Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor is as average as magic school anime can get, but it still manages to be quite entertaining.
Akashic Records is exactly what it looks like from its premise and first episode, but also not quite. Despite many brushing it off as “just another cliche magic school” anime, the truth is that Akashic Records also has some redeeming qualities.
In this spoiler-free review, we take a look at the best and the worst of Akashic Records. After that, whether it’s worth your time is up to you!
- Glenn-sensei. Glenn-sensei is the main attraction of Akashic Records. The series begins when he joins Alzano Imperial Magic Academy as a teacher, but his students don’t like him very much. Why? Because he’s the exact opposite of what you’d expect from a teacher, let alone the main character. Glenn might look cool, but he’s lazy and indifferent to magic. Sure, he has his badass moments and backstory, but most of the time Glenn-sensei is like that one character that doesn’t quite seem to belong in the show.
- The magic system. Unlike series with supernatural elements, magic is barely ever explained in anime. “It’s just magic,” and you have to accept it. Akashic Records puts a spin on that by adding interesting elements like chanting manipulation. It also doesn’t include the typical magical battles or tournaments. Even when it does add a school competition, it’s not about students facing each other, but about individual skills. The preservation of magic is a key plot point, with some characters romanticizing it, while others disregard its practice.
- Fan service. From the girls’ uniform to a particular scene from Episode 1, it’s clear that the series is made for the male gaze. It doesn’t reach the level of ecchi, but there’s plenty of fanservice, including yuribait. It’s sad because the series doesn’t need it, and if anything the fanservice diminishes the overall seriousness of the story.
- Cliche characters and tropes. The biggest flaw of the series and all the anime of its genre. It’s got everything from the classic tsundere to damsels in distress or the seemingly emotionless character. Without giving too much away, the plot can get quite repetitive and predictable after a while.
So is Akashic Records worth watching? Depends on what you’re looking for. The series has many flaws, but it also has some elements that make it worth sticking with. At the end of the day, it comes down to how much you’re willing to tolerate for the enjoyment it might give you. If you like magical anime, charming MCs, and are just looking for some mindless fun, then Akashic Records is your best choice from this season. However, if you prefer a more intricate and unique plot, then this series has little to offer besides a guilty pleasure.