Rental Magica, Part Two – DVD Review

Review by: Brenda Gregson

Publisher: RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment
MSRP: $49.99 US
Running Time: 400 minutes
Genre: Supernatural
Rating: 13+
Release Date: Available Now

Now this is the type of magic show we love.

Rental Magica is one of those shows that feels very much like a good magical-themed anime series you seen before and actually liked a lot thanks to its wonderful cast of characters and the ability to tell an interesting story with the right dash of drama, comedy and action to make it fun to watch. I actually wouldn’t have minded it at all if this series had more than two seasons. However, all good things must come to an end eventually and Part Two of Rental Magica is truly fitting end to this fun anime.

Whether you watched the series in its chronological order or the original broadcast order, Part Two eventually leads up to the final showdown with Judaix Tholoide whose personal grievance with Itsuki Iba, president of Astral. Along with his homunculus named Lapis – who captured Honami – Judaix fights Itsuki who not only uses his Glam Eye but reveals that he has the Eye of Horus. The final confrontation, surprisingly enough, doesn’t end grimly for either party but Itsuki makes it clear that he’s definitely up to the challenges he must face as boss.

Meanwhile, the series shifts its attention to the other employees of Astral as well as dive deeper into the Honami and Adelicia relationship with a flashback episode about how they met in a Hogwarts-like magic school. We also get an episode with Nekoyashiki as he accepts a job from a man who knows him and wants to hire him for a sacred Star Festival. In another episode we find ourselves meeting Mikan’s family when she is called away back home only to have her friends go back to fetch her when the pint-sized magic user becomes the subject of a ritual sacrifice.

Interestingly enough, Part Two introduces us to new characters such as Mikan’s older sister, Kaori, he lends a hand in helping Itsuki and his friends rescue Mikan. We also meet a monk named Sekiren who saves Itsuki from a larva spirit creature and later stays on to train Itsuki in combat so the boy could at least defend himself in battle. More interesting is Adelicia’s beautiful employee, Daphne, who has a very surprising reason for wanting to protect Adelicia.

While these characters drop in from time to time throughout Part Two, they’re not just one-dimensional characters that don’t really add much to the series but rather fleshed out characters that are just as intriguing as the main cast of characters.

The series also finds Itsuki really push himself into being a reliable boss but also one who won’t be a burden on his friends. It is Sekiren who tests the young man and tells him to not be afraid of his Glam Eye but to work with it. In a Christmas episode, Itsuki tries to solve a case on his own despite the fact that Adelicia and Honami think he might be out their buying one of them a present.

Oh, there’s also a wedding between Adelicia and an employee of Astral and it’s not who you might think. Not to spoil anything, though, the wedding is more a magical agreement than a regular one but it makes for a fascinating and funny one thanks to Itsuki’s reaction to the wedding.

In the final chapter, though, Itsuki meets a young man named Fin Cruda who was Honami’s upperclassman mentor. Friendly, at first, Fin convinces Honami that he can cure Itsuki of his Glam Eye … something that has been torturing Honami since she and Itsuki were kids. Instead, Fin’s methods of “helping” Itsuki may have something to do with a dormant dragon that is a part of the city and Itsuki. It leads to a confrontation that has Adelicia and the rest of Astral fighting to save Itsuki from Fin and Honami.

Overall, Part Two certainly continues to be dramatic, action-packed and funny at all the right moments. On top of that, the episodes are actually well-written and fun to watch despite the fact that – surprising wedding episode aside – it doesn’t really try anything all too different.

Then again, Rental Magica is a guaranteed good time and as we can see from Part Two it will certainly make a fan out of you to the point that you won’t mind wanting too see the characters again. It’s that good of a series and this is a perfect collection and the best way to watch this series so you can definitely consider this one a Must Buy.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A-
The Judaix Tholoide affair comes to a close as Itsuki and his friends lock horns with him in a final showdown. Going back to business as usual for Astral, we meet Mikan’s older sister, a monk who begins Itsuki’s combat training and even witness as magically-themed wedding. Later, meets a young mage connected to Honami who sets in motion a plan that will either cure Itsuki or kill him.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
You have to love RightStuf!/Nozomi for bringing us crisp and clean episodes that look really good on DVD and even more so when it concerns a series with gorgeous visual effects.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The voice acting in the series is effective and, at times, really convincing. The music is also handled beautifully with the closing theme song, “Aruiteiko” performed by Jungo Yoshida, being an office favorite because it’s downright beautiful.

EXTRAS: A+
Once again, the discs are packed with various extras that include promotional videos, trailers for the series plus trailers for various RightStuf/Nozomi series. Even better, you get the options to watch the series in its broadcast or chronological order. Then there’s the soft cover book jam packed with cast interviews, episode breakdown plus interesting facts about the supernatural elements seen in the show is a great read.

OVERALL: A-
Part Two of Rental Magica is an even more entertaining second half of a fun anime series worth watching. While the story is still something we’ve seen before in other series like it, you can’t help but like the well-rounded characters enough to find yourself really enjoying this series. Give Rental Magica a try, you will definitely not regret it.

Review copy provided by RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment

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