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Annotated Anime: Wizard Barristers, Ep. 6

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Samurai Flamenco called, but he had no words for you

This week, Wizard Barristers takes a page out of Samurai Flamenco's book and features costumed tokusatsu heroes in addition to the usual routine mech-summoning and imaginary law-quoting. Unfortunately, inviting comparisons to Samurai Flamenco really isn't a good idea, because while the plot of that show is bonkers to be sure, it actually does follow its own internal logic, which this show does not. This episode was full of things that make no sense, or things that only make sense if you assume that everyone involved is even dumber than Cecil.

On the plus side, Tsunomi develops an actual personality, but it's the personality of an absolutely batshit crazy person who shouldn't be out on the streets without medical supervision, let alone practicing law. So one step forward, two steps back?

Bills bills bills

The episodes starts with Chouno reaming out Cecil for all the expenses she's racked up with her constant magic use. Apparently Butterfly Law could buy "an expensive car" for what Cecil has cost them, but frankly it should be more like "an expensive island retreat," considering how much property damage Cecil's mech causes on a regular basis.

Now, I don't say this often, but I feel for Cecil here. Sure, she uses a lot of powerful magic, but there is literally an evil conspiracy afoot that is dead set on making her use magic as often as possible; you're not paranoid when they really are out to get you. Natsuru takes this moment to berate Cecil for the umpteenth time, and can I just say that I really dislike her? Given that she's a fellow Cecil-hater, we should technically be on the same side, but all she ever does is yell at Cecil and it makes her seem like a jealous shell of a human being. Does the show want me to have sympathy for her?

Meanwhile, Tsunomi wants Cecil to cosplay with her on their day off from work. Why? Presumably because there's a photo shoot, but I'm never convinced there's any real reason other than the fact that the writers wanted to put Cecil in pink spandex. I was going to say that the cosplay is irrelevant to the main plot, but actually, that's not true; it's just that everything the cosplay contributes to the plot actively makes the story worse.

Super lamers

"You know, considering my normal fashion sense, it's debatable whether this is even a step--"

"--Down? Trust me, it is. Look at your chest. Just look at it"

In the Staged Crime of the Week, a mecha crashes into a cram school just as Cecil happens to be scooting by on the way to the cosplay event, so naturally, Cecil has to run in and get involved. She's taken hostage by a WUD terrorist group, along with several kids from the cram school and their teacher. Now, since Cecil is super-powerful and Titans tremble at the mere mention of her name, she could probably fight off the terrorists and save the kids with one arm tied behind her back. Why doesn't she? Because she's still stinging from Natsuru's comment that "If you must always resort to magic, that means you have no ability as a lawyer!"

Um, Cecil? This isn't a case. You have been kidnapped by terrorists. Do you think that refraining from fighting back with magic will somehow prove that you're a good lawyer? What does this have to do with being a laywer? How does your brain process logic, because it is clearly different than the normal, human-type logic with which I am familiar?

Notice, by the way, that Cecil isn't even tied up; Nana Genie, the frog, is the one with his arms tied. I guess this all makes sense by the end, since this is all yet another super-contrived scheme to get Cecil to use her dormant powers, but man does it look bizarre. Yes terrorists, clearly the two-foot-tall FROG is the one who needs to be restrained in this situation.

Quinn owning the streets

In what may be the best part of the episode, Quinn shows up with a rocket launcher, and her partner is like "Why do you even have a rocket launcher!?" almost verbatim, and she's all like, "I'm a badass lady cop I DON'T NEED A REASON!" Sadly, the rocket launcher then disappears and my fantasy of seeing Quinn defeat the terrorists by blowing up a an entire city block does not come to pass. Speaking of Quinn's partner, I guess his name's been mentioned enough times by now that I should start referring to him properly. It's...Shimizu? Shizumu? Shizomu? Screw it, he's Stabler and he will always be Stabler.

Stabler is super-concerned about Cecil above and beyond the other hostages, which Quinn picks up on because she is perhaps the only character on this show who is demonstrably not an idiot. However, she's still going to go through with storming the cram school, because it wouldn't be an episode of Wizard Barristers without bullets-vs.-spells action.

Around this time, we also get to see a montage of what all the Butterfly Law people are doing on their day off, in which we learn that Hachiya plays baseball for a team called the "Hachimitsu BunBuns." I...I don't even know where to start with that.

