[Review] The Ancient Magus’ Bride – episode 1

Chise grew up being tossed from relative to relative, always isolated by her ability to see things that others could not. Feeling she can find no value in her own life, she sells it to the highest bidder – and is bought by Elias Ainsworth, a strange, bone-faced man who calls himself a mage. Elias claims he wants to make Chise his apprentice, and for the first time in her life, Chise feels like she might have found a home. But the road to mastering magic is not an easy one, and Chise’s own magically gifted nature may still be its own kind of curse. Chise’s apprenticeship will demand personal strength and an inquisitive heart, for the dangers of the magical world are dark and plentiful.

[Review] Black Clover – episode 1

Asta is a young boy who dreams of becoming the greatest mage in the kingdom. He only has one problem, he can’t use magic. Luckily for Asta, he receives the incredibly rare five-leaf clover grimoire that gives him the power of anti-magic. Even though he can’t use magic, he plans to become the Wizard King. Source: Anime News Network In trying to come up with a pithy way to introduce Black Clover, all I could think was “It sure is a shounen.” And yep. It sure is. That’s not an inherently bad thing, of course, and I wouldn’t call Black Clover “bad” either, exactly. It’s just very rote, is all, full of character types and plot points you’ll recognize if you’ve spent so much as an hour with a Weekly Shonen JUMP title before.

[Review] In Another World with My Smartphone – episode 1

Mochizuki Touya is the unfortunate victim of a bolt of lightning thrown carelessly by God. Because he really wasn’t supposed to die at fifteen, God is willing to cut him a deal – Touya can be reborn, or rather, re-placed, at his present age in a new world in order to continue living. To sweeten things, the world will have magic, which Touya will be able to use, his physical abilities will get a boost, and he can bring any one thing with him. Touya opts to take his smartphone, which God kindly equips with the appropriate maps and translation functions for his new life. And that life looks like it’s going to go pretty well – within moments of awakening, Touya has been paid for his other-world clothes, formed a party with twins Elze and Linze, learned he can use all seven forms of magic, and introduced his new world to ice cream – and this is only the first day. Source: Anime News Network If you’ve been watching anime at all these past five years, you’ve seen this series before. A teenage boy dies and gets sent to a fantasy world. He meets some cute girls around his age and they go adventuring together. There’s a bunch of world-building about Guilds and magic systems. Our protagonist turns out to be Very Special And Talented. Okay, sure, the kid gets to use his smartphone to help people invent ice cream, but beyond that this is a straightforward, by-the-book, boilerplate isekai light novel adaptation. I, uh… kinda liked it?

[Review] Knight’s & Magic – episode 1

A Japanese mecha otaku dies in a car accident and his soul is reincarnated into another world as Ernesti Echevarria. Eru inherits memories and interests from his previous life, and aims to be a pilot of a Silhouette Knight, a large humanoid weapon that really exists in his world. Source: Anime News Network It’s been twenty-four minutes, and I’m still waiting for Knight’s & Magic to do something meaningful with its hook. The credits have rolled, and I am still waiting. I may indeed be waiting forever, because I don’t think I’m going to watch another episode.

[Review] Re:CREATORS – episode 1

Sota Mizushino wants to tell stories as good as the light novels and anime he enjoys so much, like Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier. While watching an episode on his tablet one day, it flickers to show eerie messages like “You cannot escape from here” and “CHANGE BEFORE YOU HAVE TO”. Suddenly, the world around his tablet disintegrates and he finds himself in the situation he has just been watching – the world of Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier, where heroine Selesia is piloting her mecha, Vogelchevalier, to defeat a mysterious stranger attacking her with a barrage of flying swords. Realising Sota is there, Selesia dives across to rescue him. She finds herself in Sota’s bedroom, guard up and confused by Sota’s insistence that she is an anime character. This is my favourite premiere so far, and a serious contender for Anime of the Season (comparing like to like and putting aside the great sequels airing right now). Let’s talk about Selesia first.

[Review] Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor – episode 1

When Sistine and Rumia encounter an odd young man on the way to their prestigious magical school they couldn’t have guessed he would be their new teacher – or that he would be so lacklustre. With no work experience, special skills or even legible handwriting, 19-year-old Glenn Radars seems to have no interest in teaching or his new students. But ambitious Sistine is determined to learn, and after requesting, commanding and threatening to get her new teacher to teach, she eventually challenges him to a duel. I’ve talked about this before, but each time an anime peddles gratuitous sexualisation and other pandering tropes in its premiere episode it goes into minus points, meaning it has to work harder to earn a positive review overall. Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor seems pretty comfortable in the minus points.

[Review] Alice & Zoroku – episode 1

A group of young girls possess a mysterious power known as “Alice’s Dream,” which gives them the ability to turn their thoughts into reality. Detained and experimented upon, these youths are locked away in secret until one of them manages to escape. Her name is Sana—a girl with the power to ignore the very laws of physics. When this willful powerhouse crosses paths with a stubborn old man named Zoroku, his carefully-ordered life will never be the same again. Source: Anime News Network The most important thing to understand about Alice & Zoroku is that it is two different shows, and the success with which it combines the two is debatable.

[Review] Hand Shakers – episode 1

Tazuna understands machines and can fix anything from cars to electronics. Visiting a university professor to fix something as a favour, he finds the professor’s room empty with a mysterious hospital room adjoining his office. Drawn to the hospital room, he finds a girl lying in a bed who wakes up and takes his hand. Her name is Koyori, and if he doesn’t keep hold of her hand she will die – easier said than done when they’re being chased by people attacking them with magical, destructive powers.

[Review] Gabriel DropOut – episode 1

Gabriel is the highest achieving angel in her graduating class, who are descending to earth to learn more about humanity by attending schools as regular students. Gabriel sets up her own apartment and begins school and volunteer work with the best of intentions… until she discovers online gaming, which transforms her into a fully fledged trash character.

[Review] Saga of Tanya the Evil – episode 1

The Empire is a strong nation defending its borders from potential enemies. A force of military mages travels around, destroying invading forces from the surrounding countries. One such force is led by Second Lieutenant Tanya Degurechaff, a fierce leader who looks like a child but is known as “the Devil of the Rhine”.