Welcome to Fejite, the home of the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy – the most respected and prestigious institution of its type. Attending Alzano are Sistine Fibel and Rumia Tingel, two of the show’s protagonists. Their school life is happy and fulfilling until one of their teachers goes on an unexpected extended leave and is replaced by Glenn Radars who – at first glance – appears to be a lazy, good-for-nothing fool with no qualifications for the job.
Sistine, being the diligent student she is, quickly comes to hate the new teacher, and this escalate from there… but is he really as incompetent as he seems?
I’m going to open this up by saying that I would almost recommend skipping the first episode. Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor has just about the worst first episode of any show I’ve ever watched. The episode does nothing to make you want to watch more, does nothing to give you any reason to expect better, and does everything to dissuade you from being interested in this. Fortunately, the first episode is the only episode of that awful quality. Once you get past that, you dive into an intricate high fantasy story full of intrigue, magic, character development, and action. Oh, and there’s a lot of fan service. So if that’s a problem, you might want to turn around now.
But if it’s not, the show’s action will certainly keep you entertained. There’s a good mix of brawling and sorcery here to ensure that it never gets stale, and the magic system they use is very creative. There’s an element of personality to each spell, with the ability for the user to adjust their spells as long as they understand the spell well enough to customize it. These subtle variations in spells are used a lot throughout the show, and it makes things really interesting to watch.
While some of the characters are marginalized at a few points for the sake of titillation, overall the characters are well written and have interesting histories, personalities, and their motivations are generally pretty understandable. I particularly enjoyed Rumia’s backstory and the way it impacts everything that happens. She is a great catalyst for events, but has a stronger personality than such characters often have… and her interactions with the rest of the cast show that she is quite insightful, while still retaining a sort of adorable innocence.
Overall, I’m really glad I went back after how bad the first episode was, because the show ended up being truly memorable. There were some very interesting subplots, solid characters, and a fascinating magic system that I hope I get to see more of. You just have to get through that first episode… which is tough, but worth it in the end.