Annotated Anime: Wizard Barristers, Ep. 5


Hanging with Bad Grandpa

In the most procedural-like episode yet, Cecil learns that even those pesky non-cute people have their uses when crafty octogenarian Kamakira outperforms her on a case, even though it seems like he's not taking it seriously. Meanwhile the magic cult plot is still on a slow burn, somebody gets naked in a bowling alley against their will, and Stabler shows up with free cans of apple cider just to remind us he exists.

Anything you can do

Before we get started with this weeks extra-legal hijinks, does anyone know what's up with those purple flower pins that all of the Butterfly Law people wear on their lapels? In the opening animation, it looks like they're actually using the pins to fuel or channel their magic somehow, but there's been no mention of them on the show proper.

This case starts off with the Shark Knight guys blowing off some steam at a local bowling alley. I have to say, the Shark guys seem more like the type to frequent a seedy "Gentleman's Club" during their open time, but I guess they can't find a venue that specializes in WUG-only exotic dancers, so they're making due. Kujira, who will be this week's client, isn't getting the results he wants and proceeds to blame the alley's bowling balls, whining that someone must have tampered with them. Seriously, what is it with bowlers and their strange conspiracy theories? I remember when my brother bowled in high school and blamed his frequent losses on "lane conditions," which he believed were a real thing. Disclaimer: I do not get bowling at all.

Hey bro waitaminute

Things get messy when the bowling manager takes issue with Kujira throwing a fit, and the situation escalates quickly, to the point where one of the Shark Law guys is literally holding Kujira back from decking the guy. Not content to leave well enough alone, we see Kujira go back to the bowling alley later on to give the manager a piece of his mind, just around the same time as the manager is brutally murdered by an unidentified, knife-wielding assailant. We don't see the manager getting stabbed per se, but we hear a lot of stabitty-stab sounds and see a ridiculous amount of blood splattering. Show, I get it, he's dead.

So Kujira is the prime suspect in the murder of the manager, and Shark Law wants our very own Cecil to take the case. I guess this makes sense; it would probably be a bad call for Shark Law to try to defend their own guy, since they're too close to the incident. Pervy Sasori notes that this could be a good opportunity to get lucky with the hot Shark Law guys, to which Cecil says, and I quote:

Cecil is not amused

I like bitchy Cecil so much better than naive, earnest Cecil. Can we please have bitchy Cecil all the time?

Since Ageha isn't around this week, Chouno-- the blue-haired dude-- gets to actually do something and assigns the elderly Kamakiri to be Cecil's partner for this case. Honestly, until this episode I didn't even realize Kamakiri was a lawyer, I thought he was a clerical aide or something, but whatever. Cecil and Kamakiri prove to be an odd-couple pairing, with the elder laywer taking a rather zen approach to casework that eager-beaver Cecil can't tolerate. There's even a montage to that effect, which looks like it came right out of an '80s movie. I have a serious urge to watch The Breakfast Club right now, but I will soldier on: anime needs me.

The pairing goes to see Kujira in jail, where he confesses that while he didn't kill the man, he did stop by earlier that night to humiliate the manager by using his magic to make the latter strip naked and dance in front of the alley's customers. Erm, let's go over that again: a licensed Wizard Barrister used his creepy mind-control magic to sexually assault someone over an extremely petty disagreement. Even if Kujira didn't kill anyone, isn't that a pretty freakin' major crime in a society as frightened of magic users as this one is? You would think so, but you may as well just forget it, because it never comes up again. Internal consistency is just not something this show cares about.

Speaking of important things that never come up again, Kujira mentions that, since he has super-exploitative powers that let him control people's minds, he would never use anything as messy as a knife to kill someone; he could just hypnotically command the victim to commit suicide. You know, creepiness aside, that's an excellent point: why would someone who can kill people in a manner that leaves zero evidence choose to kill in a way that leaves oodles of evidence? Kujira's powers should be on file with the government, so it's not like it's a secret that he can do this. You'd think someone would try to use the defense that the way the murder went down makes no sense for a suspect with Kujira's abilities; you would think. They do not.

Have you seen my partner?

