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Magikano: The Complete Series

1 rating: 3.0
Anime DVD Collection
1 review about Magikano: The Complete Series

More Gags than Charms

  • Sep 11, 2009

Magikano is another of a long line of anime titles Funimation picked up from ADV Films that has been repackaged and assembled into a complete collection release.  The show’s a pretty wild ride that covers the teenage lifestyle, spell casting, a bit of comedy with sheer wackiness.  While properties like this are difficult to neatly classify, there is no denying their unique flair and enthusiasm.  But before I get ahead of myself, let's take a look at the cold hard facts, shall we?

Magikano The Complete Series comes in at a runtime of 325 minutes and contains 13 episodes spanning two discs. The discs come packaged in a standard-sized plastic clamshell DVD case.

The show wears an appropriate TV 14 rating due to some slapstick, clothed fan service, over-the-top antics, silly gags and a hint of supernatural tones.

Language options are typical sub and dub, which means the viewer has the choice of running either the original Japanese dialog track (stereo) or an English dub (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround) and the option of displaying English subtitles beneath either dialog choice.

Extras include textless songs, and a host of upcoming Funimation anime previews.

 The story, which comes off much cleaner in action than in pixels, goes something like this:  Regular humdrum schoolboy Haruo meets a young witch named Ayumi Mamiya on his way to school one day.  Upon discovering the fact that she is capable of casting powerful spells, Haruo hardly has time to recover before realizing that he too is capable of using magic.  What’s more, not only is he capable but Ayumi needs to teach him how to unlock his secret gifts and quick if the hex that’s been placed upon her as a child is to be broken.

Rather than go all Yoda on him, Ayumi decides the way to proceed would be to pose as a live-in maid in effort to wear down his resistance through seduction (I seem to recall not requiring much more than the simple maid outfit in and of itself to get the job done at his age).

Even more shocking is that Haruo seems to come from a long line of practitioners himself including his own trio of younger sisters.  They just so happen to posses a magical hammer that is capable of erasing the memory of whoever it is used upon which leads both Haruo and the viewer into wondering how many times in the past he had discovered his family secret only to have his mind erased immediately after.

Like you may have figured, the show works off the idea of tension between Ayumi and Haruo’s sisters, which, in addition to the usual-cattiness that is expected of competing girls of this age, is compounded by all of their ability to use magic.  In the end it comes down to Ayumi stooping to the lowest of levels (drugs, magic spells, sexual innuendos, underwear fashion shows) in effort to get Haruo’s mojo working.

As much as I would like to tell you that the formula succeeds, the truth of the matter is that Magikano certainly isn’t one of Gonzo’s shining achievements in anime.  The lead characters’ cuteness is severely compromised by the simple fact that Ayumi is a cunning, self-absorbed dominatrix rather than a cute-teen witch on a mission.

The show’s pacing is equally lackluster with many episodes that crawl along with little overall plot advancement or justification for that matter.  Again this flaw could be more forgivable (or at the very least, less glaring) had Gonzo developed a cast of characters that the viewer actually cares about (an essential in this kind of anime).

As it stands however, prepare for terribly tired cliché archetypes: Extremely naive lead male, dominating & manipulative lead female, overprotective family, weird secondary characters and so on.

The visuals aren’t too shabby with a colorful pallet and some slick CG spell-casting sequences that add a nice dimension to the whole witch angle.  The second positive aspect to report is the commendable job by the English-voice cast (and writers) who did what they could to integrate some wit to an otherwise dry situation.

In all this is a franchise probably best avoided by those seeking a deeper meaning in the prose of their anime.  However if you are the type of viewer who found enjoyment in titles such as Seto no Hanayome, Galaxy Angel Rune or Maburaho, this may be something worth looking into.  Some of the gags work pretty well and Funimation has put out a nice full collection box set for little more than the asking price of the individual volumes.

Cover art for Funimation's release

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September 13, 2009
"sexual innuendos, underwear fashion shows..." LOL! Leave it to the Japanese anime directors to always remember those elements 90% of the time! nice review, bud. Btw, my review for the animated movie "9" is up if you're interested....
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