Magical Circle Guru-Guru
Episode 5

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Magical Circle Guru-Guru (TV 2) ?

Nike and Kukuri complete their respective training journeys as the Dohgma Village arc comes to a close. Although it still feels like we're getting a condensed version of the original series, episode 5's pacing is far less frenetic than the previous installment's, allowing events to unfold at a more organic pace. Couple this with the sight gags and RPG parodies being in top form, and you've got a recipe for a solidly entertaining episode of Magical Circle Guruguru.

It turns out JUJU's possession by Demon King Giri was just a prelude to the king's trusted general Gizaia and his army of Kurocos taking control of Dohgma Village. Wasting no time, Gizaia turns the village's inhabitants into canines and demands that JUJU relinquish a pair of magical bracelets that the Plahto Church has been tasked with protecting. With JUJU and Goedicke's help, Nike is able to unseal one of the bracelets, while Kukuri unseals the other by completing her training. According to JUJU, our heroes were prophesied to unseal the bracelets and pass them onto her, allowing her to call forth the Plahto Church's guardian spirit and vanquish Giri's minions. After taking down Gizaia and undoing his magic, the leveled-up heroes leave Doghma Village with a 2,000-rin reward.

As we've seen in the past, Magical Circle Guruguru hits its stride when it slows things down a little. When the story flies by as quickly as the show's broad arsenal of jokes, it's easy for viewers to miss certain elements and become confused. At present, “fast but not too fast” seems to be the best pace at which the show is able to proceed. As predicted last week, Nike and Kukuri's six months apart pass by in the blink of an eye, and we were shown only the most important parts of Kukuri's half-year of intensive training. Since this show is a comedy of the anything-goes variety, this is mostly forgivable, but it also makes our heroes' victory over Gizaia feel somewhat hollow. Devoting one more episode to Nike and Kukuri's training may have remedied this, though it's understandable, considering the production crew is trying to pack as much plot as possible into a limited number of episodes.

As is the case with most of this show's guest characters, neither JUJU nor Goedicke become permanent additions to the main cast. (Their inclusion in the intro may signify future appearances, though.) Frankly, it's kind of a shame, since JUJU's underscored deviousness and general aversion to naughtiness could have made her an interesting foil for the main duo, as well as a possible love rival for Kukuri. Still, since the Nike/Kukuri dynamic is the show's main focus, the introduction of other regular party members could take away from that.

Despite the issues synonymous with presenting a condensed version of a longer narrative, Magical Circle Guruguru continues to provide plenty of laughs as it lampoons assorted RPG and fantasy tropes. With Nike and Kukuri now leveled up, it stands to reason that the trials they face will become even more daunting. However, no matter what fate holds in store for the intrepid heroes, laughs are sure to be abundant.

Rating: B+

Magical Circle Guruguru is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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

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