Wise Man’s Grandchild

Wise Man’s Grandchild

Wise Man's Grandchild anime series cover art
Wise Man’s Grandchild


Wise Man’s Grandchild (Kenja no Mago / 賢者の孫) was one of the worst anime series of the Spring 2019 season. In fact, the only one worse was Joshi Kausei, but that was a 3-minute short series with no dialogue, so they can’t really be compared.

This series is made by Silver Link. studio, and they’re pretty hit-or-miss as far as I’m concerned. Some of their better series are Prisma Illya, Non Non Biyori, and Mitsuboshi Colors. However, they also have things like Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody under their belt.

As you may have been able to tell by my initial claim about the series, this is one of their misses. It’s yet another isekai light novel adaptation in a sea of isekai light novel adaptations. But as you’re probably aware, every isekai these days needs some sort of gimmick.

And this is really the first, major failure of Wise Man’s Grandchild. The gimmick this series went with is that the protagonist has no common sense (sort of). Yes, I know, that’s not really a gimmick, but that’s what the series tries to sell as it’s gimmick.

Shin and Merlin Wolford from the anime series Wise Man's Grandchild
Shin and Merlin Wolford

Basically the premise is that Shin was raised in this other world after being reborn by a hero, Merlin Wolford. Merlin spent so much time teaching Shin magic and combat that he forgot to teach him common sense. At least, that’s what the set up of the series is.

In reality the only lack of common sense Shin really ever exhibits has to do with how cities work, which is understandable since he was raised in the mountains. However, even this doesn’t hold up in the series’ own logic because Shin supposedly has all his memories from his previous life.


As is the case with most standard, bad isekai series, Shin Wolford is completely overpowered. Even compared to his “grandparents” who raised him in this world, who themselves are regarded as heroes, he completely outclasses them in every way.

And although he supposedly has his memories from his time as a Japanese salary man, in this world Shin is mentally a teenager. He’s even awkward around the girl he likes, to which I’ll just say that he’s technically old enough to be her father due to the whole memory thing.

That girl he likes is Sicily von Claude, the daughter of a local noble. However, her birthright isn’t actually anything special because all of the characters in this series are the children of nobles or even rulers. In all reality, Sicily has no extraordinary traits that set her apart. She’s the bland girl.

When this series first started airing there were a lot of jokes about how she’s just a worse version of Aqua from KonoSuba. They have the same hair color and they’re both well-endowed in the bust region. Oh how naive we were to think that’s where the similarities between these two series ended.

The third and final character I’ll mention is August von Earlshide. There are a fair amount of other characters, but let’s be honest, none of them really matter. August is the prince of the Kingdom of Earlshide, which means that he’s kind of a big deal around these parts.

However, despite being the son of the king, August doesn’t really care for attention. He’s much more willing to push Shin into the spotlight for his own amusement. August also has a younger sister who would have been “best girl” if she didn’t have an annoying lisp.

God’s Blessing on this Wonderful… Ripoff?

So remember how I alluded to the fact that Wise Man’s Grandson and KonoSuba had more in common than just Sicily and Aqua’s character designs? Well, you’ve probably seen some of the other comparisons by this point if you pay any attention to anime on the internet.

For example, the house Shin lives in looks exactly like the one our gang acquires in KonoSuba. I mean, it has some very slight differences, but it’s clearly the same house. Another example, which I have pictured below, are the main cities from both series.

Axel vs. Kingdom of Earlshide's capital city from the anime series KonoSuba and Wise Man's Grandchild respectively
Axel (KonoSuba) vs. Kingdom of Earlshide’s capital city (Wise Man’s Grandchild)

On the left we have the town of Axel from KonoSuba, and on the right we have the unnamed capital city of the Kingdom of Earlshide. I have extensively gone over both cities depicted and only discovered a few, minor differences between the two. In fact, you may notice that even all the roads are almost exactly the same.

So what are the differences? Earlshide has a castle in the center rather than a town square, and it’s surrounded by a moat which is connected to the river that runs through the town. Earlshide also has one major road connecting the castle to the outer wall, and a few smaller pedestrian bridges over the river.

Interestingly, the Northernmost bridge in Axel is actually missing in Earlshide and we can see that the road runs directly into the river there. However, aside from these slight differences I’ve mentioned, these two towns are exactly the same. They have the same street layout, building layout, open space layout, everything. In higher resolution versions I even picked out individual buildings and trees which are one to one.

So how does something like this happen? These anime weren’t created by the same studio.

For now we don’t have a conclusive answer, but I’ll run through a few possibilities briefly. The first is that although they’re by different studios, these anime shared some of the same art staff. Another possibility is pure plagiarism, because Japan doesn’t really seem to follow the same copyright laws as we do in the US.

However, I think those are fairly tame assumptions. What I’m more interested in is, what if the artists for both of these series were working off the same source material? Aqua and Sicily aside, it’s possible the houses and towns were actually based on real world locations, as is often the case in anime.


Overall I gave Wise Man’s Grandchild a 2/10, which I know some people think is high (and others incorrectly think is low). However, while I wouldn’t say it had redeeming qualities, it did have at least some different ones compared to other isekai. For example, the protagonist actually killed someone.

I’m not saying that alone makes it above a 1, but it had enough minor “bonuses” to keep me from giving it the lowest score possible even if I didn’t like it.

So have you seen Wise Man’s Grandchild? If so, what are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding its “copying” of KonoSuba? Do you think its art was intentionally copies? Do you think it was an accident? A coincidence? Let me know in the comments.

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6 Replies to “Wise Man’s Grandchild”

  1. I honestly didn’t think it was so bad, his worst crime is being generic and not inventing anything new, but it knows exactly what kind of story it is. It doesn’t try hard to be something it isn’t (generic isekai), a pretty light-hearted series that doesn’t take itself too seriously it is a series of light school with friends, a harem, and a love interest to fawn over him at every step of the way. So, for those who aren’t successful in their own life, can feel a lot better imagining a fantasy in which they are a demigod. Shin is the perfect blank slate this isekai is a dime a dozen. But Kenja no Mago has that “dumb fun” to it.

    1. I assume you’re enjoying Arifureta this season as well. Kenja no Mago definitely does a lot wrong and almost nothing right. I wouldn’t exactly say that’s something to praise.

    1. Please don’t. There are so many better anime you could watch instead. I only watch a lot of bad anime so other people don’t have to.

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