First Impression: The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World

You’ve never met a young man quite like Ray White. Open, honest, and polite to a fault, he’s talented and handsome, too. The only drawback? Ray is an “ordinary,” the first non-noble to attend the Arnold Academy of Sorcery. On his first day there, Ray meets his fair share of arrogant elites, but also students from noble families who take kindly to him. Little do the students know that there’s something even more unordinary about Ray than his status as a commoner. He is one of the seven grand mages, powerful sorcerers whose magic has saved the world. And he’s now at the academy to live out his best school life.

Yes, this series is ordinary. However…

I loved this opening episode, almost despite myself. It begins with unexpected and enthusiastic energy in a flashback scene where the title character sees his mentor, already missing a limb and eye, devolve into a puddle of blood, before high-energy opening music blasts away. This confident tone carries through the entire episode. It’s almost funny how straightforward and earnest the show is because there’s nothing spectacular here for it to lean on. It only features plot points characteristic of the genre—class conflict and bullying, romantic encounters, the protagonist humbling the proud, etc.—though it does so with charm and good nature. The tone really recalls series meant for younger audiences, like those I enjoyed when I was an adolescent (ex. Digimon Adventure). That’s not to say there isn’t more adult content, including the aforementioned mentioned violence in the opening and fanservice in the ED. Still, the simplicity and directness of the show make it feel as if it’s directed specifically at a younger audience. The series is like a transition anime from childlike fare to more mature works. But even if it’s not mature, even if it’s predictable and unimaginative, the first episode of The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World remains charming and fun. An upgrade from the equally pleasant but less-compelling manga (perhaps more in line with the light novels), it’s worth checking out, whether you’re in the target audience or not.

The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World is streaming on Crunchyroll.

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