* Almost certainly spoilers here. This is a rant. Reader beware. *
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t like writing negative posts. Rather than a review for Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja, or The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest, this is more of a rant. Brace yourselves.
To be blunt, there wasn’t much I can applaud the series for. I had read a few volumes of the manga and had the same impression, actually, so I guess I can be happy that my initial judgment was accurate? But the rest was just… ugh. It’s too bad, since the premise is actually kind of interesting.
I’d classify Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja as a power fantasy, given the overpowered main character. The problem is that power fantasies only work in certain contexts. I find it best when it’s either done with a comedic take (such as One Punch Man) or the conflict in the plot can’t necessarily be solved with just might, where punching it harder doesn’t fix the issue. Stories where the hero is trying to hide his power fit it pretty well also. The problem here is that this series does none of the above.
So, What Was the Issue?
Mathias (or Matty) was super powerful, as was Iris, but that wasn’t the main issue. I could live with the way Matty solved every issue with ease. What really bothered me was how his presence influenced the rest of the cast.
Lurie and Alma, as well as all the other mages, picked up what he taught them pretty much instantly. Chantless spell casting was learned with no effort. Lurie and Alma get strong enough to fight a demon within a few episodes. A powerful protagonist is fine, but it dilutes the power fantasy pretty badly when it takes other characters no effort to catch up (or, somewhat).
Let’s also add in the fact that everything Matty says is basically accepted immediately. All of their concepts of strong versus weak crests is thrown out the window. The entire kingdom basically follows his lead from like the second episode. What even is this?
With no effort put in by any character, with stakes that don’t seem to matter, the power fantasy falls apart and leaves you with a lackluster story. It doesn’t even have the benefit of interesting characters. They all feel flat, with nothing to make you actually care about any of them. Except that glutton, Iris. She did have a few funny moments, though not enough to really carry the series.
I’ll wrap it up here, since I’m not a fan of negative posts. Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja felt like a letdown, opportunities wasted by poor pacing and lack of depth. Knowing what I do now, I’d probably have put this series under the honorable mentions in my list of anticipated anime. Oh well. They’re not all winners, I guess.
I can’t even give it credit for being hilarious, or for having good a cute romance. Just everything felt dull. I suspect this will end up being a series I never go out of my way to recommend, unfortunately.
Do you agree with my thoughts on this? Am I just straight up wrong because I overlooked something? Let me know down in the comments. Catch you in the next one.