Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor

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The Alzano Imperial Magic Academy is located in the southern part of the Alzano Empire,and is among most prominent magic schools in the world, where students can learn the highest forms of magic. All those who strive to learn magic dream of studying at this academy, and its students as well as its teachers are proud to be a part of its 400-year history. Glenn Radars is a new instructor who has suddenly been appointed to teach part-time at this highly respected academy. The previously unheard-of lessons of this man known as a good-for-nothing bastard are about to begin.

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Sistine Fibel is a character that stood out to me straight away. She’s a powerful magic-user for her age, strait-laced and is completely against having such an unmotivated, apathetic teacher such as Glenn Radars at the front of the classroom. She tries to have him removed, but Glenn isn’t exactly putting up a fight about staying in the position. He doesn’t want to be at the Academy any more than Sistine wants him to be. He seems to have been forced into the position by his friend Celica Arfonia, who is already a professor at the Academy.

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When a plot surrounding Sistine’s mild-mannered friend Lumia arises, the reasons for Glenn’s laziness and seemingly chronic boredom comes to light; it’s all down to his past as the infamous assassin known as ‘The Fool” in which he is able to negate any activation of magic within a certain radius around him – including his own. When Sistine realises that, under his lethargic demeanour, Glenn is actually a very talented magician like herself, she begins to warm to him… even if he does still have the tendency to be a complete idiot.

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Though it’s early days, I can already see that Sistine and Glenn make a good team and I enjoy how their characters constantly clash. Sistine is powerful, but naive and Glenn is cocky and streetwise, taking every opportunity to mock his student even when their situation is dire. Glenn is always looking to protect her, even when it looks like he is casually shoving her out of a building. And then there’s Lumia and the mystery surrounding her, which gives Akashic Records a good basis to build upon early on.

The magical aspect in this anime is an interesting take. We are first introduced to it when Sistine challenges Glenn to a duel and we learn more about it during scenes within lessons in the academy. It is essentially conjuring spells through chants, augmenting strength and intention through the manipulation of words. In the third episode, where Glenn goes toe-to-toe with the dark mage Reik, we see how effective this portrayal is and how it amps up tension and increases urgency within battle scenes.

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After every episode we have a very cute, quick-paced chibi sketch to wrap things up, usually used to highlight what’s coming up in the next episode. This anime has also got some catchy opening and ending sequences which, though aren’t exactly the most memorable, really compliment the show.

There’s quite a good mix of magical action battles as well as plenty of time in the supernatural school setting. Glenn has now established a certain relationship with the students in Class 2 and is hoping that they display their skills in a magic tournament against the other classes (especially now that he was baited into betting three months of his salary that they would win without having any idea whether this was at all possible).

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This series does like to do a little bit of fan-service, but does it in a way that doesn’t (thankfully) exceed my tolerance level. It’s mostly focused on Celica, in her scanty costumes, but the female student uniform at the academy is a little questionable, too; particularly when compared to the one that the male students wear. But as long as there are no upskirt shots and dodgy camera angles and nosebleeds are kept to a minimum, I feel I can overlook this in favour of the show’s other merits.

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Anime based on stories from light novels are sometimes a bit touch-and-go, but Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor has made sure that it has hit the ground running and stayed strong through subsequent episodes. Like I said, I don’t like to get too fixated on things like the skimpy uniforms or character behaviour in the first episode – I looked past that and am glad that things with more depth have developed since. I am looking for a similar fast pace until the end of its run and hope that the expanding cast of characters is just as strong as the trio that we have already.