Reviewby Allen Divers, Feb 10th 2002
Magic User's Club (TV)
DVD 4: I Wanna Do More
Some things just don't go right for the Magic User's Club. Sure, they defeated the Aliens, but now someone has gone and put a gigantic cherry tree directly above their school. Now they must clean up the mess. Of course, that's not nearly as much trouble as they have on their hands with the upcoming parent/teacher conferences or the trouble they get into with doorways.
Magic User's Club! I Wanna Do More is the fourth volume released for this series. The episodes here are the beginnings of the TV show that pick up where the OVA series (vols 1 – 3) leaves off. Magic User's Club! is a lighthearted magical girl show following the adventures of our hapless heroine, Sae Sawanoguchi. I Wanna Do More contains the first 4 episodes of the TV series and does a great job of establishing the setting for that series.
Coming out immediately following the OVA series, the show has a strong set of established artwork and character designs. The artwork and animation are a slight step down from the quality established by the OVA, but are still strong and consistent. Character designs take a good step in the right direction as the supporting cast gets a boost with a lot of family members of the main troupe being introduced and new classmates also appearing. The designs are varied, and don't feel repetitive.
The audio is a solid stereo mix for both the Japanese and English soundtracks. The English dub follows the basics of the Japanese script, making minor changes for timing and comic reasons. Some of Sae's Japanese narrative is dropped from the English script, but most of that is simply recapping the previous adventure. The casting of the English voice actors is well done, and the performances remain strong. The cast of the TV series is the same from the OVA, so there is a sense of a comfort and familiarity with the roles.
Anime Works and NYAV Post have gotten quite creative with the extras included. There is the standard creditless opening since the TV series has a different opening than the OVA. The original Japanese title slates and many of the text boxes that end up overlayed in the show are presented. The really special extras are the Sing-Along and the Outtakes. The sing-along is simply the opening animation without credits. Included are the romanji lyrics with a bouncing pickle that allows the viewer to follow the lyrics. The outtakes are the various bloopers from the English dubbing sessions. The video where the line belongs is played while the outtakes happen, so the viewer can see how the actors can become distracted. This is a fun feature that has made its way as a standard in the Magic User's Club! series.
With the OVAs this series has established itself as a fun and often-silly romp through high school life. Despite the fact that Sae performs a strong feat of magic at the end of the OVA, she continues to be a scatterbrained happy girl as the adventures continue. With no real visible threat to the club, these episodes focus more on the relationships between the main cast and the supporting cast. New supporting cast members are introduced, providing more comedic potential with some old-fashioned drama mixed in as well. There is a continuing subplot developing, so these episodes aren't simply random tales. How it all fits together starts to slowly unravel here, but leaves enough questions to continue that particular drama.
These first 4 episodes do a great job of picking up from the OVA and showing the more routine things the Magic User's Club! members have to deal with aside from Aliens. The overall theme remains light and comic in nature making this a very comforting series. All the characters are given a life and depth that makes watching them fun. Despite some of the loss in overall production values from the OVA, I Wanna Do More is a solid, entertaining release for the Magic User's Club!.
Overall (dub) : A
Overall (sub) : A
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Light playful story that picks up right where the OVA left off
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