And you thought your protagonist was overpowered.
What’s the Story?
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before, a Japanese man is hit by a car (seriously, Japan, look at your traffic laws, you’re losing too many citizens to incidents like this!) and is reborn in another world! Found by the old and wise Merlin, this newborn hero is named Shin and raised in the ways of magic and combat. Unfortunately Merlin forgets to teach Shin anything about the outside world, or restraint for that matter, as such, when he turns 15, Shin had very little idea about what is waiting for him, or the fact that his adopted grandfather is a hero of the land! Heading out to see the world, Shin enrols in a magic school where hijinks will naturally ensue, but there are dark forces at work near the schools, humans who have become demons! Not that any of them will present a challenge to Shin, but it’s nice of them to try.
Are you after tense battles, high-stakes drama and characters so deep and rich that you will weep with both envy and sympathy? Well then you’d better look elsewhere ‘cause you ain’t finding that here, not a chance. I kid, of course, actually, no I don’t, I’m completely serious with what I just said, but that’s not a bad thing. Wise Man’s Grandchild is in no way a series that you should take seriously, and the series itself knows that. Oh it has plenty of potential for drama and it raises several interesting question, but wait five seconds and the series will get bored with that and move on to all the characters just being cute and funny with one another, and the series works perfectly fine like that. It’s basically a slice of life for the super powered with occasional flashy light shows whenever a battle takes place.
I don’t want to rag on this series too much because, honestly, that would feel like I was kicking a puppy. This series is adorable. Shin is actually one of the better isekai protagonists I’ve seen in a while, he’s overpowered like you wouldn’t believe, but he’s so sweet and loveable and occasionally stupid. You could make a series just out of his reaction shots and people reacting to him and I’d happily watch that. I like the concept that Shin doesn’t know much about the outside world so he doesn’t quite realise when he’s said or done something completely outlandish and doesn’t quite get why everyone is so shocked. Another point in the win column with regards to Shin, and the series in genera,l is that this series never turns into a harem. Oh there’s certainly the potential for it at the start of the series, with Shin rescuing two girls and all the girls in his class, but Shin only has eyes for Sicily. It’s nice that we only get one romantic relationship to focus on and, yes, it actually does become a relationship, they talk about their feelings and everything! Another point for the win!
It’s little things like that that endear this show to me. Another is that I like how it’s continually brought up that Shin’s immense power and all the god-mode gear that he gears could completely destabilise the power structure of the world as it stands. Nothing is every really done about it, but it’s a nice excuse to explain away why this auto-healing gear isn’t handed out to everyone and we see how much tougher a demonoid becomes when he gets his hands on some of Shin’s gear towards the end of the series, I mean characters almost break a sweat fighting him! And that’s something else as well, Shin isn’t the only overpowered character in the series, sure he’s the most overpowered, but all of his classmates get taught by him and end up with god-level powers themselves compared to everyone else. I do like the fact that the powers get spread around a bit and that means that it doesn’t always have to be Shin leaping in to save the day, against an end boss, sure, but against regular demonoids, which are still meant to be a big threat, the class can handle it by themselves.
Let’s talk about our terrifying villains for a moment, I do wish the series spent more time with them (I believe there’s meant to be a season 2 so I can hold on to some hope for the future at least). Schtrom, our big bad of the series, has a compelling back story and it’s nice to see a villain who has a clear goal and sets out to achieve it, it’s just a shame that, one, we only learn this after he’s accomplished his goal and, two, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Shin. The series just starts to build up towards a bigger confrontation between Shin and Schtrom, especially now that our bad guy needs something to do, but that’s only in the last few episodes and if we don’t get that second season then this was all kind of pointless. The rest of the demonoids basically boil down to thugs who are too powerful for regular troops and it gives the class a chance to show off.
It does make me wonder why the series even needed villains, since they have so little point other than as a looming threat that we know with never actually be a threat. The series is far more interested in just having its cast of characters hang out and banter and those are by far the best moments of the series. Seriously, this should have just stuck to being a slice of life.
In the end, Wise Man’s Granchild, is a harmless series. It’s fluff, but enjoyable fluff, fluff that seeks out to make your day as pleasant as possible. Yes it falls into the majority of the isekai tropes, but there are enough points where it swerves those tropes or presents an interesting enough idea that it endears itself to me. If you’re after action or drama then you’re better off looking elsewhere, but if you’re okay with watching a bunch of overpowered kids goof around and have fun with one another and their powers, then this is a perfectly fine watch.
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.