Magical Circle Guru-Guru
Episode 6

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Magical Circle Guru-Guru (TV 2) ?

Magical Circle Guru-Guru turns in one of its funniest episodes as Nike and Kukuri face off against a new foe. Like the rest of the antagonists introduced thus far, Eldritch Prince Raid isn't meant to be taken seriously and never poses a substantial threat to our heroes, but toothless villains are perfectly suited to a show of this type. As an added bonus, his perpetual flashiness and smug sense of superiority make him an effective foil for the good guys. Episode 6 also gives us a few clues pertaining to the show's broader mythology, but as usual, Magical Circle Guru-Guru's primary focus is madcap fun, not world building.

While en route to Yonder Village, Nike and Kukuri (whose hair has grown back remarkably fast) are suddenly approached by a talking stone tablet that delivers a prophecy: “The seal has been broken. The black picture book will soon open. The child has obtained the heart.” Soon after, the duo arrive at their destination with Gipple in tow, only to find the populace under the curse of perpetual motion, setting the stage for their next quest. After defeating the monster that placed the curse, our heroes are presented with a magical picture book (presumably the one mentioned in the prophecy) by the village's mayor. As a magical incarnation sealed within the book reveals, the tome was meant to be function as a Guru Guru teaching aid, but since the author believed that Guru Guru wasn't something that should simply be taught, he elected to leave the pages blank. As such, Kukuri resolves to fill the book with all the knowledge she absorbs throughout her travels.

The next morning, the duo attracts the attention of Eldritch Prince Raid, who's been searching for the rumored Guru Guru user. Since Guru Guru is considered a dark magic, Raid takes an interest in Kukuri and encourages her to join his side. This culminates in him attacking the duo on their way out of Yonder Village, but with the help of the townsfolk and a new spell, Nike and Kukuri are able to force a temporary retreat. Later that night, while making their way through the woods, our heroes are shocked upon encountering a familiar face.

With a fairly self-contained story and a reasonably relaxed pace, this week's Magical Circle Guru-Guru proves that the series can amuse even when it isn't firing on all cylinders. As usual, jokes fly at the audience from all directions, and there's nary a miss in the bunch. Raid performs well as the latest villain du jour, and unlike some of the show's previous guest characters, his shtick hasn't been run into the ground by episode's end. The concept of a bad guy who isn't pure evil but isn't exactly good also seems like something this series could have fun with.

As is often the case, much of episode 6's comedy is derived from the main characters' interactions with assorted townsfolk, villains, and mentors. Although Yonder's mayor and the various townspeople are never developed past their surface quirks, the audience is able to feel a comfortable rapport with them by the end of the episode. (Who didn't feel a twinge of sympathy for the mayor when Nike pawned the statue crafted in his likeness?) Also on point this week are the classic RPG send-ups. From the adorably perverse devil in the woods to the short-lived spirit in the picture book to the direct-yet-vague prophecy at the beginning of the episode, Magical Circle Guru-Guru continues to nail the feel of an old-school dungeon crawler.

After several episodes of full-on plot advancement, a standalone adventure is an enjoyable change of pace. Since the RPGs it's spoofing place a great deal of emphasis on low-stakes quests and item gathering, it makes sense for Magical Circle Guru-Guru to occasionally do the same.

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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