Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai

35thplatoon

Anti-magic Academy is a school dedicated to training witch hunters, who eventually go on to join the Inquisition, which is an organization dedicated to stopping magical crimes of all types, ranging from confiscating illegal charms to stopping development of magical weapons of mass destruction. The academy is divided into platoons who perform jobs under the supervision of the academy to gain points which they need to pass.

Of these the infamous 35th Platoon is nicknamed the “Small Fry Platoon” for being incredibly incompetent at their job. It is led by a man named Kusanagi, who is incredibly competent with a sword and is in love with the sword art to the point he refuses to use any other weapon and is aggressive against those that insult it. Unfortunately for him, swords really aren’t that useful when dealing with magic. There is also Saionji, a girl who’s a pretty decent sniper but gets nervous and makes really dumb mistakes very easily. And lastly there’s Suginami, who is an incredibly competent mechanic and scientist, but is somewhat lazy and often makes ridiculous modifications that end up causing issues. As expected of such a group, they are very low in points.

However, that begins to change when Ootori, who is an Inquisitor prodigy chosen by the sacred sentient weapon Relic Eater Vlad, but was demoted and sent back to the academy for killing a witch unnecessarily and was then put into the 35th Platoon. Soon afterwards, Kusanagi is also chosen by a Relic Eater, specifically Lapis. And then the platoon is also chosen to be a pilot for a program where reformed witches can become inquisitors, with the first entrant being a girl named Nikaidou. Hence, the platoon changes tremendously, and due to the backgrounds of their members is put in a number of situations that forces them to strengthen their bonds and adapt to survive, to which they managed to rise to the challenge.

***

The structure of the plot involves going through an arc for each character which involves delving into their background, them growing as characters, and them strengthening their bonds with the rest of the platoon. While there is obviously carry over from arc to arc, they are also very separate from each other and focus almost entirely on the main character in question. This makes the entire show feel like a set up for a main plot to follow afterwards, which leaves something to be desired but is understandable given the episode constraints and that the show was actually paced incredibly well as a set up. Most of the arcs felt somewhat generic. There’s definitely character growth and development, but they went in pretty predictable directions in terms of what would be expected to flesh out the characters, and hence while they were all pretty good for what they were, there wasn’t that much intensity to them. The exception to that is the last arc, where it was a lot more unexpected in how they would handle the resolution , and while ultimately they chose the cheapest option, they did a good job of justifying it, and that doesn’t change how intense the lead up was, and hence it was a fantastic finale to end on.

In terms of art and animation it was solid though not exceptional. The soundtrack was decent. The OP/ED were OK. I would however like to note that the transitions to the OP/ED were handled incredibly well, for episode 7 in particular. The comedy was also pretty amusing and fitting and kept things lighthearted, though not the focus.

A show that sequentially sets up a set of interesting characters to a strong degree, but doesn’t do much beyond that.

8/10

Also, it seems the novel series is finished and the fan translation for the novels is almost done as well. Woohoo! Definitely looking forward to reading it.

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