How you feel about this anime will probably depend on how you categorize it. If you’re a fan of the harem genre, it’s good for some laughs. If you were looking for action or a world-based drama you’d be disappointed up until the end. It survives as Decent because I consider it to be equal-parts fan-service/harem and drama.
Purpose: Not Really Good. There were enough interesting concepts to carry two different anime series. The main problem is that they had two concepts with equally strong potential, they just didn’t want to commit to either one, which would relegate the other to a supporting role. On the one side you had a solid harem-setup with a variety of personalities and character designs. On the other side, you had a really interesting magical world that created interesting dramatic possibilities. Yet, they divided the anime into equal parts fan-service and drama. This ended up detracting from each part. There weren’t enough harem-related events to make that part really good and there wasn’t enough explanation and buildup to make the drama really good. Certainly, some elements shine through, but as a whole, the indecision ended up costing the anime.
Characters: Decent. On a superficial level, there are enough characters with a range of personalities for a fan of the harem series to enjoy. However, we never really get to see much depth at all from the characters, merely hints at it. The biggest missed opportunity for character development involved the Themas – the subject of the various mages’ study. The disappointing part of the characters was twofold. First, you have a harem setup with only relatively superficial interactions between them. Since the highlight of the harem genre is the personalities clashing, the personalities need to clash. Second, we really only get a “sampler” of the personalities the various characters have to offer. Only really 2 or 3 truly interacted with the protagonist.
The protagonist was actually interesting for a harem set-up. He was neither the standard “nice guy” nor the “oblivious guy.” The way he interacted with the girls could often be described as playful or teasing, which is both rare and fun to watch. It would have added an extra personality to bounce off all the others, had they decided to focus in this direction.
World: Good. Again, this had the potential to be really interesting, but wasn’t appropriately explained or explored. You have magic that requires a research or focus in the seven deadly sins. There’s some really interesting potential on how, exactly the world worked. As it was, it was little more than the stage to occasionally do some cool things. Perhaps it’s trivializing it a little too much, but it felt almost like children making up special attacks and rules to the game on the fly. That could be some frustration talking because it had enormous potential to do some really interesting things. Maybe it had too much potential for what they were trying to do. What ended up happening is that the elements of the world ended up being distracting.
Plot: Decent. For over half the anime, the plot was little more than a device to show off the various assets of the harem members, both personality and otherwise. Unfortunately, these sometimes ended up being more frustrating than fun because they hijacked more “real” plot points. When that happened, it ended up breaking the natural flow of the plot, which was jarring to say the least. That said, the last handful of episodes managed to pull together something approaching a solid plot. The best description of the plot is that the anime used a kind of inverse proportion for their formula. This meant that the harem antics were a smaller proportion of the anime nearer to the end and the real plot was in smaller portion at the beginning.
Storytelling: Decent. Along the same vein as the plot, the storytelling was acceptable for its purposes, but could have been much better. In order to keep up with the blending of two very different kinds of anime, they ended up tossing aside a lot of explanatory material that would have made this anime far better. On the harem side, we lost a lot of material that would have explained the characters and their actions or motives. Instead, they just did stuff. On the world side, we didn’t really get a proper and solid foundation on what was going on, both magically and with respect to the villain. The result was that the story often improperly connected plot points so that they were sometime jarring. If it wasn’t jarring, then it ended up being much weaker than it should have. That said, it’s not all bad. The story did manage to balance the two anime to the point where it was entertaining, just not spectacular.
Pace: Good. There wasn’t really a problem with the pace. They kept introducing new characters and kept events moving fast enough to not get bogged down. Of course, to keep up this pace, they didn’t develop many areas, so it’s a mixed blessing in this case.