Meanwhile, the terrorists are going on about their plan to take over the world, and it all sounds like something they ripped off from a superhero show. Of course, it probably is, since they really have no plans beyond making Cecil develop her dormant magic. This is confirmed when the children find the cosplay outfit in Cecil's bag and ask her to change into it, at which point the terrorists are totally on board with it. I thought they were going to go the creepy route and make a big deal out of making Cecil change her clothes at gunpoint, but no; the terrorists are fans of superheroes just like the children are. It's not shown, but they probably turned their backs in a gentlemanly manner while she was changing and everything.

It's at this point that we learn that Tsunomi is completely detached from reality and decides she should "rescue" Cecil, because that's what her character, Bambina Red, would do. Of course, her rescue attempt fails since she tries to subdue all the thugs physically instead of using her magic. They've been dropping hints that Tsunomi is pretty darn powerful, so why wouldn't she use her magic to defeat the bad guys? Because "Bambina Red" doesn't use magic, silly!

So Cecil won't use her magic because she wants to prove she's a good attorney, and Tsunomi won't use her magic because she's roleplaying, even though she's dealing with terrorists who are threatening children at gunpoint. See what I mean about this episode? Guys, guys: priorities!

All tied up

"Let's be sure to tie up the talking frog and the chicken. The two girls-- one of whom we know is a wizard, and her friend the violent lunatic? Nah, keep them unencumbered, they're girls or whatever."

"That's why you're our leader, Leader."

The police storm in and the gunfight begins, and then something truly inexplicable happens: The main terrorist shoots at Cecil, aiming for her head. Why would he shoot Cecil? This entire scheme is based around developing Cecil's powers; killing her is simply not on the table. Does he think that shooting her in the head is a good way to bring out her latent powers? Or is he a traitor to the cult, which would make more sense, but we see no evidence of that? Anyway, it's rendered moot when Moyo The Demon Paralegal drops by and freezes time with her wacky demon powers and changes the bullet's trajectory, leaving Cecil unharmed. I'm assuming that Moyo is tied in with the prophecy about Cecil and is protecting her to make sure that it comes to pass, but part of me is hoping that this all has something to do with making the world a better place for paralegals.

Moyo The Demon Paralegal

"Think paralegals are just for fetching documents? Have you noticed that time itself does my bidding?"

When time resumes, Tsunomi and Cecil finally use magic and defeat the terrorists, though naturally Cecil's method involves dismantling police cars and fire escapes so she can use her diaboloid; I really hope no one in this neighborhood has a fire any time soon. Naturally the thugs run off, at which point they're found by a gun-wielding Stabler. Stabler stays in character for a moment, but then the thugs reveal they were working for him all along.

The group agrees that the plan was a success since Cecil's magic developed again...which is, come to think of it, complete bunk. Cecil didn't awaken to any new powers this time, she just used her diaboloid, which she's done a zillion times already. This entire scheme produced no results. Unless the terrorists think the time-stop was Cecil's doing, but how would they even know about the time stop? And, come to think of it, how did they even know Cecil would be in the area when this whole scheme went down? It's her day off, so it's not like it was on the way during her commute to work or....ARRRRGH this whole story. Makes. No. Sense.

Maybe because he's as irritated with this nonsense as I am, or maybe because the magical cult doesn't like having to actually pay their minions upon task completion, Stabler shoots all the cult members before Quinn can get there. I guess they were sort of threatening him with exposing his WUD status, which probably contributed to their deaths, but this whole episode makes so little sense that I'm done even trying to parse cause and effect here. So ends the Staged Crime of the Week; I wonder if the Barristers will ever encounter an actual crime again that isn't actually a flimsy excuse to draw out Cecil's so-called amazing powers.

When all is said and done, familiars Nana Genie and Koki(?) are discussing the day's events and realize that something strange is afoot; even though they don't know exactly what Moyo is or what she did, they can sense that another magical force is involved. Does this mean that the familiars are finally going to do something except drink tea and steal people's pie? Cute as they are, they've done nothing of note for the entire show, and exposing Moyo would be an interesting development. I'll believe it when I see it though; right now, it's more likely that Cecil will "awaken" to a demon-sensing power, and that will out the Demon Paralegal.

I apologize for this AA post being so long; for some reason, I enjoy pointing out how much this show doesn't make sense so much that I feel compelled to detail all of the many ways in which it does not make sense, which requires many words at times. I lieu of a proper conclusion, I will leave you of this screenshot of Moyo the Demon Paralegal creating a sculpture of Cecil's naked body for no apparent reason:

Why?

"I call it 'Plot Armor with Shapely Butt.'"


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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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