Wizard Barristers Ep. 8: Sad shoujo memories

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/cry

Episode summary: Cecil and Natsuna finally arrive at their destination, where the latter learns more about Cecil’s childhood from Cecil’s dad. Meanwhile, Diana attacks the rest of Butterfly Law Firm for some reason or other. Then suddenly, Cecil and Natsuna are attacked by a giant, green golem. Eventually, our heroes prevail, but not before the villains are killed before they can reveal anything about the conspirators lurking in the shadows.

Notes:

• The Shark Knight guy with the spiky, blond hair goes, “Perfect timing. We were on an overseas business trip for public relations.” I’ll say. Did every damn wizard barristers law firm decide to visit North America at the same time or what? And to run into Cecil at some indistinct Canadian diner somewhere between Boston and Lake Huron too! Wow, it’s almost as if they are stalking her!

• Look how giant the guys are compared to the girls, though:

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I know Cecil is technically still a child, but what about the other two? The disparity is a tad unbelievable, if you ask me. Much like this fortuitous meeting we’re having right now.

• Are you serious? Cecil suddenly decides that she really, really needs to run to the store to buy some maple syrup. Why? Because “[i]t’d be a shame for [Natsuna] not to try some maple syrup, after coming all the way to Canada.” Yeah okay, if you wanted to leave Natsuna alone with Cecil’s dad so that the two can talk about our heroine, that’s fine, but don’t you guys think you could’ve come up with a better excuse than, “Girl, you totally gotta try real, authentic Canadian maple syrup! I’ll be back in a jiffy!”

• As expected, Cecil’s dad begins to talk about his daughter’s childhood without Natsuna even asking him to. Did you know our poor Mary Sue never had a friend when she was growing up? Naturally, when Natsuna does ask him a question about a topic that the audience would actually be interested in, namely what happened that day that caused Cecil’s mom to be put in jail, Cecil returns home from the store with that bona fide Canadian maple syrup. So y’know, we don’t get to learn anything about that incident.

• Oh well, enough boring character development! Even a show about lawyers needs a beach episode, so bam:

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And bam:

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Lawyers, everybody. Lawyers from Japan.

• Koromo: “Man, the ocean’s cold, and no one’s here!” Really? But I have heard such great things about New England’s fabled beaches. As a former resident of Surf City, USA, I must say I’ve always been quite jealous of the northeastern seaboard and it’s temperate climate.

• Good lord, you could cut yourself on that thing:

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But at least there’s fanservice for everybody, right? Well, not quite. Kamakiri-san stayed behind in Japan, after all. I guess Wizard Barristers has something against lovers of octogenarians. I call discrimination!

• Here’s what puzzles me… neither of Cecil’s parents are willing to tell their daughter what happened on that fateful day from six years ago. Neither of them. Both of them, however, fully realize that Cecil became a wizard barrister just so that she could one day free her mother from jail. Now think about it… how are you going to free your own mother from jail when you don’t even know what happened that day? Cecil can say to herself over and over that she’s going to study hard and do copious amounts of research, but none of it’s going to matter if she doesn’t have a single clue about the case to begin with. And her parents must know this. They must. They can’t be this oblivious, right? So then they must be saying, “Okay, girl, you just obsess over this case for the rest of your life even though there’s no chance in hell you’ll free your mother when you don’t even know what happened.”

• Cecil’s father looks dismayed to learn that his daughter keeps awakening to new powers. I really wish the anime would just stick to the story, because it has the potential to be so interesting. I mean, what’s so dismaying about gaining new powers? Shouldn’t that be awesome for our little Mary Sue? C’mon, don’t hold out on us, Wizard Barristers! But sadly, this is exactly what the anime does. The anime suddenly returns to America where the rest of Butterfly Law Firm are being led into a trap. Well, okay… that might not be so boring. At least I’ll get to see some magical action, right? Nope. Just as the action was about to start, the anime cuts away to Cecil and Natsuna in a row boat. Aaaaaaaaah.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

