Glenn Radars is a lazy mage but, he’s being put to work as substitute teacher at Alzano Imperial Magic Academy. His lackadaisical attitude clashes with the expectations of his students, most especially short-tempered Sistine Fibel. Fortunately, her friend Rumia Tingel is there to help soothe things over. There’s more to this apathetic mage than meets the eye, though. He’s incredibly talented, and he’ll need every bit of his skill to fend off attacks from the dark forces hidden within the empire.
Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor gets off to a rocky start. It very much wants viewers to know that Glenn is a bastard. Students from his class mark him as one, without even meeting him. It’s a bit much and, it feels awkward and forced. It doesn’t help matters that his behavior is more of indifference than anything else, making the claims of him being a bastard over the top.
Sistine Fibel is his opposite in this story. She’s an upper-class girl who takes magic very seriously, and can’t help but be upset by Glenn’s attitude. Of course, her feelings towards him change when he finally begins to hit his stride as her teacher. He also comes to her rescue* when the school is under attack. Basically, she’s a cookie cutter Tsundere. Nothing more, nothing less.
*It’s important to note that there is a scene in episode two, that for all intents and purposes, contains sexual assault. If this is something that you find disturbing, you might want to stay away.
Rumia Tingel is a meek character who mainly serves as a peacekeeper between Sistine and Glenn. She does have some special magical abilities that every part of the empire’s underworld wants to get a hold of. Shocker! The surprising part is that there isn’t a deep dive of her ability, just glossing over it. A missed opportunity on this front, and it isn’t the only one.
The world the story takes place can hook in viewers from the get go. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and the production studio took great care in making it an interesting place. However, there isn’t enough of it shown as things remain mostly in and around the school itself. There’s also a floating castle in the sky that’s never explored. This would’ve made for an amazing setting capable of injecting some more life into this anime.
The story doesn’t do any better a job than the characters. It’s haphazard, and devolves into a series of attempts to kidnap or kill Rumia by the baddies. With these attempts being foiled by Glenn. The ending isn’t satisfying, with some random bad guy from Glenn’s past looking to kill him for some reason or another. The fight ends without any concrete conclusion while the evil organization that is the focus throughout the series missing in action.
This is a solid release on the video front. It’s 1080p, with the picture looking sharp and clean. A lot of the nicer artwork shines through. There is a little bit of color banding present, although it’s nothing too distracting. Other than the banding there aren’t any other pressing issues present.
There are two options on these discs, Japanese in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Both have excellent audio quality. On the voice acting front, the Japanese cast just feels a bit more on point with their performances. However, if you only listen to dubs it’s not a complete miss.
This release has a little more than the usual bare bones offerings. It includes the following:
- Web Previews
- Promo Videos
- Textless Opening and Closing
- Trailers (other Funimation properties)
Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor stumbles out of the gates, pulls a near recovery, and then falls flat on its face. Its characters can’t push past their molds even when the setting feels like it might let them fly. The story doesn’t do it any favors either, being lackluster from beginning to end.