Anime Meta-Review


Magical Emi


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-3
  • type: TV
  • grade: flawed
  • genre: shoujo
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

At least with this series you know it is a magical girl anime as soon as you see the title. And it is fair warning, because all the standard components of the magical girl genre make a re-appearance in it. It begins with a cheerful and enthusiastic young girl, good natured and friendly atlhough somewhat tomboyish (does this sound familiar?) who is helping some of her relatives move house. But these are not ordinary relatives they're magical relatives. Although in this case I mean stage magicians, but it doesn't matter to Mai, she'd love to be a part of it. Fortunately, although she doesn't seem to take it seriously at first, the fairy of the mirror offers her the chance to become a magical girl. And when the fairy occupies the form of a stuffed flying squirrel how can she refuse? When she transforms she turns into an older version of herself who can do magic magic tricks and can rescue ( and then steal ) the show. Add in a romantic interest (for her older form) who doesn't want to be part of a `magic-show' family, her parents who feel likewise, and you've got the firm foundation for a magical girl series.

I must admit. Mai is cute and the series, as a whole, is quite likable. However you can't help but feel that they must have been pumping these things out at the time. It all feels so familiar. The various family relations, and there is a sizable cast in this one, all fall into place far too neatly. Likewise Mai gets her power (Emi is her magical stage name) in one of the most flippant starts i've ever seen. And then she uses her magical power to do magical stage tricks, which seems sort of pointless and rude to her `ordinary' relatives forced to use trickery. The suggestion, from what I have seen, is that her `talent' will lead her down the path of being a idol. Still, perhaps this is just a quick set up for a rich drama to unfold from. I look forward to more to see if it can rise above its fairly formulaic start. However given that the writing, and dialog, do not appear to be that strong I have my doubts.

Certainly the animation will not save this one. It is early, moderate budget, TV animation and fairly unimpressive. The subdued and flat coloring combines with the simple line work and character designs to give a look you have seen before in other early TV animation. The individuals have a good sense of character, but movement, action and magic are all fairly ordinary. This is somewhat a problem because the `magical tricks' are pretty visually uninteresting due to a seeming lack of imagination and average animation. Likewise the romantic interest, who is a suprisingly strong character for the setting, has chosen boxing to replace his talent for stage magic. Sounds fine, but the attempt to animate boxing (possibly not the most interesting sport anyway) is not that interesting. The voices are fine, but once again fairly archetypal.

Magical Emi has few friends amongst the review sites I source from...with no other reviews available. (Hands Mai a tissue).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009