What a poor mist demon. Really thought he had Mattias on the ropes after severing his arm. Probably didn’t consider that Matthias already had a plan for it, and that he could re-attach it. Also probably didn’t think any of his spells can be negated, but well, this was what happens when you run into the strongest sage but just reincarnated with the “weakest” crest — you’ll have your powerful magic negated.
Well, despite some cynicism, volumes 5 and 6 actually are solid, helped tremendously by its relaxed comedic art and not its story, which I’m starting to care about less and less.
After taking care of the demon and learning of the demons’ aim to flood the capital with a horde of them, Matthias and crew prepare to face this onslaught the only way they can: by getting stronger! But first he needs an additional powerhouse on his team, and Iris fits the bill. Except you can’t simply have a mighty ancient dragon roam all over the capital, so instead Matthias convinces Iris to transform into a human. Once she does so, she attempts to enroll at the Academy. Note the word “attempts” as her unfamiliarity with the human body and her dragon powers clash in a way that provides humor but also unnecessary destruction of school property.
So they have to do that and also finish up the aftermath of the tournament, where the First Academy students that don’t do wordless magic want a do-over, and that do-over happens — it’s just that no “beasts” can participate in it. Matthias is basically a “beast”, so surely the First Academy can take on five of the not-beasts corr– ok, nevermind, Matthias has taught the Second Academy kids too, so they’re all beasts. Basically, with the understanding of magic enhanced, they’re far superior than the hundreds of students that are still chanting magic, and so their destruction is done as humorously serious as possible. I mean they can’t kill the students but they can certainly stick it to their headmaster by beating them!
Anyways, volume 6 is where most of Strongest Sage With the Weakest Crest‘s strength lies — in absolute annihilation. This time Lurie and Alma get to overpower their foes, and there’s even a scenario where the class gangs up on a demon and it’s glorious. It does serve as an appetizer before Matthias shows up and rudely disrespects 14 demons, but ultimately this series’ strengths are when characters are moving and doing stuff, and when the artist gives the characters some goofy faces to make sure you’re smiling. The fear on Alma’s face when she thinks she has to face Iris is hilarious.
But as this series continues, the overall story and general mechanics become lacking. The invasion of demons and how the current reason why they’re stronger is because magic mastery has been slowing down over the course of time is cool, but getting to the heart of it isn’t interesting. That’s probably because it’s got a ways to go, and while the training aspect is nice, I’m not sure I need a lot of text on multiple enchants for 4 or 5 pages. Usually the story or plot becomes rich as more of the lore is known, but I find myself less drawn to it as we then get moments of Lurie blushing and acting shy in Matthias’ presence. Unless someone’s talking about crafting weapons, and then suddenly her embarrassment and infatuation for Matthias is cast aside.
So in short, after six volumes, there’re some good things in this manga, but as far as standout moments? Not so much. It’s a solid isekai work that’s on the essence straightforward and helped by some strong art. There are likely better works out there than this, but it can at least be said The Strongest Sage With the Weakest Crest isn’t one of the worst ones published. I do hope there is a volume in this series that jumps out above the rest eventually.