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Kenja no Mago – 04 »« Kenja no Mago – 01

Kenja no Mago – 02, 03

Episode 2

Episode 3

「緊急事態発生!」 (Kinkyuu jitai hassei!)
“Emergency Situation Occurred!”

Well bet you never saw this coming. KnM back for a little coverage? Yupp you’re not seeing things. Frankly I never expected to be back with this show either (at least until season finale time), but I’ll be damned if I cannot help liking the show. A lot. For all its cliché cookie cutter nature there’s something fun at work under the hood in KnM, and it’s something arguably worthy of seeing just how entertaining it winds up being.

Probably the thing appealing to me most about KnM right now is how unabashed and honest it is when it comes to its various tropes. Shin for example may be the overpowered, otherworldly Gary Stu badass we’ve literally come to expect from these shows, yet for all his strength, skill, and flirtatious charm he doesn’t really rub the wrong way. Part of the reason for this of course may be Shin’s roughened edges—i.e. actually taking damage and having to exert himself—but the majority is debatably down to KnM taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to his character. Yeah he’s OP, everyone knows he’s OP, so why not have some fun with the role? After all, who would expect such power to serve as the basis of a freaking school club. It’s this lighthearted approach which arguably keeps KnM from descending to the likes of Mahouka’s Magic Jesus and SAO’s Kirito, where a focus on serious story and built-in idolization leads to the debate and divisiveness plaguing them from day one. There may be some main character fawning occurring in KnM for example, but when you’ve got the prince snickering for successfully dumping fame, fortune, and future paparazzi onto Shin’s shoulders, you know any Gary Stu shenanigans here will remain the pleasant sort.

Part of the strength in this regard as well lies in KnM’s other big selling point: a total lack of harem. Ok, maybe not entirely, but seriously, I think we all know who the inevitable winner of any potential love triangle here will be. Much like with Shin’s character there’s a sly nod on KnM’s part to the usual isekai romantic quandaries, with Maria an obvious love interest against the thoroughly smitten Sicily (yes, that’s her actual name), but thanks to some intelligent arrangement, we’ve more or less skipped the harem battling for some additional cutesy first time love scenes. Yes, I might be a tad excited about it. There’s plenty which could be said about how KnM is going about setting this up—i.e. the whole clothing enchantment scene last week—but as it stands the strategy is a pretty damn good choice when paired against the likes of KnM’s remaining cast, especially our wizard/guru duo and that crafty prince who I swear is starting to impress me via humour the more I see him. Make no mistake, KnM could still easily revert back to the isekai fantasy mean, but as of right now my hopes will remain standing tall.

All we have to figure out now is how well the obvious enemy threat will match up to the entertainment of KnM’s good guy cast.

April 24, 2019 at 9:28 pm
27 comments »
  • April 24, 2019 at 11:10 pmzztop

    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2002%20-%2003.jpg

    There’s an ongoing manga-only spinoff, Kenja no Mago: Extra Story, that focuses on Merlin and Melinda’s exploits in their youth.
    https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=149697

  • April 24, 2019 at 11:28 pmzztop

    Note that most recent isekai anime adaptations are based on isekai webnovels aimed at male readers, with emphasis on using awesome powers to defeat enemies and resolve matters in the vein of JRPGs, amidst grand travels around the fantasy world.

    It’ll be interesting to see what wider viewers will think of shoujo-themed isekai aimed at female readers, which emphasize communication and dialogue with others to resolve their problems in the vein of otome games, amidst ornate parties and elegant dresses. (esp. when the adaptation of My Next Life as a Villianess/Bakarina comes out).

    • April 28, 2019 at 9:30 pmGrandier

      Personally, I prefer the Shoujo style isekai. While both are often horribly narrated, at least Shoujou style seems more willing to put their character in a situation where they’re often depowered and have to use their communication skills to gather intelligence and information to solve the problem. Whereas most Shounen style isekai usually just goes, “I use 3x’s the MP I did previously, which is infinite for me btw, on the spell and made it 300x’s the power output and all my problems went away!”

      I rarely enjoy any Shonen style isekai for more than just a few chapters before I feel like reading a dictionary to regain all the brain cells I lost. I’ve read and enjoyed many Shoujo style isekai novels for dozens (sometime hundreds) of chapters. Ascendance of a Bookworm, Doomed to be Canon Fodder, A Pharmacist’s Dialogue – just to name a few.

