As is quickly explained to her, she was part of a ritual to summon a "Saint", a benevolent, powerful magician who would slay the monsters and purify the miasma threatening to overrun the kingdom of Salutania and the rest of the world. However, there's a problem: instead of just one person from another world, there are two, Sei and a much younger, much more conventionally attractive, and innocent girl, Aira Misono.
While the priests are rightfully confused, Prince Kyle Salutania has no such reservations and immediately marches forward and kneels before Aira, introducing himself and sweeping the kingdom's new "Saint" off her feet.
With no precedent, no way to get Sei back to her world, and feeling terribly guilty about this incident, the kingdom decides to let Sei stay in the castle, visit its related facilities like the Royal Research Institute, and spend her time as she pleases. Without TV, video games, or the ability to talk a stroll in the woods without getting attacked by bloodthirsty monsters, and with the castle residents mysteriously avoiding her and not even bothering to visit, Sei finds herself terribly bored—until she accidentally stumbles on an herb garden full of familiar plants like lavender and oregano.
A friendly scientist from the institute, Jude, introduces her to the concept of potion-making, and with a past hobby in herbalism, Sei quickly becomes a researcher making potions and studying herbs' effects. As everyone quickly learns, however, Sei's magic is overwhelmingly powerful and her past-life knowledge allows her to make groundbreaking innovations and discoveries that threaten to rock the nation and upset the balance of power. Add budding romances with handsome men, encroaching monsters and miasma, and friendships with nobles and other residents of this world, and Sei's life becomes very interesting indeed.
The Saint's Magic is Overpowered (聖女の魔力は万能です) is a webnovel written by Yuki Tachibana, originally published and still hosted on Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later adapted into a light novel, illustrated by Yasuyuki Syuri, a manga adaptation drawn by Fujiazuki, and then an anime adaptation by Diomedéa, currently airing during Spring 2021. It is licensed by Kadokawa Books, Kadokawa Shoten's ComicWalker website. The official English translations of both the LN and manga are handled by Seven Seas Entertainment.
A spin-off of the series, called The Saint's Magic is Overpowered - Another Saint (聖女の魔力は万能です～もう一人の聖女~) is later released and focuses on Aira, and what she experienced and see's throughout the story.
This series provides examples of:
- Adaptational Early Appearance:
- Lady Elizabeth Ashley, better known as "Liz", and Lady Nicole Ardler show up in Episode 2 of the anime, whereas in the original web novel it takes quite a while for Sei to find female companionship, thanks to the male-dominated society of Salutania. Aira's unintentionally causing waves in the Academy due to her befriending engaged young men is also mentioned much earlier, along with Sei getting indirectly roped in because of Liz telling her about it.
- Academy of Adventure: The Royal Academy is meant to train knights, magicians, and military officers for subjugating monsters and the kingdom's enemies. A regular part of the curriculum is to head out into the forests and cull the monster populations there, which are both used to make the area safer and give the students valuable experience to power themselves up.
- Crapsaccharine World: Salutania, dear lord. It's all nice and pleasant because Sei is in the heavily guarded, well-supplied, and very rich royal capital for most of the story, but as quickly becomes apparent the more she steps out of that bubble, travels to different regions, and participates in monster subjugation, this world is in serious trouble even without the Saint. Miasma is spreading and monsters are springing up faster and fiercer than mere mortal soldiers and professional hunters can subjugate them, industries are being crippled as safe areas become smaller and smaller and more and more resources go into defense than expansion, and even things like basic medical supplies are facing impending total collapse, especially prominent as any given monster subjugation ends with several heavily injured and crippled soldiers. And then you have all the court politics where every lord and leader of a territory wants to be sent soldiers and assistance first, regardless of their importance in the grand scheme of things, King Siegfried is struggling to keep his kingdom from splitting apart due to faction differences, and his son and successor is a massive, impulsive idiot with something to prove and far too little skill to actually do it properly. It's a good thing that so many other leaders and prominent individuals are Reasonable Authority Figures that are, at the least, willing to do their jobs without too much playing politics and advancing their interests over the society's, because the Saint is not going to be able to fix all these problems by her lonesome.
- Compressed Adaptation: The anime shortens the time between events and cuts out a lot of the web and light novel's slowness and dragging things along to emphasize how bored Sei was in her first few weeks in Salutania or how long things take to get done, like the week it took to get her a kitchen.
