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Light Novel / Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor

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Once Upon a Time, there was a boy called Glenn Radars, who just wanted to be a hero like the mages he grew up reading in his storybooks. In the present, he is anything but. Glenn is a tardy, lazy, and seemingly incompetent bastard; and against all odds, he is forced to become an instructor at the prestigious Alzano Imperial Magic Academy. As you can expect, he doesn't even try to make a good impression with his class, especially the studious and proud Sistine Fibel, who challenges him to a magic duel with the condition that he will take his job more seriously if she wins. The fight, if it can even be called a fight, goes in Sistine's favor and, for once, Glenn is forced to make himself useful. Still, there might be more to him that meets the eye.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (ロクでなし魔術講師と禁忌教典, Roku de Nashi Majutsu Kōshi to Akashikku Rekōdo) is a Light Novel series written by Tarō Hitsuji and illustrated by Kurone Mishima, published under the Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint since July 19, 2014 and is still ongoing.

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The series also has a spin-off named Memory Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (ロクでなし魔術講師と追想日誌メモリーレコード, Roku de Nashi Majutsu Kōshi to Memorī Rekōdo) which is a Compilation Re-release of four side stories which were originally released in Dragon Magazine with only the last side story being made for that volume. It's currently ongoing since there are also many other side stories that are released inside magazines, but aren't compiled into volumes yet.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Aosa Tsunemi began publication in the Monthly Shonen Ace magazine on March 26, 2015 and is still ongoing. It has been licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment for an English release.

Liden Films released an Animated Adaptation in April 2017, which ran for 12 episodes. It can be legally viewed subbed on Crunchyroll here, and dubbed on FUNimation here.

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Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor contains examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: Inverted; Harley Astray claims Glenn wouldn't declare a self-study period for his class and sip on tea. Glenn does just that... minus the tea part.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Since the anime had to cram content worth of 5 volumes into 12 episodes. It's natural that a lot of background information and details are left out.
  • Adapted Out:
    • A rather interesting case in the manga and anime adaptation of light novel volume 4. In both cases they didn't adapt scenes of the students worrying and wondering about Rumia's and Re=L's disappearance along with Glenn looking for them. In the manga they didn't adapt the hotel scene in which the students would decide to look for them themselves despite the danger, but the anime didn't adapt Glenn questioning his students about their opinion about Re=L in order to give himself more motivation to save them.
    • For the manga readers, it seems like the parents conference after the school competition was Adapted Out, but in the light novel it was just a side story. Thus this trope is averted since the anime is an adaptation of the light novel, not the manga.
    • Aside from a single panel showing parts of the events, the manga skips volume 8 of the Light Novel and goes directly into volume 9.
  • Advertised Extra: Just looking at all the promotional material and trailers for the series, you would think Sistine is the main character, but the main focus of a good portion of the first few arcs is on Rumia, and Re=L takes up a majority of the spotlight as well, meaning that Sistine is, at best, the third-most important character throughout most of the material the anime covers.
  • Akashic Records: It's right there in the title. It also doubles as the series' Macguffin, which the Researchers of Divine Wisdom and Jatice Lowfan aspires to acquire. According to them it's a book which allows them to control the laws of the world.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The male students of Glenn's class sans one gleefully follow him in having a look at their female classmates in swimsuits and had even planned to sneak into the girls' hotel room at night. Zigzagged with Glenn himself as although he planned the school field trip to the beach in the first place, he still prevents his male students from sneaking into the girls' hotel room by force.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The anime ends with Jatice and Eleanor still at large and the mystery of the Akashic Records yet to be resolved. The only sense of finality is that Glenn has moved on from his cynicism and found a place where he belongs.
  • Attempted Rape: Sistine is assaulted in the second episode of the anime by a terrorist who was gloating about how he was going to "break her" as he started to remove her clothing. She was saved by her teacher before the villian could undress her fully. This was the first time for her to see the true nature of her substitute instructor.
  • Back from the Dead: Basically the goal of Project Revive Life. Although it's actually subverted since they just create clones of the original person and even then they can range from a clone with all their memories, lack of memories, altered memories or a mix between them.
