Watch or Drop? Rules
Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.
- The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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