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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  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:35 AM)
    @Bam If someone is a neocon, they usually have a bible open on their desk, a library full of Ayn Rand and Chuck Smith, a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side of the room, and one of Ronald Reagan on the other.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:34 AM)
    @K-off: try it m8, this is genuinely different then most adventure games that I’ve played, and I’ve played a lot. It also helps immensely that the game looks really good and the character models are based off the Granada series’ actors. The new voice-actors take a bit to get used to tho.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:31 AM)
    @K-off: oh yeah she sounded like she was in need of a good screwin all her life. I forgot who we had here that like her a lot. You know the funny thing is how Republicans hold unto her writings as life guidelines, and then completely ignore all the anti-religion stuff that she had to say lol
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:29 AM)
    @Bam I’ll try that, but for a casual gamer like me those are usually off-putting.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:26 AM)
    @Bam I personally have no problems with CS Lewis but I cannot get through some of Ayn Rand’s books because she’s such an asshole.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:23 AM)
    @K-off: I see, well I guess that doesn’t necessary makes them bad writings, but he does lose a bit of respect in my eyes for that.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:21 AM)
    I might’ve mentioned this before but Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is an excellent adventure game that actually puts you in the shoes of Holmes and at the very helm of each investigation. You make inferences and deductions based on evidence and conversations, and is up to you to decide who is guilty. It is often pretty complex and requires noticing of details to make the right call.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:21 AM)
    @Bam I’ve read his other writings and I’m 99% sure he meant for it to have Christian undertones. That last percent is from Plato, but that’s about it, lol. Even that had been turned into an allegory for Heaven.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:18 AM)
    Cumberbatch is gifted, but Sherlock the series is never meant to be taken seriously as any kind of adaptation. At least not in my eyes.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:17 AM)
    @K-off: sorry, prolly missed that.
    You know I’ve never read those actually, I was put off by the Christian undertones and whatnot. But to be fair I never noticed any of those until I saw them pointed out in an analysis, so who knows, he might’ve personally never meant for it to have those connotations.

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