Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor is an anime I only watched because I usually enjoy watching the dynamic of a teacher and his/her class, if the characters have any sort of personality that is.
The entire first episode is spend establishing the mysterious but good-for-nothing teacher Glenn Radars and him arrogantly screwing up at every turn. The overachieving girl in the class, I think her name was Sistine but we’ll just call her the Tsundere, obviously doesn’t like that and challenges Glenn to a duel, which she wins. Basically the entire first episode is spend establishing Glenn as a non-talented and lazy person who can’t admit defeat. I’m going a bit ahead of myself and say that the first episode wasn’t well written or very entertaining, because Glenn changes character starting from episode 2 and his ultra-lazy attitude never shows up again once he starts teaching and proves to be a very knowledgeable when it comes to magic. Oh also, this is another magic high-school anime and as many others in this genre, the world surrounding the school is much darker than the series makes you believe. I won’t go too deep into the world because, just like with many other series, exploring that is part of the fun.
Anyway, after Glenn finally gets to start teaching and showing his actual personality, the series picks up the pace and gives some intrigue to the entire plot… if only the rest of the cast would be interesting. Glenn Radars and his former comrades/enemies are pretty much the only engaging characters in the entire show. It’s a problem if we have one good character and two walking cliches who wear… questionable school uniforms. I already mentioned Tsundere but there’s also Rumia, the damsel in distress who gets kidnapped in almost every episode (I’m not even joking). Admittedly, her background is interesting but when it comes to her interacting with others then the perfect word to describe it is flat but perhaps that’s why the author gave her bigger breasts to compensate for her lack of usefulness.
Does that mean that all the characters are bad? No, the components for good character chemistry are all there but the only character that makes and saves this show is Glenn Radars, which is good because he is the protagonist but bad because I don’t care about anyone else and those I care about get next to no screen time.
There are other issues with the story, especially the final episode which has a number of really good plot twists but it suffers from a lack of foreshadowing and Glenn’s fundamental character development ultimately means nothing, which could have easily been fixed by him wearing his uniform in all episodes prior to the finale (which would make this moment awesome, but it’s just shallow the way it is). Rumia getting kidnapped gets old quickly and Tsundere never does anything to move beyond her stereotype. Is it a bad story? No, but what it direly needed was more thought of future events, more thoughts of the impact of scenes and especially original characters. It could have been much more but it will go down as yet just another magic high-school anime, which is unfortunate.
Is the rest of the series equal to the quality of the story? More or less. It looks above average and the sound is very good too, but the music is bland. There is nothing more to really say about it, nothing is off-putting and there shouldn’t be any issues of watching it.
Should you watch Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor? If you’re in the mood for exploring a new world with magic high-schools then you might as well just watch this. If you expect something new or if you’re looking for something great then you might want to look somewhere else. It’s not a bad anime, it’s not great either but it should be an enjoyable ride as long as you don’t think about what this series could have been.