TelevisionTalks: A Wise Man’s Grandchild
Let me start by saying, remember that I do this for you, I do this for you so that you don’t have to watch as many lousy anime. I also do this or me, because they can be silly fun even if they are bad, is A Wise Man’s Grandchild a good anime?
The story starts with a young business man dying, and then being reborn in a fantasy world. There, he is raised as the grandson of Merlin Wolford. He learns about magic but not so much about common sense. When Shin, the grandchild, turns 15, the king of Earlshide recommends that Shin be sent to the magic school there to learn more about magic and maybe something about common sense.
Let me start by saying, this is an anime of two halves. The first half is a pretty traditional anime with an isekai. Shin knows that something is different and he can visualize magic in a different way because of what he knew from being science on Earth. The second half is something completely different. It goes off into an adventure of romance, fan service, and just being poorly written plus a weird storyline for the kingdom of Earlshide being under attack, and okay villains? It’s been a bit since I saw this, mainly because Kristen also wrote something up for Twin Cities Geek and you can see her article here.
I think that the story starts out with a fairly standard idea, they don’t really delve into the fact that he knows stuff from the Earth, and really that thread it kind of thrown away throughout the anime as it becomes less focused on that and more on the team of heroes being built up, some training montages, and fan service. Again, I think I’ll probably beat this part of it to death, they go off and spend time training, doing things that aren’t related to the fact that this team is probably the most powerful group of magic users in the land, more so than then trained adults, and they go off and have a training session because people dying isn’t that big a deal and because they wanted to. It loses the tone of the anime a lot.
The Wise Man’s Grandchild also lacks in character development. Merlin sends Shin to learn because he doesn’t have any common sense. In the end, Shin has maybe a tiny bit more common sense but not much. To put it in something like D&D terms, if Shin has a 6 in Wisdom to start, which is really bad and is a -2 modifier, he is maybe at 8 which is still a -1. He gets by on being able to manipulate magic with his knowledge of science. And the people he’s around don’t get much smarter either or have arcs of their own. This story could have done a lot with Shin learning and becoming a good leader, but that wasn’t needed simply because he’s always more powerful. There are other anime that have used that powerful trope well and they still have to learn, because as Uncle Ben would say, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
So, I’ve mentioned fan service, I’ve mentioned the story, I’ve mentioned the characters, do I recommend this anime. Nope, I don’t think it’s a good anime. If you were to stop half way through you’d have equally as good a story be just fine but nothing special. In terms of isekai there are so many anime out there that are better in the genre. The Devil is a Part-Timer, Overlord, No Game No Life, Sword Art Online, and Restaurant To Another World, and I don’t even love all of those. The Wise Man’s Grandchild is just a so so anime at the start and a below average one at the end. I’d skip it i I were you.