is doing Anime NYC premieres a sizable portion of the winter 2023 season) 2023. The largest of these new shows, it has its own panel, while other premieres are hour-long with two or three shows. Friday’s premiere shows include , , and .
The difference between this series and most different worlds is that there is no real world involved at all. This isn’t someone from our world being transported to a fantasy realm (or the other way around), but following the reincarnation of an exorcist based in a fantasy realm in feudal Japan to another one based on Century Europe. The downside of this somewhat interesting shift in formula is that the show has to spend a lot of time letting you understand the differences between how magic works in these different worlds.
Our protagonist Haruki’s downfall in his original world was being too powerful. As punishment for his hubris, he is reincarnated as Seika Lamprouge, a boy who, unlike his mean brother, has no natural magical abilities. However, just because he wasn’t born with magic doesn’t mean he couldn’t learn how to use it. Presumably, over time, the main character will become more proficient at using magic and regain the powers of his previous life.
The biggest red flag for me with this premiere is Maid Maid. Yes, it’s another alternate world with slavery for some reason. I’m honestly confused that they even included it in this setting; the story could have made more sense since it was just a class-based upstairs-downstairs conflict instead of making the maid a literal property. To its credit, it doesn’t paint slavery as a positive thing, but there are so many ways it could go wrong that I need to be told this is going to turn John Brown into Another World to get me excited. Combine slavery issues with fetish costumes and sexual harassment scenes, and yes, this premiere lost my interest for the rest of the series.
More European fantasy scenes (especially in Victorian England this time) and more young slave girls. This time, however, our protagonist is the enslaved girl herself, and her plight is portrayed in a much more painful light. Wisteria is an orphan forced to beg for a child-abusing priest before being sold to a child-abusing pedophile. Her salvation comes from Malbus, a lion-faced demon that only she can see.
Malbus is without a doubt the funniest part of the show. I knew my furry friends would be enamored with him, and he had a Ryuk-esque charm about the sheer boredom of immortality. The rest of the paranormal didn’t fit very well into the plot of the first episode; a cut shot during a conversation between Wisteria and Malbus and a couple of demon hunters blows off the lizard demon’s head, and honestly, both the clumsiness of the editing and the animation It’s so bad it feels like a joke.
I can see how this story could be interesting with a solid ending hook, but the first episode relies too much on grotesque misery. Given the weak animation and pacing, I’d probably be more likely to pick up the manga rather than continue watching the anime.
Like “The World’s Strongest Exorcist”, it is about a hero who was born in a magical world but has no magical abilities. Relying on his near-perfect test scores, Ray White was inexplicably admitted to a prestigious magic school despite this weakness. Everyone called him “Normal”, not “Muggle” or some other made-up term. in English. It somehow gets more interesting each time, though I’m not sure that’s on purpose.
There’s a lot to this anime though, it’s full of willful humor and silliness, and it’s such a hit that it’s my favorite premiere on the Friday block. Yes, it’s porn magic school bullshit, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not doing anything particularly questionable, and it’s horny and even looks like an equal opportunity (groomed shots and shirtless muscular dudes!).
Ray isn’t a particularly interesting protagonist (you could even say he’s…ordinary). Still, I love how calm and accepting he is compared to all the more colorful characters he’s encountered: the muscle-loving roommate, the awkward half-elf, the pegasus-tailed girl obsessed with being seen as the cutest (probably my favorite based on first impressions). The magic is presented as akin to computer programming, a kind of nerdy stupidity that I can feel. The art is generic, but the animation is solid, even stylish. I probably wouldn’t have paid attention to it when it aired, but I had more fun with this premiere than the other two.