Mashle: Magic and Muscles Season 1 Review – A Fun Action-Comedy With A Magical Spin

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1: Mash Burnedead and the Body of the Gods -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2: Mash Burnedead and the Mysterious Maze -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3: Mash Burnedead and the Baleful Bully -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4: Mash Burnedead and the Challenging Magic User -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5: Mash Burnedead and the Unpopular Classmate -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6: Mash Burnedead and the Magic of Iron -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7: Mash Burnedead and the Puppet Master -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8: Mash Burnedead and the Wolves of Magic -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9: Mash Burnedead and the Accelerated Battle -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10: Mash Burnedead and the Divine Visionary -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 11: Mash Burnedead and the Survival of the Fittest -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12: Mash Burnedead and the Magic Mirror -| Review Score – 3.5/5


This 2023 anime season brought fans three different magic academy shows to watch. Two anime were for existing properties with decent fanbases, so they were guaranteed to grab peoples’ attention. As for Mashle: Magic and Muscles, it had to work hard to get people to watch its content. While this anime doesn’t have the most groundbreaking plot or complex cast, it delivers beautiful visuals, pleasant humor, and likable characters to entertain audiences.

This action-comedy follows Mash, a boy who lacks magical prowess in a world brimming with magic. What he lacks in magic, he makes up for with his unbelievable strength. After getting into a skirmish with a Magic Realm officer named Brad, Mash must attend a prestigious Easton Magic Academy to become the next Divine Visionary. By doing so, he’ll secure a peaceful life for himself and his father, Regro.

For the most part, Mashle’s narrative is easy to follow. The story has Mash befriending numerous students at the Easton Magic Academy. He’ll get into fights with rowdy classmates and obnoxious staff members. The show delivers fun comedic segments involving witty one-liners, parodic humor, deadpan facial expressions and reactions, and slapstick.

Mashle has decent world-building and has its characters participate in some nifty magic academy-themed events. From spell caster battles to crafting potions, the anime adores placing characters in scenarios that fantasy fans expect.

The anime’s first episode gives viewers a glimpse of the Mash’s hometown. It depicts people from different walks of life using magic to solve minuscule issues as they refuse to solve problems physically. This gives its universe a unique identity to separate itself from other shows. In addition to having some enjoyable suspenseful encounters and cliffhangers, the plot churns out decent material.

Unfortunately, the story is not without its share of flaws. The storytelling suffers from being repetitive, convenient, and predictable in some areas. There were many occasions when the show had characters retread old ground that got covered in previous episodes. One example includes Easton Magic Academy headmaster Wahlberg telling Mash how he could become the Divine Visionary. This was an unnecessary inclusion since Finn presents Mash with an excellent roadmap that outlines the steps to becoming one.

Other instances like this occur in the series, occasionally disrupting the narrative’s flow. Furthermore, some of Mash’s opponents had similarly themed backgrounds and reasons for their corruptive habits. Many share a common familial theme for pursuing evil. Therefore, it would’ve been great if the villains had different backstories that led them down their darker paths.

The show tends to have the heroes win their battles easily, sometimes through abrupt means. Some examples include Mash conquering every magic wielder he battles to Dot unlocking an ability without proper build-up. This made some battles feel predictable and less thrilling. While not all fights are like this, the important ones should’ve been more challenging and suspenseful. In addition to having some gags that didn’t land as hard as others, the story feels moderate so far but has room to improve with future seasons.

Mashle: Magic and Muscles’ cast is enjoyable enough to keep viewers invested. The standouts from the main cast are Lance, Dot, and Mash. They all have fun personalities, compelling backgrounds, and engaging abilities. From Lance’s goals involving his sister to Dot wanting to be accepted and find himself a girlfriend, viewers will find these three captivating. They get involved in many battles and humorous scenarios that are entertaining and will make viewers laugh.

The supporting characters like Lemon and Finn were interesting, but this season never explored them enough to make me care for them. The villains carry mixed baggage. As mentioned earlier, while they have decent personalities and unique magical prowess, their backgrounds are shallow. They needed more diverse backstories and advantages over our protagonists to feel less bland. Hopefully, the second season will introduce formidable challengers on par with Cell War to push Mash and his friends to their breaking point.

A-1 Pictures is the studio behind Mashle: Magic and Muscles’ production. They did a fine job capturing the simple and epic aspects of Hajime Koumoto’s artwork in Mashle’s manga. Everything from the series’s magic academy’s setting to the battle sequences involving Mash, Lance, and Dot looked astonishing. That being said, some of the minor animated segments looked jarring and choppy. Some creatures had uninspiring designs in the anime too. However, these never hampered the multiple spectacles found in the anime.

The anime’s soundtrack was enjoyable and enhanced its different tones. There were melodies that complemented Mashle’s comical scenes and exhilarating music that elevated its fight scenes’ intensity and atmosphere. The opening and ending themes were delightful and captured Mashle: Magic and Muscles’ raw and wacky spirit. The voice actors like Chiaki Kobayashi (Mash) and Takuya Eguchi (Dot) did a great job capturing these characters’ mannerisms and bringing them to life. The animation and sound team deserve immense praise for their work on season one.

Mashle: Magic and Muscles had tough competition this season. It was not only competing against other magic academy shows but some breakout newcomers that stole the spotlight from it. The story isn’t the best since most of its jokes, battles, characters, and plot elements are not as well-crafted in comparison to other works that aired this season. Hopefully, with its second season, it can deliver a well-crafted product so fascinating Mash would abandon his beloved creampuffs.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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