a.k.a. Mahou Tsukai Tai
The Magic Users Club is back to normal practicing after their unusual involvement with the Bell. After a recent trip to the giant sakura tree, strange incidents occur with alarming frequency to the Club members. The Club’s magical powers begin to grow out of their control. If that wasn’t bad enough, hormones begin to rear their heads, as well. Something is definitely wrong with the Magic Users Club, and Sae has a strange feeling that freshmen student Jurika might have something to do with it.
summary by Mugs
Highs: Laugh-inducing; sweet romance
Lows: First half of the series is just a string of one-shot episodes with a small thread connecting them
This appears to be a fairly standard shoujo anime at first glance; the basic shoujo character pack is included, consisting of two shy characters who like each other, the overtly gay guy, the girl who likes the gay guy and the cute girly one. Under the surface, however, is a whole different ball game. The characters branch out from their molds considerably, and the comedy as a whole has a decidedly ecchi feel to it. I’m Gonna Be an Angel! mixed with Chobits is the closest approximation I can give for this anime.
About the first half of the series has an unconnected feel. There is some small thing in each episode that connects it to the larger plot, but nothing that really affects it. That’s not to say the episodes aren’t good; however, like Bebop, it pulls off these one-shot episodes as character builders. The later episodes do build plot, but the plot is more of a background for character development than anything else. They simply exist to provoke reactions out of the characters, to bring their emotions to the surface. More could have been done, but with the rich character development you hardly could ask for much more.
The show’s visuals are topnotch. As with most recent television series, colors are bright, characters are well designed and the animation is smooth. The soundtrack seemed rather devoid of memorable music, with the only good songs being the opening and closing tracks. Everything else was instrumental music which, while fitting the scenes, aren’t anything you’ll be playing by itself.
This is one anime that anyone can enjoy. The comedic moments should tide you over until the character development and romance take hold in the latter half, so kick back and enjoy the magic.
Highs: Returning voice actors work the same magic
Lows: Opening song; slow to get to the plot
The television version of Magic Users Club is just as enchanting as its predecessor, even if it lacks the same momentum. This delightful sequel has the same voice actors giving great performances, and a story once again focused on the magic of romance.
This series begins immediately after the conclusion of the OVA, although it is not necessary to watch the first series to enjoy the second. For those who have seen the OVA, watching the television series is like visiting old friends; little snippets of music from the original provide a nice touch of continuity. All the voice actors return to give their characters a chance to develop their personalities. Once again, Koyasu Takehito lends his talents to give life to Aburatsubo, who now shows more sides of his character than merely flirting with Takeo (the shounen ai is not nearly as prevalent in this series). Onosaka Masaya provides the perfect comedic voice for the frantic Takeo… yet shows the emotional range to be serious when needed.
The part of the story that fails to live up to the OVA is the pacing. Slow to reach the main plot, the first half of the series seems aimless, especially compared to the energy of the original. Although not merely filler episodes as they do provide some needed character development, these episodes do not contribute to the plot of the series. This lack of focus ultimately makes the eventual plot resolution seem a bit rushed, but the series remains satisfying overall.
I must make one final point about the opening song of Magic Users Club: I feel sorry for the director that approved a song that repeats, in English, “I want to do it more” over and over as a viable theme song. It grated on my nerves constantly. The sentiment was nice, but combined with an equally annoying melody it has to be the worst opening song I’ve ever heard. My advice is to watch the series… but skip the opening.
Magic Users Club can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.