Produced by: Media Factory, AT-X, Kadokawa Pictures Japan, Ultra Super Pictures, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Sony Music Communications
Genre(s): Action, Magic
Episode length: 24 minutes per episode
Synopsis: Sistina attends a magical academy to hone her skills in the magical arts, hoping to solve the mystery of the enigmatic Sky Castle. After the retirement of her favorite teacher, the replacement, Glen, turns out to be a tardy, lazy, and seemingly incompetent bastard of an instructor. How is it that Glen was hand-picked by the best magician in the academy?! – MyAnimeList
Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor is perhaps my favorite new anime of the Spring 2017 season. I didn’t know anything about the series and was unaware of its airing until I saw an interesting gif from the second episode that caught my attention and made me want to start watching the series. And I am glad that I did because the story so far has been an engaging and interesting story that is developing quite nicely, whose pacing is rather appropriate for a series that is only 12 episodes long. With everything that the series is presenting to viewers, and the way it is being presented to the viewer, it makes for an easily enjoyable anime series to follow and love.
The premise for the series is simple: there is a new substitute teacher at the magical academy names Glenn Radars, but he comes across more as an aloof fool and bum rather than a learned practitioner of the magical arts. He’s lazy and unfocused and his students can barely stand him, especially Sistine Fibel, one of the school’s most gifted students. But his personality belies the true power he hides as he soon displays his adeptness and familiarity with magic, showing he is capable of spells far beyond that of other wizards. And that proves useful as soon a plot is uncovered and Glenn uses his abilities to protect Sistine, Rumia, and the other students from dangers they have yet perceived.
As I have stated, I am a huge fan of the story being presented, but the animation for the series is equally as beautiful as the story. The animation is crisp and clean, especially when it concerns the use of magic – the detail that goes into the animation and effects for each spell is amazingly rendered. It’s vibrant and colorful but not to the point of being overly saturated… it’s detailed just enough to convey the effect of the spell but not so much that it seems cartoonish or fake. (I know, it’s an anime series. I know it’s fake but the effect of its visual looks striking beyond that of an anime.) Aside from the magical effects, the look and design of the characters is detailed and clean and made to present some really relatable characters.
My only issue with the series, and it is a minor issue to say the least, is the score and music for the series. It’s not bad, not in the slightest – but I don’t quite feel they fit the series. The anime’s story has a light-hearted feel to it despite the premise presented, but someone forgot to tell the musicians that and the score seems to go all over the place. It’s not a bad score, the music itself is nice and enjoyable, it just doesn’t fit with the series. It would be nice on its own, but it just mixes things up more so when paired with the anime. Again, not a big complaint, I do like the music, but it just doesn’t seem right to me. But it is not distracting enough to take away from the enjoyability of the series at all.
Overall, Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor is a very enjoyable anime series. I have no doubt the series will continue through the season and remain and entertaining series; and I have no reason to believe that at the end of the Spring 2017 anime season it will remain my favorite series. (Yes, even over Attack on Titan Season 2.) Light-hearted, action packed and beautifully animated and presented, this series receives my highest recommendation for the season.