First Look: Wise Man’s Grandchild

Alternative title: Kenja no Mago
Light Novel Adaptation by Silver Link
Streaming on Funimation


Shin was a salaryman before he was hit by a car and winds up in another world, where he is fathered by a hermit wizard known as Merlin. Shin is also really good at using magic, who knew!

Euri’s verdict: The show is a saddening bore, for we’ve lived it ten times or more

It’s always weird when you find examples of manga and anime that tack isekai status onto their stories deliberately. Like, I get it, they’re popular and people apparently want to watch more of them, but it’s still a hard concept to come to terms with when shows with the word isekai attached to them actively push me, and probably everyone else on this blog, as far away from them as possible. It’s especially noticeable in Wise Man’s Grandchild, because the isekai portion of it last exactly one minute and twenty seconds. It’s a throwaway scene where protag is hit by a car and wakes up as a kid in some generic MMO/fantasy world.

What I will say is that early on, I was actually pretty impressed with it. The relationship between protag and Merlin was interesting, and the show being willing to time skip about the place gave me some hope that the show actually knew what kind of story it wanted to tell. The early fight scene with a bear-thing had its own style too, standing out from the rest of the show. Sure, it was a bit too shounen-tropey when it came to yelling out attack names and such, but it’s admittedly more high-effort than many of the isekai shows I’ve watched in the past.

The problem is, of course, that the isekai segment was completely throwaway. All we needed was a small hook in the fantasy leg of the show – a reason for the isekai scene to matter. It doesn’t, which looks bad in and of itself, as well as sending a pretty grim message, as colons has explained. It might even get there eventually, but it’s a bad tone to set in your first episode. Plus, if the isekai stuff really isn’t touched again, then why even pretend this isn’t just a fantasy show? It got me thinking about Life on Mars, a 13-year-old TV drama about a police detective that is hit by a car and winds up some 30ish years in the past. He doesn’t just accept that and live life like nothing had happened – he actively seeks answers to his bizarre situation while doing the usual TV police drama stuff.

So sure, have your “am I dead?” isekai, but do something meaningful with it. Protag showing up at a magic academy at the end of the episode, along with our only example of the show being skeevy, does not make me believe that this show has anything interesting to say.

colons’ verdict: I watched a good Isekai recently (it was Aikatsu)

Anyway, Wise Man’s Grandchild is a show about how dying will make you happier. Be careful with it.

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