Magical Circle Guru-Guru
Episode 8

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Magical Circle Guru-Guru (TV 2) ?

Nike and Kukuri begin to get a handle on their true powers as they make their way to the Endless Tower in another unflinchingly eventful Magical Circle Guru-Guru. As has become the norm, episode 8 is packed to the brim with content, but thankfully, the proceedings follow a more linear path than what we've grown accustomed to. The latest installment also marks the return of an old friend (Toma) and adversary (Raid), which helps give the Endless Tower storyline a more epic, full-circle feel.

After encountering Toma on the outskirts of Cattongue Valley, the budding magic item user informs our heroes that the entire world now knows about the threat Siren poses, and adventurers are now pouring into the valley to take back the tower. Finding themselves easily outmatched by the monster guarding the Endless Tower, the kids enlist the aid of Gatari, a misanthropic high priest who peacefully coexists with the various monsters that inhabit the valley. For a hefty price, Gatari helps each party member awaken their true abilities, enabling them to defeat the aforementioned monster—albeit with some comical setbacks. While making their way to the Endless Tower, the powered-up party runs into Raid, who's now partnered up with Kaya, per Demon King Giri's orders. After the villains send them flying off a perilously high bridge, the heroes stumble upon what appear to be ancient Migu Migu ruins, much to Kukuri's surprise.

While it's interesting to have another party member in Nike and Kukuri's age bracket, Toma doesn't really leave much of an impression. His golem helped defeat the sand monster, and his abilities may prove useful in battle, but he doesn't bring much to the table comedy-wise. As far as we've seen, he doesn't have any notable quirks, nor does he serve as a comic foil or tsukkomi-like commentator. Gatari doesn't fare much better, as he's essentially a rehash of many of the show's other mentor figures.

Supporting character issues aside, Magical Circle Guru Guru continues to get by on the strength of its comedy. The village elder making yet another attempt at returning the statue carved in his likeness to the heroes makes a great addition to what's quickly becoming one of the show's best running gags. Additionally, Nike's store/restaurant proved to be another effective vehicle for laughs. In an adaptation this condensed, there isn't much time for side stories, but based on what little we saw, an entire episode built around this concept could have stood out. Although the series is a send-up of RPGs, it might be fun to occasionally take these characters out of their element and watch them do something besides questing.

Although Toma and Gatari have yet to impress, most of this week's jokes are enjoyable, and Cattongue Valley provides an interesting new environment for the group to explore. In a show structured around visiting new locales to collect spells, it helps when each setting is able to stand out, especially when certain characters don't. With their trek to the Endless Tower temporarily interrupted and old enemies itching to settle a score, this latest quest may prove to the most harrowing one Nike and Kukuri have faced yet.

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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