|A series with wasted potential and a very sloppy finale.||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
Well, this was wasted potential. On paper, Wizard Barristers had a potentially interesting premise with its law office perspective on a world where wizards face discrimination and get wrongly prosecuted for crimes due to a flawed and sometimes prejudiced judicial system. The show starts off as an episodic look at cases such as this where the Butterfly Law Office try to defend their clients on cases and the series exploring a number of the flaws that the judicial system in Wizard Barristers has when it comes to defending wizards, a major aspect of this shown through Cecil's efforts to try proving her mother's innocence for a crime she was framed for. The second half of the series hints to a secret wizard cult desiring Cecil for mysterious reasons and the Butterfly Law Office getting entangled in things as they come to realize that events with Cecil and her family are connected to the cult's activities.
It is the second half of the series that leads to much of the show's downfall. While it does allow Cecil's character to be more fleshed out with her connections to the mentioned cult, this comes at the cost of the world exploration that the first half had with exploring human and wizard tensions through the judicial system of Wizard Barristers. The reasons that the cult have for needing Cecil are rather cliched (world domination for wizards -yawn-) and build up to a rather underwhelming and rushed conclusion that felt like somewhat of a cop-out when it looks like things are about to get worst for the good guys, yet conveniences in plot prevent things from getting too dire.
The second half developments aren't the only things that cripple Wizard Barristers. Beyond Cecil, most of the other characters get limited to no fleshing out of their characters that leave you little reason to care for any connection they have to Cecil. Also for a show that is supposed to seem serious with its premise, the comedy and random ecchi bits peppered in at points within the show felt really out of place for this series, notably scenes where Nanagenie attempts perverted acts on Cecil and a hostage episode where Cecil and one of her pals dress up in corny sentai hero costumes. Then again considering Studio Arms and Yasuomi Umetsu are involved in making this series, I should have expected these bits to be included with the series in some form.
About the only genuine praise I can give this series is for its visual presentation. It's easily among the best animated titles this season with highly detailed scenery shots and character designs, plus having plenty of fluid movement and nicely-rendered CG animation for the show's elaborate action sequences with wizards squaring off against one another with their magic, especially when they create giant robots (this I'm not kidding about) for a clash. Only sore point with visuals was the rather limited animation seen in a decent chunk of the televised airing of episode 11, though I imagine this will be improved on for the title's video release.
Praises aside for visuals though, Wizards Barristers had wasted potential as a series thanks to its focus shift in later episodes, out-of-place ecchi and comedy bits, underdeveloped characters and a sloppy resolution when everything is settled. This is certainly among one of the year's underwhelming titles that I've seen thus far.