- Alt. Name
- Release Date
- Summer 2019
- No. of Episodes
Magical Sempai is a 2019 Ecchi Comedy anime series from a Japanese animation studio that had started producing less than a decade before, Liden Films. If this studio does not jog anyone’s memory, the most extensive non-airing series has been Poco’s Udon World which came out in 2016. However, just because a studio hasn’t had a massive success or a cult following does not mean this studio’s creations aren’t worth checking out. Considering that this series is classified as an Ecchi than a Comedy shows that the high hopes for this series being anything better than basic fan service is a fool’s errand.
Starting his new term at Tanenashi High School, an unmotivated freshman searches for a club that requires minimal participation to suit his needs. He then comes across the magic clubroom, and inside is a cute upperclassman practicing her magic tricks. Suffering from stage fright that causes her to slip up her acts, she tends to end up in the most embarrassing situations. Despite having little interest in a club run by an incapable magician, the freshman finds himself involved as a new member, experiencing all sorts of awkward moments with his eccentric mentor.
While this series can easily be summed up within a single paragraph is remarkable in its own right, but this tends to be a red flag than anything positive. For instance, Magical Sempai has few positives when it comes to its story. One positive aspect of this story is that the gag comedy is well-fitting for most of this series, which is pretty interesting considering fanservice. While some viewers may not be interested in gag comedy, they may still enjoy a series with a decent level of gags that fit well within a series of this caliber.
Those who are into anime series with a good amount of fanservice than this series will pique their interest. In every episode, there is plenty of fanservice ranging from prominent breasted characters to panty shots. Each episode seems to have a formula when it comes to the gag to fanservice ratio. However, just because a series has a decent level of the two does not make the series worthy of watching. Especially having a series so heavily relying on the lowest tier of comedy as its crutch is a considerable gamble.
Unfortunately, Magical Sempai has more than a handful of things going against it regarding its story, or lack thereof. If anyone is watching this series for the plot or story is clearly in the wrong place, there is none. But even a series that relies heavily on the bouncing breasts and panty shots, this series seems to have taken a nosedive in attempting to create anything worthy of following. This series has no timeline of events of any kind, even if each episode is only thirteen minutes long. There has been plenty of ecchi series that have done much better within the same time, and having a series do such a low level of effort is not just terrible but ridiculous for any animation studio.
Another negative aspect of this story is that the fanservice within this series is nothing new and is highly repetitive. After the first two episodes, if one is not a fan of the series, then they can expect the same level of fan service that has already been given. Having countless series in and outside of the ecchi genre, Magical Sempai seems to fall into the category of barely even trying. Don’t expect much outside of panty shots and big breasts within this series, but if one would prefer that over an actual story, then this point is mute.
It was shocking to consider that this simplistic dull-colored style was upbeat when it comes to Magical Sempai’s art style. This lack of charm and creativity in the unmemorable characters seems to have a subtle positivity within them. For a series that is only thirteen minutes long, the art style is best described as generically flat, meaning there’s no life to these creations. Whether that was intentional or not, it somehow works for a series with minimal, if any, storyline. While the series has very little inspiring artistry, there are plentiful other anime series with better-looking styles. This is saying a lot considering that the character designer and color designer have worked on plenty of other series, both in higher quality and not.
When it comes to the animation production of Magical Sempai, it’s more of a mixed bag of sorts. The opening theme song is appropriately titled “FANTASTIC ILLUSION” by I☆Ris, and for an anime series centered around magic tricks, it does the series justice. Its upbeat tempo paired with the exciting animation sequences within the opening make this a very entertaining opening animation. The ending sequence is surprisingly just as good, though not as animated as its counterpart. For an anime series with so many downfalls, these two animation sequences are remarkably better than what one may expect, especially coming from a lackluster anime series genre to some viewers.
Considering that each episode is only thirteen minutes long, one mustn’t expect well-defined characters. Though what’s most shocking about this series is how generic its cast of characters indeed are. For instance, the main character is named Sempai. She is a high school girl who is a skilled magician but only when no one is watching. However, due to embarrassment and clumsiness, she quickly gets stage fright and often blunders her magic tricks when even one person watches her perform. The other main character is named Assistant; a high school boy recruited to be Sempai’s assistant in the Magic Club despite his objections.
Another character within this series is Saki, and she is a third-year transfer student with long wavy hair. She is obsessed with her little brother Masashi. Though her little brother is Obese, Masashi is very level-headed, like Assistant. The two share an unhealthy relationship.
Overall, this series is precisely what it sets out to be, a not-so-serious fanservice anime. Though no matter what type of anime, they all must be accounted for and this anime series does a terrible job at everything it tried to do. When the opening and closing animations take nearly one-fifth of the episode’s run time, that’s the first red flag in the long line of mistakes to behold. Magical Sempai is classified as a gag comedy solely relying on the jokes hitting the viewers during its fanservice shows. They don’t have the best opinion towards their creation. Magical Girl sempai is what one would consider a pre-teen’s first foray into light fanservice until they reach actual fanservice anime series.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.