Today we’re looking at one of my new favourites this season – Mahou Sensou, otherwise known as Magical Warfare. We got a pretty classical trope opening where regular high school boy meets magical girl, somehow she drags him into the world of magic – but in this case, it’s not just him, but his two friends as well. The main group of characters, the premise and the general magic world was all laid out for us in a nicely packaged 25 minutes. Pacing was a little bit faster than I expected but it got all the introductory stuff out of the way quick enough so that the next episode can settle the characters into the main world.
Takeshi Nanase will do anything to get out of his house, even go to hell – or so he says. Due to some accident, he seems to be estranged from his family and uses extra-curriculars and of course, school, to get away from his home situation. One summer morning, on his way to kendo practice, a girl bursts out of a school door falling unconscious. After carrying her to the hospital and almost shot by this girl’s magical gun, he finds out that Mui Aiba is looking for her brother who has been taken by a group of magicians called the Ghost Trailers and had his memories re-written. As a result of Takeshi’s near miss with magical death, he’s now acquired Evasive Magic and become a magician himself. According to Mui, when a person encounters magic before adulthood, their cells react accordingly and expand to accept and accommodate magic. When the Ghost Trailers arrive for Mui, she has no choice but to run and she must take Takeshi with her now that he’s become involved in the magic world. At the same time, Takeshi’s girlfriend Kurumi Isoshima and Kazumi Ida (the Fate/Zero Gilgamesh lookalike) also accidentally come into contact with all the magic being thrown around the school. Isoshima acquires Transformation magic while Ida’s been given Destructive magic.
When the battle is over, Mui takes the others back to the world of magicians, a world outside theirs, called The Ruined World and that leaves us with the end of episode 1.Really strong opening to the series, AMAZING opening song and ending song. Music is done by Elements Garden so you wouldn’t expect anything less. The art and animation just by looking at the opening song is pretty smooth and simple. There’s enough detail to make each of the characters distinguishable and memorable to the mind but not so much that their physical appearance seems too try-hardy despite this being another seemingly typical magic series. Uniform designs are a nice balance between recognisability and subtlety (some anime series just try way too hard to make unique uniform designs and it just ends up looking strangely mismatched *cough*Free!*cough*polka dots) Still, I wish there was more focus on designs in medium close-up scenes cause a lot of the details are lost to general line art. It’s only when you get really close up shots that the character art really shines.
I love Mamoru Miyano’s voice as Takeshi, my inner fangirl is kya-ing in anticipation for more. In the next episode, Takeshi and friends transfer into the magic academy and even though all this sounds strangely like another Tokyo Ravens premise, it’s presented in a much neater fashion so I’m interested to see how things will unfold. Shouldn’t slam a series until we get to at least oh, say, episode 3? *the reviewer chuckled evilly* I see some romance issues between Takeshi, Isoshima and Mui. Also, I’m excited to see if there will be a full magic training montage as well as the animation behind magic focused battle choreography. I would recommend this series to classic magic genre loving fans as well as action fans. I will definitely be following Mahou Sensou weekly this season and I hope you will too!
What are you pondering today?