English Dub Review: Mashle: Magic and Muscles “Mash Burnedead and the Mysterious Maze”

Overview (Spoilers Below):
For the sake of living peacefully with Regro, Mash decided to take the admission exam for the prestigious Easton Magic Academy in order to be selected as the most excellent and valued student — the Divine Visionary. Only those with exceptional magic power can pass the admission exam, so he smashes through various exams with power. In the maze exam, Mash is approached by a female student named Lemon, and together they aim to reach the goal.

Our Take:
Mash is up to the task of accomplishing the impossible: becoming the top-ranked student at the Easton Magic Academy and earning the “Divine Visionary” title using only brute force. But, of course, only magic users with black marks can attend the academy, and Mash is all muscle and no magic (and no brain). Thankfully, Brad gave Mash a fake mark so he could enter the academy without getting caught. However, that’s just the first of many problems ahead once he enters the building.
The first of many is the high-ranked professor, Claude Lucci, who immediately judges Mash for his “laziness” and for using his muscles instead of magic to pass the exams. But Mash is actually just a blunt idiot who can’t keep his mouth shut. So Claude plans to make him fail by forcing a shy student, Lemon Irvine, to sabotage Mash in the maze. However, Claude’s plot quickly fails when Mash saves Lemon from a Sphinx, resulting in Mash making his first friend at school, or in this case, his first “fiancee”.
It’s also revealed that Lemon comes from a low-income family, and Claude takes advantage of her poverty to ensure an outcast like Mash doesn’t attend the academy. Lemon’s history might likely come into play in future episodes. However, her timid personality and Lemon mistaking Mash’s kindness as a marriage proposal will indeed become a running gag for the rest of the season. Additionally, Mash has found himself a roommate in the form of Finn Ames, who’ll likely help Mash collect reward coins throughout the year to become the Divine Visionary.
While the first episode set up the show’s tone and world-building, the second episode improved slightly with its entertaining slapstick comedy. The comedy in this episode involves Mash shocking (and enraging) everyone with his immense strength as he passes one exam after another without using spells. Heck, he even commanded the scrambling words to align themselves without magic.
The humor in the first episode was more dumb than funny. However, it only took me until this episode to recognize how the show embraces its parodic tone amid its usual fish-out-of-water elements, resulting in some enjoyable moments between its characters. My only issue with the episode is the random hip-hop music playing in the background, which seemed out of place for a fantasy anime like this. Other than that, it looks like the new magic academy series is starting to find its magic regarding its concept.