Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil – 02

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As big and bold as the first episode was, Cecil’s job was only half-done: she had to save her client from wrongful prosecution and execution, which meant proving he wasn’t a member of the robbery gang and acted in self-defense. And while Cecil is a very capable, driven young lady, even she can’t acquire that proof on her own.

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It’s a team effort, with a sizable assist by Ageha, who seems quite comfortable bending or breaking a couple laws to get the location of the gang’s hideout. And while she seems troubled by such misconduct, with a life in her hands, Cecil isn’t going to sweat the little things. We also learn that her mom is also on death row, and her ultimate goal is to successfully defend her in a retrial.

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The first episode gave us a brief glimpse of her metal-harvesting diaboloid powers, but this week, with the entire Tokyo waterfront as her battlefield, Cecil conjures a massive mecha that she pilots. You might say: what the heck does a lawyer need with a mecha? Well, breaking it out means the gang responds in kind, and once they have a witness in custody, he is the proof that sets her client free in the eleventh hour.

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Collateral damage and ethical shortcuts aside, Cecil gets the job done, but we like how she has yet to win everyone over in the firm, while also attracting the gaze of shadowy figures in her line of work she’s sure to cross paths with in the future. But for now we’ll bask in her first victory, making her 1-0—undefeated so far!—delivered with a plucky blend of giant-robot fighting and courtroom drama.

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Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil – 01

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It’s too early to tell (Witch Craft Works was also immensely promising in its first two eps) but we may have chosen to watch the wrong magic-themed show this Winter! Wizard Barristers (which we’ll refer to as WizBar for the rest of this review) storms out of the gate with a bold and bodacious opening episode with a little bit of everything. It’s high on style, accompanied by enough substance to hold our interest and leave us eager to watch episode two.

First of all, we must explain why we’re approximately three months late with this review: we weren’t aware of its existence—or at least in its existence as a show we’d want to watch—until it was recently recommended by a friend. We also dove in knowing that Umetsu Tasuomi is an immensely capable director (even when he has to insert hentai in his works) and that scriptwriter Itou Michiko is responsible for a lot of stuff we’ve liked (Working!!, Moretsu Pirates).

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This show also gives us a sneak-peek of Tanabe Rui, who will be voicing a main character in an upcoming Spring series. She attains a nice balance of cuteness, confidence, idealism and intensity as half-Canadian rookie wizard barrister Cecil Sudou. Her introductions at the Butterfly Law Firm serve as our introductions to the eclectic legal staff, whose opinions on Cecil range from admiration to haughtiness.

But as she’s already brought in a client before setting foot in the office (snagging him at the crime scene where he’s arrested), senior partner Ageha Chouno forgives her tardiness and lets her take the case. We’ll admit to being fans of law procedurals from Law & Order to Boston Legal, so it’s great to see the genre represented in anime form, and with a magical twist.

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An important part of enjoying a show is liking the characters it throws at you, and our initial impressions of Cecil are very positive. She’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; an immensely talented legal prodigy still getting accustomed to life as an adult that we can’t help but root for. We also appreciated the show pulling out all the stops from the get-go, featuring a Die Hard film’s worth of action and ‘splosions.

But we’re not under any illusions things will be that intense every episode. Despite that, we’re definitely going to continue watching. While both shows are heavy on the oddly-dressed people, the world of WizBar has a decidedly more mature and serious feel to it than the more Candy Landish-Witch Craft Works, and even minor criminals have a dangerous edge to them. We figure by about the fourth episode, we’ll know if in fact, we watched the wrong magic show.

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