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Listening to: D.O.B. – Iori Nomizu (Sky Wizards Academy OP)

This review is free of major spoilers, in the interests of being helpful to those who are considering watching the show in question.

“I’ve been assigned to be your instructor, fireteam E601.”

Well, this was a difficult review to write. It took about five tries to get together the motivation to do a write-up for this. If you happen to be wondering “was it really that bad?” allow me to answer you in a word: YES. It was really that bad. But before we get into the whys and hows, I may as well follow my traditional format and give it a bit of outlining.

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Humanity has withdrawn to flying cities to escape the threat of the Devil Beetles overtaking the surface. In order to ensure that these sanctuaries are not also overrun, they train an elite force of Sky Wizards for their defense.

Kanata Age, formerly an adored member of one of the elite fireteams of Sky Wizards, is now reviled as a “traitor.” One of his former comrades arranges for him to receive a teaching job in the Academy as a way to redeem himself. He is assigned to the notoriously unskilled Fireteam E601 as instructor. Unfortunately, he doesn’t exactly make the best first impression.

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If the premise has the potential to be interesting, the characters ruin it completely. Kanata is yet another generic “MC-kun,” showing less than a tenth of Kirito (whom he resembles enough to convince me that he is, in fact, just a cardboard cutout of the SAO protagonist). His “love interest,” if she can be called that, is an archetypical tsundere, and the show seems more concerned with lingering camera shots of her figure than actually giving her a personality.

As for Kanata’s class, there’s a possibility that they could be entertaining characters, if they were ever permitted to be anything other than objects of fanservice. As it is, they spend more time switching between a variety of less-than-adequate outfits and lusting over their instructor–made worse by the fact that they are stated to be fourteen. While I was entertained at times by Rico’s massive ego, it quickly grew annoying, and the lack of any real development didn’t make things much better.

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As for the plot, the less said the better. While the premise could have been interesting, it would have required far better writers than the ones the show had. The premise was a background for a plot about a creepy stalker villain obsessed with MC-kun’s love interest. The plot was an excuse for the usual brand of over-the-top, unnecessary fanservice that you see in bad shonen anime.

Because of the lack of actual character development, none of what happened actually felt earned. E601 went from “incapable of working as a team” to “beating high-ranking fireteams in great offscreen duels” over the space of about one episode, and the abruptness of the transition is so ridiculous that even the characters seem to realize it.

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The animation is frequently clunky, especially during the fight scenes: the explosions look like they were made in a high school project, and during one episode the wizards are inexplicably replaced by animated 3D renders that are extremely jarring compared to the rest of the animation. The only thing that doesn’t seem half-assed is (surprise, surprise) the fanservice scenes.

The one good thing about the show is the music, written by Masakazu Sato. It hits all of the right chords (so to speak). (I make no apologies for the bad pun. Writing this review was enough of a trial.) The score effectively used choral and string sections, which would have enhanced a better show–but, as it happened, only seemed to mildly distract from how awful the show already was.

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About the only final thoughts I have are “why did I waste my time on this?” I guess that’s the risk I take with new series…

CONCLUSION

In order to come to a rating for this anime, I used my nonexistent credentials to teach a master-level class in anime analysis. Somehow this didn’t cause any problems.

Rating: 0.6 out of 5
Ruling: Sky Wizards Academy is a mess, pure and simple. Unoriginal, clunkily animated, and reliant on fanservice to a cringe-worthy extent, it’s not worth wasting your time on.

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