I know what you're thinking, "Two isekai in one season?". Yes, the summer season seems to have been blessed with two isekai, although Rising of the Shield Hero left huge shoes to fill. The other isekai, Maou-sama, Retry!, is more edgy comedy meant to poke fun at previous isekai anime. Isekai Cheat Magician is more down to earth and not as over the top. It's roots run pretty deep, going back to 2012 when it was a web novel series on the Shōsetsuka ni Narō website. It is based off of the Japanese light novel written by Takeru Uchida and illustrated by Nardack.
Isekai Cheat Magician follows childhood friends and high school students, Taichi Nishimura and Rin Azuma, who are transported to another world, via a magic circle that appears under them while they are walking to school. As soon they realize they are not in Japan anymore they are saved from an attacking monster by wandering adventurers that were passing by. Realizing how weak and vulnerable they are in their situation, they ask to follow the adventurers to the nearest town. and the adventurers agree. When they arrive in town, broke and defenseless, Taichi and Rin decide that they should become adventurers. They go to the town guild and sign up. During the registration process their magical abilities and aptitude are measured. To everyone's shock, both of theirs is so high it cannot be measured at the guild, it requires a powerful magician. The guildmaster sends them to Remia, a great magician that can measure their abilities, and cook like no one's business. Once she realizes how powerful Rin and Taichi are, she insists they become her apprentices. She informs Taichi that he is so powerful that he alone could topple nations if he saw fit. Realizing their position of needing training and a place to live, they both accept and their adventure begins.
Now, on the outside ICM seems like your typical isekai anime. The fact that they are so overpowered, yet inexperienced, is almost cliche, considering Shield Hero just last season. Being a fan of isekai anime, it is hard to find fault with this one, despite character similarities to Shield Hero. Granted the stories seem to vary only slightly at this point, ICM stands out as a touch a realism that most miss, politics. Taichi was summoned to this new world in order to protect the balance of power within the kingdom. Currently there is a power struggle between factions within the kingdom and powerful magicians can sway or protect the balance of power. This dynamic keeps us watching to see how it will unfold. Whether the political power struggle becomes central to the plot hasn't been shown as of yet, but it has been brought to light. Will Rin and Taichi be able to use their power to defend the balance or will they be swayed to tip the scales? We will keep watching to see how this unfolds.
be able to use their power to defend the balance or will they be swayed to tip the scales? We will keep watching to see how this unfolds.