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Omega so be sure to leave me a comment below.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season 2. Dir. S. Kuwahara. Tezuka Productions and Okuruto Noboru. 2021.

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Karandi James

Watch or Drop? Eighty-Six

Watch or Drop
86 Ep1 6
Here’s a young girl who wants to talk about changing the world while she allow the status quo to continue.

How will Eighty-Six go in its opening episodes?

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
86 Ep1 11
And here’s the war-weary realist of the story – naturally a teenage boy.

First Impressions of Eighty-Six:

After the Price of Smiles I wasn’t exactly inclined to jump into another mecha fantasy anime particularly when I heard about Lena, the military girl who is pretty naive. Don’t get me wrong, a fantasy, military story could be amazing but we’ve had a fair run of ordinary to terrible ones recently and so I put off giving this one a spin for a bit.

My first impressions were that Lena was almost obnoxiously naïve in her self-righteousness and I haven’t quite figured out yet why she’s so protected given the military really shouldn’t put up with her tirades and speeches. Then again, she’s still doing her job and does nothing to change the way things are done other than make speeches so I guess she’s largely harmless in the grand scheme of things.

The 86 are the more interesting characters and the first three episodes give us some glimpses of their daily life and their battles but we’re still early days. What really isn’t clear is what the end game is for this story. The set-up seems to indicate the war will just end itself (a fact that seems as suspicious as the declaration that no humans are dying in the war) so if we’re not fighting to end the war and so far there is no sign of a rebellion or uprising it really makes you wonder where this story wants to take us.

Series Positives:

While we’re playing with a lot of cliches, the story set-up is actually pretty interesting. The city with its homogenous looking people and clean and safe environment built at the expense of the lives of those essentially cast off and declared inhuman. While it is blunt and lacking in nuance, it does have a lot of parallels to situations in real life and I am curious as to what 86 intends to do with the set-up (hopefully something).

86 Ep1 2
Look at all the happy, silver-haired people not dying in a war.

The action has also been pretty interesting. While the mechs haven’t been on screen a lot they are an interesting design and some of their movements have been pretty cool. Also nice to see a mecha anime that doesn’t feel the need to just make yet another humanoid robot swinging a sword around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that design, it’s just kind of been done to death at this point.


Series Negatives:

Sadly, Lena, the main character so far, has left little impression on me other than I’d like to give her a good slap. If you are that angry about how the 86 are treated then actually do something instead of just shouting at the occasional person for bad-mouthing them. The fact that she feels like she’s doing anything for them by chatting to them each night just kind of irritates me and I was actually really glad at the end of episode 3 when one of them gave her a good dose of reality.

Eighty-Six - confronting questions in war.
Good intentions are great and all but actions matter more.

However, outside of a dislike of Lena’s starting point (and she could grow as the series progresses), I didn’t find much to complain about in these opening episodes. There’s a nice balance of learning about the world, meeting the characters and some action and it keeps things interesting. It isn’t moving at a fast pace though so I’m curious as to how much it will get through in 11 episodes given in 3 it really hasn’t done much other than set-up.


Karandi Excited Transparent

I’m not as hooked on this one as some other shows I’ve tried but I was pretty invested as I watched the first three episodes and I am interested in the outcome. It is a definite watch from me once it finishes.

Images from: Eighty-Six. Dir T. Ishii. A-1 Pictures. 2021

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Karandi James

Watch or Drop? The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent

Watch or Drop Saint
Saint Ep1 2
Oh, someone got isekai’d again? Why doesn’t Japan investigate this given they must have a massive number of missing persons.

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Saint Ep2 1
I wouldn’t dream of it, Sei.

First Impressions:

I really shouldn’t set myself rules for anything because the simple idea of watching three episodes of a show in order to write a watch or drop post means that all those shows I don’t get through the first episode of never really get a write up – unless I write a feature explaining my overall feeling about a particular studio – and then there are shows like this one where episode 3 finished and auto play kicked off episode 4 and I was just happy to sit and watch.

It was odd because I’ve read very little about this series and even after watching it, when I actively went hunting for posts giving first impressions of it, I didn’t find much chatter or content. The few reviews I found were very similar and generally didn’t like the way the magic was explained and felt the first episode was a little dull or aimless and very few expressed any desire to continue watching.

