The winter anime season 2023 has officially begun, with the release of new and exciting titles such as Tomo-chan is a Girl, Spy Classroom, and The Ice Guy and his Cool Female Colleague. Not to mention the long-awaited returns of Bungou Stray Dogs, DanMachi, and others.
The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule The World (The Iceblade Sorcererdebut )'s was filled with so many details about the series' main character with these titles that they are surprisingly simple to miss. What kind of life did Ray White lead prior to enrolling in his new school, and how does he intend to handle the immediate conflict that he runs into upon arriving? It's safe to say that the first episode lays the groundwork for what viewers of this brand-new, dramatic fantasy anime should know.
The Traumatic Past of Ray White
The Iceblade Sorcerer starts by giving fans a glimpse of the bloody and traumatic events in Ray's life immediately before the opening. The shocking scenes of the young Ray and other characters mourning for the tragic loss of two undisclosed but loved individuals set a serious tone to the anime very quickly, while also displaying the incredible power Ray possesses as he 'overheats', and his magic explodes around him.
This opening is certainly impactful and blends perfectly with the high-energy opening theme song, "Dystopia" by Sizuk. From this emotional introduction, fans find out that Ray was once a child soldier in a war that lost two significant figures in his life tragically. Throughout the episode, more flashbacks of the devastating war and the habits of a soldier that are ingrained in his character suggest that the war had been a life-changing event for Ray that he hasn't been able to overcome yet.
The Eminence of Arnold Academy
Within moments of entering his new school, an esteemed school for sorcerers called Arnold Academy, Ray is unfortunately subjected to some rather extreme discrimination from the aristocratic students; particularly earning hostility from Albert Alium, a noble who acts violently towards Ray for being the first and only commoner -- or as they call it, an 'ordinary' -- to attend the academy.
Ray is quickly given the moniker "the Withered," a play on the similar-sounding wizard that Alium invented for him because of his apparent weakness and lack of magical ability, as the majority of the student body has so far demonstrated that they are against his presence at the academy that is considered to be the most prestigious and elite school for sorcerers. Even so, Ray doesn't seem phased and keeps acting politely and kindly to everyone in his vicinity.
When Ray defeats Alium in a class-related mock battle by using only a few slight movements, Alium's hatred for Ray only grows. Alium quickly establishes himself as the first antagonist Ray must face in order to live a normal school life while maintaining his identity as the Iceblade Sorcerer. Alium's resentment is only fueled by the fact that he is powerless to influence Ray in any way, despite his conviction that he is a disgrace to the academy's name and ought to be expelled.
Relationships and Ties
Ray makes some friends among the nobles despite being confronted by Alium and the other students' extreme noble supremacy. Amelia Rose, a member of one of the top three noble families in the nation, is his first ally. She supports him in his fight against Alium's prejudice and disapproves of the unjust treatment Ray receives. Amelia, despite being a commoner, is Ray's first friend at the academy as she compliments him for being accepted despite his status and engages with him even in front of the noble students' disapproving glances.
Another character that Ray befriends in the first episode is a half-elf named Elisa Griffith. Delighted to find another fan of the top-ranking researcher of sorcery, Dr. Ainsworth, Elisa finds herself opening up to Ray regardless of her withdrawn and bookish personality. With Ray's acceptance of her appearance as a half-elf that she felt insecure about, Elisa joins Amelia in Ray's growing circle of friends.
In addition to Amelia and Elisa, Ray meets the muscular Evi Armstrong, with whom he forms a friendship over their shared love of strength and exercise, a member of one of the top three noble houses, the elegant Rebecca Bradley, and the adorable, exuberant, Claris Cleveland. Ray gains the respect of several individuals among both students and teachers, including the Headmaster and former member of Ray's party during the war, Abby Garnet, because of their lack of prejudice against the commonplace and Ray's cool and gentlemanly nature.
The Iceblade Sorcerer's premiere episode is surely impressive, packed full of details that fans should know before the release of the next episode, and Ray's mysterious but tragic past as the Iceblade sorcerer. With the foundations thoroughly laid out, this anime series is bound to be a hit with any diehard fantasy fans this season.