  • Balanced Harem: Each of the female characters focus cycles through per volume.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The girls' school uniforms don't bother covering their abs.
  • Beach Episode: Glenn takes his class out for a field trip to Saineria Island, part of which involves spending time at the beach.
  • Blank White Eyes: Jaill, to indicate that he's unconscious on his feet after attempting to endure a second and stronger Mind Break in the mental defense competition.
  • Blood Magic: Blood is often used in magic spells, such as in the synthesis of magic crystals.
  • Book-Ends: The first episode begins with young Glenn reciting a fairy tale about a magician saving the world with The Power of Love. The final episode ends with an adult Glenn remembering the same story, symbolizing his renewed optimism and hope for the future.
  • Breather Episode:
    • In the anime episode 7 is this since it lacks any major conflict and instead focuses on Re=L settling in with the rest of the class and Glenn taking his class for a field trip.
    • This is actually how every light novel volume starts except for 4 and 10, because they are continuations of the previous ones. The first chapters are more lighthearted with humor, but the ones in the end are filled with conflict.
    • The side stories compared to the main story, since they mostly show the daily life of the characters.
  • Broken Aesop: Played for Drama, enforced and in the end subverted. Volume 13 ends with Glenn telling Albert he should trust his allies more and ask for their help which he heads after seeing what Glenn managed to accomplish by getting help himself. Cue the next volume in which Glenn is unable to ask for help directly since it will kill his ally for knowing of the timeloop and restart it, but in the end it is subverted since the trust they have in him is already strong enough that Sistine doesn't need the full information to help him since all she needs to know is that he needs help in saving people.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In this case Chekhov's Gunpowder. When Glenn gets his gun back from Albert in Volume 4, he aks why he also didn't give him "Eve Kaisur Gunpowder" which was also later mentioned by Jatice in the next volume. Volume 10 reveals that the gunpowder allows Glenn to put his magic characteristics inside the bullet, shoot it point blank range at the target which results in an attack devastating enough to kill the souls of any target which includes the Demon General with a nearly invincible body.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Glenn demonstrates transformation magic in volume 12/episode 5, and how it can even be used to create a flawless disguise. This same magic is what is used to send the military on a wild goose chase and save Rumia from her predicament.
  • Cock Fight: Played with. Glenn was actually fine with Leos being Sistine's fiancé until he insulted her dream, causing them to arrange a duel over who gets to marry Sistine. This turns out to be a Batman Gambit set up by Leos's associate, who instructed him on how to provoke Glenn.
  • The Comically Serious: As much as Harley can't stand Glenn's guts, it's hard to take the former seriously at all.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The reconstitution method of alchemy. The modern method of alchemy uses alchemical cauldrons, which are simple to use but don't give a good understanding of the processes involved. In contrast, reconstitution is more difficult and also requires catalysts, but it is better for properly learning alchemy and also results in higher-quality products.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending theme, "Precious You☆", is performed by Akane Fujita (Sistine), Yume Miyamoto (Rumia), and Ari Ozawa (Re=L).
  • Dramatic Irony: In the side story, "Cinderella of the Secret Night", only the reader knows that "Freya" and "Daras" are actually Eve and Glenn in disguise until the end where the former finds out the truth.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: It is highly implied that the Alzano Empire is one since discovering it is what caused Jatice to rebel against the country he once served and not heling the matters is that Rezalia claims that the country is founded by devils.
  • The Ending Changes Everything:
    • The Side Story, "Heavens, the Lonesome Witch", is about Celica's first meeting with Glenn which is why it is such a big twist that the 'Glenn' we got to know in the story wasn't the one of the main story and a thrall the whole time. Instead the Glenn we know is a kid who lost his memories as a result of experiments and was named after the original 'Glenn'.
    • The end of "False Hero" reveals that Abel is Albert Frazer who threw away his old name and ideals for the sake of vengeance.
  • Fanservice: The Beach Episode is accompanied with cute girls in swimsuits, what else do you expect?
  • For Science!: The Researchers of Divine Wisdom are obsessed with finding the Akashic Records and will resort to terrorism, kidnapping, and human experimentation in order to do so.
