Magic User’s Club TV – episodes 8 to 13

February 15, 2005 on 9:04 pm | In Magic Users' Club | Comments Off on Magic User’s Club TV – episodes 8 to 13

Magic User’s Club improves almost immeasurably for its second half. Unfortunately, a 13 episode series that boasts even an excellent second half still has that lacklustre beginning to slog through. There are still some ill-conveyed moments in this series, but generally the last six episodes are on a different wavelength.

Firstly, where is Jeff-kun in this series? The inspirational little bear of the OVA is gone, replaced by Micky, the mysterious (and inconsistently named) former member of the Magic User’s Club with whom Sae exchanges letters all series. Micky is cool when she’s around, but there’s no dancing Jeff-kun to be seen, and I’m surprised the fans failed to demand blood over this.

Anyway, the reason these episodes pick up is the inclusion of Jinno, the mysterious tree spirit that turns out to be a very pretty boy. Gender confusion is at its peak here, as Jinno’s first speaking role comes when he is dressed as Alice of Alice in Wonderland fame. His second is at the urinals next to Takakura, so you know there’s something going on here.
Jinno is not a nice character – he’s the sort that the viewer will spend a lot of time yelling at the screen over. However, he is much needed. Jinno spurs the other characters to realise what is that they want, and what they should do, and that they shouldn’t be told what to do by a guy who looks very much like a girl. The final part of the series is quite good as a result, but also a little heavy handed.

Some parts of Magic User’s Club are still handled with club fists. There is an episode wherein Akane is trying to go against her mother’s wishes, but it is not even made clear that the woman in question is anyone’s mother. This sort of vague writing lumbers several episodes of the series, and makes it less than it could have been. When the series finally finds its message, it tries to convey it subtly then starts hammering it in.

The best moment in the entire series comes, surprisingly from Miyama Mizuha and it’s not even related to her boobs. This is the one instant in which Sato Junichi’s considerable mastery is allowed to be demonstrated; the use of manga backgrounds, dialogue and music is the sole example of perfect synergy. The fact that we are supposed to feel sympathy for Miyama, and that in the end we do, is something quite impressive – the only few minutes of the entire series that comes without reservations.

The episodes become more enjoyable and so, while the animation quality does not improve, it becomes visually easier to watch. There are still some awful, awful shots of Abaratsubo – something looks wrong with his face – but for the most part it becomes a whole lot easier.

Magic User’s Club is not excellent television. While it is true that it has a near-perfect OVA to live up to, there are too many faults beyond that to make it truly enjoyable. Fluff, for certain, but only passably entertaining fluff.

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