They act cute! They make games! They’re in high school! That’s….about all there is to it.

Tamaki Honda is starting high school in the city after living most of her life in the countryside. She is particularly excited about joining a school club. After becoming enthralled by a demo game created by the doujin game development club, she chooses to join, spurred on by fond memories of drawing and creating “board games” as a child. She learns that the club is down to three members, and is lacking an illustrator; she quickly agrees to fill the position.

Tamaki attends the club’s first meeting. The other members are Shiina, the programmer, Ayame, the scenario writer, and Kayu, the music and sound effects composer. Their next project is a visual novel, which has a lot of drawing work for Tamaki, but she resolves to work hard and do her best.

The computer running Windows 10 was a nice little detail

Stella no Mahou is a “cute girls doing cute things in a school club” show. It’s fairly traditional for the genre, without anything particularly new or ground-breaking to recommend it. This type of show is not a particular favorite of mine, so my overall reaction was fairly neutral.

That’s not to say there wasn’t anything positive about it. The art is very cute (though the characters look more like middle school first years than high school), and the soft color palette, utilizing a lot of pastel pinks and yellows, is very relaxing. The music is pretty nice too, and genuinely reminiscent of the kind of background music you might hear in a game.

I did like that they made Tamaki’s art style fairly….unique

I did wish that the episode contained a little bit more information about the actual process of creating doujin games. I understand that the first episode was about getting Tamaki to join and introducing the members of the club, but I felt that the “club PR” event where Tamaki met Shiina and Ayama could have been used for that rather than just Tamaki and her friend repeatedly talking about how great the club’s game was. What makes a “cute girls doing cute things” show stand out is having the girls doing something unique and interesting, and developing doujin games definitely, at least in my opinion, has the potential to fulfill this. If Stella no Mahou focuses on the game creation process rather than cute slice-of-life scenes with the characters, I could actually see myself wanting to watch more.

Though, if it continues at its current laid-back pace, I doubt I’ll be reviewing it, it was at least a relaxing watch and more enjoyable than many other first episodes this season. Out of 5 Dios:

diodio 1/2

Poor music designer. Nobody appreciates her work.