  • Glove Slap: How Sistine challenges Glenn to a Wizard Duel (see below), unfastening her glove and throwing it in his face. Notably, she only wears a glove on her left hand (later volumes confirm that mages only wear gloves on their left hand). As an Ironic Echo, Glenn throws a glove at Leos to challenge him for belittling Sistine's goals.
  • Good Parents:
    • Not only do Sistine's parents treat her well, they also consider Rumia part of their family. Though her father is doting to an over-the-top extent.
    • Celica Arfonia despite threating her adoptive son, Glenn, rather roughly and joking with him, is still a supporting family figure to him.
  • Graceful Loser: Huey calmly accepts his defeat after his teleportation circle was disabled by Glenn.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: In volume 14, Glenn and Sistine managed to prevent an eternal timeloop from happening, yet no one will know of their deed with the exception of Glenn, Nameless and possibly Sistine.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Volume 14 takes place in one in which only the perpetrator and Glenn remember the weeks that transpire.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One of Reik's bone golems kill off Jin.
  • Hostage Situation: The imperial guard is forced to attempt to kill Rumia because a Conditional Cursed Necklace will kill the queen if they don't do so. Fortunately, Glenn's Anti-Magic works on cursed necklaces too.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During his introduction, Glenn argues with Sistine that the magic little to no practical usage to the common folk with the only major usage being killing and warfare and the fact only nobles and royalty have access to its other usages such as healing or teleportation.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Glenn is a former Imperial Court Mage, Rumia is a former princess of Alzano and a Supernatural, Eleanonr Chalet is a member of the Researchers of Divine Wisdom, Re=L was an experiment of project "Revive Life" and Eve Ignite gets demoted and becomes an instructor at Alzano. Naturally this gets mentioned a lot in the novels after their reveals.
  • Lecherous Licking: Count Zest licks his own cane as he fawns over Rumia.
  • Magical Incantation: Obligatory for any magic-focused series.
    • As an example, casting Shock Bolt requires the user to chant "Thunder sprites, pay heed, and strike with your electric shock.". In actual combat, the match is determined by who can shorten the incantation to a single line and chant faster.
  • Manly Tears: Played for laughs; Sistine's father is touched by how she and Rumia are so kind when they understand that he and his wife are unable to attend the tournament to watch them due to work.
  • Meaningful Name: The title of episode 1, "The Unmotivated Bastard", references Glenn's status as a slacker.
  • The Mole:
    • Huey, a teacher of the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy who is secretly associated with the Researchers of Divine Wisdom.
    • Eleanor Chalet, a member of Divine Wisdom, got into the queen's inner circle as an attendant and tricked her into wearing a Conditional Cursed Necklace. Worse yet, Albert surmises that there are probably more moles within the government.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The students are at first surprised when Glenn diligently writes on the blackboard... only to declare the class a self-study period.
    • Rumia supposedly loses the mental defense competition, then the commentator approaches Jaill to hear his thoughts... then Count Zest notices that he's unconscious on his feet, thus Rumia scores the win for her class.
  • Our Liches Are Different: They are magicians who used forbidden magic to gain immortality and increased magical power. They must drain the souls of others to continue living. Their victims become undead thralls under the Lich's control and are used to help gather souls. A Lich cannot move far away from their place of origin.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • Victims of the drug Angel Dust eventually become similar to zombies. They retain enough intelligence and dexterity to use weapons.
    • Thralls are people whose souls have been drained by a Lich. They can be controlled by the Lich and are used to gather more souls for the Lich.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Huey is often seen smiling even when he concedes, and when preparing to take a blow from Glenn's fist.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Glenn enters the girls' changing room and gets punched out, which also results in him getting a nosebleed.
  • Real After All: It's implied that the events of the book "Magician of Melgalius" happened in real life considering the fact many of the beings truly exist and that the author was executed in Rezalia for writing it since they considered it 'heretic'. This is later confirmed once it turns out the author based the book on the various stories of the "Magician of Justice" he compilied through his research.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Although the students are trained in magic, they are naturally only taught non-lethal spells since stronger magic is too dangerous for them. As a result they naturally panic and don't fight back when terrorists attack the academy since it would clearly get them killed.
