The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World Episodes 1-12 – Review

There’s no sugarcoating it. The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World is one of the most painfully derivative fantasy anime out there. All the expected clichés are out in full force. When it comes to the characters, we have an overpowered protagonist who can easily stomp even the most dangerous of enemies. Then we have the harem of girls obsessed with him—each fitting into the classic archetypes of the ojousan, the tsundere, the dandere, and the oneesan. We also get the good guy’s best friend and the self-important rival who looks down on Ray for his commoner blood to round out the cast.

Of course, the anime is also set in the most cliché possible anime location: a high school (though a magical one). And with this location comes the familiar story arcs, including a monster-slaying test, spies infiltrating the school, a fighting tournament, and a forced political marriage. Everything plays out beat-for-beat as you’d expect—ultimately ending up with Ray being forced to use his full power to save the day each time. But as predictable as everything in this anime is, there is one bright spot: Ray himself.

Often in shows like this, the protagonist is an everyman—someone who is generally kind, somewhat intelligent, and utterly oblivious to romantic advances. Or, to put it another way, the protagonist tends to be a proxy for the viewer, someone they can imagine themselves as. This is not the case with Ray. While he’s uneducated, he’s highly competent and emotionally centered. His life on the battlefield has taught him what is truly important in life and what isn’t. As such, much of the teenage drama he encounters—especially all the adolescent posturing—doesn’t faze him.

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He is mature, kind, trustworthy, and straightforward. He’s not afraid to compliment those around him and let them know how he sees them—especially when they’re hard on themselves. This makes many emotional moments hit home in ways they might otherwise not. He’s such a good and charismatic guy that it’s obvious his words would hold serious weight. Moreover, it’s easy to see why Ray has a group of girls head-over-heels in love with him and why his friends and army buddies are willing to go all out to support him.

As for the actual animation itself, it’s solidly average. Nothing particularly stands out, but it isn’t filled with budget-saving tricks like long static shots or extreme close-ups. The fight scenes are fluid and easy to track, and the big moments always have a bit of extra care spent on them. The music is similarly unremarkable. It doesn’t stand out but doesn’t get in the way either.

All in all, The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World is a run-of-the-mill magic school fantasy anime—though one with a surprisingly likable main character. If you like anime of this type—i.e., enjoy seeing all the tropes you’d expect in a slightly different way—this show is perfectly watchable. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking or profound. There is nothing here you haven’t seen before, or that has been done better in some other anime.

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