Isekai Cheat Magician – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Nishimura Taichi is a typical, average high schooler, and Azuma Rin is a beautiful woman with the build of a model and excellent reflexes. The two live a normal high school life until one day they’re suddenly enveloped in a mysterious magic circle and transported to an unknown land. That world is full of terrifying monsters, beastmen, dwarves, elves, and many other races right out of fantasy. In order to survive in this new world Taichi and Rin decide to become adventurers, but when they take the aptitude test they discover they both possess cheat level magic… (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Isekai Cheat Magician opens with a large scale action sequence, with spells popping off across an active battlefield, showing just how crazy the series will get eventually. Trouble is even with this action-packed opening sequence Isekai Cheat Magician’s art hardly impresses. The designs are bland, the action is dull, and the direction fails to make even one shot of this first episode stand out as dynamic. It would be disappointing if that overt bland presentation didn’t fit entirely with the lackluster, bare-bones writing beneath the surface.
Linny: It doesn’t help that thanks to Isekai over saturation, it’s hard to be unique and Isekai Cheat Magician certainly seems to not make any attempt of it either. Events play out in a predictable pattern; start with an epic battle scene then rewind to the very start to follow our heroes’ rise to the top. The characters all act and spit out lines that could be from any standard Isekai style show and nothing in their designs or nature sets them apart from the myriad of other Isekai that pop up every season.
Tom: Part of the trouble stems from showing how crazy the show will eventually get, and then taking forever to get there. That opening scene is meant to instill faith in the audience, “Stick around and cool stuff will happen, we swear!” But because the opening also implies just how overpowered our heroes will become, heck the title does it too, there’s no tension as to the danger our heroes might face. Then again, it’s not as if we care for these cardboard cut outs anyway. Linny described them as essentially generic, lacking unique traits, but it’s so much more bare than that. The episode is so done with its set up, before it has even begun, that every scene post opening sequence is as dull and straightforward as you can imagine. The world and its characters are thin pieces of cardboard, with zero depth to them, because they simply exist to catapult our characters onto the real story. That makes our heroes first few minutes stuck in this new world exceedingly dry, to the point where it’s incredibly easy to zone out during all this because nothing of note happens. It’s only when our two bland leads finally have their magic abilities checked, and then turn out to be incredible, that Isekai Cheat Magician displays any real personality again, and then only just.
Linny: And even in those ‘big’ moments, Isekai Cheat Magician stumbles thanks to mismatched reactions. While claiming to be shocked, a character looks more upset. Maybe this was intentional and could lead to a twist reveal later on but it makes their claims of surprise seem hollow. Then the fact that when the two main characters learn that they are to be the apprentices of this magician they’ve just met, both of them let out over the top sounds of surprise as if this is an extremely startling and shocking announcement even though the audience is offered zero reason for it to be so.
Tom: It’s actually kind of incredible how dull Isekai Cheat Magician is. It’s in the running with In Another World With My Smart Phone for how insipid and generic Isekai can get. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, nothing clever to reinvent tradition, or fun, lively characters to make what’s old and worn feel new and vivacious again. Isekai Cheat Magician is yet another easy pass, I’d think even for Isekai fans too, as I’d say both Demon Lord, Retry! and Arifureta, two titles also airing this season, that aren’t particularly good either, are at least miles ahead of this.
Linny: We’re only one episode in but the show has plenty of contrived moments already. Putting aside the ‘explaining obvious stuff for audience sake’ which is to be expected, Isekai Cheat Magician is already twisting facts for story/shock’s sake. For example, Taichi and Rin quickly discover that they can read and speak the local lingo but then when getting their magic levels tested, they suddenly have no idea what they’re looking at even though it seems like the results are written in the local script too. This is done clearly so they can be TOLD of their insane power levels and add temporary suspense, which is completely useless seeing as the literal title of the show gives it away. It’s little issues like these that when added up and combined with the generic nature of the story and characters make Isekai Cheat Magician feel like yet another uninspired addition to the Isekai anime invasion, one that most viewers can happily and safely dismiss off their watch list.
Isekai Cheat Magician is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.