Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wizard Barristers Review

Wizard Barristers Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

It should come to no one's surprise that I have a love for YA science fiction. Divergent, The 5th Wave, Proxy, and the Shatter Me trilogy are examples of some of my favorite dystopian books from the past two years. 

However, me and science fiction in anime had yet to meet. I was confused on where to start, and with other shows like Steins Gate popping up, I had to think within the lines. However, this one caught my attention in a video of the overall winter 2014 season.

This show looked to provide something interesting, and something engaging. That, and with Yasuomi Umetsu's name slapped on there, I was interested to watch one of his works.

Wizard Barristers is an example of a under-rated show that provides great entertainment to kill. It had a interesting story, likable characters, great animation, and some shocking plot twists. However, it isn't always perfect.

Let's first talk about the story:


In 2018, humans, along with magic users (aka wizards) live peacefully together in Tokyo. Police still exist in this futuristic world to protect society, but instead of being tried by regular law, wizards (who are also given the nicknames wuds) are tried by the law under a different system. This system is called Magic Prohibition Law.

The wuds are defended by a group known as wizard barristers, which the person on trial must do so in the Court of Magic. Though soon, a new barrister is coming to the help of others.

Enter Cecil Sudo, a half-Japanese and half-Canadian 17 year old who besides being a prodigy by acing the bar exam at 15, is the youngest barrister ever. she does have a reason for becoming one though, as she wants to get her mother out of death row. Pretty soon, strange events unravel in Tokyo, and the awakening of Cecil's magic potential will commence, Thus, the group Macal will take note, and try to use her to summon a powerful demon from time's past. What will happen as these strange events unfold? Can Cecil save the day with her magic powers?

The story for this anime is actually very unique, and would work really well for a science fiction novel. The trials of each accused wizard who took the stand were all very interesting and each of them had a mix of innocent and guilty. Although some of the culprits didn't have trials, and were caught in some other unique way. The 4th episode is a perfect example of this, as we are given two twins with one is in jail for the slaying of 15th wuds, This episode is perhaps one of the most intense in the series, and kept me on my seat.

However, mainly one main element soils it down a little. As my one of my favorite Goodreads review likes to call it, "deu ex f**king machina." Or simply a deu ex machina. This is when something convenient comes out of nowhere to help out a character in a situation.  At some points, where Cecil is stuck in a situation where she might likely will die, or get new information about Macal, she awakens a new magic ability, or the person who has information gets killed by Macal.

Umm, okay?

Sometimes, this can get awfully handy. But at some points, it may leave you surprised, and not in a good way.

Other than that, the story is very unique ,and can get complex if it needs too.


All of the characters in this series, especially all of the main, each have good qualities in them and it's incredibly hard to dislike any of them. Of course, each of them have some major spoilers in the plot, so I can't talk about them all.

Let's first start off with Cecil herself:

A lot of people complain about Cecil's braids in her character design. I'm fine with it, and considering that she doesn't wear them all the time, it shouldn't be a big deal.

Cecil is one of the new people who have joined the wizard barristers. She is also the youngest to do so, as mentioned earlier. Her courtroom outfit, or as she likes to call her battle outfit, consists of mainly white, with other loud colors splashed in and a miniskirt. this gathers the attention of the wizard court judge, who makes note of this special attire.

The main reason why Cecil joined the wizard barristers is so that she could find a way for her mom to get out of death row, as she is accused of killing someone with magic, even though she did it for self-defense. Her determination is very believable, and it's interesting to see someone fight for someone that intensely.

There's more I could go into on this whole case, but spoilers abound, so......

She also has a frog familiar named Nana Genie. She has verbal tick, ending with bon at the end of sentences, and constantly making perverted remarks.

Cecil is an actual decent protagonist. and isn't as bad as some of those awful protagonists some readers catch in books, mainly in the romance genre. She may be a little innocent, but she does have at least some charm that isn't completely fake.

Now onto some of the other barristers, who at least aren't all like this at the office:

Because it seems sometimes with series, we either get a villain or a main character that's just annoying, and might be useless. At least not this show.

I'm not going to talk about everyone, considering some of them aren't that memorable.

Let's first go over Natsuna:

Natsuna is also a new barrister at the Butterfly Law Office. Her powers mainly consist of earth elements.