• Even when you think the characters are going to be normal for just a second — just a teensy, tiny second — the show has to quickly remind us that we’re watching a generic anime full of “anime-isms.” Case in point, Natsuna offers to help Cecil with her mother’s case. Aw, that’s nice. I’m glad this trip has allowed these two to bond, but more importantly, Natsuna now respects her colleague. I’m not even being sarcastic. Natsuna becoming friends with Cecil is a whole lot better than a grown woman bitterly sniping at a 17-year-old girl every chance she gets. But just as soon as I’m about to commend the anime for actually developing its characters, Natsuna stutters, “I’m s-saying that I wouldn’t mind helping out a little! Only when I’m not busy, though! I’m just curious because I’m a wizard barrister, so don’t get any wrong ideas!” Christ, you can’t even have two girls become friends without one of them acting like a generic tsunderekko? Fuck you, anime. Fuck you.

• So I guess the show’s had its fill of character development for now as a giant, green golem suddenly emerges from the lake to attack our heroine. Oh Canada, you card!

• Meanwhile, back in America, Cecil’s fellow Wuds are still battling with the American Wud. Somehow, everyone’s stuck in an unbelievably deep well:

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Obviously, the wizard barristers are not stuck in a well, but it’s not like the animation is doing the action any favors. I mean, just look at it:

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Some quality faces on those girls.

• Remember how in a previous episode, Cecil’s senior colleagues kept telling her that she had to stop relying on her magic all the time? But in the end, the anime concocted a situation in which Cecil had to use her magic in order to save the day? Well, in this week’s episode, Cecil’s dad suddenly orders her to stop using her magic out of nowhere. It doesn’t even make sense for him to do so. Gee, Dad, I’m sort of fighting a giant, green golem here? It kinda wants to kill me? Could you give me a break, you think? In any case, Cecil hesitates at the sound of her father’s voice, so the golem gets an attack off. It’s an attack that ends up destroying Cecil’s childhood home. I get it. Cecil’s magical powers are magical. She should just use them as much as necessary, and the people around her need to stop holding her back.

• Apparently, destroying a girl’s precious memories will make her go SSJ as we see Cecil draw metal from nearby cities. Oh yeah, she just happens to be nowhere near a city. You know what that means! Cecil’s getting even stronger!

• When Cecil manages to defeat the green golem, out pops Kaede! P-p-plot twist! Nah, not really. This was foreshadowed pretty damn hard in last week’s episode, so yeah… You didn’t actually think Chekhov’s hitchhiker would just disappear completely from the story, did you?

• This is where Scooby Doo and the rest of the gang asks the evil villain why she did what she did, and Kaede explains, “I’m sure you’ve already forgotten… But the suspects you recently caught from the robbery gang, No Face… One of them is my father.” So what you’re trying to tell me is that this girl from Japan decided to follow Cecil all the way to America, then knew ahead of time that Cecil would be visiting her father, so as a result, she then placed herself somewhere between Boston and Lake Huron — ’cause y’know, there’s literally only one path between those two locations — in the hopes that Natsuna and Cecil would not only run into her, but would also have it in their hearts to give her a ride. When you put it that way, it sounds pretty plausible to me!

Naturally, someone else is behind Kaede’s actions. Most likely Shizumu, but even so, it doesn’t render any of this any more believable. Yes, I’m sure the mastermind could’ve bought Kaede a ticket to America. Then he or she could’ve predicted that the girl would take the opportunity to visit her father, but there’s still that tiny, little issue of Kaede running into Cecil and Natsuna in the middle of nowhere as the two of them embark on a road trip to Canada. Actually, disregard everything I just said. Obviously, the answer is magic. It’s magic, folks. Let’s just wrap it up and go home.

• Who sent you? Tell us, girl! Who sent you!

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Aw man… lame. Every time someone’s about to say something important, they die! I may as well watch a slice-of-life about a tea club because at least nobody will ever die. But anyway, it turns out that Moyo’s involved somehow. Even though she stayed back in Japan. Does she have the power to zip across the entire planet in an instant to murder both Kaede and Diana? Jesus Christ, what is going on with this story anymore?

• Natsuna: “…’there’s no doubt that it has something to do with you, Cecil…” No shit, Sherlock. Of course it has something to do with Cecil. That’s what the now-dead girl just fucking said a minute ago: “He said Cecil is a terrible wizard barrister. I was told if I could draw your dormant magic out, my father’s sentence would be reduced. I don’t know the details… But apparently, it has to do with the incident six years ago.” You can’t spell it out any clearer than that.

