Magimoji Rurumo
Episode 8

by Amy McNulty,

The next otherworldly girl appears! Episode 8 of Magimoji Rurumo introduces the pigtailed witch Warura Haruriri (I think it's supposed to be "Harulily," but Crunchyroll transliterates her name without adjustment), who literally falls out of the sky. (She does not, thank goodness, immediately plant her crotch on Kota's face, even if he does admire her panties before he realizes a girl fell out of the sky.) With just a touch of tsundere to her character—not enough to be obnoxious—she's immediately poised to be a rival from Rurumo's home world out to steal Kota (as her magic-use-contractor, not as her boyfriend) to stop Rurumo from succeeding in becoming a witch again.

Then Magimoji Rurumo completely throws your expectations out the window. The relationship between Haruriri and Rurumo is much more important than any between the new girl and Kota. Even though we were poised to dislike Haruriri at first (unless tsundere and the "second [third?] girl on the scene" is your thing, and if so, more power to you), we come to not only like, but also empathize with her. The episode takes a comic turn as we see what Rurumo has been up to during her summer vacation when the school cafeteria is closed. Haruriri and the audience are left flabbergasted.

In recent years, harem anime seemed to explode with a number of shows airing each season that consisted of "one bland guy + 3/4/5/6/1000 anime girl stereotypes" to the point where viewers can will read a series description, look at some promo art and say, "Nope. Not doing that again." However, Magimoji Rurumo is deceptively presented to those who've yet to give it a chance, and episode 8 is another strong example of this. You think you know where it's going. You think you're in for girl fights, over-the-top fawning and the apologetic guy in the midst of all of it who just can't make up his mind, gosh-darn-it...but that isn't this show.

Comedy comes first. Subtle commentary on anime stereotypes comes second. The characters in the show are constantly frustrated by their inability to get a reaction, any reaction, out of someone as emotionless as dandere Rurumo. Kota manages to be perverted at least once per episode, but it's never obnoxious and is seldom the focus of the show.

Magimoji Rurumo is also nice to look at. The animation continues to be solid, and the character designs are appealing (except for Kota's friend Sugawara, whose face is kind of scrunched inward at the top) without being overly cute. The color palette is nice, although not too stylistic or memorable.

This show is almost the anti-harem show, made for fans who are interested in the idea of a perverted guy surrounded by lovely ladies but who don't want to get distracted by gratuitous fanservice. It will appeal to fans who want actual character development and plot besides "Will he ever say he really loves [first girl who appeared]?" Episode 8 is a solid entry in the series.

Rating: B+

Magimoji Rurumo is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for nearly two decades.

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