  • April 24, 2019 at 11:41 pmAngelus

    Sicily? Shouldn’t that be Cicilie? At least that’s a real name.

    But yes, this show caught me a bit by surprise too. I watched the first episode and decided not to pick it up (yeah, I know, 3 episode rule and all that) on the grounds that the MC was so totally OP it was kind of ridiculous. Then I got a bit bored one evening because I’m watching less from this season than I usually do so I tried the second episode and I realised what they were getting at and how they were subverting the OP trope in a fun way. So it turned from a drop into a firm must watch.

    • April 25, 2019 at 9:06 pmPancakes

      It can be either or, I’ve seen both spellings used for her name so I stuck with the one less likely to piss off spell check :P

  • April 25, 2019 at 1:04 amChris hall

  • April 25, 2019 at 5:40 amFrosty

    The MC is so unabashedly a gary stu yet I can’t be mad because all the other side characters are so fun.

    Also the animation during some parts are genuinely good. Very surprised at that fact.

    • April 25, 2019 at 9:08 pmPancakes

      Oh yeah the animation is a big surprise here, particularly the fight this week. Usually we’d get some form of glaringly disgusting 3D flames for such a scene, but damn if it wasn’t clean, crisp and fluid. Really gets my hopes up for what’s to come.

  • April 25, 2019 at 5:54 amSandub

    It was a great episode I’m enjoying as it is taking the plot eaperemos that as you continue to advance fence improving.

  • April 25, 2019 at 6:29 amStiocku

    Only I thinks the budget/art, pace, VA, and the plot in this series are just wrong?

    Still watches and like the series overall but the standards I’m used to are more higher than that in nearly every aspect xD

  • April 25, 2019 at 8:07 amKeep Refrigerated

    I’m surprised how much I got sucked into this, too. I was expecting three episodes at tops and into the trash bin it goes. The one thing I’m concerned about is the heaviness they’re trying to inject into the story especially at the end of episode three. I know they’ve been hinting at this from the beginning, but to go where they did actually surprised me a bit. I don’t think it’s a good fit with the lighter side of poking fun at isekai tropes, which is the part I’m enjoying. However, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and see where they take it for an episode or two more. I’m just not optimistic about the final result.

    • April 25, 2019 at 11:22 amAex

      Biggest problem with the series in general is it suffers from mood whiplash. The manga isn’t any better.

      • April 25, 2019 at 9:12 pmPancakes

        I’ve heard plenty about what’s to come in the manga so this is my main concern as well, but so long as the anime can stick with the lighthearted approach and work the more serious aspects around it (much like Slime managed) then there’s no reason to doubt things too much. This one has arguably deserved benefit of the doubt so far.

  • April 25, 2019 at 8:07 amcrs8232

    Is this blog dying? It doesn’t seem to have the crowd of followers as it used to have.

    • April 25, 2019 at 9:34 amGreed

      I was wondering the same thing.
      Thoughts- people are just too busy with real life issues. I mostly visit here to see what new anime had popped up and had recently finished when seeing the “end” tag.

    • April 25, 2019 at 9:16 pmPancakes

      I wouldn’t say dying as much as anime blogging in general is declining. We’re in the era of instant videos, and when you’re offering up reading versus audio and moving pictures it can be hard to stay on top. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon though, all of us like rambling on shows too much to give this job up, and quite a few commenters still appreciate the effort it seems :P

  • April 25, 2019 at 9:32 amGreed

    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    While most anime show abusive dads, or noble dads that blindly spoil their kids to do whatever they want, it is nice to see a good change of pace when a dad properly punishes his son.

    • April 25, 2019 at 9:18 pmPancakes

      I got a great chuckle out of that scene, not often you see anime parents willing to rightfully lay down the law in the face of arrogant recalcitrance, even if only for a minor character. Really hope the show keeps offering up similar stuff going forward.

