- Release Date
- Summer 2014
- No. of Episodes
- J.C. Staff
Boys + Girls + Hormones + High school = typical high school experience, right? Everyone has had their share of high school problems, no matter what group you’re in. Though, what would happen if you knew when you’d die? Would you try to stop it? Would you just stay inside, hoping it wasn’t going to happen? Or perhaps you’d just live your normal day to day life but trying to prevent the inevitable. We all will die one day, but some of us get the equation wrong, and that mistake is rather deadly.
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Magimoji Rurumo is a 2014 Fantasy comedy anime series from one of the studios with one of the better track records for anime, J.C. Staff. With titles like Toradora, Food Wars, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, and other popular favorites, it should be assumed that anything from this studio will be decent at its worst, right? Unfortunately, we all know what happens when someone supposes something. While the series doesn’t have substantial action scenes or chaos thrown into the mix, this series gives the viewer an interesting gimmick. This gimmick could boost this series into an engaging territory.
The story is rather uncomplicated yet still entertaining on a basic level, though don’t expect anything past slightly under decent at best. After an unfortunate accident, high school student Kouta Shibaki is branded as the school pervert. With girls avoiding him like the plague, truly any young man’s worst nightmare. One day in the school library, he accidentally finds a book that is said to possess the power to summon witches. Partly out of desperation, slightly out of boredom, and the rest is out of sheer curiosity, Kouta decides to play along with the book as a joke until an apprentice witch going by the name Rurumo Maji Mojiruka randomly appears before him. In an exciting turn of events, Kouta ends up helping Rurumo with some general witchery tasks in exchange for his soul being spared.
To some, this may feel like the story has been stripped of all its exciting parts… nope, the series can be described in one paragraph. Though I believe this story does have an interesting take on the whole magical aspect, and that’s the show’s gimmick. While Rurumo can use unlimited amounts of magic, Kouta is only given a magical wish-granting ticket book that holds surprisingly 666 tickets. When the book runs out, and no more wishes can be granted, his life is unfortunately over. So given semi-unlimited power at the risk of ending his life, he must make each wish count, and try to figure out if what he wants is actually worth his life.
Though the stories negatives are easy to spot throughout the series, especially with the gimmick, what isn’t easy is the pacing mixed with it. When a series bases its entire premise on a contrivance, it needs to withstand the whole series, and this one was kind of thrown out by episode three. With the gimmick thrown away, the pacing swayed back and forth, which was rather disappointing. The negatives outweighed the positives, but what made this story devastating was that it added tropes and clichés without reason. The series would’ve been better off not having random character tropes without cause, and possibly could’ve been more enjoyable for an audience.
While the story was bland, the weakest aspect of this series indeed was its art style. Though it was unique and stayed faithful to the source material, it just didn’t give anything to help it stand out. With a studio that created some wonderfully styled series, one would expect it to be close to their expectations. Unfortunately, this series didn’t live up to the name but didn’t fail completely. The art style is on par with the series when it comes to expectations, but some may be turned off by average-looking designs. Others may enjoy the fact that it stuck to the source material and find it spot on. Still, I’ll feel that most viewers will be disinterested in the secondary and minor characters’ designs the most.
Though the one positive aspect I must praise for was the homage to Kiki’s Delivery Service, both Chiro and Jiji have similar looking designs. I’m unsure if this was intentional, but given the famous studio behind it, I’m confident that they took inspiration from it, especially from a film that is enjoyed by countless people worldwide.
The animation production on this series was a travesty, not because it was terrible, but because it was the better part of the series. The production team had somehow used the B-movie art style mixed with the lack of story and somehow created a better part of the three. Though the production is hit and miss, especially after the first episode. The series has somewhat warm colors and don’t overuse them in the background to convey emotions, and vice versa. However, the best portion of the production is within the last few episodes of the series… if viewers last that long.
Unfortunately, even the best aspect of the series has a few negatives, which potentially also tarnishes the positives. First, the production from the first episode versus episode five is different, not drastically different but semi noticeable. This may be due to having no precise pacing to the story, but don’t expect the same action-like animation throughout the series. Second, the character designs aren’t the best, nor are they really original. Though this may not be a deal-breaker for some, the little brother of Kouta is clearly the Japanese version of Caillou. The characters also aren’t as visually pleasing when the viewer is looking straight towards them, and possibly could turn them away from the series as a whole. Lastly, the audio to mouth movements wasn’t in sync more times than one would hope for.
The characters in this series are rather disinteresting at times, but only if you’re not the main characters. Kouta Shibaki, a high school student who has let his hormones ruin his social life. Due to his perverted stunts, he has been given the title of the school’s absolute pervert, which ineptly makes every girl alienates him, leading to uneventful empty school life. The only way to make friends was to join the school’s Mysterious Discovery Club, but unlike the other members, he’s not interested in the occult.
Then we have the female lead, Rurumo, a witch who has made a contract with Shibaki. When Shibaki uses the tickets given to him, she can use magic to grant his wishes. Though on the outside, she looks like a normal middle school girl, and people usually assume she’s a cosplayer due to her clothing. She is rather expressionless and reticent to the utmost extreme but is shyer than others. To make matters even worse, she’s rather clumsy and oblivious to social cues. Though she’s a hard worker, she isn’t the best at being a witch.
Chiro, the witches familiar, a purple furred cat. She also informed Shibaki that once all the tickets are used up, he will die. Though she can transform into a human girl at will, she rarely uses it. Though she is the common sense to Rurumo, the two need each other and have a bond more durable than any magic. Throughout the series, Chiro grows closer to Kouta, but they’re still friends at the end of the day.
Outside of those three characters, the others are really seen as character fillers or comedy relief, especially the mother. The mother who isn’t named and only credited as Shibaki’s Mother, her most prominent personality trait, is to quickly jump into violent tendencies. The head of the Mysterious Discovery Club, named Senpai, is obsessed with the occult. Outside of those two characters, everyone else pretty much follows a trope, which gets rather tiresome after a while. Though I must admit that Kouta and Rurumo had one of the better character developments I’ve seen in any series, note this isn’t tremendous nor defective, just fascinating.
Throughout this series, my entertainment level kept shifting, and especially during multiple viewings of the series. However, after time has passed, I’d been able to digest everything presented to me in a clear and sound mind. Magimoji Rurumo is a pretty lousy anime series, and though it had some touching moments, it didn’t muster the impact that it set out for. Which is an understatement considering that it ends without having an actual ending, and exactly five years later, coming out with an OVA titled “The Conclusion” is an utter disgrace. Whether or not the series was right or not, it needed to have an actual ending, not just a final episode. If one would refuse to watch episode twelve, they’d have a greater enjoyment of the series, sure they’d be confused a bit, but it’d be a better ending then what it had.
If one is considering watching this series, they’ll enjoy the opening and closing credits, potentially the main characters, and possibly the fan service that is abundant throughout the series. This series set out on a right foot but had no such luck a few episodes in, and ultimately died before it began. With so many great series coming from J.C. Staff, it was bound that they’d have some unfortunate series, and this is absolutely one, unfortunately. Though they did have a cute female lead, it couldn’t muster enough entertainment through its terrible mistakes.Though at the end of the day, I can see this being a guilty pleasure.
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.