The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic – Episode 1

By: Cy Catwell January 6, 20240 Comments
Usato and Kazuki get caught up in a portal to another world.

What’s it about? High schooler Usato isn’t much of anyone, and definitely feels worse for wear when his umbrella gets stolen. Things seem to turn around when he meets two of his school’s mot popular students in the wake of his misfortune: that is, until he gets pulled into another world.

The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic is another isekai entry in Winter 2024’s very sizable, and honestly impressive, roster thereof. Where does it slot though? Is this the story of a zero going to hero or the tragic tale of just another guy who can’t convince anyone he should be a protagonist?

I don’t know: well, I didn’t until I sat down, watched, and wrote this review. Let’s get into it.

Kazuki, Suzune, and Asato chat while walking home in the rain.

Episode 1 starts off in your everyday high school with Usato as narrator. As a protagonist, he’s very ordinary: black hair, black eyes, run-of-the mill by his own testimony. Yet despite his rather usual looks and behavior, Usato wishes for more: he longs for something bigger in life.

And then his umbrella gets stolen.

This sets up our underdog quite nicely: viewers quickly get the gist that Usato’s life is pretty mundane, especially if his worst luck is having an umbrella stolen. Enter Kazuki, student council pretty boy, and Suzune, student council president and one of the prettiest girls in school. They’re immediately kind to Usato, offering umbrellas and company…that is, until a bell rings out and the trio get yanked from their own reality via magic circle.

Now, it’s up to Usato what his fate will be as a new member of the Llinger Kingdom: will he stand up and fight…or will he crumble and fail to survive?

Our trio gets surrounded by knights as Kazuki expresses his anger.

I’ll fully admit: I really liked this. I like that we get a bit of time in Usato’s homeworld–modern day Japan–before we leave it permanently. It lets his character feel more fully formed. It also helps our trio feel a bit more natural: they feel less slapped together and more deliberate, even if Usato’s transportation to another world is a bit of an accident. It actually makes for a really funny situation, since Usato is so keenly aware of the tropes of the genre. Rather than coming off as sarcastic, Usato being able to focus–with all his knowledge–feels more entertaining. It’s certainly the spice of this premiere.

The animation is pretty okay: it’s average for the most part, and won’t really stick to my mind. But I don’t think you always have to have top of the line, constantly stunning animation: The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic has enough of a hook that it doesn’t need to constantly wow you, though that’s not to say it’s ugly by any means.

Usato looks at Suzune in shock at her excitement about being in another world.

It’s nice to like a premiere even if it’s not necessarily something I’m into. That said, I can easily see adding this onto my watchlist for a bit of levity and a taste of action this season. This premiere has all the nice tidbits that make a show in this genre enjoyable: it’s got genuine comedy, a solid enough premise, and seems to be avoiding the more sexist pitfalls that so many masculine isekai tend to immediately fall into.

In the end, The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic is engaging enough from jump and the premiere leaves viewers on something of a cliffhanger: will Usato be able to develop his healing magic into full-fledge skills, or will this world–and Rose’s unorthodox training methods–result in a boy who never stood a chance? 

I guess I’ll have to watch to find out, which is an easy task: consider me in for at least the next three episodes, if not the full season!

About the Author : Cy Catwell

Cy Catwell is a Queer Blerd journalist and JP-EN translation & localization editor with a passion for idols, citypop, visual novels, and the iyashikei/healing anime genre.

You can follow their work as a professional Blerd at Backlit Pixels, get snapshots of their out of office life on Instagram at @pixelatedrhapsody, and follow them on their Twitter at @pixelatedlenses.

Read more articles from Cy Catwell

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