a.k.a. Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo: Bewitched Agnes
a.k.a. My Wife Is a Magical Girl
Asaba Ureshiko is 26 and married, living in a small provincial town in Japan. She appears to be the typical housewife tending to a boarding house and being a homemaker. In reality she is a magical girl from the world of Realm. As magical girl Agnes Bell, her job is to protect the Wonderland—an artificial town created by her mother. Will she be able to keep her job protecting the Wonderland she loves, or will she obey the orders to pass the mantle to the new guardian and see everything and everyone she loves disappear in order to create a new town?
summary by Soundchazer
Highs: Deals with some complex situations; atypical to anime
Lows: Male lead is boring; clichéd ending; misleading introduction
If there was an anime that I had to grade as “confusing”, not because of the content but because of the execution, Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo would be on the top of my list. I still have a hard time deciding if this is a shounen anime, a magical girl show or an actual drama. When I first started watching it, I groaned at the prospect of another seemingly fan service-oriented show. Agnes’ transformation routine was eye-popping to say the least, making me blush and almost crave for a cigarette in bed afterwards (and I don’t even smoke). After two episodes with a lot sexual innuendo and semi-nude shots, I was about ready to give up on this one when something incredible happened: the transformation sequences stopped, and a serious story developed.
The plot to this story is nothing special. In fact, I would consider it the cookie cutter type: girl with magical powers tries to fight for the town and the people she loves. What makes this anime unique is how the characters go about their business of creating those special moments that make their decisions logical. We get to watch people fighting to remain young, grow up, remain loyal or truthful to their desires. Talking about the possibility of adultery, for example, is a theme that almost seems taboo in anime, yet it is present here.
Unfortunately, several things end up going wrong. The production values in this series have wild swings between being very good and incredibly poor. The music is bland, although it is interesting to have Inoue Kikuko singing the ending theme. The characters are also uneven in their appeal; while Agnes and Cruje Gapp (Agnes’ appointed successor) are interesting, the male counterparts are rather dull and predictable, making it hard to make an emotional investment in the struggles they go through. And then there are the last two episodes, which are a 180-degree shift from the rest of the series, almost to a point of making the resolution look more like something suited for a kid’s show than the more mature content that was shown beforehand.
The only reason to recommend this anime is for the novelty factor and maybe for the fan service in a few of the episodes, if that is what you are looking for. This is definitely something not worth watching if overall quality is the overriding factor. But out of the numerous series marred by mediocrity, this is one of the most interesting ones of the bunch.
Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.