  • April 25, 2019 at 9:55 amMachene

    Hello guys! So, I’ve been to Random for a long time, but I think I’m just writing a comment about some anime right now. This is because, finally, came out one that is worth talking about! In my opinion, Kenja in the Mage is the best series that has been released in a long time. After much dramatic history and full of “passive relationships,” this is a work Show Spoiler ▼

    In my opinion, A WONDERFUL! Kkk Show Spoiler ▼

    I know this because I’ve been following the manga since the first episode of the anime came out, because I found some very interesting photos on google about Shin and Sicily. For those who want to know… Show Spoiler ▼

    And look how few manga chapters have been released so far. I’m already in love, so imagine how it’s going to be from now on! I even sympathized with the sad story of the villain’s life, you see! Lol

  • April 25, 2019 at 10:08 amWorldwidedepp

    I dunno. Right now my Deja-Vu feelings gets bit to bit stronger.. Perhaps it is the “twins” chars that look the same from other shows.. Well i can not blame them

  • April 25, 2019 at 12:06 pmtheirs

    Doesn’t really feel like an Isekai. Also liked how they treated Shin’s OP-ness, mostly for fun, and when it really mattered it didn’t get him what he wants. It gives the potential for growth. Really shows his upbringing. Apparently, Merlin is more Lina Inverese than a wise wizard.

    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2002%20-%2033.jpg
    Took a liking of Aug too. If the rest of his family is slight similar to his dad, I can see why he enjoys getting his first normal cousin. Gets to delegate tedious stuff to him too.

    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2003%20-%2003.jpg
    I think Maria’s reactions to the pair are spot on.

    With six boy and six girls there’s a lot of potential for other pairings. If it stays light, I think it’ll be rather enjoyable.

  • April 25, 2019 at 7:39 pmyodad

    Not tryna be that guy but the whole op mc wish fulfillment isekai fantasy trend without character growth or hardships that’s popular these days is p awful.

    op mc with “cheat” (in this case is his knowledge of science helped him to be op but somehow he can’t remember human interactions and common sense or something so he can just conveniently be “cool”) Everyone lets him act that way cus hes strong

    Falls in love with cute girl on sight and will do everything he can for her cause she’s cute while not even caring about anyone else.

    Then there’s the peanut gallery that he calls his “friends”, but they are just there for gag purposes and to admire how great he is.

    ..Yeah you bet his ass he wouldn’t do what he did to the dude if it was a girl that was turning into that thing.

    Do people rly enjoy what feels like a fantasy that 13 yr olds would have when bullied? Answers yes I guess because this almost has rating of a 8 on MAL…

    • April 25, 2019 at 9:26 pmPancakes

      Oh yeah you’re not wrong, but that’s what arguably makes me enjoy KnM so much. This show at heart knows exactly what it is, it never tries distracting from it or being something more, it just plays to everything we expect from this genre in an entertaining manner. Pretty much the approach Slime had to its story, just with a little more humour and less overt RPG mechanics. Obviously won’t be for everyone of course (being generic and cookie cutter), but it’s the sort of chill, laid back show I like as a weekly breather every so often.

      • April 28, 2019 at 8:15 pmyodad

        Yeah the humor or no rpg mechanics or whatnot is fine, I didn’t have much of a problem with slime even though people that have called that show trashed used the same point of it being wish-fulfillment isekais, so I guess it was the reoccurring “virgin fantasy” formula used nowadays in isekai shows that was irking me.

        (me so awesome me have cheat power, me flex and do anything for girl, girl love me)

        With that said, I’ve liked shows that ran this formula before so maybe I just started to get tired of it.

  • April 26, 2019 at 11:22 amhjerry2000

    Yeah, let’s be honest. This series is garbage, pure and simple. There’s not a shred of originality or creativity anywhere in this series. This thing makes Death March and Slime look like works of Shakespeare.
    Now, having said that, and maybe it’s just the incredibly lackluster offerings this season, but somehow I find myself watching this every week. Again, it’s not as “good” as Death March, but like that series, I can watch this and not have to invest myself in it even slightly since there’s nothing to it. It’s great for unwinding. Sometimes, as an anime fan, maybe I want garbage.
    Again, maybe in a better season with more quality offerings, I would just ignore this thing, and wouldn’t have the time, but as a time waster, I’m at least still “following” it now. Although, I could also drop this thing at any moment and wouldn’t be at any loss for it.

  • April 27, 2019 at 1:00 amTegual

    Having just read the novels i gotta say this adaptation is already feeling super rushed and it is only 3 episodes in. But it isn’t like it wasn’t expected and it isn’t as bad as it could have been. It will be interesting to see how far we get.

  • April 28, 2019 at 5:03 pmArsene

    For a generic iseakai, 5his is surprisingly decent. Not sure what to think about it having better animation than OPM, though,

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