- Dramatic Irony:
- During her first few weeks in the new world, Sei complains that she's been basically left alone in her room except for the one maid, no one in the castle comes to visit nor talk to her. This is because she arrived haggard, unhealthily pale, and sickly looking from all that overwork, the residents believed her ill, and their standard procedure is to give her space and time to recuperate and rest by her lonesome.
- Aira is effectively just an average girl without any special holy powers or stats beyond a strong aptitude for Magic. Sei is the real saint with the ridiculous stats to match.
- In-Universe, no one is able to use Appraise on Sei, so her status as the true Saint is unknown to basically everyone in Salutania. Much more prominent outside the original Web Novel, which makes it so that Sei can no longer use Appraise and is kept in the dark about her powers.
- Enemy Scan: The Appraise spell acts like this with more powerful users. Even analyzing the traits of items (magical ones especially) is a difficult task and considering how important and sensitive knowing a person's exact strengths and weaknesses are, only the most trusted individuals are even taught it.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the episode titles so far use two kanji in Japanese.
- Interclass Friendship: Lady Elizabeth (or later, "Liz") and Sei share an incredibly close friendship despite the former being a very high-ranked noble daughter and the latter being a commoner researcher at the institute, the blessing of the Director and the Third Order beside. From the start, Liz has shown nothing but respect and genuine interest in Sei's work in potion research, and eventually, the two grow so close as to refer to each other by their first names without honorifics along with confiding gossip and serious issues with each other.
- Iyashikei: For however grim the situation is around the kingdom, what with the spreading miasma and monster attacks that can both poison and ravage the humans, respectively, much of Sei's time in this new world is spent enjoying herself, making medicines, food, and cosmetics for other people's benefits; hanging out with her new friends, coworkers, and her superiors; and having flirtatious interactions with handsome, single, interested young men.
- Lighter and Softer: Probably due to budget restrictions and TV regulations, the anime adaptation tones down a lot of the gore and the ugly details. For example, in Episode 1 of the anime, Sei stumbles onto the Third Knight Order who've been badly mangled and injured by a Salamander, a fire-breathing, high-ranking monster. The original text describes deep scratch wounds, serious burns, and so much blood that Sei believes a young girl like Aira might lose her mind seeing so much gore and suffering. It's especially egregious with Captain Hawke, who has half of his upper body charred black and Sei wondering how in the world he's still alive. In the anime, they're all just covered in scratches, blood, and bandages, but nothing too grievous or disturbing; Hawke still looks badly bloodied and battered but without a scorch-mark to be seen.
- Magic Potion: The institute's main source of income and subject of research are magical potions, especially ones for healing. The soldiers who fend off the bloodthirsty monsters are the most frequent customers, but they're also used by workers, travelers, and those who are sickly or infirm for treating accidents or chronic conditions. Sei herself also almost exclusively uses these to harness her magic; she can't cast spells directly at the start but she can make a potion that's just as effective and can be administered by anyone as needed, to boot.
- Medieval European Fantasy: Salutania is this, full-stop, from the architecture, the more realistic hair colors and physical traits, and much of its traditions and customs, such as knighthood, the titles of their monarchs and the line of succession, and how women are treated.
- Memento MacGuffin: Albert gives Sei a hair accessory that she wanted during their outing, with a gem inbued with his magic powers. When Sei is asked to help the Third Knight Order on a mission in the Western Forest, the accessory's magic activates when Sei is ambushed by a monster, summoning a giant ice wall with Albert's ice magic.
- Off the Chart: Most prominently shown in the Light/Web Novels where Sei has access to the Appraise spell, but her stats are ridiculously high compared to the rest of the world. Her base level is 55 - 10 levels higher than Salutania's highest levelled man, Grand Magus Yuri Drewes. Her Holy Magic level is even higher, simply displayed as the infinity symbol. Not to mention the actual Saint's Magic which seems to be entirely outside the scope of the regular magic system.
- One Degree of Separation: Unsurprisingly for a feudal society heavily relying on hereditary succession and giving said successors numerous advantages for the meritocratic aspects of Salutania, many of the people Sei interact with are connected in some way. For example, Prince Kyle Salutania is Elizabeth Ashley's fiance and Capt. Hawke's older brother, Erhart Hawke, is the Deputy Magus of the Court Mages, the second-highest position.
