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Wise Mans Grand Child: The Complete Series UK Anime DVD Review

11 min read
Wise Man’s Grandchild is a surprising show which takes many of the clichéd tropes you get about isekai series but manages to stay above many of them

A typical clichéd isekai series… which has just enough little surprises, differences, and likeability to make it a surprisingly charming offering.

What They Say:
A young man dies in a car accident and is reborn in a magical new world. The old, yet wise Merlin finds the boy, names him Shin, raises him from infancy, and teaches him combat and powerful magic along the way. 15 years later, Shin is ready to travel the globe on his own, but Merlin forgot to teach him something major common sense!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio has a 5.1 release in English and a 2.0 in Japanese for the series– I watched the first disc in English and the second disc in Japanese to compare, despite not saying 5.1 the Japanese release was high quality to the point there was no adjustment to the volume, there were no other issues regarding sound quality, echoing, synching with subtitles, etc – the quality is high overall.

Video:
Originally airing in 2019 (so one of the most recent releases that has made it to the UK in quick time) the video is set in 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio via NTSC transfer to PAL format – with DVD releases nowadays the effect definitely seems more grainier compared to HD and with me doing a ton of Blu-ray reviews recently this is a good way to remind you how the times have changed. That said, the animation was good overall, and despite the use of CGI during a number of the magic sequences, it isn’t horrendously noticeable compared to other series I’ve reviewed in the past so that’s fine, and considering how bright the animation is overall it certainly isn’t as distracting – the show mixes from bright and bubbly to dark and desperate, giving it a good colour palette ranging on the mood.

Packaging:
There was no packing for this test release however the special editions will have collector’s packing. (Blu-Ray only)

Menu:
The menu on both discs pretty basic – both discs have the same set image of most of the main cast (Shin, Cecily, Maria, August, Merlin, Melida and the villain Schtrom in the background) with a similar menu selection of Play All, Set Up (audio and subtitles) and Episodes (no extras). The menus and images are unremarkable and standard, menu is quick and does its job with no glitches and can quickly return back to the main menu when watching the series, just uninspiring.

Extras:
There are no extras for this release.

Content:
At the moment almost every other series I’m reviewing or watching is an Issekei series, .a.k.a. lead character is reincarnated as someone else into another world and has to adapt to said world. The series usually take two routes – either the lead is hopeless lost or out of their depth when they arrive and has to adapt (Re:Zero, Ascendence of a Bookworm) or is comically overpowered (Overlord, Tanya: Saga Of Evil).

This one is the latter.

Now, this series is very clichéd in terms of the overpowered hero and with the cast he is part of, it seems more standard than say Overlord. However, there are a few things that actually make it stand apart compared to most of the series and it gives it just enough edge that it makes it unique, fun and I dare say, a bit of a guilty pleasure because I should be fed up of these type of series.

However, mainly thanks to its very likable male protagonist (and his later equally adorkable girlfriend) I found myself laughing and smiling throughout this series, especially as it actually even gets an interesting villain as well.

We start with the typical opening of any Issekei series – our lead was a standard joe, in this case a salaryman, who then accidentally gets killed (in a car accident) – we don’t even know what his original name is. However, he gets reincarnated in another world, as a baby….and in the arms of the most legendary magician of this world, time and age in Merlin Wolford. He adopts him as his grandchild and over the years teaches him magic alongside Melinda, his kind of adopted grandmother and others who also teach him hunting and fighting skills. However, with his real world knowledge he adapts a lot of what he learns in his magic to the point unlike every fantasy trope and character in this show he doesn’t need to shout a silly attack name or such, seemingly surpassing even Merlin in that way. Come 16 years old, and he’s going to be sent off to magic school, as the wise man’s grandchild as long as his immense power won’t be exploited for the military.

Just one problem.

Shin has NO common sense.

Throughout the years of his new life, he hasn’t gone out to buy anything, interact with anyone so no real world or social skills. Merlin wasn’t exactly good at that sort of thing so now he is out in the world on his own…and it is just pure joy seeing this overpowered nuke of a young man…be absolutely shy and adorable not knowing how to deal with shopping, meeting a cute girl…yet still because of his lineage manages to make friends and go through life…albeit in his unique way.

So he meets his first two friends after he saves them from a couple of drunken thugs (even commenting how clichéd the encounter is – almost like he’s self-aware) – we have Maria, a tough no-nonsense young lady with a constant smile…and then we have Sicily, who is utterly adorable and from moment one, Shin and her are immediately attracted to each other. Yes, whilst the love at first sight cliché is there, what is unique is that unlike other shows which tend to follow a harem like route, this show gives us the couple from minute one and when more people join Shin’s circle of friends, it is pretty even with guys and girls combined with some other side couples involved so it’s actually referring for an isekai show to go basically ‘yeah, there’s a lot of cute girls in here but Shin is definitely going with this one from minute one…but we’ll play it out because their interactions are adorable.’

So one first day of magic school, Shin immediately saved Sicily from a rather arrogant jerk named Kurt, and it is clear that Shin is in a league of his own with his magic. However, his nature gains him other friends, namely August (or Aug as Shin calls him), as Aug is the prince of the country, yet because Shin talks to him without caring for his title, he grows to be as close as cousins as they themselves say. Soon his skill and influence make him new friends and even make a school club called the Ultimate Magic Research Society, as he begins to see if he can make his new friends learn magic similar to what he can. However, Kurt isn’t happy and after he gets grounded by his father when he learns of him abusing his status, he gets a visit from his old teacher, a man named Oliver Schtom…

…shortly after Kurt fights Shin and it seems like he has gained more power – what is known as a demonoid, which are things that Shin himself has faced many times with his grandfather, usually demonized animals caused by evil magic. However, Kurt seems to have knowledge and reasoning, usually demonized creatures are very zombie like with no mind bar to kill. Regardless, Shin is still way too strong and whilst sad he is forced to kill a human for the first time, demonized or no. However this new demonoid means there is a nationwide look out for what is going and whilst the promise of Shin not being used for military may still be in action, Shin decides to train the society with his own skills (able to upgrade their uniforms to a higher level than the academy can as well as teach them his ways of magic) as well as getting some help from Merlin and Melida (which makes most of the cast happy as the two are seen as utter legends)…all the way also being shy and adorable around Sicily….

