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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 has released 14 volumes as of March 20, 2019.

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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 has released 4 volumes as of January 19, 2019. 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 it has released 9 volumes as of November 27, 2018. 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 actually averting this trope since the anime is an adaptation of the light novel not the manga.
  • 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 Sisti 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 Jatice Lowfan aspires to acquire.
  • 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 though 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.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The girls' school uniforms don't bother covering the female students' abdomen area.
  • 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 start 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.
    • Side Stories were made to this since they mostly show the usual daily life the characters have and small adventures they have.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Glenn demonstrates transformation magic in episode 5, and how it can even be used to create a flawless disguise. By the next episode, 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.
  • Dirty Old Man: The audience is grossed out by Count Zest fawning over Rumia.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending theme, "Precious You☆", is performed by Akane Fujita (Sistine), Yume Miyamoto (Rumia), and Ari Ozawa (Re=L).
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The Side Story, "Heavens, the Lonesome Witch", at first seems like a standard story in which an Ineffectual Loner (Celica) meets up with a kid (Glenn) that will help her out of her shell and make her more social, but near the end it was revealed that the kid named Glenn Radars, whom Celica bonded with was a thrall the whole time and that this was all a plan to kill her. Celica than kills the thrall and his master. And in the end she finds an amnesiac kid in the basement whom she adopts and names Glenn Radars. Meaning the whole time the kid we got to know wasn't the protagonist of the main story.
  • 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 Sisti's parents treat her well, they also consider Rumia part of their family. Though her father is doting to an over-the-top extent.
  • Graceful Loser: Huey calmly accepts his defeat after his teleportation circle was disabled by Glenn.
  • 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.
  • Lecherous Licking: Count Zest licks his own cane as he fawns over Rumia.
  • Magical Incantation: Obligatory for any magic-focused series.
    • 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; Sisti'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 who's 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 gets punched out of the girls' changing room, which also results in him getting a nosebleed.
  • 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, symbolising that he now has people who need him.
  • Running Gag: Sisti blowing Glenn away every time he does or says something stupid or embarrassing. This occurs three times in Episode 10.
  • 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".
  • Shock and Awe: Shock Bolt, a defensive spell which paralyzes and disables its victim.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The members of the Imperial Court Magic Corps Special Missions Annex all have Tarot Motifs. Which wouldn't normally be enough as a reference to Jojos Bizarre Adventure. However it should be noted that the current members (including Glenn who is sometimes forced to help out) have the same Tarot Motifs as the Main Characters of Part 3 of Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
      • Their group consists of the Magician, The Star, The Chariot, The Hierophant, The Hermit and The Fool who either have characteristics or abilities similar to those from the Crusaders. For more details go to the character page.
    • Volume 8 has a few references to Ranma ½.
      • First up the first chapter is called Glenn ½ and the story involves Glenn turning into a woman (with the fake name Ren Gladars) who has to infiltrate an all girls Wizarding School so that Re=L won't be expelled for failing grades.
      • When Glenn turns back into a man in the middle of the story. The excuse he and his students make is that "she" turns into a man whenever "she" touches hot water, because of a Magical Experiment gone wrong.
  • 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.
  • 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; as such, 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 barest minimum 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 Sisti or Rumia (or maybe even Re=L) 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.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": In a side story when Glenn adopted what he thought was a stray cat, he decided to call her "Sistine" since they both had similar personalities. Sistine who actually is the cat after a magic accident, doesn't like him using her name or rather she wants him to reverse it since he calls her "White cat".
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Some side stories completely take place in a flashback. Two examples are "Heavens, the lonesome witch" which is about how Celica first met Glenn and "The two fools" which is about why Glenn started to create the Fool's World.
  • 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 Sisti, and he was not fighting seriously.
  • 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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