The aged Hero-King Inglis lies on his deathbed surrounded by white-clad devotees. He has lived a good life—as in, a noble, sacrificial, servant-hearted life, defeating the oppressive powers of the world and establishing a kingdom where people could thrive in safety and plenitude. As he breathes his last, the divine one who had empowered him in his selfless quest appears and offers him a well-earned boon. Having sacrificed everything to become the hero people needed in this life, Inglis desires but one thing for the next: the chance to forget about heroism and instead hone his fighting skills—which includes wielding aether, a kind of magic—to see how far he can get with his own two hands and a sword. No divine assistants need apply! When he comes to in the body of a baby, he is horrified to learn that he’s now…a girl?!? He soon gets over the shock, though, when he realizes that 1) he’s maintained his fundamental aether skills; 2) no one else seems to be much good at magic; and 3) the world is filled with ferocious magicite beasts in need of slaying. Needless to say, this toddler is spoiling for a fight!
This one really surprised me: it’s actually pretty good! (Which I wasn’t expecting, I’ll be honest.) The opening deathbed scene struck a more serious tone than these reincarnation shows usually do, playing it with gravitas instead of like a gag, with a sweeping orchestral soundtrack lending it an unexpectedly epic feel. Great start! The next unanticipated win was the fact that Inglis—who has the same name in his/her new life, but is known by the nickname Chris—is not a pervy old man in a child’s body. I repeat, not a pervy old man. (I think this may just be unprecedented for a reincarnated-as-a-baby series!) Instead, Chris—who is voiced by Akari Kitou, seiyuu for Nezuko of Demon Slayer and Miss Kate of Shadows House—is focused on one thing and one thing alone: fighting! Which makes for some pretty entertaining combat moments involving the girl: first, as a baby who can barely crawl yet who defeats a dragon beast, and subsequently, as a kindergartner who puts an obnoxious boy in his place. I have a feeling this is going to be fun! Will it be earth-shatteringly original, compelling, or edge-of-your-seat gripping? Highly doubtful. But if you’re looking for an upbeat, light-hearted, medieval-ish knights vs. monsters series where all the knights are elegant young ladies skilled in the art of death blows, then this is the show for you! For my part, I’ll stick around for a few more weeks at least and see how it goes.
Reborn to Master the Blade: From Hero-King to Extraordinary Squire is streaming on Crunchyroll.