Kenja no Mago Ep. 3: Shin’s first victim

I feel Maria’s pain.

— So let’s get the unimportant stuff out of the way. In this week’s episode, we are introduced to more of Shin’s classmates, but do they really matter? Sicily already looks to be his chosen waifu. August is his BFF. Everyone else just doesn’t matter.

— Since this is pretty much just another high school, the students have to join a club. Shin then gets roped into creating one from scratch. It is fittingly named The Ultimate Magic Study Group. Yep, it sounds just as creative as the anime itself.

— The problem with this anime’s narrative is that it’s so utterly straightforward. Other stories will build, build, and build until you reach an awe-inspiring climax. Sure, there will be some excitements along the way, but a good storyteller will layer the plot elements carefully. A good writer keeps their audience tantalized and engaged until it all comes together. Not so with Kenja no Mago. If plot point A is introduced, you see the immediate payoff in the very next or almost the very next scene. Case in point, the king and his men discuss how demonoids are increasing in number, but that’s not the kicker. The kicker is that this increase might be artificially induced! Dun dun dun!

— What do we see next? We see Kurt slowly turning into a demon as he argues with his father. This is followed by his classmates talking about how he was totally never like this! It was only after he met a certain suspicious-looking fellow that Kurt became so weird! Wait, are you saying that this man is turning Kurt into a demon?! *shocked Pikachu meme*

— Like dude, could you look more generically JRPG evil? Can’t see his eyes. Check. Long white hair like Sephiroth. Check. Weird name that is almost an anagram for “scrotum.” Check. Well, maybe not that last one.

— So right on cue, Mr. Scrotum shows up to finish the job: turn Kurt into a full-fledged demon. To be fair, maybe Kurt’s father overreacted a little. Yeah, trying to throw his rank around is a dick move, but who the hell ties their kid up and locks them in a dark room?

— In the very next scene, August suggests that Shin no longer has to escort Sicily around anymore because there’s no need! Kurt is under house arrest!

— Immediately afterwards, he is proven wrong. Like I said, there’s literally no build up to everything. Plot point gets introduced. Plot point gets resolved.

— So Shin ends up having to battle the demonized Kurt. But like with the bear, becoming a demon doesn’t look cool or anything. You just get a purple aura and maybe stretch your neck out a bit. I mean, c’mon, couldn’t the author think of at least something to make this seem cool?

— Kurt still has a bit of his wits about him, so Shin initially hesitates. He wants to see if there’s a way to cure the arrogant noble. But when Kurt threatens to blow up the entire school, our hero pulls out some gleaming sword (like a lightsaber) and lops his foe’s head off.

— At this point, I thought that maybe his classmates might be a bit fearful of him. After all, he just murdered someone who used to be their classmate. But nah. Then I thought maybe the adults might not understand. I thought Shin might get in trouble.

— But no, they also want to hug his nuts as badly as his classmates do. So far, so easy.

— Still, it was kinda easy for Shin to subdue demonized Kurt, but you can imagine how an army of demons might be too much trouble for our hero. The problem is that none of his peers are even near his power level. They’re not even close. It even sounds like 99% of the adults in this kingdom are nowhere near his level. So in a better story, we might see something akin to how Superman is certainly the strongest being on the planet, but even he can’t save everybody. But so far, Kenja no Mago has been pretty lame and uninteresting, so I can’t imagine the future conflict being anything but flat and uninspired.

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