Upon the release of Ranma 1/2 on Bluray, Mike takes a stroll through the world of Rumiko Takahashi.
Reviewby Alexander Harris
Magic User's Club OAV
A few months ago, Media Blasters announced a whole slew of brand spankin' new acquisitions, which will all be coming our way eventually. One of the titles that was announced was the 6 part OAV series "Mahou Tsukai Tai!" ("I Want To Use Magic"), which Media Blasters will be releasing as Magic User's Club. The first 2 episode volume, "I'll Follow You", will be released on VHS and DVD on March 27th. Based on the manga by Ohta Tami, which ran in the magazine Fantasy DX, MTT is directed by Satou Junichi and produced by Bandai Visual.
For the sake of those who haven't seen the show, and might be interested in picking it up when it's officially released in the States, we've prepared a little preview/review of this…interesting piece of animation.
Go ahead. Dive on in. The water's cool, and the people are ecchi…
"Mahou Tsukai Tai!" has a very bizarre, if diverse, and interesting cast, who all deserve a few comments now. The main story focuses around the Kitanohashi High School Magic Club. The President of the Club, Takeo Takakura, though a good guy in general, is a questionably horny guy. Whether he's having a raunchy daydream about one (or ALL) of the female members of the club, or is having great difficulty looking a large breasted female rival in the eye, you know that Takakura-sempai is a full-blooded young male teenager. His…"urgings" often end up either being the butt of many jokes, or the actual jokes themselves. His acquaintance and seemingly second in command, Aburatsubo Ayanojou, is a rampant, very feminine, very stereotypical, homosexual, who has a big thing for Takakura-sempai, and is not afraid to let Takakura know about it. Naturally, this leads to humorous encounters between the two utter opposites in personality and desires…
The main female character (actually, the main character period) is an underclassman named Sae Sawanoguchi. Sae is very klutzy, and has little confidence in her self. Imagine Usagai from Sailor Moon without any self-confidence whatsoever. Sae continually questions her worth, not only as a member of the Kitanohashi magic club, but as a magician in general, and as a candidate for the Takakura-sempai's heart. Yup, you heard right. Another crush. And we aren't even done yet.
Sae, along with her pushy best friend, a female named Nanaka Nakotomi, who has a crush on Abuatsubo, and semi-member Akanae Aikawa, who doesn't carry a flame for anyone in particular but seems to have dated just about everyone, round out the rest of this dysfunctional, eclectic, and amusing magic club.
"Mahou Tsukai Tai!" is a world in which humans and a race of aliens called the "Tsurigane" live side by side—but not by choice. One day, an alien ship appeared over the skies of Tokyo, easily wiping out all resistance, and broadcasting a message to the entire world. The message stated that as long as humanity left the Tsurigane alone, they would leave humanity alone. Not being given much of a choice, humanity agreed. Now, a year later, the Tsurigane (who are more often than not oddly shaped black flying robots or giant black spheres) and humans coexist together: the aliens, who seem to just roam around aimlessly, are accepted as everyday objects among the general populace, and are rarely given a second glance.
"Mahou Tsukai Tai!" is also a world in which magic exists, though few seem to believe that it does exists, and even fewer seem to care. Enter our loved, twisted main characters: the Kitanohashi Magic Club! Takakura-sempai, in a move that seriously makes me question his intelligence decides that the Tsurigane are dangerous, and dubiously "leads" his small club in an attack against the Tsurigane's mother ship. The encounter inadvertently leads to panty wearing aliens, reckless sexual fantasies, unbelievably bad flying, and a lot of just not looking very cool in general. Fortunately for the Magic Club, after the ill-fated attack, everyone is physically fine (though mentally is another story) and gets to go home. Unfortunately for the Club, their stupidity has revealed the existence of Magic to the Tsurigane, who become very interested in this unnatural force…
In addition, questions are raised about…a teddy bear, of all things. Sae's favorite teddy bear, Jeff-kun, is not the simple stuffed animal that it appears to be…
The animation of Mahou Tsukai Tai! really isn't anything to write home about. Not ugly, but not breath taking, either. I believe the character designs (done by Itou Ikuko) are classified as "shonen" (but I personally see traces of shoujo, so it's really hard for me to tell). Mahou Tsukai Tai!, being the comedy-based anime that it is, has quite a few face faults, so get ready for a few deformed characters, to say the least. Also, along with the general "ecchi-ness" of MTT, there's also a decent amount of fanservice (mini-skirts, big busts, etc.), so those of you who are turned off by that may want to stay way. However, there's no nudity, so for those who are looking for that….well, you'll have to look elsewhere.
Simply put, Mahou Tsukai Tai! is FUN, pure and simple. It's entertaining, it's funny, it's stupid, it's ecchi— it's just a good time in general. At the very least, it's worth checking out when Media Blasters releases it in America, just for a few good, immature laughs.
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