The Dawn of the Witch Episode 1 Review – Quick Summary
In The Dawn of the Witch episode 1, “The Remedial Student and the Witch of the Staff,” Cervil/Saybil sat, drenched in the cold rain, his eyes glowing a soft blue in the night. He had no memory of who he was or why he was there, alone. A woman with similar glowing blue eyes came out of the shadows. Shielding him from the rain with her cloak, she said she would take him to someone more befitting. Who was she? Why did she want to help him? And why were their eyes glowing blue?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Favorite Quote from The Dawn of the Witch Episode 1
She’s the top of her class, and he’s at the bottom. But that didn’t seem to bother her at all. I respect that. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Holt is an interesting character. She said something early on that really caught my attention. She said something disparaging about a beastfallen. Cervil didn’t yell at her, but he quietly explained that she was stereotyping and should probably stop it. She paused, then thanked him for helping her learn something. What a refreshing attitude!
We learned through the episode that she’s at the top of her class and can use some advanced magic, too. Not only that, but she’s learned to be diplomatic. At one point, she told Cervil that she had discovered she could persuade people more often if she smiled brightly. Then she demonstrated one of her practiced smiles. That set the stage for my favorite quote.
Holt and Cervil had gone in search of the witch Roux Cristasse and the beastfallen Coudeau. Holt was furious. Two other students refused to help because they didn’t want to stick their necks out for a beastfallen.
Apparently remembering their earlier conversation, Cervil asked why she didn’t just smile when she asked them. “I only force a smile for people I deem worthy,” she declared (22:54). He pointed out that she seemed to smile a lot around him, and he seemed genuinely confused.
Blushing, Holt says (23:02), “Actually, around you, I just get naturally smiley!”
It completely stunned him. Me, too. I did not expect her to be so open with him! Maybe that’s part of why it’s my favorite quote.
Best in Show Moment for The Dawn of the Witch Episode 1
Albus gave Cervil a real chance, based on his specific needs. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Setup: It’s a Whole Old World!
Did you know this was a sequel to The Grimoire of Zero? I didn’t! I was sitting there mulling over the opening scene as the OP played. Startled, I paused it and backed up. “That looks like Zero,” I thought to myself. “And that looks like the Mercenary dude!” His name is actually Youhei, but I still think of him as the mercenary. I enjoyed the original series, and the link gives me slightly higher hopes for this one!
It was cool getting to meet Albus again. She’s an adult now, and she founded the Kingdom of Wenias Royal Academy of Magic. Good for her! Nice to see she’s made something of herself. Not only that, but she gave me my favorite moment in the episode, which I’ll get to in a second.
I want to get this off of my chest: Why did the show feel it was necessary to give me another “Really Seven Hundred Years Old” trope with Roux Cristasse? Would it have been too much to ask that they gave her a 35 year old body for her 300+ year old personality? Maybe seeing Mirellia Q Melromarc again gave me unrealistic anime expectatoins.
Dang it, anime!
Years ago, I was going to become a teacher. Stop laughing. I’m serious! Even now, thirty years later, I wonder if I made the right choice. Sure, the politics around teaching suck. But maybe fighting that was what I was designed for? We’ll never know now, because time is not reversible. However, I haven’t lost my zeal to help people identify and hone their talents.
Have you ever seen the above graphic? I told you it would be important! As someone who sees the world differently from most, I am keenly aware of the idea that illustration is trying to convey. True, Einstein may not have said it, but that doesn’t change its accuracy. Establish tree-climbing as a measurement of intelligence, and the fish will feel stupid. Ask a neuroatypical individual to process in a neurotypical way, and, well, you get the idea.
Delivery: Albus Gives Cervil a Real Chance
Albus understands that idea.
In my favorite moment, Albus had summoned Cervil to her office. The entire student body, Cervil included, thought she would expel him. Instead, she reminded him that the southern part of the country still showed hostility and bigotry against witches. She wanted to establish a village there as a sanctuary for magic users. She wanted his help to establish it.
She called it a Special Field Program. Obviously taken aback, Cervil asked to be certain that he was not being expelled. She confirmed that. She also said (05:55), “I can’t see you progressing within the academy. So, I aim to develop you in a different environment.”
Albus’ offer surprised Cervil. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
It might not seem like much. But to me, that was a revelation. The headmaster of the magical school recognized that her curriculum wasn’t working for one of her students. And she made accommodations for him. That’s absolutely what she should do, and it was absolutely amazing that she did it!
Sure, she had to hedge her bets. She had to tell him that if he failed to show progress within a certain timeframe, he would, in fact, be expelled. But that’s just bureaucratic ass-covering. She decided to vary the standard approach for a non-standard student.
I thought that was just beautiful.
What did you think of Coudeau’s (Anilist’s spelling) way of keeping safe the students he was escorting safe? What were your favorite moments? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!
The Dawn of the Witch Episode 1: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Mahoutsukai Reimeiki – Episode 1 discussion
- Anime Hajime: The Dawn of the Witch Episode 1 – Anime Hajime Updates
- J Reacts: ROUX IS FUN! | The Dawn of the Witch episode 1 Reaction (魔法使い黎明期) (YouTube)
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- The Dawn of the Witch Episode 1: The Remedial Student and the Witch of the Staff
- The Dawn of the Witch Episode 2: Don’t Call Me a Traitor
- The Dawn of the Witch Episode 3: Beyond the Stream
- The Dawn of the Witch Episode 4: I’m Not Afraid to Die
- The Dawn of the Witch Episode 5: I Decide Who’s Worthy
- The Dawn of the Witch Episode 6: Knowledge of Ignorance