• Shizumu: “Shall we kill Cecil? Again?” This story, man… this story. When I want it to progress, it refuses to. When it does, it throws the whackiest thing it can think of at the audience, e.g. Cecil’s been killed before.

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9 thoughts on “Wizard Barristers Ep. 8: Sad shoujo memories”

  1. HAhaha!! Are they SERIOUS with this?! SCREW this show, man! haha! I can’t even deal. I can’t even begin to deal…

    First they take away the danger for the protagonist by making her a Mary Sue
    Then, despite the TITLE of the show, they drop barrister work entirely
    Then forced drama and conflicting messages in an inane non-plot
    Then contrivances upon contrivances and ruined character “growth” at all ends
    Then, as Logic is lying quivering in a pool of its own blood, Plot doubles over to once again hemorrhage nonsense from the gaping holes in its chest.

    Oh, okay. Cecil has been dead before. Maybe. …Okay, and? That is somewhat surprising, I’ll admit, but it doesn’t fucking mean anything without a frame of context or reference. What is the plot, really? No, it’s not “Cecil wants to rescue her mother from her charges” since not even the PROTAGONIST actually knows any details about the very thing that spurs them on!
    It’s also not “Secret villains need her to be magic buff so she slowly gets magic buff” because that’s just a part of an untold goal from an untold antagonistic force, not an actual plot. So, what is the plot? Better yet, what’s the POINT?

    This story gives nothing but vague hints to things that are also vague. It’s lazy storytelling at best, and garbage story telling at worst. Thing is, I think it’s doing this on purpose. Let me explain:

    This reminds me of something I heard about Neon Genesis Evangelion’s writing process. I never watched the whole series, and suffice to say I’m not currently a fan for a few reasons, but from what I hear the director/creator of the show basically evolved the plot and show around the audience’s speculation. He said something like “Working on Eva is like doing a Live Concert”. It would seem Eva was pretty much being at least partially written as it went along. Not shocking since that’s how shows usually work, but I mean that the vagueness of the show was done with a purpose to involve the audience more in the story than just having them be passive viewers.
    I personally don’t see it, but again, I’ve never watched the whole thing. Just End of Eva, which was basically as much of a deterrent for me as finding out Casca gets raped retarded for all of Berserk. Yeah, not touching the stuff any time soon.

    -BUT, my point is that THIS shit show seems to be trying to do the same thing Eva did with it’s vagueness. Maybe somewhere out there there’s writers for the show who are taking notes down on fan speculation and mulling it over. Difference is, Eva supposedly had an over-arcing plot (it certainly had over-arcing themes) from the get-go, and the inclusion of audience speculation was made to enhance what was already there.

    I don’t think this show HAS anything there. I genuinely think they are making this shit up as they go along, and maybe hoping others will write it for them. I mean, how else can we explain all this vagueness and waste of time nonsense 8 episodes in? Aside from them being hacks, that is.
    As you closed with: “This story, man… this story. When I want it to progress, it refuses to. When it does, it throws the whackiest thing it can think of at the audience”

    Anyway, this review had me chuckling a lot, mate. Your phrasing is something else, especially “Chekov’s hitchhiker”. haha
    I also like how they think a man with an eight pack of abs is sexy (it’s anime, so I’d expect so) and really enjoyed the animation dips. That one frame you have up there of those “quality faces” has a girl with literally three dots for a face. haha! Magnificent

    1. He said something like “Working on Eva is like doing a Live Concert”. It would seem Eva was pretty much being at least partially written as it went along.

      I just don’t know how much I buy this. Scripts often go through many drafts and revisions before being finalized. If you also have to factor in audience speculation, you’re delaying the process by quite a significant amount.

      I mean, how else can we explain all this vagueness and waste of time nonsense 8 episodes in?

      They just honestly thing this is good storytelling. These people love cliffhangers and mystery. I think it’s really just as simple as that.

      1. “These people love cliffhangers and mystery. I think it’s really just as simple as that.”
        Way to take an axe to my oak tree of a post. haha!