"Have you seen my partner? She's about this tall and dresses like Strawberry Shortcake on meth."

Cecil and Kamakiri can't find any evidence that suggests Kujira's innocence, and Cecil's pissed that 80-something-year-old Kamakiri can't walk as fast as she can. Get some perspective, Cecil: this guy has first-hand memories of when television was a new invention. Have some goddamned respect! Of course, he's also slowing down the case by lining up for idol events and looking at porno mags, which I guess she has more of a right to be pissed about. She's even steamed enough to try to get him removed from the case, but no dice.

Fortunately for Butterfly Law, Kamakiri begins pulling his weight by examining the bowling alley's shift records to see if they conflict with any of the workers' comments, and lo-and-behold they do. One employee who claimed to barely know the manager had the exact same shift schedule as him, a possible sign the two had some kind of relationship he didn't want to talk about. The employee didn't actually say anything suspicious, but due to his experience, Kamakiri was able to read between the lines and guess that something fishy might be going on.

You can almost hear the lightbulb flicker on in Cecil's head as she realizes that this "experience" thing that people talk about might actually be worth something. Sailor Moon Says: Sometimes, old people know how to do stuff well because they've been doing it much, much longer than you! Amazing, right?

Like sharks drawn to the scent of blood (no relation to Shark Knight), Cecil and Kamakiri descend on the bowling alley employee. By using his illusion magic, Kamakiri is able to frighten a confession out of the employee, as well as the murder weapon. Ha ha ha ha THIS IS SO ILLEGAL, but we'll get to that in a second.

In court, Kamakiri produces both the murder weapon and the employee's confession to prove who really killed the manager, to which Cecil proclaims, "So our client, Kujira, is innocent!" Is he really, Cecil? His "I will mind-control you to take off your clothes and dance for me!" stunt was probably a felony, but the writers seem to have forgotten that, so what can you do. He's at least innocent of murder, I guess. The prosecution, who are not the complete idiots we've been led to believe, point out that the evidence is suspicious and was probably collected via the use of magic, which may render it inadmissable. Rather than counter this accusation, Kamakiri has a medical episode and faints right on the spot-- or, so he wants everyone to think. He actually feints his faint.

Legal proceedings

"This is how we used to handle misconduct investigations back in MY day."

Apparently, whenever the question "did you use magic to get this evidence?" comes up, Kamakiri fakes a stroke and gets taken to the hospital, dodging the problem. I can believe that might work exactly once, but do you expect me to believe no one has noticed that he always faints at super-convenient moments and never shows any signs of actual injury afterwards? That's a stretch, but to tell you the truth, it's way more reasonable than half the crap this show asks me to believe, so I'll go with it; it helps that I like Kamakiri as a character. He's like Chicken Soup for the Soul compared to Cecil's "I'm so young and cute and ambitious!" nonsense. So you win, Wizard Barristers: I will grudgingly accept the fact that neither Super Judge nor anyone else suspects that Kiri-ji has a scam going on, against my better judgement.

Meanwhile, on the simmering magical conspiracy front, we find out that Cecil is a kind of Wizard who only appears once every couple of centuries, and the time will soon be ripe for her to do...something? I'm beginning to think that my initial assumption was wrong and the evil cult's goal is not to use Cecil to breed a new master race of Wizards, but to get back at humanity for being dicks. Like, maybe their plan is to have Cecil create a giant diaboloid, only instead of metal, the thing runs on dismembered human flesh and bone? Maybe I should stop thinking like a deranged magical cult member? Anyway, we also learn that the cult leader is a man named Makusa, who happens to look a lot like Stabler and may be his father; that's just a guess on my part, there's no mention of it in the script.

Finally, I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that Bon recovers from his brutal murder at the hands of a bathing Cecil last episode and steals her beloved pie in retaliation. However, Cecil refers to Norio Wakamoto-frog in this episode as "Nana Genie," which I guess is his actual name in the script. Dammit, why can't he just be Bon? I liked the name Bon! Oh yeah, and what's up with this:


Who's the girl behind Sasorin? Another new character? THIS SHOW HAS TOO MANY CHARACTERS MAKE IT STOP

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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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