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Kenja no Mago First Impressions (1-5)
If any show is going to prove how much of a sucker I am for entertaining facial expressions, it’s going to be this one. I’m not going to lie. I started watching for them. The series as a whole is a lot to wade through, but I still think it’s been fun to watch. It follows Shin Wolford, a reincarnated Japanese man who is raised by the legendary sage of his new world.
The running joke of the series is that Shin grows up in a largely sheltered environment, which leaves him with absolutely no common sense. Effectively, that makes him a typical isekai protagonist (who must learn about the new world around him) with the training of a native-born inhabitant. It’s not a terrible combination, but it certainly raises some questions.
Shin’s advantages as a reincarnated human aren’t explicitly called out, but he seems to benefit from a general understanding of science from his old world. It allows him to better understand how the magic of his new world is manipulating the laws of physics. Honestly, I think that’s not a bad way to do it, but I feel like that aspect of him gets glossed over a lot.
In fact, I’d almost argue that this effect is pretty common for this series. It might just be a product of being a light novel adaptation, but I definitely feel like events in the story are dragging the audience along. Things just kind of happen, and it’s almost like we’re expected to just accept them and move on.
That being said, I’ve enjoyed Shin’s interactions with his classmates so far. He doesn’t really lord over them, and he’s quick to share his understanding of magic when he can. It remains to be seen how they’ll develop as a result, but I don’t get the sense that Shin is explicitly hiding things from them.
As a result, I don’t get as much of a sense that people are keeping secrets just to up the drama in the series. I got a similar feeling when the series addressed Schtrom. It doesn’t make a big mystery of whether he’s dead. Shin concludes that he’s alive and justifies it.
I get the feeling that the series might try to dodge this, but I’d be interested to see how Shin handles a war. As long as he doesn’t end up being an unstoppable war machine, it could give his friends room to shine.