First Look: Wizard Barristers

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Anime Original by ARMS
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise

A young genius mage becomes a defense attorney for other mages who find themselves caught up in crimes.

Lifesong’s Verdict: Information Overload

There is a lot I like here, but events jump around too quickly. I’m reminded of Galilei Donna, and unsurprisingly Umetsu directed both series. Galilei Donna was actually a favorite of mine despite all the complaints aimed at it, but even I will admit that pacing was awful and at first glance it seems like Wizard Barristers isn’t going to make any improvements on that formula. Cecil herself is a likeable enough heroine with a Jesus complex. The interesting to note about both Cecil and all the thematic nuances of this first episode is in the way it actually has a fair amount going on. It all seems smart and intentional in retrospect. One thing is sure, it’s not lacking in what you might call substance or ambition, it has both of those in high supply. The problem is that I had to watch the episode three times before I was sure I caught it all. Little nuances in the way this anime victimizes a fat, ugly man for example are not immediately obviously and are important for understanding the promises this story is trying to convey.

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I suspect that many people will find this show far less smart than it actually is and don’t mean that in a demeaning way. Wizard Barristers is entirely at fault for this impression. Galilei Donna did much of the same thing. Normally I would be turned off by a premier like this, but god help us all, it’s for the merits of Galilei Donna that I am planning to stick with this one. This first episode was a great example of show don’t tell done well, but the pacing left much to be desired. Provided the rest of this show doesn’t overload us with too much too quickly we might be in for a treat. I am going to hope for the best even while being fairly confident that I won’t actually get it.

4

Marlin’s Verdict: No Objections Yet

A bit of a busy first episode, but I think it did a good job of getting us accustomed to the world and its magic. It seems kinda weird that the wizards get to sentence their own people, but it’s an intriguing system. I’m a bit disappointed that our MC is just some punk teenager who willingly refuses to dress formal even though shes been hired by a lawfirm. It just seems kind of silly for her to act like that, and her later use of force seemed way too disproportional. Sure, those dudes were attacking you, but did you really need to destroy every public ironwork in the entire area in response?As the show goes on, I hope we get to see more murder mystery plots. I’m a sucker for a good detective show and outside Case Closed anime has never really had good representation in the genre. With the addition of magic, it might be able to spice up the formula and put an interesting spin on it.

3

Zigg’s Verdict: Failure To Convict

On paper this should be one of the best things ever but it’s scuppered by awful execution. The biggest sin here is the absolutely appalling pacing, which gives the story no time to grow naturally or breathe. Instead we cut cut cut from dialogue filled scene to dialogue filled scene. There’s never any chance for tension or intrigue, or to get to know the (way too large) cast. I’m not a big fan of the art either, which pairs big-eyed big-boobed women with more natural looking men and background characters for a bizarre ┬ádivided art style. There’s a thin, obnoxious coat of generic-ness coating everything here, particularly main character Cecil, whou couldn’t be less unique if she tried.

Yet there’s still some interesting stuff to cling onto. The whole concept remains very cool, and a police/law procedural with magic has real potential. The action is neat and I’m intrigued by Cecil’s interactions with the convicted prisoner, who surely has to be her mother based on the physical resemblance. The show needs to sort out its basic storytelling issues fast however, as as it is it’s little more than a bunch of half realised ideas tied together by dodgy art.

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