My first impressions definitely conclude that magic makes absolutely no sense in this world. The explanations they give are very generic and void of actual detail that would explain anything and by and large stuff happens because its supposed to. In a more serious fantasy work this would be a black mark against the world building and pretty much be the end of being able to take it seriously but here it kind of feels more like the setting is just supposed to be a generic backdrop and it serves enough of a purpose.

These first few episodes are very easy to watch, demanding little from the audience other than relaxing as Sei goes about her new life and a potential budding romance. There’s a bit of intrigue with the other girl who was summoned, as well as the overall politics going on in the palace but its very much in the background at this point. Basically I found the experience very soothing and was pretty happy to turn off my brain and just watch Sei helping others.

Series Positives:

This story absolutely wouldn’t work for those who do not enjoy Sei as a character. While Sei is pretty ordinary in terms of being yet another Japanese office worker who gets isekai’d through a summoning, the fact that she is female and originally dismissed by the Prince as the Saint so is left more or less to her own devices means we aren’t instantly forced into a ‘you must save the world’ scenario and it is nice to see an older female character rather than a high schooler.

Sei is also just a lot of fun. She’s practical and has a wealth of knowledge about various things including herbs and cooking (convenient skill set really) but she’s also wanting to learn more about the world in which she finds herself and over the course of these early episodes learns a range of skills from potion making to enchantment and then healing. She also takes the time to teach a few people how to cook because she largely finds the food lacking.

They balance out her incredibly power and fairly wide knowledge pool by making her relatively inexperienced in relationships (not completely brain-dead mind you but still blushing at hand-holding). Very soon she meets her literal knight (though not in shining armour) and the romance that is budding here is pretty adorable and I really hope it is left to grow and no stupid idiot gets in the way of it.

Saint Ep3 1
These two are super adorable.

The other positive I’d highlight from these early episodes, other than the generally peaceful mood that they cast upon their viewers, are the various supporting characters. They all start out relatively generic but over the first few episodes they begin to take on more distinct personalities and from Sei’s friends at the research institute to the mages who watch her learn to enchant to the girl she befriends at the library as well as the soldiers of the third unit, they all kind of begin to take on a bit of life and make you want to spend a bit more time in their company. I’d be lying if I said they were full fleshed out and realised characters but they work in the context of the story and at the very least they are pleasant to spend time with.


Series Negatives:

I will agree with the other impressions I came across that The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is a little bit… lacking in excitement. There’s no real spark or hook and there’s little driving things forward even if we are getting bits and pieces of information that indicate we’re heading to something. It all just feels very languid which would normally bother me a lot more than it seems to be here. A lot of the interesting bits happen off screen, like the knights getting attacked by a salamander or the next expedition where so many of them come back seriously injured. We don’t even know what attacked them only that Sei was there to the rescue once they returned.

Saint Ep4 6
Big smiles for guys in a hospital.

Equally, visually this one is fairly unimpressive. While there have been some beautiful stills the anime relies heavily on using a montage of stills when conveying a sequence of events such as the date our titular saint goes on with the captain. It works and looks good enough but it is clear even early on that this one is cutting corners on animation. With so little actual action it isn’t the end of the world but it would have been nice if this one was a little more visually impressive.


Karandi Excited Transparent

Given I couldn’t have stopped watching at episode 3 even if I tried, and I only stopped at episode 4 because at the time of viewing there was no episode 5, clearly I enjoyed this. It is slow and meandering but I really do like Sei and I’d love to see more of her and Albert and just more of what Sei gets up to in this world as she learns more about her powers. I’m not expecting an epic fantasy but a romantic slice of life with a female protagonist I like sounds just fine. I will definitely be finishing this one.

Other Impressions:

Honestly, I was struggling to find episode 1 views that didn’t just call the show boring or aimless. Then again, searching in the WordPress reader for either the English or Japanese name of this anime didn’t bring up a lot of content so either it has a different name somewhere or not a lot of people have given it a shot.

Images from: The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent. Dir. S. Ibata. Diomedea. 2021

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Karandi James