Mashle (Mashle: Magic and Muscles) Review

Mash is blackmailed into becoming the Divine Visionary at a magic school in order to hide the fact that he can’t use magic in a world that values people based on their magical ability.


  • Protagonist reminiscent of One Punch Man
  • Some exciting fighting scenes with different skills and abilities
  • Sense of camaraderie with Mash and other students
  • Some funny moments with Mash and his cream puffs


  • Characters feel a bit too generic or stereotypical
  • Premise and plot feel a little recycled

Mashle (Mashle: Magic and Muscles) Review

Mashle isn’t an anime series that takes itself seriously. The plot, the characters, and even the battle scenes all emphasize this sense of lightheartedness even during moments that should otherwise be serious.

The protagonist is Mash Burnedead, someone with absolutely no ability for magic, who lives in a world that judges everyone by their magical ability. In this world, people’s magical abilities manifest in a black linear design that appear on their faces.

So it should be no surprise that people with more than one line, double-liners, have more magical power. Perhaps later there will be someone with three lines.

The emphasis on these lines come about when students fight one another to establish rank amongst themselves in an academy whose purpose is to appoint a single Divine Visionary who will then lead society. Of course, this means that there’s a lot of discrimination based not only on single or double lines, but also on medieval ideas of nobility.

Mash enjoying his favorite food before he goes to the magic academy

Mash, of course, has no black lines. But in order to join the magical academy, he has one tattooed on his face. But painting lines on one’s face doesn’t bestow magical ability. Mash still has to come up with creative ways to overcome the magic challenges and requests made of him.

That’s where part of the comedy and lightheartedness in the series comes from. For most of the students, flying on a broom comes naturally. But that’s not the case for Mash when he is recruited into the academy’s version of Quidditch.

A few minutes before the match is over and his dormitory is set to lose by a wide margin, Mash finally manages to fly by running in place quickly and creating lift so that he’s level with the goal ring. Then he uses the ball like a boomerang in order to score hundreds of goals before time runs out, winning his team the match and reversing what would have otherwise been a devastating and embarrassing loss.

These quirky magical bypasses are prevalent throughout the series and are part of the enjoyment—how will Mash deal with being asked to cast a simple fireball spell? Or a teleportation spell?

Mash looks up at the dark, foreboding magic school he must attend

In many ways, Mash is highly reminiscent of Saitama in One Punch Man. Their average, almost generic appearance—Mash has hair whereas Saitama is bald, a differentiation that fools few—they both have a lazy, easy-going attitude, they are both abnormally strong despite their appearance, and they each have an obsession.

Mash’s obsession is with cream puffs, and this quirk makes its appearance throughout the show in some fun, sometimes obtrusive ways.

Mash swats away a powerful magic spell as if it’s an annoying fly

Other characters in the series aren’t any more interesting. Sure, they have different magical abilities to varying degrees of power. But in terms of personality, there’s not much going on for the characters save one or two who have probably received the lion’s share of the personality reserve meant for the show.

Mashle is an enjoyable magic school anime that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s not much story to the series, but it’s fun to see how Mash will overcome the magical obstacles on his way to becoming the Division Visionary. And it’s refreshing to see how forgiving and inclusive Mash can be in a world that is so set on establishing hierarchy.

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