Most of the animation in anime is little different than what you’d see anywhere else. The animators take chances with their art that most North American animators doesn’t take, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular. Unfortunately not all chances work, and in some cases the final product is much less than it could have been and end up hurting the over all story. The latter is the case with A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special.
A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special starts at the end of a ten-year war in the shadow labyrinth. The heroes can see the end of humanity standing in front of them. But before darkness falls Desir Arman, one of the last surviving magicians, something sends him back in time to just before the war begins so that he can give things a second shot. He hopes his knowledge of the future can help him overcome his enemies. And he tries to do this by avoiding the mistakes that were made before. Unfortunately he’s afraid he might just end up reliving the same fate once again. It’s hopeless, no matter how hard he tries to make things different.
While A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special starts off with a strong fight scene, the animation is a disjointed mess. The enemy looks like the animators created them using a different style of animation than the heroes, which makes it hard to get into. The animation looks lazy and cheap at times as well, because instead of having characters move, they chose to move the background and add special effects instead. They also went too far in on trying to make things look 3D, instead of using normal, flat animation. While on one hand it is unique, it just ends up being the kind of unique that annoys you instead of awing you.
The story of A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special has also been done to death, and doesn’t offer anything new. The writers don’t even try to take chances and go somewhere we don’t expect. This makes it very easy to guess what comes next. In all fairness it might have something to do with the source material though. This was originally a webtoon series that is very similar to an old fashioned serial. As I say this, the story does have possibilities, but the writers decided to not even give it a try. They leave us with with is a very slow, plodding mess. You can skip the English voice over as well. Watch the anime with subtitles instead, because the actors come off being very flat with their delivery of the lines. Of course that might be because they didn’t feel any inspiration from what they were reading.
There is an audience for A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special, and it could get better in later seasons, but most won’t be willing to give it a second chance. Most likely it will end up being a forgotten series that might not even get a second season.