** Warning: Definitely going to have spoilers in this one. Prepare for lots of ranting. **
I had some time waiting for new episodes from this season’s anime and was trying to find something else to watch. While thumbing through the anime recommended to me, I came across Isekai Cheat Majutsushi (or Isekai Cheat Magician. Yeah, not a lot to translate there) and figured, “Why not?” Had no plans to write about it, just something to watch. But, oh boy, was I in for a travesty of an anime.
Isekai Cheat Majutsushi follows Taichi and his childhood friend Rin as they are pulled into another world filled with monsters and magic. Pretty generic start, which isn’t a problem. The series makes no point in hiding it’s an isekai series (I mean, it’s in the title…), so it at least tells you what to expect up front. The issue comes after that.
While Rin is powerful beyond almost anyone in this world, Taichi is the real cheat here, having the power to conquer entire countries single-handedly. A power fantasy, which is cool. Hell, I enjoy a ton of those, if my recommended isekai manga post is any indication. Furthermore, it again spells it out in the title. Okay, so, if the generic opening and overpowered protagonists aren’t the issues, what is?
First problem we come across is the shallow characters. Taichi is your standard, overly brave protagonist, guided by pure morality. There’s several instances of enemies threatening his friends and loved ones, and the only time does he actually leverage his power against them is in a blind rage (I guess you could say magically induced?). I can understand the idea of not wanting to hurt people, as I feel most of us nowadays share that stance if you grow up in a relatively peaceful place. The issue is that this new world doesn’t hold the same morality, and if grave threats aren’t enough to challenge his beliefs, I suspect it never will, leading to a very dry character.
Then there’s his tendency to form bonds way too quickly. Twin girls summon an army of monsters, intending to destroy the city? Meh, I’ll protect them when their plan goes awry and the monsters turn on their masters. Assassin that tried to kill him? Meh, she’s good now, and is a dear friend, to the point that he unleashes his full power when she’s killed. Oh, and that’s after knowing her for what feels like a very short time. *facepalm* Doesn’t help that even these enemies get attached to him seemingly at the drop of a hat…
Rin is actually significantly better than Taichi, largely due to his protective nature. She wants to be seen as his equal on the battlefield, not someone he needs to protect. Actually gives her a bit of depth, not wanting to just be the damsel in distress. Unfortunately, several times, she still falls into that category, basically just being a catalyst for Taichi’s berserker mode.
As for the rest of the cast, they basically just fall into categories as a way to move the plot along. Lemia, the mentor character, does teacher things and serves to just illustrate the power difference between the world and the protagonists. Fellow adventurer Muller serves a similar mentor role for Rin, and another catalyst for Taichi. I could go on, but it’s largely the same.
I wasn’t a fan of the magic system either. While not inherently bad, I just wasn’t a fan of most of it. I will credit the idea of magic being largely driven by mental image, giving Rin an edge in the world given her knowledge of physics and chemistry (such as the blue flames she conjured, understanding the difference in heat between different fuel sources).
Taichi’s, however, was left as largely a question mark at the start. It basically gave them free reign to have him break the world’s rules. Again, could be cool, if handled right. Unfortunately, I feel it fell flat. I’m not usually a fan of the summoner idea. Basically, he doesn’t really have anything particularly incredible, it’s all his summoned spirit. It’s a very hands-off approach to his power, and takes away from the power fantasy aspect of a super strong character. All he really has is body strengthening, which makes for very dull fights.
To exacerbate this problem, any fights he’s in feel like a challenge. Normally, this is what you’d expect, but there is a complete lack of tension because of his insane power. It also doesn’t leverage this fact at all, constantly restricting his usage of this strength to make fights FEEL like a real battle. It tries to have both the tension of a typical fight with an overpowered hero, but results in it having neither.
The biggest issue Isekai Cheat Majutsushi suffers from, however, must be it’s pacing. I’d even say it’s the core issue. Given more time to develop the characters and their relationships, Taichi’s reactions to things (such as assassin girl’s death, that one really annoyed me with how little I felt emotionally) would feel more real and warranted. We could get a more in-depth look at the magic system. We could see Rin struggle with her own internal conflict. When you have multiple large-scale battles and each one is handled within like five seconds, it really gets boring.
Overall, this anime felt like it was taking two concepts and just mashing them together, without thinking about how to make them mesh. If you have a generic isekai series with an overpowered protagonist, there needs to be SOMETHING that makes it work together. Either take the comedic approach, where characters are freaking out over something and the protagonist just strolls in and accidentally solves the issue. Or have there be some kind of internal conflict, or something that sheer power can’t settle, like a social or political issue. Now, I will say I haven’t checked out the manga, and this could be a case of a bad adaptation (which happens more than I’d like to see), but I would only recommend this if you want to see the most generic of isekai anime.
Have you seen Isekai Cheat Majutsushi? Do you agree or disagree with my evaluation? Let me know in the comments! Also, I’ll go check out the manga and update the post with a more accurate assessment of the series as a whole. Catch you in the next post!