    • Celica may be a high ranking magician and important figure of Alzano, but even she can't just suddenly command the military to rescue the academy since its attack was very sudden and needs preparation to commence.
    • Glenn's dream to become a "Mage of Justice" like the one he reads in fairy tales is naturally a dream others tend to mock for its childlike nature and sheer impossibility of achieving it, because of how complicated moralities of people can be in real life and even if they are evil, killing them is usually if not always the answer.
    • Although Sistine received combat training from Glenn and is a Teen Genius in magic, she's unable to immediately fight back against enemies since just like everyone else she gets scared by facing against people who truly want to kill her. On top of that she also lacks experience or the will to kill which makes her unable to finish of her attacker.
    • Ellen Kleitos may have relived the same week for a century, but even she is unable to defeat Sistine who has more experience and actual training in combat since although Ellen remembers her moves, Sistine is still flexible enough to adapt to them. On top of that even her mental strength has limits since in later repeats she starts making mistakes which causes her to lose some fights despite having more strength than them.
    • Luna may be Immune to Bullets due to being an angel, but can still be hurt and knocked over by them once Glenn fires all of them in one spot.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: The members of Divine Wisdom don't always agree on their methods despite their common goal, as shown when the first group tries to kidnap Rumia while Eleanor tries to have her killed.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Advertising posters and the first scenes with Glenn in the magical school, depicted him walking alone along the cold corridor. In the end, there is a scene where the now-happy Glenn walks down the corridor to meet his students, symbolizing that he now has people who need him.
  • Running Gag:
    • Sistine blowing Glenn away every time he does or says something stupid or embarrassing. This occurs three times in Episode 10.
    • Other characters saying that Eve will have trouble getting married, which includes Glenn, Christoph, and her half-sister Lydia.
  • Sacred Cow: In-universe; magic is treated as this divine gift that tells those who study it the inner workings of the world through special incantations. Glenn disabuses his students of that notion. The "official" incantations only make it easier to spell-cast by setting up a ready-made framework in the mage's mind; with enough training, one can break free of this mental framework and cast almost any spell with almost any incantation which Glenn demonstrates when he casts a Shock Bolt (a basic spell that shoots lightning straight forward) with a (seemingly) sloppy incantation and makes it curve in different directions.
  • Self-Insert: As revealed in side stories, Sistine writes one of these. Her story's main character is called "Mistine" and is incredibly beautiful. Multiple men fight for her favor, but she doesn't show interest in any of them... except for her teacher, "Grey".
  • Shadow Archetype: Throughout the story, Glenn meets several characters who had similarities to him yet differed him in their decisions with several of them being about the ideology of a "Mage of Justice".
  • Shock and Awe: Shock Bolt, a defensive spell which paralyzes and disables its victim.
  • Shout-Out:
  • So Proud of You: After Rumia wins the mental defense competition, her mother notes how blessed her daughter is to be in the company of good friends and a good mentor, and is happy to see a smile from her.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening shows Leos's carriage driver as an antagonist.
  • Stable Time Loop: Out of Namenloze's dialogue, it is highly implied one is currently going on considering the fact she says that what Glenn does is important for both the future and past.
  • The Stinger: Parodied; Episode 7 had a scene after the credits set up, with Re=L taking it out on Glenn... over why she can't narrate the Episode 8 preview.
  • Stripperiffic: The Alzano Academy girls' uniforms, which show off the midriff, and come with a Dangerously Short Skirt that exposes a good part of the thighs and include Zettai Ryouiki with garters. They also look really, really cool. This is explained in the light novel: unlike male students, the females are recommended to wear less clothing (during academic periods) to increase their affinity to mana. Their clothing is also enchanted with automatic air-conditioning magic which adjusts the temperature and humidity of the air around them.
