The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest

Alt title: Shikkaku Mon no Saikyou Kenja

TV (12 eps)
3.347 out of 5 from 5,320 votes
Rank #8,427

His strength limited by the magical crest with which he was born, Mathias, the world’s most powerful sage, decides reincarnation is necessary to become the strongest of all. Upon his rebirth as a young boy, Mathias is thrilled to discover he’s been born with the optimal crest for magical combat on his first try! Unfortunately, the world he’s been born into has abysmally poor standards when it comes to magic, and everyone thinks he’s still marked for failure! Now it’s up to Mathias to prove everyone wrong…world’s strongest sage-style!

Source: Crunchyroll

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HVMetal
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"When you're in doubt, blame the demons." Did someone disappear? Those demons must be behind it again! Is someone acting weird? Those demons must be behind it again! Is a place suspicious? Those demons must be behind it again! Is a disaster impeding? Those demons must be behind it again! This may seem like a joke, yet this is the exact feeling I got while watching the anime. Whenever something out of the ordinary occured, Matthias' number one suspects were the demons, and (un)naturally he was always proven right. Spoilers. All of them. ... ... ... Now, the entire "human good. demon bad." story has been done many times before, and there must certainly be better executions (that I haven't watched yet) of it than whatever this anime had done. In The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest we follow Matthias, in his former life known as Gaius, one of the most powerful sages who chose to reincarnate himself because he hit the limit of his growth with his former 1st crest and sought the more combat proficient 4th crest, on his quest of becoming stronger. Though he succeeded on his first try, acquiring the crest, he woke up to a world where his former crest was labeled as the strongest while his current one the weakest. He was, as expected, confused of how much weaker the world had become; besides misjudging the crests' potential, casually labeling weaker monsters as calamity class, using shoddy weapons, or chanting spells (with a severe weakening in their power). Eventually his conclusion was that the demons he couldn't confirm at that time whether they were even still alive were behind the anomaly. Miraculously he was proven right moments after when he fought the First Academy student who was secretly a demon in disguise. From that point onward every new obstacle that Matthias and his party encountered had something to do with demons. Afterall it is a black and white world where humans can only be good, and if they do seem bad then that is because some demons were behind them. The entire story summed up in a single sentence would be "I'm committing demon genocide on my quest to become the strongest and it's fine because they are not supposed to have any redeeming qualities anyways." ... Matthias is a protagonist who constantly did miracles, knew things that an everyday human in no way could ever know and casually refered to a past life, yet nobody ever questioned him in deeper detail of just who he was. People didn't care. The fact he was there whenever an impossible situation arised and solved it with effectively a snap of his fingers was good enough for them. Why would a country investigate a suspicious person whose knowledge of ancient artifacts and techniques are light years away from theirs? Why wouldn't a single person subconsciously believe he has ulterior motives? People didn't care. He was also a very good narrator, since he told every itsy-bitsy detail of what was happening and what he was going to do. You wouldn't have to rack your brain hard since an answer would certainly arrive within a minute. I'm not being sarcastic here... really, I'm not... And if you were still in doubt, just blame the demons. 100% It always works. On another hand there was supposed to be a romantic subplot going on, or at least judging from how Matthias and Lurie acted around each other that is the feeling I got. Frankly, nothing would have changed if it was removed. It didn't add to character development, it didn't add to the story, it only added weak comedic moments where they suddenly blushed at the smallest thing the other person did or said. At the end at least they got their relationship forward by a bit with the necklace Matthias gifted to Lurie and even if slowly, but there was shown hope for their relationship to progress even further rather than just having blushing scenes left and right for all eternity. Alma............................... there is NOTHING to say about her. Iris was probably the best from the MC's team (MC included). Her comic actions and reactions were never overdone or annoying. Her annihilating the entire schoolyard then acting proud of it or stuffing herself at every scene during their travels were some of the more enjoyable moments. ... As for the demons... First of all, having seen their current world's circumstances it sure was a miracle it hadn't been destroyed yet. While being cautious is not a bad thing, as more time passed the less I felt like the demons had any reason for holding back. Really, the humans would have never stood a chance even if they started wiping them out before Gaius was reborn. However, there may be something that I feel like has justified their actions, and that would be... Second of all, the demons are INCREDIBLY stupid. The usual demon-like attire, smug grin, extreme self-confidence and the single most defining characteristic that they are the sworn enemies of humanity is all there is to them. No personality, hardly any individuality besides their species' special skills (such as the mist demon with his mist abilities or the devils with their unusual level of cooperation for demons). Some demons are even overhyped only to be effortlessly beaten in a minute or two. "This is going to be a tough oppo... oops he died..." - probably Matthias. Even the last boss was just a mass of smugness who recited generic villain quotes like poetry. And his self-confidence only lasted while he had the upper hand over Matthias. Once Matthias acquired his cheat sword, he quickly lost his cool then was defeated in a single slash; very befitting for a self-proclaimed chaos demon. Of course he couldn't go before even more smugly saying he wasn't the last one of those so called chaos demons. "No human should be capable of it..." BRUH, your opponent was a human capable of creating footholds mid-air and standing his ground until that moment. It was a little late for you to be astonished. In short, the demons are stupid, lame and annoying. ... In summary: the story and characters are extremely basic, the protagonist is effectively omniscient, character development is almost nil, the villains are lame and generic, there is no tension because all fights end with an overpowered move finishing the opponent in one hit, romantic subplot is basic and dragged out, and most comedic moments not involving Iris are lame. Really, only watch it if you have nothing better to do.

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