Posted by psgels on 29 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Ah, the nineties: a time where you still could make huge series based on a simple premise that aren’t kiddie shows. Mahoujin Guruguru couldn’t possibly have been made in today’s age: it’s a non-stop series of 45 episodes, devoted to nothing but RPG-parodies. And this review doesn’t even include the 38-episode sequel that aired six years later.

Let me tel you one thing about this series though: the jokes in Mahoujin Guruguru are quite brilliant. It may be that I’m a big fan of parodies and all, but even taking that into account I have to praise at how creative this series can get with its gags. This series is sharp, witty and has a great time poking fun at all kinds of RPG cliches. It goes far further than just having characters act silly or have them engage in quirky banter: this show is always looking for situations to make actual good and well thought out jokes and clever situations. This is definitely the biggest selling-point for this series.

The length also allows the creators to tell an engaging storyline that brings the characters to all kinds of places and worlds. The storyline here is pretty simple (bad guy evil. kill him), but the various subplots and side characters keep this series moving. There’s even a bit of character development, albeit nothing special, although it remains a nice twist to see that the creators actually used the RPG leveling-system for the two lead characters.

With the length also come a number of problems, though. The jokes of Mahoujin Guruguru are really good, but it does not have enough material for 45 episodes. The result? Running jokes and repetition, while refusing to repeat jokes that had the potential to be even funnier with more fleshing out. It’s not like this series suddenly features a dip in quality along the way: it’s pretty consistent with alternating its good jokes with its overused jokes and its jokes that just don’t work. That doesn’t prevent that from really weighing down on this series.

the mostt notable of the overused running jokes is the old man. This guy. This guy is beyond obnoxious: he will do everything in his power to annoy both the viewer and the characters. And he just. refuses. to. freaking. quit. In the same way there are a few more jokes that are used way too much, and on top of that there are a number of episodes that just aren’t interesting. I’d say: cut this thing down to about 30 to 35 episodes and you’d have a classic.

Right now, this series is fun, but long-winded. On one hand you don’t want to watch this if you’re looking for something exciting, because the good jokes are just a tad too far in between compared to today’s standards. If you want to watch a laid-back series and don’t care about time though, then this is a great recommendation for light-hearted fun. Most shows that claim to be just light-hearted fun hardly have anything that makes them worth watching. Guruguru however has plenty of them.

Storytelling: 9/10 – This show has aged: its pacing is a tad too slow for today’s standards. In terms of the joke department though, this is really, really good.
Characters: 8/10 – There is character development, but again: this is small for the standards of a 45-episode series. Then again though, it does have quite a likable cast that are fun to watch throughout the entire series. WITH a number of exceptions, though.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Again: dated. Very simple graphics and animation that doesn’t make use of this. Good Monster designs, though.
Setting: 8/10 – Has a ton of fun poking, subverting, averting and analyzing the RPG-genre.

Suggestions:
Kero Kero Chime (This is what I’m talking about with more compact: the characters are a tad more annoying, but it is shorter and its good jokes to unfunny jokes ratio is a lot higher)
Mysterious Cities of Gold

3 Responses

  1. Airi says:

    :) This is why I like this blog. It talks about things other than the current season and exposes me to older anime!

  2. kurini says:

    Omg, this is my childhood series! I still have somes video tapes of it :)

    HAHA, the old man? The one that dance REALLY weirdly? I remember the time when my brother and I imitate his dance… cough cough

  3. asdf says:

    I remember watching this show as a child. Maybe it was because of my age but I loved that old man and his crazy dance.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:46 AM)
    Wait, wait scratch that, that was an old article/rumour…feck…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:39 AM)
    @Bam: I was quite fond of Gillian Andersons character.
    Apparently Laurence Fishburne wants to quit the show =<
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:44 AM)
    I really enjoyed Alana Bloom’s shadow transformation during the season two hypnotherapy sessions. I thought was visually stunning and thematically relevant. Bryan Fuller has managed to gather quite a bit of talent around himself in the recent years, but Mads is undeniably both the egg that holds this cake together as well the cherry that’s sitting on the top.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:37 AM)
    Word of mouth and good reception managed to raise the viewership near the tail end of the 2nd season, that and the aforementioned cosponsorship managed to pull a hallelujah and bring the show back from the verge of death. And I’m glad tha happened.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:32 AM)
    I also always felt that their screen chemistry was mesmerizing and am very surprised that some critics found that it was lacking in that very same department, but to each his own I guess. The budget is not all that low actually, and the reason the 3rd season was greenlit was in part due to a dedicated fanbase, as well as the fact that this is a joint effort between NBC and a European studio who undertakes portions of the expenses.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:08 AM)
    There is this…certain chemistry between Dancy and Mikelson in that show too.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:01 AM)
    *their
    As much as I love the inventiveness and creativity of the death/crime scenes I can see how someone would find them silly.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:54 AM)
    @Bam: I had heard there were alot of cancellation risks but that there series was cheap to make, if its true the budget is low, then they’ve worked around it effectively.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:27 AM)
    But everyone knows that this is Mads Mikkelsen’s show, and it’s really his magnetic charm and the series’ strong cinematography that sells the experience. I also think that the special effects are very well handled, and the whole show has a seriously disturbing edge while still managing to stay classy. Quite sophisticated if nothing else.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:22 AM)
    @Emma: I’ve been steadily enjoying Hannibal and am thrilled for the third season. A lot of people had a problem with Hugh Dancy as Graham since they believe that he doesn’t fit the novels or the earlier adaptations, but I take this show as as a whole new reimagining of the story so I don’t particularly mind him, and I do think that he’s mania is quite palpable.

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