Magikano, The Complete Series – DVD Review

Review by: Clive Owen

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 325 minutes
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now

Magical maids and a cute coven of witches … things could have been worse.

Magikano is the kind of anime series I could have really liked seeing as the series has all the right elements that made similar series work so well. Who hasn’t fallen under the spell of Belldandy in the Oh My Goddess! series, right? So how is it that this spell backfires in a series with plenty of magic, a cast of cute girls and some light fan service as a group of witches compete for the attention of an average boy in The Complete Series of Magikano.

The series revolves around Harou Yoshikawa, a High school boy whose only life ambition is to have a long and happy life. He’s about as plain as vanilla yogurt but somehow he catches the attention of a beautiful blonde girl one day who just so happens to be the new transfer student in his class by the name of Ayumi Mamiya. While she smiled at him when he first caught of glimpse of her, Ayumi – who sits behind him – seems to look at Harou with contempt and could it be hatred? What has he ever done to her?

To make matters even more confusing for Harou, he comes home to find that Ayumi is working as the house maid. Despite the fact that Harou lives with his three sisters (Maiko, Chiaki and Fuyuno), he now has the cutest girl in the school living under his roof. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with the eldest of the sisters, Maiko, who has an unhealthy love/obsession with her brother. Things get really out of hand between Maiko and Ayumi when the older sister finds out that Ayumi is trying hard to seduce Harou. On top of that, we discover the obvious … Ayumi and Harou’s three sisters are witches and her brother doesn’t even know it.

You see, when Ayumi was a child she accidentally stumbled upon a magical mirror in the world of magic where she lived and caught a glimpse of Harou … the boy that would be destined to become a part of her life. As a result, Ayumi is cursed and only being physically intimate with Harou will lift the curse and thus be granted her birthright of ultimate power. Unfortunately for Ayumi, she has to deal with Harou’s wimpy behavior and his overprotective sister. While Ayumi and his sisters use magic around him, a thump on the head from a magical hammer makes the boy forget everything.

As Ayumi becomes a thorn on the side of the Yoshikawa sister, we meet a beautiful girl named Yuri who happens the be the President of the Student Council that Harou is a part of and actually likes the young man since she met him when they were kids. As a result of Yuri’s quiet infatuation with Harou, the girl becomes Ayumi’s rival and they often bicker with each another throughout the series. Ayumi, Yuri and Maiko aren’t the only girls fighting for Harou’s attention when a cute religious witch hunter named Marin Nijihara shows up to protect the boy (who she calls “Saint Harou”) from Ayumi’s wicked magic.

With so many girls and loads of magic in his life, things get crazy for Harou who becomes to victim of numerous magical and non-magical mishaps such as the time he becomes possessed by the ghost of a girl whose last wish was to wear a bikini or caught in the middle of a fashion battle between Ayumi and Yuri. He also participates in crazy events during the school’s Sports Festival as Harou’s kiss is the prize for the girl who wins MVP. He’s even forced to play the role of the Prince in the school’s play of Cinderella.

While the majority of the series is filled with slapstick comedy, there are some serious tones later in the series that don’t get too dramatic but takes away from the previous fun-filled episodes. We’re introduced to Ayumi’s younger sister that wants Harou for herself for her own personal gain and there’s a maid with her own secret that’s tied to a school teacher. Oh, there’s also a convoluted plot twist towards the end that just doesn’t come together well but at least the ending isn’t bad.

As far as the comedy is concerned, Magikano is actually funny. Of course, all the jokes aren’t comedy gold and the slapstick moments can get old quickly. What does work is Ayumi who can be sweet one second and hilariously sinister at the drop of a hat. I also liked the shopMagikano.kom commercials that pop up to advertise some crazy products that two of Harou’s classmates use throughout the show. Even better is Maiko whose love for big brother borders the insane but damn if it’s not funny. There’s also some light fan service that’s reduced to a few panty flashing scenes, especially when the talking cat panties (I won’t explain, you have to see it for yourself) are introduced.

As I said, Magikano is the type of series that I would have really liked but it just doesn’t come together well enough to make this an outrageously funny romantic-comedy. Watching it in Japanese, you’ll see how the slapstick and dialogue just fail to make you laugh out loud. The English dub dialogue does a better job but, unfortunately, the story isn’t exciting enough to make The Complete Series of Magikano a spellbinding comedy.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: C-
Harou Yoshikawa has very little going for him until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful girl who will change his life … unfortunately this girl named Ayumi is a witch who wants nothing more than to use Harou to lift her curse. Little does Harou know that his three sisters are also witches who are watching over him as Ayumi tries to turn the hapless boy into a man.

VIDEO QUALITY: B
The animation isn’t very original but at least it doesn’t look bad either in a show with excessive light fan service. The sight gags are somewhat funny but don’t expect anything original in that department as well.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The original Japanese voices do make the jokes work well but it is the English dub that makes the dialogue actually funny enough to make you laugh a number of times throughout the series. The music is also good and the opening and closing theme songs are more than decent.

EXTRAS: D
There are very few extras to speak of except for some trailers as the end and the option to watch the opening and closing without text.

OVERALL: C-
The Complete Series of Magikano isn’t such a bad romantic-comedy but it isn’t a particularly laugh-out-loud series either. This is too bad seeing as all the right elements that make a good romantic-comedy are present but it just doesn’t come together nicely to make this a great anime series. Still, there are some fun moments in this series that makes this one worth watching.

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