Magical Circle Guru-Guru
Episode 4

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 4 of
Magical Circle Guru-Guru (TV 2) ?

Magical Circle Guru-Guru continues expanding its overarching narrative this week, as both of our heroes prepare to level up. Like episode 3, this latest installment unfolds at a rapid pace, and tuning out for even a few seconds is liable to result in the viewer missing an important plot detail. Plus, the footage that plays over the end credits appears to cram an episode or two's worth of content into a few minutes, but if this remake's goal is to fit the entire original series into 24 episodes, something had to give somewhere.

At the beginning of the episode, we learn that the mysterious stranger from last week (whose name is ever-so-briefly revealed to be Runrun) serves a Guru-Guru-worshipping organization known as the Dark Magic Society. Since Guru-Guru is the highest form of dark magic, the society reveres Kukuri as the savior who will liberate them from the Demon King Giri. To prepare her for the battle ahead, the organization's president sends Kukuri to the faraway Dohgma Village to train under the great mage Rajini. During Kukuri's six-month training excursion, she and Nike are unable to see one another, which prompts Nike to take up sword training under Goedicke, one of Dohgma Village's local peddlers. During this time, Nike meets Juju, a young girl who serves as the village's Luna—one able to communicate with Plahto, the god of the village's official religion. While attempting to call forth Plahto, Juju becomes an unwitting vessel for Giri, ending the episode on a cliffhanger.

As was the case last week, the pacing is downright relentless, and it's likely that the stories that silently unfold during the end credits were given more attention in the original series. Although Nike's exploits at Gorjea's Training Hall may have been negligible, Kukuri's training seems like it should have been treated with a bit more importance. It's clear that the producers have a lot of material to cover, but the rapid-fire pacing sometimes make it difficult to keep everything together. Fortunately, the sight gags and RPG parodies are as on-point as ever, and the idea of separating the two main characters for an extended period is good, as it provides them both with an opportunity to grow independently and polish their unique skills. However, given the speed at which the story is flying by, it wouldn't be surprising to see Nike and Kukuri reunited before the end of the next episode.

The recently-introduced Runrun is another unfortunate victim of the show's breakneck pacing. Just when it feels like we're getting to know her, the main characters set sail for Dohgma Village, and she's gone just as quickly as she appeared. Although her appearance in the opening credits suggests she may resurface in future installments, giving her and some of the other supporting characters a little more development would certainly help justify their presence in the story.

If you can look past the pacing issues, Magical Circle Guru-Guru remains a rollicking good time. Not only do Kukuri and Nike strengthen their bond by uniting against the Dark Magic Society's arcane rules, they undergo a little bit of character development and crack an assortment of jokes in the process. In addition, the show's world expands with the introduction of a new continent and a swath of new characters. Magical Circle Guru-Guru certainly never bores, but it could certainly benefit from slowing things down on the plot advancement front.

Rating: B

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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