At first, Natsuna shows resentment toward Cecil due to her feeling that the other barristers are too tolerant towards her. However, when she a Cecil travel to Canada so that Cecil can see her father again, Cecil tells Natsuna the reason why she became a wizard barrister in the first place. Natsuna then gains more respect for her, even supporting her on some things that she didn't before.

So, at least that's clear, since I really didn't want a character who hated the main character, and his or her opinion didn't change.

Now onto Mitsuhisa:

I think the most surprising thing about Mitsuhisa's character is that he actually was a prosecutor in the Court of Magic, but had to resign once his wizard powers awakened. The girlfriend of his most famous case reappears in episode 3 to be tried herself.

His main powers consist of water. And beyond that, he's pretty much the generic silent character, except to the fact that he's older. :P

My personal favorite out of everyone is Moyo, because she actually plays a part in the story. Although it's a big spoiler, so I'm not going to reveal it. And Tsunomi is perhaps one of the nicer characters in the show, but she doesn't really have enough backstory developed, which doesn't make her as interesting.

My favorite personality wise though is Koromo:

Koromo is man crazy, and often wishes that she could have a boyfriend. She also happens to make sexual jokes, a lot.

Her powers mainly consist divination, and she often predicts the future by looking at tarot cards.

Koromo is perhaps a good example of some comic relief that shows sometimes miss. She is a pretty good character mainly for her comedy, and I think could have benefited from a back-story.

Other characters include the two main heads of the Butterfly Law Office, the oldest out of the wizard barristers who has a cool way of winning his cases, two members of a rival law firm, two cops from the Metropolitan Police Department (Where one manages to play a big part in the show's story), the three familiars, the head of the Court of Magic, the main villain of the series, and Cecil's mother.


The animation for this series was done by the studio Arms. And if anyone knows Arms, then you know they mainly animate shows with a lot of fanservice. They're most known for Ikki Tousen, (I dropped Great Guardians after 8 episodes because the story was getting nowhere. And too many boobs. The OVA was good though) Queen's Blade, (*shudders*) and Elfen Lied. (*hides behind corner*)

What I do like about Arms is despite all of the fanservice majority of there shows have, some things do make up for it. This show doesn't have as much fanservice as some of their previous works. Like in almost Umetsu's other directional projects, he once again designs the characters. It was kind of obvious that Cecil was potentially made to look like Sawa. Because based on first looks, she looks exactly like her, which is a slight problem. At least the other characters have a bit of variety, though some are given the same eye design.

But one character design is used more than once. First it was used for one of the twins in the 4th episode, while the second time it was used for someone from Cecil's past in a younger body. And this got me SO confused, until I finally got it cleared.

So once again, I don't have any serious problems with the animation.


The score for this series was done by the group MOKA*, who has also helped with the scores of Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, and Hagure Yūsha no Esutetika, two other shows that Arms animated.

I like the show's dramatic pieces the most, because I think they really set the tone of intense moments in the courtroom, and battles. The lighthearted pieces are good as well, and are mainly used in the office, or at Cecil's apartment.

Both opening and ending for this series were really good, and had my expectations high for watching the next episode. Lia, who you might know her voice from the openings of Sword Art Online and Angel Beats, once again has amazing vocals. and Rui Tanabe does extremely well for her first anime ending.

Highlights of the show include Rui Tanabe, Kei Shindou, Ayana Taketatsu, Rumi Okubo, Ayumi Tsunematsu, Wataru Takagi, Junichi Suwabe, Daisuke Ono, Katsuyuki Konishi, Marina Inoue (:3), Norio Wakamoto, and Iemasa Kayumi as the judge himself. 


Overall, this is a pretty good science fiction series. I really could connect with the main character, the story was very cool (minus all of the convenient plot twists), and I found myself relating to this series more than I should have.

If your looking for a interesting SF feel, this series would be up your alley. However, if your looking for a interesting story-line with lots of mind-f**ks and twists you don't see coming, you might need to keep looking. Not that this series has any serious plot twists however.

Score: 9/10


Original story.

Some great characters.

Interesting plot twists.

Great animation.


Some plot twists only for convenience.

Not all characters are developed.

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