  • Stylistic Suck: The light novel written by Sistine. The major characters are obviously based on Sistine and Glenn (being called "Mistine" and "Grey-sensei"), Sistine's avatar has ludicrous beauty described with Purple Prose, multiple men fight over her, and the character based on Glenn would prefer to be called "Mistine's beloved one" - in summary, it's Sistine's fantasies written down. Sistine doesn't see these flaws and doesn't realise why her work fails to win an award.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic:
    • One of the central aspects of Glenn's instruction towards his students focuses on shedding the belief that magic is "sacred" and set in stone because this reduces its actual practicality and malleability. He teaches them that a spell can be modified by chanting it with different syntaxes and even removing entire words from the phrasing, putting emphasis in the fact that what matters the most in an incantation is the "intent" of the magician and not so much the wording he uses. Glenn himself casts Shock Bolt with the most simplified and half-hearted wording he can use, surprising the students who thought that they had already mastered the spell.
    • To elaborate on the previous point, Glenn later reminisces at the fact that Shock Bolt is remarkably difficult to master even to those who employ Military Magic because its final output is tremendously hard to calibrate and it might end up killing the person in the receiving end if not cast carefully; this is a risk inherent to the actual intent of the spell, which is to merely stun. He is even preoccupied at the fact that Leos is teaching his classroom to push for the military application of magic, which has the intent to injure and kill.
  • Teacher/Student Romance:
    • Although Glenn is young, athletic and definitely more intelligent than he seems, most students see him as a lazy and silly young man. Specifically, regardless of whether Sistine or Rumia (or maybe even Re=L, Francine, Collette or Maria) becomes a pair with Glenn, their couple will quickly get into this trope. However, their age difference isn't so far apart so doesn't look wrong. Glenn is on the other end of this trope with Celica, who was his magic teacher.
    • This also happened to Sistine's parents. Bonus points for having the ''exact same'' dynamic as Glenn and Sistine's.
    • This trope is actually defied by Glenn himself at least towards Sistine and Rumia, because he only sees them as his students, but not as women. Rumia notes and realizes this especially when she compares how Glenn interacts with women that are closer to his age such as Eve or Celica.
    • It also turns out Rumia's ancestor, Alicia III, married her own teacher. Sadly it ended tragically with Alicia III murdering her own husband once she went into madness and realized he was the devil.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": In the side story, "White Cat becomes a White Cat", Glenn picked up what he thought was a stray cat, he decided to call her "Sistine" since they both had similar personalities. Sistine who actually was the cat (due to a magic accident) doesn't like the naming or rather wants him to reverse it since he normally calls her "White cat".
  • Wham Episode:
    • Volume 5: The first appearance of Jatice and more details of Glenn's past is revealed.
    • Volume 6: The first appearance of Namenloze whose dialogue reveals that Glenn is not as ordinary as originally thought and it is also the first volume to focus on Celica.
    • Volume 10: The Reveal of what Rumia's ability truly is.
    • Volume 11: Eve is forced to become an instructor after getting demoted and Glenn is given a task by Alcia III spirit to translate her notes which will reveal her past.
  • Wham Line: In volume 15 Nameless calls Glenn the one who shall become her master and it is highly implied she is a god or deity of some kind.
  • Wham Shot: When Glenn defeats the Demon General, Acero Hierro, with his "Penetrator" shot from his gun, Sistine looks at them afar and realizes that his gun looks like a small stick which fits the description of how Acero Hierro was defeated in the book "Magician of Melgalius".
    The disciple suddenly points out a small stick at the general's chest, then suddenly, the general falls dead afterwards.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The fifth side story of the Memory Records volumes completely take place in a flashback with only the first and/or last scene taking place in the present.
  • Wizard Duel: These are one way for magicians to settle disputes with each other, though the practice is now seen as somewhat antiquated. They are initiated by the challenger throwing their glove at the challenged, and the challenged party has the right to set the terms of the duel. Sistine challenges Glenn to one and wins. Soundly. Apparently, a duel between student and teacher was unheard of (let alone a student beating a teacher). It's later implied that Glenn (who used to be a military-contracted magician killer) would not even remotely think of lifting a finger against one of his students, let alone against Sistine, and he was not fighting seriously or he's just that unmotivated to fight.
  • Wizarding School: The main setting of the series is the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Glenn demonstrates in his first serious lesson that the incantations used to cast spells only facilitate the process of casting. Spells behave as their caster's subconscious wills it, and with enough practice any spell could theoretically be cast with any kind of incantation.

Alternative Title(s): Akashic Records Of Bastard Magic Instructor, Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi To Akashic Records

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