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.|
– 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