Sunday, 12 January 2014

Wizard Barristers - Episode 1

In a world where magic and those able to use it (known as Wud) are relatively commonplace, you need some kind of legal system in place to deal with those who abuse their powers.  Abuse such as blowing up a train and a helicopter to avoid police pursuit, for example.

As part of that legal process, those charged with committing crimes using their magic need some kind of representation - enter the Wizard Barristers of the show's title, who are tasked with defending those accused of misuse of their powers.  In particular, our interest lies with one particularly special barrister - seventeen year-old Cecil Sudo, the youngest of her kind and the newest employee of Butterfly Law Offices.

Before she's even arrived for her first day, Cecil finds herself caught up in work, attending the aftermath of a bank robbery that she just so happens to stumble upon and taking on the case of a bystander who has been arrested for murdering one of the robbers during the incident.  Convinced that this man's behaviour is no more than self-defence, Cecil immediately takes on his case, which seems more complicated than it first appears - then again, it seems that Cecil has no shortage of difficulties in her life, even she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to using magic herself.

If you want to impress somebody in the first couple of minutes of your new, original series, then Wizard Barristers certainly knows how to get it done - by blowing shit up in spectacular fashion.  Indeed, this first episode has a handful of big action set pieces to impress with as it builds its world and, ultimately, reveals Cecil's powers.  Thankfully there's also a little more to this opener than merely big explosions - the prospect of a police procedural of sorts set in a world of magic is a tantalising one and Cecil's character works pretty well even if it feels the need to slot her into some well-worn anime tropes.  My biggest concern is that this first instalment arguably moves too quickly - things progress at a break-neck pace without any time to soak in what's happening and enjoy the peeling back of layers of the story.  Perhaps this is simply because there's a lot to pt together in this first episode, so hopefully it'll smooth this out as it progresses, but beyond that even if Wizard Barristers can just throw in a spectacular action set piece or two every week it might justify the price of entry without providing anything more substantial.

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