Whooooo! Finally, here is my take on this show. (I’m going to stick to calling it by the English translated name because the Japanese is really long and hard to remember for me.) If you haven’t yet, check out Moeronpan’s first impression of this series.
I made it a point to avoid Moeronpan’s review before watching and writing this, as to not be influenced by her opinion. Will we react in the same way? Find out under the cut!
Anyway a pink wombat falls FROM SPACE into a bathhouse and things pretty much go downhill from there. A depressed dude from the local high school gets overtaken by DARK POWERS and turns into a chikuwabu monster. Thus, the earth defense club members (composed of four friends plus a weird classmate) must band together to become magical boys (thanks to Mr. Wombat) and SAVE THE WORLD!
Now, I have seen a lot of magical girl anime in my time, ranging from the good, the bad, to the weird. I have also seen my fair share of very beautifully subverted magical girl shows, those that played it straight, and also the straight-up parodies. But this show is certainly… something. The main thing that isn’t so great about this series is that I’m unsure of whether it’s trying to play itself like a typical magical girl show, or if it’s trying to be a parody.
While the first episode played a lot like typical magical girl fare, it was also quite different. For one, most of the magical boy team are already established friends. Also, all the boys transformed together in the first episode. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen that in a magical girl anime before. Another thing that’s different is that the designated “leader” of the group (Hakone, Yumoto aka blondie) actually didn’t have too much focus this episode. While the subverting of general magical girl clichés was nice, I felt like the actual execution of this first episode was kind of a mess. Every scene apart from the monster-of-the day fight felt horribly disjointed. I get that all the scene transitions were to introduce the whole magical boy team but I feel like it could have been done more smoothly. Or maybe just don’t try to introduce the entire team in just one episode.
Character-wise, the boys are all basically one-note characters at this point. There’s the main “genki” dude who is obsessed with animals; there’s the “only sane man” smart dude of the team (you can tell he’s smart ‘cause he wears glasses); there’s the laid-back dude obsessed with oden; there’s the hot-blooded dude who’s obsessed with girls; then there’s the cool dude who’s obsessed with money. At least their character designs are sort of interesting, but this series loses points because (barring their outfits) their appearances don’t even change after they transform. I know I should just be happy about there being an anime about boys wearing silly frilly stuff but good luck keeping your identities secret with that.
This series also seems to have a hit-or-miss record when it comes to comedy. Four of the boys are established friends, but their “witty” banter is just so dull and banal. Is this supposed to be funny or painful to listen to? The world my never know. I did think the monster fight was the best part about the episode, though. The monster was ridiculous looking—par for the course when it comes to magical girl anime (you should check out the precure series if you don’t believe me). I also laughed during the part where they were just shouting out random attack names because they didn’t know what else to do. But I have to point out some of the phrases used in this series so far. “Love making?” “Love stick?” Man this series is just going to be “Innuendo: the anime” isn’t it?
Overall, this was a so-so episode. The pacing was kind of a mess and the characters (so far) don’t really seem to mesh that well. But if you can stand the cheesy monsters and cheesy lines, this seems to be a somewhat decent magical boy anime. It certainly plays like a magical girl anime, except with boys and much, much weirder.
Out of five: