Magical Circle Guru-Guru
Episode 12

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Magical Circle Guru-Guru (TV 2) ?

The show continues, but in preparation for Gintama and Boruto in the fall anime season, this will be my last weekly review for Magical Circle Guru-Guru.

The gang engages in their most chaotic battle yet as Magical Circle Guru-Guru's first cour comes to a close. All things considered, episode 12 is a fairly effective mid-point for the show in that it creatively uses many of the characters and concepts introduced in the previous 11 installments. It also marks a turning point (of sorts) for Nike, the series' “hero,” who's able to level up in a significant way. If the Copahl Kingdom arc is indicative of how the story will progress moving forward, it's safe to say that Magical Circle Guru-Guru has hit its stride.

Our heroes (sans Toma, Adamski, and the Dark Magic Society president) are able to infiltrate Copahl Castle without much difficulty, but they quickly find themselves locked in battle with the chancellor, who reveals his plan to turn Princess Miluka into a duck via cursed food. However, since Sly unknowingly consumed the food in question, he winds up undergoing the transformation in Miluka's stead. Although the group is eventually able to rescue Miluka, their escape is hindered by the revitalized chancellor and Monku, one of Giri's high-ranking minions and the mastermind behind this operation. Using the power of the Banana Moon, the chancellor is able to fulfill his dream of becoming an incredibly powerful monster, but through the combined efforts of Juju, Kukuri, and Nike (who wins the approval of the King of Fire and obtains the Razzle Dazzle Sword of Fire, the first of the elemental swords needed to defeat Giri), they're able to take down the villains and reclaim the Banana Moon. In the end, peace is restored to Copahl, Runrun undoes Sly's curse with a kiss, Juju decides to stay with the Dark Magic Society, and Toma elects to study under Adamski. Nike and Kukuri, however, have no idea where to go next.

As usual, the jokes are the highlight of the episode, and they seem especially on point this week. Even the ones that felt disconnected from the narrative, like Nike impulsively deciding to train under the royal chef (who's later revealed to be the King of Fire), wound up tying into the narrative nicely. Unlike the other bosses they've faced, the chancellor isn't terribly concerned with sticking to a stereotypical villain script, and his teleportation ability makes for some solid gags. Nearly every battle ends in a humorous fashion, and the final showdown with Monku and the chancellor featured some of the show's finest animation and visuals to date.

Using rotating party members is an interesting approach for a fantasy series to take, though it does make getting to know certain players somewhat difficult. However, in light of the fact that Nike and Kukuri are constantly on the move, it makes sense for certain allies to come and go as needed. Also, since these characters are leveling up off-screen, it practically ensures that they'll always have new abilities to show off whenever they pop up again.

As the ending joke so aptly demonstrates, it's anyone's guess where Nike and Kukuri go from here. Although both characters have honed their abilities and acquired new skills, they have a long way to go before they're ready to face Giri. Regardless of what the latter half of Magical Circle Guru-Guru holds in store for the intrepid heroes, hilarity is a foregone conclusion.

Rating: A-

Magical Circle Guru-Guru is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.

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