Wise Man’s Grandchild – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: A young man dies in a car accident and is reborn in a magical new world. The old, yet wise Merlin finds the boy, names him Shin, raises him from infancy, and teaches him combat and powerful magic along the way. 15 years later, Shin is ready to travel the globe on his own, but Merlin forgot to teach him something major—common sense! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Wise Man’s Grandchild is the epitome of near every problem that plagues the Isekai genre as a whole. From the overpowered main character, to the series lack of tension, to the inability to settle on a consistent tone, to characters that simply don’t matter, there’s nothing that Wise Man’s Grandchild gets right. While the series never produces anything truly offensive, it becomes so simply by how dull, plodding and uninteresting the entire series is at every conceivable moment.
Linny: Wise Man’s Grandchild is laughably cliche and isn’t even self aware or smart about it to try and turn the cliches into true comedy. There’s never ANY subversion of expectations and most anime fans should be able to call out every single development that takes place. It also completely fails to justify or utilize its ‘isekai’ angle as to date, there’s hardly been any reason the hero needed to be reincarnated from the ‘real world’ to this fantasy world. He could have just been born a super talented kid and that wouldn’t have made a lick of difference to the story up to this point. Adding to the flaws is Wise Man’s inability to maintain a consistent or sombre tone, even when sobriety is sorely needed. For example, Shin rescues his classmates from near death at the hands of a classmate turned demon and while you’d expect them to be horrified, traumatized or stunned by this experience, they instead immediately jump to goofy comedy in the scene itself. This happens so often that it’s hard to take any threats seriously. How are you supposed to when it seems like the characters themselves aren’t bothered to either?
Tom: Wise Man’s Grandchild is constructed to hit beats, to hit those stereotypical moments one might expect in an Isekai/Fantasy tale but do little with them. A smarter series might dabble with Shin attending Magic School, only for him to grow out of it quickly, turning his attendance to the school into one big goof or subversive plot line. But Wise Man’s Grandchild is earnest and Shin attends Magic School despite the fact that there’s not a single thing he could ever learn there, seeing as he’s already so overpowered that even his adoptive, genius level wizard parents can’t keep up with him. Things exist to exist in Wise Man’s Grandchild, like the overwhelming number of Shin’s classmates. You’ll be forgiven for forgetting who’s who, as most of these characters don’t do anything except exclaim with shock at Shin’s magical prowess, before we’re introduced to yet another group of students who end up doing the exact same thing. It’s the same with the romance subplot that just sort of happens and pops up whenever the story starts to sag. Shin’s love interest is a girl he saves from harm in the first episode, Sizilien von Klode. The story paints it as if Sizilien and Shin have equal romantic interest, except only when necessary. Nothing about their love feels natural as Shin flits between oblivious disinterest in Sizilien and aggressive jealousy when other suitors attempt to steal her hand. There’s no consistency.
Linny: Shin himself makes for such an unimpressive and insipid hero, often made to act so naive and oblivious to the point of coming off idiotic. The big running gag in the series revolves around how unaware he is of his own power levels, skills and privileged upbringing while his classmates and peers almost go into convulsions of shock and awe everytime they witness his magic abilities or learn about his family and family friends who all happen to be people of extreme skills, power and fame. This happens so often that the gag soon feels not only overdone but makes Shin come off as even more of a clueless dunce who is taking forever to realize his own status. And speaking of Sizilien, earlier in the series, she’s rightfully accused of having actively used her feminine charms to woo Shin into protecting her from an oppressive admirer yet later she’s apparently so innocent and naive that she isn’t even aware that she’s infatuated with Shin. Again, inconsistency rears its head in the series and makes you wonder if the characters all suffer from short term memory loss. If it isn’t obvious by now, Wise Man’s Grandchild is a show I couldn’t seriously recommend to anyone in search of good anime, thanks to its overload of cliches and its inability to maintain consistent tone and characters. Maybe, if you’re someone extremely fond of all things isekai, you might celebrate the series for showcasing every single staple of the genre but for anyone else, it’s a definite skip.
Tom: Wise Man’s Grandchild’s singular saving grace is its art. That first episode paints the series with higher quality animation than most other Spring 2019 anime. But that grace quickly falls away as each episode looks flatter, duller and increasingly lacking in detail than the last. By Episode 6 Wise Man’s Grandchild looks as flat as its writing actually is. The only times the art picks up is when we get a big action sequence, but you can literally count those on one hand across these first six episodes, making them a rarity in an otherwise wholly mediocre experience. Wise Man’s Grandchild isn’t worth your time, even if you’re a huge fan of Isekai. It’s everything wrong with the genre and exists as perhaps the lowest point for the already over saturated Isekai market. Spare yourself the pain and just wait till Summer, when four more Isekai begin their run. I’d bet good money every single one will be significantly more entertaining than this mess of a series.