- Only One Name: Several characters only have one name, due to being commoners. Only nobles have the privilege of family names.
- Reality Ensues: So many it has its own page.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Some fans have complained about why it takes an otherworlder, Sei, to introduce the simple but dramatically effective concept of using herbs for cooking rather than medicine. In real life, herbs were almost always cultivated for medicinal purposes, similar items like salt was an incredibly expensive commodity like gold and flavoring your food with it was exclusive to the rich and powerful, and even in-universe, it takes the institute both having an extensive herb garden on-site and connections to merchants that gives Sei enough stock to play around with and most importantly, she knew what she was doing from the start. Anyone else who tries will be accused of wasting valuable supplies or likely overseason their food and decide it's not worth it over making lifesaving potions.
- RPG-Mechanics Verse: Downplayed in the anime but the power and skill of a person, a spell, and items are measured in "levels".
- "Basic Levels" are a person's overall strength without accounting for specialized skills like Holy Magic or Potion Making. A random citizen is between 1-5; graduates from the Royal Academy for hunting monsters and studying magic are 15; professional hunters and soldiers vary greatly in the 20's; and heads of state, division directors, and knight commanders are in the 30's. Sei is 55.
- Appraise is a magic spell that tells you the exact stats and details of an object or at much more powerful levels, people. As the latter could be used without the target's consent, only highly-trusted individuals are taught this to prevent leakage of secrets like what a king's weaknesses are. If the user is of a lower level, however, the spell fails altogether, with or without consent. A huge part of Dramatic Irony is how Sei is impossible to examine by anyone but herself, leaving people in the dark about her capabilities.
- Magic Gems can be enchanted to provide useful buffs to armor and equipment. Holy Magic specializes in defensive traits, with Reduction at base to Nullification, starting at rank 5. The worse the thing you're resisting against, like Salamander's fire-breath, the more magic plus raw skill is required. The quality of the materials must also be carefully considered, as too weak, the medium shatters from the stress, too strong, the caster will fail to infuse it with their magic.
- Shrouded in Myth: The Saints of Salutania have very, very little known about them, except that they can help slay monsters and purify the miasma that creates them and poisons everything else. Who they were, what their lives were, what other capabilities they had were kept secret, as the past Kings and their courts decided that detailed information on the Saint's incredible powers would quickly make them easy targets for assassinations or kidnappings by those who wished to use their power or deny it to Salutania.
- Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Almost Perfectly Equal.
- The society is male-dominated, as you might expect, with almost all of Sei's fellow researchers and magicians being men, the entire Third Order of Knights and every other professional soldiers are all young men, and many of the officials from other departments like the Royal Mages and are also men.
- However, despite appearing to lack the powers of a saint, Sei is allowed to become a researcher at the institute, faces no discrimination unique to her gender, and becomes a highly-respected figure for her work and her talents alongside her beauty. Noblewomen like Liz are also shown to be independent, have a healthy respect for other women in male-dominated fields like potion research, and her interest in beauty is for the sake of feeling and looking good than to appease the men around her. Men in general from superiors to common soldiers all also consistently treat Sei and other women with the utmost respect.
- Utility Magic: The main purpose of spells isn't anything flashy or dangerous, like throwing fireballs at monsters' faces or at enemy soldiers; it's mainly used to create potions for healing wounds, treating injuries as a result of usual labor, or treating skin conditions like eyebags or acne. For other examples:
- Sei badgers Jude into using his Water generation spell to get her a tub of cool water to soak her feet in. On a more professional note, Jude also uses this to conveniently get clean water to make quality potions.
- Capt. Hawke uses his rare, valuable Ice powers to make ice cubes to chill Sei's drink.
- White Mage: Of what little is known about the Saints, healing magic and purifying the monster-producing miasma are their most prominent traits. Sei also displays other techniques, like amplifying the recovery effects of potions; infusing normal food with enchanted traits; and being able to near effortlessly enchant gems with extremely powerful defensive buffs like Resistance or Nullification.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The Saint Summoning Ritual is strictly one-way. Even saving Salutania won't allow Aira or Sei to return to Japan.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Though many characters have realistic hair colors like Sei's black or Captain Hawke's blonde, some of them have some pretty rare or out there tints like Jude's green hair or Prince Kyle's intense, fiery red.