Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Wizard Barristers

The first thing that struck me about Wizard Barristers was that the soundtrack wasn’t too great. The show opened with some great, serious action (and animation that, in terms of frames per second, is at least 90th percentile on the season), but the bgm had such a cartoony feel to it that it was hard to get invested in it at all.* Second of all, is it really best to open up a show nominally about lawyers with a death penalty case that gets closed within 5 minutes and after we hear no arguments? I mean, most first-world nations don’t have a death penalty, and those that do take a good deal of time to make sure due process has been carried out. From what I saw, the guy was tried once and burned to death on the spot. It doesn’t speak much in favor of the rule of law in this particular Wizard society, sucking a lot of momentum out of the world the delightfully tacky character designs were trying to build around. The subsequent introduction of the female lead felt like an earnest attempt to get past that, which I can respect, but from then on the episode just felt too straightforward to be engaging.* Too, the dialogue throughout the episode was off somehow. It felt like too many characters were speaking single lines and and the script contained very few real conversations, which made it hard to emphasize with the machinations of the investigation/pretrial process. Sunday’s too crowded with stuff that’s good now for something that might get better later, so this one’s a drop.

*This is one of those places where I feel like an expanded first episode would have helped. Law and Order paces out legal drama over 40 minutes, which really adds real tension to each case. Dangan Ronpa took roughly the same time interval for each case. Half of a 20 minute episode here didn’t feel like nearly enough time.

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