Power can be a dangerous attribute for some people to have. It can easily change a person by making them think they have the right to enact selfish desires. Having a high level of power and maintaining empathy for others can be difficult, but for those that can, it gives them a better understanding for those around them. That in turn, can put that person on the path to being seen as a good and caring character. We’ve seen this recently in That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime and now in Wise Man’s Grandchild. Rimuru has passed the torch to Shin, but what other aspects does Wise Man’s Grandchild have that are similar and how is it going out on its own path? How does there being less of a focus on Shin’s past life change how the show is set up? Would Wise Man’s Grandchild be a good way to ease someone into the isekai genre if they haven’t watched this kind of series before? Let’s jump into a world of magic to find the answer to these questions.
Shin Wolford is very naive. Living a sheltered life growing up has led him to being a bit inept at social situations and lacking some forms of common sense. That doesn’t mean he’s not intelligent—he’s just smart in different ways. He’s the epitome of book smarts, or in this case, magic smarts over street smarts. Merlin’s way of raising him kept him out of the public eye, or really society in general, due to Merlin wanting his own privacy after being declared a hero. That kind of life growing up could have led Shin to not caring about others or thinking he was special and above everyone else, but it doesn’t.
Merlin’s raising of Shin lets him not only become powerful with magic, but learn how to protect himself and by proxy, others as well. Letting Shin go to school allows him to see what society is actually like and get him acclimated to others, but it also gives others the opportunity to take advantage of him. It hasn’t happened yet, but Shin’s naivety could lead him to being placed in a situation that would be used against him without his knowing. Even after having fought a demonoid and being proclaimed in the same light as Merlin was years ago, he’s going to have to remain vigilant to not be taken advantage of.
What helps Shin as he navigates the treacherous waters of school life is that he will do whatever it takes to protect his friends. He puts himself in the face of danger to make sure everyone will be okay. That kind of bravery is helped by the immense amount of power he possesses, but it also helps that he cares. It’s one thing to be powerful and have the ability to do anything you want, but it’s another to use that power to help others. Having Shin teach his friends to better improve their magic also showcases how he is able to be empathetic despite only knowing them for a short amount of time.
All of this is very reminiscent to how Rimuru was in That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime. He had a lot of power at his disposal, but instead of using it to make people bend to his whims, Rimuru gathered allies and formed his own community to help many different groups and races. It’s those kinds of actions that show everyone what kind of person you are. Even with these similarities to how they utilize their strengths, Rimuru and Shin aren’t copies of each other. Shin has much to learn with regards to how to handle himself in various social situations and can’t rely on a vast wealth of knowledge to help him analyse fights, deal with tactics, or forge negotiations with others like Rimuru was able to do.
While their two main characters share similar motivations and outlooks on how to be as a person, each show goes about tackling the isekai genre in different ways. Rimuru’s story had a good focus on his past life and other people who had been taken from our world into the new world. Wise Man’s Grandchild has, for the most part, thrown that part out. Outside of the opening bits of the first episode, there really hasn’t been any mention of Shin’s past life or him having any recollection of it. The only parts that have come close is him explaining his magic in a way that would make sense in somewhat scientific ways that the other characters do not understand. Shin’s past could come up later in the series, but for the moment, it’s not been a focus for the story.
Wise Man’s Grandchild has leaned more into having comedic bits than That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime. That’s not to say Slime was incredibly serious all the time, but Wise Man’s Grandchild is goofier. There are more exaggerated expressions and times when characters get simplistic looking faces for the sake of comedy. The show almost parodies shows with magic in them with how Shin is flabbergasted how everyone puts on a performance to cast spells when that’s not needed. You could also argue that outside of seeing Shin get killed and reincarnate into this new life, it’s more fantasy/school life than isekai.
The way the show has gone away from its isekai roots might be a detriment to some viewers, but in a way, could be beneficial for the show. Essentially, Wise Man’s Grandchild could be a way to introduce people to isekai if they haven’t dipped their toes into it before. You get the basic idea of the genre and then are thrust into a show that deals with possibilities not seen in our world. It might not be as fully entrenched in the genre as other shows out there, but if you want to lead people to other works in the genre, you’ve got to start them with a show that eases them in and Wise Man’s Grandchild certainly does that.
There’s still some time left before we reach the end of this season of Wise Man’s Grandchild, which means we could see Shin be brought down some rough roads. His lack of common sense could get him into trouble, but from what we’ve seen thus far, he has a good group of people around him that will help lead him back if that happens. Just like Rimuru in That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, Shin will certainly show us that even if you have a large amount of power, you can still be unselfish, help those around you, and be a good person.
Do you think you could handle the pressures of having unimaginable power? Or just survive in a new world altogether? Let us know in the comments down below!
Do you love writing? Do you love anime? If you have an idea for a features story, pitch it to Crunchyroll Features!