Annotated Anime: Wizard Barristers, Ep. 3


Reasonable Doubt suddenly matters and it's adorable

In this episode, Cecil reveals that she hates people that hate Wizards. Why must the humans be so scared of magic users? Well, I don't know Cecil, it may have something to do with the fact that a young lady in this episode snapped her fingers and murdered someone so brutally with magic that they could barely identify him even with dental records-- I mean, that's a little scary to your average Muggle, you know? I'm not saying prejudice is okay, but when you've got these people whose bodies are walking weapons of mass destruction, you can sort of understand why the normal humans aren't adapting too well.

It's kind of the same problem they have in X-Men, where we're supposed to agree with Professor Xavier that mutants are just like humans and everyone should live in peace, but then there was that one time that Jean Grey destroyed an entire solar system just because she felt like it; you can sort of see how people might feel more comfortable with some regulations in place or something.

Loosing controllllll

The backstory for this episode is simple enough: A Wizard is sentenced to death under false pretenses, and years later, his girlfriend wants revenge against the system that murdered him. Hachiya, one of Butterfly Law's numerous employees, was a prosecutor at the time and helped sentence the boyfriend, Masato, to death, so he feels responsible for this new crime. But because this is Wizard Barristers, we can't just leave it at that; no, there's this whole unnecessary drama in the courtroom flashback where Masato somehow broke out of his magical cuffs then suddenly had a power incontinence problem and nearly killed his girlfriend with ice magic.

Why did Masato lose control, and why did the Anti-magic field in the courtroom break? Is Masato like the Dark Phoenix of ice-mage stunt performers? Unless we learn more later (which is doubtful), it seems like it was just done to get another scene with magic in the episode and give Hachiya a manly scar he can be all emo about. Look, Wizard Barristers, just because you have the budget to animate plenty of action scenes doesn't mean you need to shoehorn them in even when they make no sense.

Meanwhile, Cecil is being scouted by another law firm called, I kid you not, Shark Law. In case we weren't clear on the shifty nature of these fellows, they look at Cecil like they're planning to slip a roofie in her bento and drive off with her unconscious body in their trunk. Cecil's coworkers are surprised to hear about Shark Law's interest in her, since apparently the Shark firm only employs male Wizard Barristers. I have a theory about that, but more on that later. Anyway, even Bon the frog thinks the guys are too skeezy to be trusted-- and keep in mind that Bon sexually assaults Cecil at least once per episode.

Prelude to date rape

"Hey, pretty barrister, where you been all my life? Here, have a drink on us; don't worry, it's supposed to be that color."

I don't remember if they've ever given us Quinn's partner's name, so I'm just going to call him "Stabler" until further notice. Anyway, Stabler and Benson Quinn and her partner do some proper police work and realize that the suspect, Mayu, allegedly killed the man who framed her boyfriend years ago. Furthermore, Mayu only wants Hachiya to represent her, giving Hachiya plenty of opportunities to look properly tortured. Apparently he was a prosecutor until finding out he was a latent wizard, which means he spent the first part of his life victimizing people like himself, and now he feels properly awful about it. Seeing Mayu is like a slap in the face to him, which she seems to be enjoying on a gallows-humor sort of level.

Fast-forward to trial-- and one unrealistic aspect of this show that you will never hear me complain about is how fast they go to trial. There's some more nonsense with Cecil where she has the gall to act righteously indignant when the judge asks about her stupid-ass outfit, but I ranted enough about her fashion sense last time. It's quickly determined that, while it looks like the murder of Masato's manager was a revenge killing, there's no hard evidence that it wasn't an accident, therefore reasonable doubt dictates that Mayu get a life sentence instead of the death penalty. Why does reasonable doubt suddenly matter this week, when it was suspiciously MIA in episode 2? This is the most arbitrary legal system ever.


Then all hell breaks loose when Hachiya-- who we thought was the silent badass type but is actually just a moron-- uses his magic to break Mayu's anti-magic cuffs in open court. Apparently, he feels guilty enough that he agreed to release her from her bonds so that she could take revenge on him, but the joke's on him when Mayu decides to kill everyone in the entire courtroom instead, including Stabler and Benson and people who have nothing to do with anything. Cecil tries to have a "I totally understand your pain and we can resolve this peacefully!" Kum-Ba-Ya session with Mayu, but the woman is clearly too far gone and needs to be put down by a bullet to the chest from Stabler. Cecil then throws a tantrum that the cops shot the deranged murderer who was threatening to kill dozens of people with lethal magic, because Cecil is an idiot who doesn't understand cause and effect in the slightest.

Oh, and meanwhile Cecil learns a new magic, which seems to involve sacrificing her hair ornaments so she can shoot a giant wall of fire out of her hands. I assumed that the hair pieces were metal and she always carried them on her so she could use her metal-magic, but I guess that works too. 

How do I?

"How do I shot fire?"

Of course, Mayu can't die without letting slip that some massive conspiracy is afoot, and that her and her boyfriend's deaths were all planned by some evil overseer. Switch scenes to a mysterious location (which I'm 99% sure is the Shark Law offices), and a mysterious older man muses that "all is going according to the prophecy," or something to that effect. Freakin' prophecies; I am so sick of the device that something is going to happen because someone said it was going to happen. It is the laziest frickin' plot element.

Calling it now: The prophecy involves Cecil being the foretold Mage-to-end-all-Mages, and Shark Law wants to use her as the mother of their new master race of asshole wizards. That's why Shark Law only has male Wizard Barristers; they are waiting for their Mage Queen. I will bet you twenty whole dollars that this is happening.

Post-trial, Hachiya is under house-arrest for a week due to breaking the suspect's cuffs and nearly getting dozens of people murdered. Characters wonder aloud how he got away with such a mild sentence after what he did, to which Ageha says "it's a secret." I guess we're supposed to buy that Ageha has such massive connections that she can swing things like this, but really it just seems like the writers want to have Hachiya around for later use and don't care how improbable it is that he got off with a tiny slap on the wrist. Once again: most arbitrary legal system ever.

Also in this episode: We find out that all the familiars, including Norio Wakamoto-pervert-frog and twin-tailed Miss Piggy seem to have some kind of 18th-century Salon going on at the Butterfly Law offices, where they drink tea over pretty doilies, flirt and discuss the issues of the day. Why is this show not about that instead? WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYyyyyyy



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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures



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