Monday, 31 August 2015
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - SKY WIZARDS ACADEMY
Wizards + Harem +Man Eating Bugs = ?
By now, you should all know how I feel about harems. If you don’t, allow me to restate it: I don’t like THEM! Every year countless harem shows pop up using the same gimmicks and same character archetypes and hope the audience will forgive the flaws that they do not bother to fix.
However, I have stated before that if a harem can manage to radically shake things up with either a setting or a plot or some other gimmick, I will check it out. Bonus points if there is an actually good story line attached to it. Yes! Some harems do have those. The question is: Is this one of them?
So what lured me to Sky Wizards Academy? Well, the plot sounds a bit like Chrome Shelled Regios meets Attack on Titan. I am also a sucker for magic and floating cities plus there are battles in the air (I am a fan of Infinite Stratos). The story also seems similar to Negima which is another rare harem I enjoy because of the humour.
So Sky Wizards Academy revolves around a male protagonist Kanata Age who is branded a ‘traitor’ and a ‘coward’ by his fellow peers because after a big fight against the antagonists – Demon Bugs – he withdrew from taking part in missions despite being an ace in battle. The reason for his withdrawal isn’t made clear in either the first or second episode, but it is an element which I liked and hope will become more important as the series continues. Naturally almost every person in the academy hates his guts, except for his male friend who seems to support his decision. The story begins with our hero being summoned to the headmistress’ office and told that he is to mentor a trio of girls who each have some of the worst scores in the school.
"This will be a three-way battle to decide who gets the most screen time with the MP. Ready. Set. Fight!"
We are then introduced to his future harem. We have the fiery redhead Misora Whitale, an obvious Shana-clone who is voiced by Tia Ballad (one of my favs!), Lecty Eisenach who is the shy and timid/apologetic one with zero self-confidence voiced by Megan Shipman, a newcomer but someone who sounds awesome and Rico Flamel, a narcissistic purple haired girl who thinks of herself as a goddess in human form. While I've heard Megan and Tia before, I can't say I'm familiar with Dawn M. Bennett (Rico), but I don't have any complaints about her talents. All three characters happen to run into our hero who is casually on his way, resulting in each having a particular encounter with him and labeling him a pervert. Note, as per all harems, none of these encounters is the hero’s fault, save maybe the second encounter. I mean, who washes their pants outside in public?
After being introduced to their new teacher, the girls react with hostility...skip over harem nonsense...before we are shown their first training session: A game of sky tag. The ‘team’ quickly falls apart as they have no concept of teamwork. I didn't think they'd be so lackluster that they'd fail at what is quite an easy game to win if you have the numbers advantage, but hey - these girls need lots of help.
"As Queen of the Windom, I summon my Sky Wizards to defend my kingdom." - Obscure 90s reference you probably don't remember.
This series reminds me a lot of World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman, but without the whole past life incest thing which immediately put me off and forced me to drop the series. I can’t say any of the ideas in SWA are new, but surprisingly enough, I enjoyed both episodes. Maybe it’s because it’s been forever since I actually watched a harem. I dropped Absolute Duo and Aria almost immediately and Unbreakable Machine Doll actually had a good plot (when they used it), but I don’t really count that one.
Regardless, I think I’ll stick around for Sky Wizards Academy, if only to discover if our hero’s motivations for withdrawing are genuinely selfish or if there is something more sinister behind his reasoning.
Rating this first impression: 7/10. Fun enough for a lazy day of anime watching, but a bit predictable.