Rating: 4/5 – Good Enough to Make Me Want More
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow
It can be fun to see the evolution of a good property. Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon began as a light novel series which was then adapted into a series of manga (the collected version of which I’m reviewing here) and following that an anime currently available for viewing if you have a Crunchyroll account (more on that in a minute). This is a pretty common path for a lot of manga to take, spawning out of either a novel or an anime, and a good test of a successful adaptation is whether or not it entices you to seek out the other versions of the story. On that front, the manga version of Anti-Magic Academy succeeds.
In a world where magic is abused constantly by witches, magicians, and underworld lowlifes, the Anti-Magic Academy’s job is to put out graduates – a.k.a. Inquisitors – to bring these criminals to justice by any means necessary. The story centers around the 35th Test Platoon – known around the academy as the “Small Fry” Platoon – who try very hard, and fail even harder, to overcome their shortcomings and work as a coherent unit. Their commander adheres to the archaic use of swords in combat. Their sniper has a problem with directions and often shoots into the wrong buildings. Their weaponsmith is the queen of overclocking devices, rendering them all but useless on the battlefield. When a beautiful, deadly, but recently demoted Inquisitor is added to their number, it seems like a design for disaster. The quartet must learn to work together before graduation – or death – claims them.
Right off the bat let me say I’m planning on buying any book with Youhei Yasumura’s artwork attached to it from this day forward. I’m not sure I’ve read a manga in some time where the artwork completely floored me, but this one did the job. I almost find it difficult to believe Yasumura is one person as no single entity could be this good at drawing…well…everything! Machinery, characters, action sequences, even the moments of fanservice (the aforementioned sharpshooter has a very short skirt) are rendered with an expert hand. I often say I follow stories, not artists or writers, but Yasumura is one of those people who now puts that statement to the test.
Sadly, once I got hooked, one volume was simply not enough. As the light novels haven’t undergone localization, it only made sense to jump over to my Crunchyroll account and check the anime out. Thus far, it’s followed the storyline contained in the book, with a bit…only a bit…less of the aforementioned fanservice from the manga. As the book is subtitled “The Complete Missions” and has no volume 1 to hint at a volume 2 forthcoming, it seems the anime may be the way to go. Nothing wrong with that, but after seeing Yasumura’s artwork, I was left hungry for more from this series. Perhaps that’s the point.
Reviewed by: Al Sparrow (email@example.com)
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