So they have a training camp of sorts (with all the other members getting their moments to showcase their personality which is pretty impressive for a short show – we have August’s childhood friends Thor and Julius, the perky but looks like a much younger girl Alice, the over excitable ‘unbridled magical girl’ Lynn, the big breasted Yuri, the other couple of the show Mark and Olivia, and the flirtatious but still serious in training Tony, we also get Aug’s fiancé Elizabeth and his little sister May join them too) which gets them to meet their heroes, realise Shin’s way of magic (improving basic magic for example with barriers makes them far better than expected) and in between that in a surprise, Shin and Sicily actually do confess to each other and become a couple (with some hilarious moments)…you just want to wrap these two in a warm hug considering how cute they are…

…however amidst the cuteness there is an actual deep underbelly of plot here. Remember that teacher I mentioned? Well turns out he’s behind a huge increase of demonoids. Schtrom does reveal himself when he is tracked down to be the one behind Kurt’s demonization, and eventually has a fight with Shin…however whilst Shin’s power surprises him, he manages to escape. We later actually see his back-story which is surprisingly tragic – a former member of a royal family with a pregnant wife, the higher ups didn’t like him because he was always trying to make things better for the common people. So after a bit of slander and trickery, the common people burned his house down with his wife. Schtrom, incensed, basically went ‘no more humans’ and turned demon and basically denounced all humanity if this is what they are capable of. It makes him relatable especially in this day and age though doesn’t make him forgivable, so a complex villain who also isn’t evil towards his minions and such gives Shin a good foil to work against.

It eventually leads to the newly dubbed ‘Ultimate Magicians’ of Shin’s group to face off against a horde of demonoids Schtom has created (though not without managing to taint the egos of some overzealous swordsmen and teaching them the value of teamwork…that and showcase how overpowered they are in comparison ^^) – with a tough fight against Schtom’s second in command Miria, it sets up for a cliff-hanger and definitely a second season with things like Shin and Sicily’s engagement, Schtom’s future plans and Aug making a declaration of what needs to be done about the demonoid increase…

I’ve definitely overdosed on isekai series for the last few months, both for reviews and in general (granted, two of them are Ascendance of a Bookworm and My Life As A Villainess, two of the best I have found in this genre) and the premise does get a bit old, but fortunately, Wise Man actually have a few things which make it stand out a little bit more outside the usual premise.

First of all, the harem as it was is gender balanced and is more of a true companions group with Shin and the ultimate magicians, not to mention that the male couple is not only very obvious from minute one (with Maria a shipper for the two almost instantly with August not far behind). Secondly, the lead is very different to your usual overpowered lead in these shows, because not only does his lack of common sense endear him to you but the fact he teaches others to be almost as powerful means that whilst you could compare it to Overlord, they have to learn to get that strong. Thirdly, there is in depth to many of the side cast – in one episode when Sicily meets Melida, she admits to her that she was using Shin’s kindness to try and get stronger but Melida knew this and wanted to test her to see if she was worthy for her teachings and Shin’s help (which she passed). And finally, the show has a rise of evil being created rather than being just there, meaning the cast and the kingdom has to prepare for it (the ending hints at Aug’s plans suggesting a second season is definitely in the wings or to get you to read the light novels) giving it a bit more in depth.

Of course, the cast really help stand out too. Shin and his family (Merlin and Melida) are all odd balls in their own way, but it’s what makes them likable. Merlin and Melida’s history of being together was not a surprise but despite being overpowered themselves they are very down to earth, funny, humble…and in Merlin’s case also guilty of not having much common sense. It is passed onto Shin who maybe one of the most likeable leads of recent anime because of said nature, he is simplistic despite being overpowered, but that reflects in his kind nature when he is helping out his new friends. Fortunately, none of them take advantage of this as they don’t want Shin to be used for military purposes and instead he creates a group with his friends to help out to go through a loophole. And god I want to wrap him and Sicily up in as many hugs as possible…they just ooze sugar sweetness that you may get diabetes watching them….

Combined with a very interesting villain (who at times you find it hard to say he’s a villain when you learn his back-story) and a varied cast that get their moments to shine (Lynn being my favourite), this is one for the lookout for more episodes watch, because I legit want to see more – it’s funny, it’s got a quirky but likable cast, and despite the cliché storm it has being a typical isekai series, it has enough charm that makes it less forgettable than many others.

In Summary:
Wise Man’s Grandchild is a surprising show which takes many of the clichéd tropes you get about isekai series but manages to stay above many of them by having a very charming cast, an interesting world, an intriguing villain, an adorable lead couple, some excellent battle sequences and a cliff-hanger wanting to be seen in another season. It does seem very generic in terms of the story, but everything else about it makes it a much more plausible show to add to your repertoire, especially if you do like these types of series.

Features:
Clover Clips: Special Edition

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A

Released By: Manga Entertainment UK
Release Date: May 14th, 2020
MSRP: £18.99
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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