        But yeah, I suppose you’re right. It’s likely just shoddy writing being crafted in a delusion of “This is so great, I can’t wait to see how my hyping up this plot reveal will pay off!”.

        “I just don’t know how much I buy this. Scripts often go through many drafts and revisions before being finalized. If you also have to factor in audience speculation, you’re delaying the process by quite a significant amount. ”
        Yeah, I think the person I got it from just got that wrong, actually. Here’s the actual quote:
        “The development of Evangelion gives me the feeling of a ‘Live’ concert. Whatever the story or the development of the characters, I made them without a plan. During the production, whether listening to various opinions or analysing my own state of mind, I kept questioning myself. I got the concepts from this personal stocktaking [self-assessment]. At first I had intended to make a simple work featuring robots.“ – Hideaki Anno
        http://www.gwern.net/docs/eva/1996-newtype-anno-interview

        I think he means he incorporated the opinions from people around him during the writing process and not that he wrote the entire thing as it went along utilizing the fans’ theories.

        On a side note: Whenever I talk to someone about why Eva is their favorite show they usually drift, intentionally or otherwise, into a long monologue about the behind-the-scenes info. I wonder if the show itself is actually all that great, or if its conception is just so interesting that it imbues the show with more purpose and entertainment for them.

        I wonder what the behind-the-scenes info on Wizard Barristers would be in comparison.
        “Yeah, I thought of a cool plot twist and built the show around that, and then when I realized ‘Oh shit, if we reveal this the show will be an episode away from conclusion’ I decided to dick around for the majority of the series until I felt it was the right time to drop the plot bomb. I stuffed characters and vague hints all throughout that would keep it interesting. …I hoped.” – Creator of Magic Lawyers

        1. I wonder if the show itself is actually all that great,

          Whether anyone likes it or not, it had a huge influence on anime in general. Few shows can say that.

  2. It’s really late for me, but it’s great to see you make a comeback, E Minor.
    You might not remember me, but I was a faithful reader of your blog.
    I remember commenting on most posts about anime I have watched myself.
    I love it your negativity.
    I love it when you find their mistakes on purposes.
    It’s same case as how I am looking forward for movie magazines revealing mistakes in popular movies.
    You pointed out all stupidities very well, even those I didn’t notice.
    Thank you very much for being active again.

    I visited to MAL to make sure, that this anime is only one season.
    Yet we barely learn anything by episode 8.
    WTF.
    I expect them to give me ass pull explanation if things keep going at this rate. For example: Cecil isn’t their real daughter. They probably picked her off some alien spaceship. She is either a saiyan or kryptonian.

    1. You might not remember me, but I was a faithful reader of your blog.

      I remember. Every time I check the stats page, your name used to always top the “Top Recent Commenters” section (it’s based on the last 1000 comments) even though you haven’t commented since… April of last year, I think? That’s saying something. IonCaron has since taken your spot, however. But yeah, good to see you around again.

      I expect them to give me ass pull explanation if things keep going at this rate. For example: Cecil isn’t their real daughter.

      But she and her dad have the same color hair! In anime world, that’s as good as any DNA test! She’s just like really really special, and she’s so smart, and she has all the powers in the world, and she’s got big breasts too, and she’s only 17, and and and and and…

      Basically, Cecil’s like that annoying kid you’d never wanted to play with. If you say, “Nuh-uh times infinity,” she’d go “Nuh-uh times infinity+1 no take backs I win!”

  3. The only one true mystery in this show is the maple syrup; they were right in the middle of nowhere, Mary Sue doesn’t have a driver license and I want to believe she wasn’t gone long. Or else, how much awkward must it be for Natsuna to be left alone with someone who is basically a stranger and who must info dump to somehow create ~feeling~ and ~drama~? Moreso, Mary Sue came back exactly before anything important could be said. I’m sure the cabin log is right in a maple grove and she tapped some tree to got the precious syrup.

    (Seriously, as a Canadian, the most interesting thing in this show in this arc is to search cliché and be amazed at the ”logic”)

    1. Maybe she gained a new power: the ability to tap maple syrup from the trees around her. Then she got another magical power: conjuring up farm animals to slaughter them for food. Then she grew a farm. Then she harvested it. It all makes sense now.

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